Urban Wildlife

All of these animals I’ve encountered on my morning walks.

Ringtail possum, living in the middle of an industrial park. Nested  in a bush of cane surrounded by factories.wp_20161026_10_23_40_pro

Mama Poss and this years babe just peeking out from behind mum.img_0587

Poss moved in to our roof about five years ago so I found the hole she was accessing the roof cavity through and closed it up while she was out one night. That day I’d built a nesting box and placed  it in my shed near where the hole into the roof used to be. img_0589

She’s live in the box ever since.img_0590

Each year she has a new little one, and I have seen the single baby grow from pouch to mother’s back and then they leave when fully grown.img_0591

But mama poss stays behind, already pregnant with the next bub.img_0593Last years Possum baby taken on a phone, sorry about the qualityimg_0872

Forest Lake Brush Turkey (Bush Turkey, Scrub Turkey they have a lot of names.) They build these large mounds to lay their eggs in, similar to dinosaur behaviour. Over the incubation of the egg they will add or remove litter to control the eggs’ temperature.output_k6rcjwpython-eating-possum

Why I never use the terms, Political Correctness or Patriot.

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(Note. If you want to argue with me in comments feel free, but know that debate is  welcome, vacuous abuse will be ignored. Learn how to justify your opinions.)  Rant starts here.

Let me begin with the fact I don’t have a problem with terms like, POLITICALLY CORRECT or PATRIOT. My problem is that the meaning of these terms has changed. The terms nowadays are used mostly by Right Wing Nut-Jobs who seem to think that these terms are a defence of their right of free speech.

“You’re anti war? You’re not a patriot.”

“How dare you take me to task about my rape joke. Oh, you’re just being politically Correct.”

That’s not a justification people, that’s a cover for your inability to defend your beliefs.

I love my country, but the term patriot is used by so many racist groups now, who seem to think a lack of melanin in their skin makes them somehow superior, that I refuse to use the term to describe myself.

On Twitter, Facebook, etc. you’ll find these terms almost exclusively used by people who want to be racist, misogynist, homophobic  or anti anyone different. They are used by people who want to shut down debate. I keep coming across people using these terms in place of a balanced and reasoned argument to support their opinions. This is not about people being offended by “Naughty words,” this is about people who never step into anyone else’s shoes. This is about people who refuse to show any kind of empathy. As my friend Katie Taylor wrote recently, “There is a BIG difference between being crude and just being an arsehole.”

A friend of mine posted a meme recently which read “POLITICALLY CORRECT. A term used for whiney, overly sensitive pansies who need everything sugar-coated for them.”
I’d like to respond with this. POLITICALLY CORRECT. A term used predominately BY privileged white males who can’t handle being told they’re being an arsehole.
I’m kind of sick of people using the term to excuse treating other people like Shit.

The sheer cognitive dissonance involved in defending free speech by telling someone they’re being PC and should shut the F. up would be hilarious if it didn’t make me cringe so much. Like, really, that’s the best you can come up with? If you want to justify your racism, misogyny  or whatever other prejudice you hold, you better have a logical argument because otherwise I will dismiss you as a fool, though I will harbour the fear you could also be dangerous. “Words never hurt anyone, ” I hear them say. Ignoring the irony in how hurt they sound being called out for their prejudices, This is not always the case. Tell someone who’s suicidal they should kill themselves and see how much those words hurt. Tell someone who has been sexually assaulted that someone should rape them and see how harmless your words will be.

If you use terms like PC and Patriot to hide behind, to reinforce you hate, then understand just how you appear to me and expect me to give you nothing but logical, thought out arguments that prove you’re an arsehole.

Is that PC enough for you?

 

The Kingfisher moment, Or Why I don’t support the MRAs.

azure-kingfisher-ct280-280x220Today, as with most days, I spent an hour walking in one of the pockets of bushland near my home, just trying to take a breath and remember that not everywhere is concrete and steel, and that beauty is still around me. It gives me a chance to think, to create, to dream and to contemplate this crazy world we live in. This morning however I observed something about myself that I felt I should share
As I walked along a track, surrounded by grevilleas, Tea trees and gums, the sound of birdsong in the air, I heard the familiar sound of crows up ahead, calling to each other and I knew they were talking about somebody up ahead on the track. Soon I saw a woman, I’m guessing in her 40’s, walking away from me.
Now I walk quickly, a product of bushwalking with my brother as a child, his motto being, “Keep up or get left behind.” At my less-than-leisurely pace I would catch up with her quickly. Then this conversation happened in my head.
“Slow down. Your in the bush, alone, and having an old fart come up behind you could be a little frightening to a woman on her own in the bush.”
I slowed and stopped, and spent a few moments just watching a kingfisher going in and out of its nest, having tunnelled into a termite mound up a tree nearby.
After this I continued on my way, never seeing the woman again.
Did she notice? Would she ever realise I had given her space so she’d not feel uncomfortable? Almost definitely no, but that’s not why I did it. I did it because at the cost of a couple of minutes watching a royal blue kingfisher in it’s natural habitat,(Not really a cost at all), I ensured I didn’t perpetuate the air of danger that has become commonplace for women today.
Now the MRA brigade would howl, “Why should I have to change my habits just so some uptight woman doesn’t feel threatened. It’s her hangup not mine.”
To the members of my gender who still don’t understand we live in a world where the next President of the US can laugh about sexually assaulting women. If you can’t see that kind of world puts all women on the defensive, then I don’t know what will. To you I say, who the hell made your feelings more important than anyone else’s? When did giving up a minute or two of your precious time become more important than ensuring others feel secure.
I think a lot about this world we live in, and as an observer of people, I find it’s important to stop sometimes, take a breath and step into other people’s shoes
Who knows? In the space of that breath, you might find your humanity.