Artwork: Ernest J Berry

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   October 2014    

  Photo: Sandra Simpson

What I did in my holidays ... part of one day was a trip to the excellent Bali Bird Park where I was able to meet birds from around the world, including the various islands of Indonesia. This fellow is a critically endangered Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi) and was always on the move, even in the midday heat.

Most mornings I heard an unusual, but attractive, bird call from the trees around the hotel, but could never catch sight of the bird. The song was pretty distinctive, sounding something like a melodic rusty wheel!, but none of the hotel staff could name it for me, although one hazarded a guess that it could be a Bali starling! I suppose it could have been a caged bird, but I'm fairly sure I heard it move from tree to tree so not very likely to have been this rather pretty bird.

We were in Ubud in Bali at a very busy time for Hindu ceremonies - the historic temple next to the hotel was celebrating its rebuilding and was a focus for many processions, both to and from, while October 4 was Saraswati day, honouring the goddess of wisdom, knowledge and learning. Our informative guide and driver Ari told us that Hindus from India would not necessarily recognise the Hinduism practiced in Bali, the islanders have made it their own. (If you're planning a trip to Ubud I highly recommend booking Ari for private guided tours.)

This month's article is by Beverley George on the topic of haibun - the prose and haiku pieces that are always about a journey, or are they? The article includes the review of a collection of haibun by Kurita Chodo that has been translated into English.

The competition listings have been updated through to January, so plenty of time to plan ahead.

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- Sandra