We've come to Norfolk to celebrate New Years Eve. And, as is to be expected for this time of the year, the Island's village and homes have decked the halls with a glow of lights and glitter, but it's as if Mother Nature herself too is celebrating the season, with her own decorations of spangle. The majestic pines that grace the island are draped in whispers of pale green ‘tinsel’ that flutters in the breeze. Lichen, or as I like to call it Poppy's Beard, coats the trees like an ethereal thread. In some areas it has even draped itself across the timber fences. We take a walk through the Botanical Gardens and find gems of fungi lacing the forest floor and stepping along trunks and branches. The enormous Figs lining the road near the Norfolk Blue Farm, glow in a peppering of moss and across the road in the Hundred Acre reserve, the glades are a carpet of soft wispy grass that feels like feathers.
but then realise the Noddy's are just being either curious or were going about their business. collecting pine-needles and grass to stuff in their nests…. but then again, they might also be trying to find some peace and quiet from the squawks of their chicks – the 'racket' coming from the nests in the trees was incredible! Each branch seem to have three to four nests along it, all occupied by some very hungry mouths.
We ramble through the reserve and soon find ourselves at Rocky Point where the Mutton Birds nested. Great whopping holes pepper the cliff top, under shrubs, in the grass and further into the forest. A honeycombed trap for the unwary or those who are be too busy oohing and arhing (like me) at the graceful glide of the mutton bird… graceful that is until they land, then it’s a messy fumble and tumble into the grass or onto the cliff rocks
cluster across the trees and give the appearance of rising mist. Colonies of Golden Orbs spin thier spools and when their yellowish bodies catch the suns rays they glint and glow like precious gems.
In another part of the forest we are treated to the display of a White Fairy Tern with fish in mouth feeding its young – the chick looking nothing more than a giant pompom. As we walk further into the gardens we stop at a sun speckled glade and find ourselves once again the curiosity of feathered friends – this time, tiny little Grey Fantails flitter around us, trying to land on our hats and shoulders, hovering in mid-flight in front of our faces, and dancing along the branches as if posing for photos. I hold out my hand and feel the gentle grasp of a little ‘grey fantail of happiness’ as it pops onto my fingers and sits there looking up, twittering and chirping. I have transcended into a fairyland.
the South & Poor Mans Orange) "Missus". It had been many years since Ruth Park had lived on the island - having gone there after the death of her husband,author D'Arcy Niland - and I was concerned maybe I'd have problems finding someone who might remember where she lived. But I shouldn't have even given it a thought, those who live on Norfolk have long memories and know thier community well - the very first person I ask knows exactly where I can find her previous home.
The tiny cottage on the hill where stories had spilled forth was quite nondescript with a tiny nameplate declaring it "Park House". It was also up for sale. Suddenly I have fantasies of 'what if I ...' and just had to go see the Real Estate and ask its price. Much to M's relief it was sold and settling that very week. (Althought it doesnt' stop him checking out the other houses displayed in the agents window and murmering a few 'fantisies' of his own)
be playing there - we'd already heard Trent play twice on the Island, once at the markets and again at the Fish Fry - and with his amazing voice and infectious laugh we knew we'd be in for a great night.
Great night was an understatement!
nights end, we were far from looking "Glam" anymore with shoes kicked off, hair flowing free and M morphing into "Running Bear" leading the Conga line into 2015.
These posts originally appeared on Kerry Tolson's blog - Tuk-tuks, chicken bouquets and bicycle bells back in January 2015.
Hello! I'm Kerry
. . . a plan-nothing, have no idea where I'm going travelholic.
A daughter of the gypsies and the wife of a workaholic, I'm forever wondering 'What's over there?' and devising ways to squeeze through the barbed-wire fence of small-business ownership responsibilities and every-day life tangles to discover it.
and this is my book.