It is the dawn of the day here now, this very minute as I sit here writing. It’s the time of day that I love the most and for those of you who are strangers to the Aussie bush… let me welcome you. It is dark and the first red splash of sun is popping up over the horizon in front of me. It is beautiful and I wanted to share this moment with you.
The first of the birds are beginning to sing and the odd cow is waking up as well, you can hear them bellow welcoming the dawn and calling for the mob to gather together. But best off all is the sound of dry grass and bush litter shifting about not far from where I sit. It is a kangaroo is my guess, the sounds shift in small sets, the rustle sounds like the movement of a roo foraging. The roo will likely move off before the full dawn, it may even venture onto the camp grounds for the fresh dew on the soft grasses here but then it will settle for the day somewhere quiet.
I can hear the sound of the ducks landing on the river waters, it is a gliding splash the sound that they make as they coast in over the surface of the water like a water plane. Coming to a sudden halt with a small splash. The ribbon of river water is lit by the first shy rays of dawn and it is a spill of brilliant glass reflecting the light just emerging in the sky.
The Kookaburra’s have just cast their cackling laugh throughout the morning dawn, which is still creeping over the horizon. The stars are vanishing fast over where the sun will set later today but for now it isn’t yet the dawn and a few stars on the far horizon, where it is night time, still farewell the dark and welcome the dawn.
What I find delightful is the roar of the drop-bear. Yes he is there bellowing at something or someone. He has been bellowing now for an hour or more, something truly has upset him. I guess he has found a girlfriend and is making sure everyone one knows that there are female koala’s in the trees and they are his. He will quieten with the sunrise, they sleep mostly during the day as it is the night they prowl through looking for mates and visiting their harems. Ahh… he has been silenced by the dawn at last… there is his weakening roar again. One of the last he will make as the skies brighten.
We are camped up at a Freecamp at the western edge of the plateau behind the Great Dividing Range. The slow moving Severn River drifts along at our feet on its way to what once was a vast inland sea but which is now a subterranean ocean. It is an ocean deep beneath the earth, one that sits under the dry savannah and the dusty deserts further west. They call this the Great Artesian Basin of Australia, it is the largest pool of subterranean water in the world.
This is Northern New South Wales and we are camped up west on a Travelling Stock Route. These wonderful places are part of our Aussie heritage, sure water, good feed and they are places for drought times, where stock can be moved freely to market or just to feed and survive.
They are escape routes through burning country, a life line for stockmen, drovers and shepherds. In the past they were places of refuge for once ancient tribes or mobs of people when the land was harsh and survival a struggle. The history here is older than civilization and as timeless as the Dreamtime.
As the bird song begins in earnest around me and as the insect world chitters its defiance to the birds and fish that would eat them. I wanted to share this morning with you. It is an Australian sunrise, a new day, where all in the world is calm. No artificial noise breaks the dawn… yet.
Welcome to a new day.