Reflections of a Platypus Man (part 2)

Our accommodation in Geeveston is a fine period building. It’s one of the oldest buildings in town, and dates from around 1870:

img_0507We didn’t know when we first booked our trip that the B&B is only a few metres from a small river that boasts plenty of platypus.  The locals are justly proud of this and have even built a special platypus viewing platform, overlooking the river, which can be seen in this photo:

This morning, before breakfast, we pull on our clothes and hurry down to the river to try our luck.  Almost immediately we spot a familiar brown shape with what looks like a duck’s bill, on the surface of the water and paddling fast downstream.  We scan around carefully and spot a second platypus a little further away, emerging from a burrow in the bank and disappearing into the water.  They continue to entertain us for the next 30 minutes, giving Julie some great photo opportunities such as this:

Our close encounters of the platypus kind move me to poetry.  The haiku is a strictly disciplined verse structure from Japan.  The poet has at his disposal just 17 syllables split between three lines: the first and third lines must contain just five syllables each, while the second line has seven.  His challenge is to use these three lines and 17 syllables to capture a single moment in time, to distil the essence of an event by stripping out all unnecessary detail.  Simple yet profound is the aim.  Here’s my attempt at condensing our experience today:

Swimming fast downstream

Improbable platypus

Hunting water-bugs

Brief and to the point, I think.  Very Zen.

[13 November]



Author: Platypus Man

"Platypus" is a red herring: I'm English, although my blogging career began in my record of a 2016 road trip to Tasmania. Other blogs followed covering road trips in Newfoundland (2017), the Yellowstone area of the USA (2018) and New Zealand (2019). My current project is "Now I'm 64" , a weekly blog covering UK travel and wildlife, along with bits of history, social commentary and moans about the injustice of aging. I can guarantee a few laughs, and also the occasional rant. Some of it's even quite well written!

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