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Story by LindyP

I am accustomed to sights and sounds where I live-the early morning kookaburras, cockatoos, butcher birds, people moving around and the occasional testosterone fuelled driver roaring past my door.

I often amusingly compare this sound to one of my favourite animals beating his chest as he stomps through the undergrowth with authority and pride —Look at me -I am important- don’t mess with me –I am big –I am strong !

But the sounds that woke me one morning made me shudder –heavy machinery, deafening and ominous.

Outside, men in hard hats and fluorescent jackets were high up in tree tops wielding chainsaws . The noise was horrendous as they hacked and then mulched their way through eleven magnificent gum trees.

A week later they had finished their grisly work , leaving eleven stumps ,desolate, silent.  I felt drained and heartbroken.

These trees had been nearly one hundred years old, reaching high up into the sky a hundred feet or more, and home to galahs, parrots and black cockatoos . One of my favourite times of day was dusk, when sitting outside (with my glass of red), I would listen and enjoy their ‘going to bed ‘ sounds , chattering at first to each other about their day ,where they had been , what they had seen , where they had foraged . Then the sounds would turn to a long chorus of ‘goodnight ‘ sounds , sounds they had made in those trees for many years.

A few days later after attending a function at a local venue I stepped out with other patrons at dusk ,into the car park, and was bombarded with a cacophony of noise —corellas were high up in gum trees , calling and shrieking out their day’s activities . It was magnificent and unharmonious -so many birds in so many trees .

I stood in the failing light, aching with the moment , craning my neck as I watched and listened , missing my birds and trees , wondering how others could complain about the noise , the mess on their cars, the nightmare of it all, and how the council should ‘do something’ .

I decided to return the next night and experience it all over again.

When I got home it was dark-I looked across to a galah alone on a tree stump, sitting so close to where I stood I could have reached out and touched his loneliness —–he was calling out his night sounds.