I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Year with Bluestone: Bird Bath Time

Not far from my new building is a long shallow pool. Water sits about two or three centimetres above rows of small bluestone squares. The pool is newish, and answers to the longer, deeper, rectangular pool that edges the south lawns and leads down to the Medley Building.

This pool extends from the new Asia Centre building down towards a peculiar knot of buildings, annexes, odd pathways and tight corners: one of those parts of the campus where it's easy to get lost and where there is no direct path from anywhere to anywhere else. The pool has two cafes, one at either end, and is also not far from two others. There are four or five places to buy coffee in this corner of the campus alone...

I was thinking I would take careful photos of this bluestone pool at one time but tonight as I was leaving (it was nearly 7.00 pm on what must surely be one of the last days of daylight saving), I saw how the birds had moved in. There were still a few people about, but it was much quieter than normal, and I took this video of a crow having a wonderful bath.

After I stopped filming, I saw a thrush down at the other end, where the water splashes into another square of stones, and also a pigeon with a funny moptop. And then, as if answering yesterday's post about things that land on bluestone, this perfectly fresh white feather, just landed on the water. Did it come from the crow? from its secret underfeathers? or was it a trace of Phebus's crow in Chaucer's Manciple's Tale, just transformed from white to black?

In any case, a moment of exuberance, then stillness, and then dusk, as the campus settled from the frenetic pace of first semester, into the quiet of evening, and as the birds returned to the shallow, still waters.

1 comment:

total12 said...

Chaucer's Manciple's Tale, just transformed from white to black?pool plastering nj