Recently my daughter and I went for a walk to the local park. There was not a cloud in the sky, it was a lovely sunny day. We were spending some quality time together when suddenly I heard a clack clack clack in my ear and felt something fly very close to my head. A little bit worried I put a big smile on my face and remarked to her that I wondered what it was? Next thing I know it’s happened again and again and I realise that we are being subject to an aerial bombardment from a pretty big and aggressive magpie. It was all happening so quickly that we had no choice but to run (not one of my favourite things!).
A hundred metres or so down the road the attack stopped, my heart rate was through the roof and I was physically shaking, adrenalin I guess! My daughter on the other hand was not in the least bit bothered, “don’t worry Mum, just a bird protecting its babies in its nest” – how could she be so relaxed about what just happened?!
We returned home, the very long way round, to avoid the trees that the nest must have been in and told hubby what happened. He found the thought of me running down the road, being swooped on by a cranky bird hilarious!
I realised then why I would see people cycling around with cable ties sticking upright out of their helmets, a great defence system for impending attacks! My son’s friend has since suggested I carry a big stick or umbrella around with me to fend them off in the future, so much for going for a simple walk!
In this country you have to be aware of the wildlife. The large spiders (like the one hubby caught in the bedroom last night) and the hairy caterpillars (itchy grubs as the kids call them) that boldly cruise across the living room floor. The plovers that hang out in pairs on the footpath that are all too keen to have a go at you if you look at them the wrong way! Then there is the possibility of a snake hiding in the leaf basket inside the pool filter or a red back spider crawling along the brick edging of the pool, the mosquitoes waiting to pounce as you sit and relax in the evening. Any amount of other creepy crawlies that may or may not be poisonous and of course the vicious magpies!!
Let’s not even get started on the creatures that dwell in the sea and the rivers and the lakes!
It can be pretty scary when I stop and think about all the dangerous creatures that share this great land. Having said that it is now routine to be aware of my surroundings and just check for any potential dangers lurking in whatever situation I am in. The kids on the other hand are just growing up alongside nature and learning to respect it and be part of it.
I am trying very hard not to develop an irrational fear of birds. I’ve made a note of nesting season and will never forget the location where that magpie swooped at me. If I ever choose to walk that way again I will make sure I am fully armed to stave off any further attacks!!