My thongs sink slightly towards the gravelly edge of a red muddy beach, where the bitumen road disappears under the floodplain giving life to this one red-dust riddled land. The water mirrors the early morning’s azure blue sky, casting the illusion of an inland sea saturated wilderness. Where, like a tattered crochet blanket, contrasting plates of green water lilies and beads of white, pink and purple flower heads open to greet the sun’s new day.
The scene so serene at first glance. But on closer inspection – chaotic.
Imagine a musical Broadway production going through its final preparations before the show begins. Showgirls, dashing between costume changes are the bright colourful Rainbow Lorikeets and Ring-necked Parrots darting across the water. Egrets stretch their legs like perfectly poised ballet dancers. And looking every bit the musical Conductor overseeing his orchestra in a rich navy plumage is the statuesque Jabiru wading on the water’s edge. The low humming fine-tuning of instruments are the assorted bugs and beetles, and the Choir warms individual choruses via differing fly-by flocks. Lastly, the hidden stage technicians lurk beneath the water, being the Crocodiles, Barramundi and long-neck turtles silently directing stage props and actors to their places.
With a flick of my fishing lure into the water where the road disappears into this tropical oasis that only occurs a few months of the year, I watch and wait until… ‘Show Time’.