Archive for December, 2013

Writing prompt: close encounters with birds

A friendly visitor to our picnic

A friendly visitor to our picnic

Last week my wife and I went for a drive from our son’s home in Artarmon, Sydney, to Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. We stopped in several places along the way and ended up at West Head Lookout. From here you can see over Broken Bay and some of the beaches and islands in that area.

At one point my wife was sitting on one of the seats admiring the view when her phone rang. It was her sister calling from South Australia. She was so distracted by the conversation that she didn’t notice our visitor, an Australian Brush-turkey (see photos). The turkey just casually wandered around us, merely a metre or so from us. It was a wonderful photo opportunity.

Writing prompts

I love having close encounters with birds and the natural world of animals. I’ve written many poems about birds.

  • Write a poem about a close encounter you’ve had with a bird, animal or other creature.
  • Include animals, birds and the natural environment in a short story.
  • Relate an incident where you were surprised, frightened, amused or amazed by a close brush with a bird, reptile, fish, animal or some other creature.

Read more about Brush-turkeys:


Australian Brush-turkey, West Head, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

It’s beginning to look like Christmas

Gingerbread House

Gingerbread House

My wife and I are currently staying with our son and daughter-in-law in Sydney. We plan to be here for Christmas and look forward to sharing Christmas with our two little grandchildren, ages 5 and 2 and a half.

A few days ago we all chipped in helping to decorate the Christmas tree. Not one of those artificial ones bought in every shopping centre. No, we have a genuine natural tree bought from the local Scout Group who made them available to the local community.

Then the family gathered around the dining room table to make gingerbread houses. My almost two and a half year old granddaughter decided that it was far more interesting to eat her house straight away. Waiting for over a week to eat it is far too long for a little one.

Five year old grandson however, despite being an extremely active young boy, sat for over an hour with great determination to make the house shown above. We were all so proud of him – and I think he was too.

Writing prompts

We don’t have too many special traditions at Christmas time, but I know that many families do.

  • Write about the special things you do as a family at Christmas.
  • Relate a true happening when everything went wrong.
  • Imagine a truly wonderful Christmas; make it into a  story or poem.

Good writing.