Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Morning in the Bush

I'm currently writing a book...maybe one day it will be published. It is, among other things, a ramble through my days as an exploration assistant. Anyhow...here we go with a little excerpt.

Do you know what a summer morning is like in the Australian bush? If you don’t, then let me describe it for you.

It is cool. The sun is not yet above the horizon, but the sky is a soft blue colour infused with white. It is perfectly still; branches hang limp. There is a sweet smell in the air, a cool damp aroma that comes from the vegetation. It’s as if someone has doused the country with air freshener. Condensation clings to leaves and the makes the soil moist underfoot; it also carries the smell into your nose. The chorus of birdcalls that greeted the first light of dawn some half and hour ago has ceased. There is only silence.

This is as peaceful as it gets anywhere in the world, as serene as you can be. Soon the drilling will start and it will be time to work. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to experience this again.

That is one the lasting memories of my two years working as a field assistant in Western Australia. I worked in the East Kimberley and Northeastern Goldfields. Of course, I also remember the days when it was over thirty degrees at 7am and steadily rose to over forty-five degrees, sometimes with high humidity. There were the days when I was covered in sweat mingled with red dust, producing a facemask that cracked every time that I smiled. Some days I drank five litres of water in the middle three hours of the day, and wondered why I had chosen to do this work.

On balance, I prefer to remember the sunrises, the peace and serenity of the bush, and the lovely waterholes of the Kimberley. However, these can get boring after a while, so I’ll also talk about the other stuff!

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