Friday, August 10, 2012

Dusk and Dawn

Dusk and dawn are special times up here.  Night falls sharply and as it closes into deep blue tens of thousands of spectacled fruit bats rise up and circle above the coastal forest near our house.

"Those are going to Mr MacGregors farm.  Those are going to Mr Smith's farm.  Those are going to the rainforest." calls Mum, watching them as she swats the mosquitos wheeling about is.

The first bat rises in the air at dusk
Grass seeds catching the light as we wait for night to fall.

It happens suddenly.  At first they stretch their wings as the skies become the color of lemons.  Then a few lift off and flap heavily to a nearby tree, crashing back into the large leaves.  Then a few rise up together and cross in mid-flight before returning to roost.  This happens all around you into the middle distance.  Suddenly, one lifts up and flaps higher and does not return.  Then another, then another.  Stepping back 50 meters from the forest margin you realize that there are hundreds aloft, hundreds streaming out in long undulating streams towards the far horizons.

"Mr Smith's banana farm!" shouts Wren.  "They will BITE through the PLASTIC!"  Yesterday we passed a banana farm and saw the fruit wrapped in plastic to protect them and hasten ripening.

Soon a steady stream of bats flies out. 
You think they must be done but more and more rise up from the trees...

People stop to watch as they continue to stream out in all directions.

The next morning the sky was wide and blue.  Mum and I went for a walk / run down 4-mile beach.  Mum saw the sunrise but I was a bit later.  We are finally over the worst of jet lag and get up at 6.30am instead of 5am daily.

Sunrise at Port Douglas

The view from the South end of the bay at Port Douglas

Morning light on the coastal palms
Today we spent the whole day at the beach.  It was calm and almost waveless.  Wren became very brave entering the water up to his waist and Frost wallowed around for hours.  Mum and I lay under a beach umbrella alternatively reading, throwing a tennis ball for the kids and adjudicating their cyclical squabbling.

Here are some pictures of our day at the beach.

Arguing about who can break which castle and if you
can only break your own creation or someone else's IF its a game of
attacking and breaking a castle! 
Checking the morning beach conditions.  Calm.  Low risk of stingers.  Low
risk of crocodiles.  Jenny is the Lifeguard on Duty.

In the water.  Wearing a hat on sideways.

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