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Art Show: Wild Birds

Emu Crossing

by Shawn Marie Hardy

Banner for Wild Birds art show

Art: Emu Crossing by Artist Shawn Marie Hardy
Meep! Meep! O.K. so they're not roadrunners, but the Roadrunner from Looney Tunes certainly does resemble the grand, flightless emu. Being in the Australian Outback felt like being in a prehistoric time. There was nothing around except red earth, blue sky, eucalyptus and gum trees, and indigenous animals - oh and flies that liked to eat my food as it was going into my mouth.

I saw a koala with her baby on her back swaying in the branches over my head while my partner and I were cooling ourselves in the shade of a eucalyptus tree. At one point we walked into a gorge to find the area's last drinking hole surrounded by thirsty kangaroos. We startled them and they came hopping past us in a frenzy. That made for some wonderful photos which I'll post here soon. One of the most exhilarating sights was these emus - I only ever saw them crossing roads (and this road is actually a highway, believe it or not) but never saw their habitat. They were very elusive creatures and hard to think of as birds, only running and not flying. They're quite large - larger than ostriches - and when you're out there with just one other person surrounded by all that land, sky, and wildlife, about 200 miles away from civilization, you feel very small indeed.

My boyfriend at the time took a photo of me standing next to a dead emu - see the detail image and you can get an idea of the size. Keep in mind that his legs are tucked up underneath him. They're very tall.

The image was taken with a vintage Minolta CLE with Rangefinder lens and 200 speed film.

Detail Images

Detail Image for art Emu Crossing

Moe, Larry...

Detail Image for art Emu Crossing

...and Curly

Detail Image for art Emu Crossing

Poor guy


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