Growing up and Painting Pied Oystercatchers on Kangaroo Island


As a child, Janet smiles, my mother said we were quite "feral" but "feral with manners". When Janet was a little girl, she had the whole island to explore. The school bus, Janet says, was for transporting them away from school and back into the countryside. Throughout Janet's childhood, she could hear the oystercatchers piping calls at night so they evoke memories of where she grew up. As we wander along a spit on a rising tide, they gather in flocks to preen and recuperate from a morning feeding on the tidal flats. Janet sits and patiently draws the birds, as the tide pushes them nearer to us. It's so captivating, we hardly notice the water rushing in over the pebbles and have to rush to move clothes and camera bags. The sun beats down and an air of peace and solitude falls around everything and everyone here.

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