Final moments in a beautiful land

2006 November 4
by David J. Ringer

PORT MORESBY, PNG — I’m hot and sticky, listening to House Sparrows chirp and cars roar past somewhere beyond the open louvers.

But yesterday, I was in a different world. Cloud-bottoms brushed the treetops, and Crested Berrypeckers foraged in the dense, chilly green. A Brown Sicklebill called in the distance, and he sounded like arcade gunfire. Red-collared Myzomelas sang in the canopy trees, and scrubwrens darted across the road as we pulled away.

Tomorrow, I will be in a different world again: the world inside a metal tube where there are no birds, hurtling through space at speeds our forefathers suspected might be fatal, if they imagined them at all.

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  4. Christmas Bird Count: Counting in a haunted land
  5. Puddle jumping

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