In Central Queensland, emus are not an uncommon sight. But no matter how many I see, or how often, they always strike me as most bizarre.
Stately, yes. Self-contained, yes. And bizarre.
I’d stopped as this one high-stepped it across the road, not looking at me or my large white van.
Then it turned and unhurriedly retraced its steps back across the road, tail feather bustle bouncing, chest feathers extension flopping like a sporran, head on that gawky long neck rigidly ignoring me.
Back on the coast, amongst rainforest instead of Desert Uplands, the camp had no emus, but plenty of Brush Turkeys strutting about.
Yet this one kept lying on its side as if shot down, one wing up, breast feathers exposed. It did it in a few places, and after each would get up and wander off to repeat the performance. Playing dead? Asking to have its tummy rubbed? Or just letting the sun warm that chest?
In between those two places I passed this tree in a bare paddock, full of galahs decorating it like coconut ice queens.
Not bizarre, but very pretty.