" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

May 7, 2016

On the Road with Corvids

I have a lot of crows living around my unit that I consider friends.
I think that they are rather smart mystical creatures and I like their company. 
I remember leaving for my 10 days on the road and saying to a few crows that live around me, I'll miss you guys, as there won't be any crows on top of Mount Kosciuszko, or probably any of the other towns around there.
But as if that was a challenge to them to prove me wrong, it was like they got in touch with all their relatives down south and said, don't let this guy out of your sight, even when he gets to the top of  
Mount Kosciuszko.
I'm not kidding either, crows and magpies would just fly up to me everywhere as if to say, "how you going on the road mate, OK?"
A magpie in the shade of the church sign at Port Macquarie
I can only remember one morning not seeing a crow, or magpie cross my path, and that was the morning I was looking for owls in the owl's habitat in Port Macquarie -
Are the Powerful Owls What They Seem?
It wasn't until about one o'clock in the afternoon that I noticed a magpie hanging around me when I went to take a look at Saint Thomas Church, and after I had given up trying to spot an owl in Port Macquarie, which is when I started to take pictures of the brazen corvids that would walk or fly up to me.
A magpie in the shade of the church grounds at Port Macquarie
I thought it was funny how this church was built with convict labour and the magpies are wearing the convict colours of black and white and the old convict uniforms had bird-foot type prints all over them. 
Convict uniform with bird footprints?
The magpies were even hanging around the small chapel next to the church and inside that chapel I found a tapestry on the wall of St. Clare, whose facial features reminded me of the girl out of Tomorrowland named Athena, who was obviously meant to look like an owl.
And the director of the movie is named Brad Bird, as well;-)
St. Clare was one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi, so I presume she liked animals and birds, as well.
Legend of St. Francis, Sermon to the Birds,
  upper Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi
Athena from
 Then 30 kilometres down the road in Laurieton this little Pee Wee flew right up to me and started telling me something ... probably to stay away from the pelican sitting further out on the wharf?
Then in Canberra on Mt. Pleasant two magpies started hanging around me.
I thought once I left Canberra my bird friends would shy away from the higher and colder lands, but soon as I got to my overnight stop in Jindabyne two crows befriended me when I was checking out the lake on a pub balcony, by calling out to me right above my head and nearly scaring the S#!+ out of me.
Looking out over Lake Jindabyne
The crow right above my head in a tree
Then I got in my car and drove across the road to the shops and these guys flew over to greet me again. 
Here comes the other one in the red circle
My favourite shot of this cheeky crow
I couldn't believe they flew over right to my table, as it is a fairly big shop with lots of tables and people around.

Crows flying around at the top of Mount Kosciuszko
I didn't expect crows to be at the top of Mount Kosciuszko though ... and I mean right at the top.
It was like they were saying to me,"what took you so long, old boy?" 
One even decided that he, or she, was going to walk me up the rest of the way, which I found quite amusing.
Then when I was walking back down from the top of the mountain a crow feather blew right onto my jeans and I was going to keep it as a souvenir of this day, but decided it looked a bit yucky, so I took a picture of it in my hand then threw it to the wind and let it fly away down the mountain. 
Funny that I was humming Midnight Oils song 'Kosciusko' as I was walking down the mountain (because I didn't know most of the lyrics) and this week I hear the band is getting back together and touring again ... sync?
Midnight Oil reform and announce a world tour
A crow waiting for me ... or some Midnight Oil?-)
Farewell my feathered friends it's been a pleasure having you around
When I was leaving Jindabyne and filling up my tank for my trip back to Canberra the crows were sitting on top of the petrol station sign watching me, and I thought to myself, I hope those guys aren't just watching my movements because they think that I might be potential roadkill.
It was after filling up my tank and then taking a wrong turn into a backstreet that I found that pyramid roofed church and the owl mural across the road from it painted on a shop wall.
I had no idea they even existed in Jindabyne, until that mistake, but it felt like those powerful owls that wouldn't show themselves in Port Macquarie were mocking me when I stumbled across the
owl mural, as if to say better luck catching us next time you're down this way, pal, it's been a hoot.
Just before I made it to the small town of Berridale, I saw a dead kangaroo on the side of the road, which was nothing new this far along on my road-trip, but I felt I needed to get a photo as I might want to do a post about all the roadkill I'd seen along the way.
When I pulled up, I noticed its foot was missing and thought thank God it's dead, as how would a kangaroo with one foot manage in life?
Then when I got into Berridale, I saw an unusual war memorial in the main street and pulled over to take some photos.
The names of the dead soldiers on the Christ statue really struck a few ironic chords with me, as I was thinking along the lines of, "what a price to pay" and then saw a W(hat?). Pryce as one of the soldiers' names, but then another name caught my eye - M. Higgins.
I couldn't help but think of Missy Higgins the singer when I saw that name ... I mean who wouldn't?
I thought of her song, 'World Gone Mad' and then, 'Hidden Ones' for some reason, both off 'The Ol' Razzle Dazzle' album of hers. 
 And seeing that dead kangaroo on the bend coming into town I couldn't help thinking of her song, '100 Round the Bends' thinking that was probably the speed, or greater that the kangaroo was hit.
And of course that led me to thinking about this song of hers, 'Steer'.
You would have to read these old posts in the links below to get why Missy Higgins resonates so much in my life at this point along the road
Darren Hanlon and "A Descant for Gossips"
Missy Higgins Has a New Oz Album on the Way ... And That's Not All
Then I turned around to see a magpie lurking around behind me and I started wondering if these birds weren't somehow guiding me along in my trip and thoughts. 
Just a thought ... but was it all mine?-)
Magpies and a kangaroo?
Then I drove on to the town of Cooma and stopped to take some pictures of the avenue of flags and some of the artwork there.
Seeing the mosaic with the kangaroo and the magpies after just coming across the dead kangaroo and the live magpie lurking near the M. Higgins memorial not far up the road was like being in the twilight zone.
I wondered why though that Australian native crows never get the recognition in artworks that magpies do.
Probably because farmers hate them for raiding their farms, but crows get overlooked in Australian art I feel.
Cooma was the town I found Pete Townshend's, 'Who I Am' and a few other books real cheap in a book-sale in the main street and it was right after I had taken the pictures of the mosaics and crossed the road that I found the books.
Then walking back to my car another magpie greets me in the main street of Cooma.
That was about all the magpie and crow pictures I took on my road-trip, but they never where out of my sight more, or less until I got back home to Brisbane.
There were other birds that came into my trip up in Ballina besides corvids, and while I never spotted a live owl on my road-trip there are still some owl syncs to come to in later posts.
On one last note, when I've told people that I really like crows and see them as a kind of totem animal to me, some people will ask me how I could like such a vicious animal that has been known to pick eyes out of living lambs in the field, for example.
I say to them, well a lot of people seem to have one of the most vicious creatures to walk the face of the earth as their totem animal, so maybe you might like to take a look in the mirror and ask how you could admire that species looking back at you, with the track record of cruelty that they have on this planet. 
Take a look at the crucifix above as an example of the kind of cruelty this species is capable of, just for one example. 

UPDATE: 25th May, 2016 
Have You Been Seeing Crows? What The Crow Symbolizes (More Than Just Death)


  1. Darren what a great holiday and I love that the birds followed you no matter where you went. My husband is the photographer who gets me all the wonderful photo's to sketch and we both love magpies and the crows too. But out where we live they would never come up to your table. My husband went to Jindabyne recently too and noticed a healthy group of ravens living there. Thanks for stopping by my space. Nice to meet another fellow aussie doing the blogging thing.

  2. I'm used to random birds that just fly up to me and look me in the eye like that.
    I made friends with a butcher bird at the last Byron Bay Writer's Festival that pretty much did the same thing as the crow in the above post and I have pictures in a post on here somewhere of that bird.
    I feel like I'm a bird magnet sometimes...too bad I didn't have that affect with money :-)
    As for the blogging thing I was, and believe it or not, still am a reluctant blogger.
    I only ever opened a blogging account to comment on other blogs I followed.
    I was constantly told that I should write my own blog about my daily observations by fellow bloggers that I admired and it wasn't until a sacred kingfisher nearly killed itself by trying to fly through a closed window in my old house that I decided to share the story and pictures in a post with mainly those other bloggers.
    But it seems to have spiraled into a bigger audience than I bargained for.
    People seem to get something out of it, even if that's just laughs at what a nut-bag I appear to be with the way I look at the world.
    But I have met (not so much in person, mainly over the net) a lot of talented bloggers and people from all over the world and worked with some of them on other projects I found interesting, so blogging has been rewarding in that way, but there are times I ask myself why I blog, because I'm someone who hates being in the spotlight, but I do like shining a light on other bloggers, pod-casters, artists and authors I admire and hopefully bring more recognition to their work through me writing posts about their work.
    Plus, I guess I just like pointing out how weird and seemingly connected life truly is on a deeper level by placing pop culture and news stories into posts for other bloggers and readers to ponder, as well.