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Sulphur Crests~

and golden tails,

feast on pine cones,

by bush lagoons.

Raucous flocks,

rest on scribbly gums.

While a curious cockatoo,

climbs down to me.

Cheers to you from Australia’s gorgeous sulphur crested cockatoos~

Note: Scribbly Gum are a type of NSW eucalyptus tree that have distinctive scribbles on their bark left by larval scribbly gum moths.

Tasmania’s Wild Creatures~

Dolerite Columns rise up to 980 feet from the sea in Cape Raoul Tasmania.

Dolphins fish,

and fly,

off the eastern coast.

Echidna encountered on the trail. Echidnas, like platypus, are the world’s only egg laying mammals or monotremes.

He buries his face in the ground to hide from us!

Endangered Tasmanian Devil stares at the camera lens at Bonorong Wildlife Rescue, Hospital & Sanctuary, in Brighton Tasmania.

Tasmanian Devils are carnivorous marsupials once endemic in Australia, but now wild only in Tasmania.

Sleepy wombat at Bonorong. Wombats are herbivorous marsupials native to Australia and Tasmania. They are one of the rarest land mammals in the world.

Cheers to you from stunning Tasmania and her wild creatures~

For more about Bonorong and the work they do, check out: https://www.bonorong.com.au/

Bush Stone Curlew~

Whose hiding here?

A mama curlew and her chick, that’s who! (You can see the camouflaged chick in the first photo in the upper right if you look carefully).

Mama quickly proceeded to lead me away from her chick,

like a good protective mama bird.

Bush Stone Curlews are ground dwelling, carnivorous birds native to Australia. They can fly, but rely on concealment to evade predation.

Cheers to you from the clever, camouflaged, curlews~

Your Own Flying Rainbows~

It’s harder to be upset,

when visited by flying rainbows.

Especially when they decide,

to join your picnic.

Flying fluffs,

of rainbow hope,

on wing!

Cheers to you from your friends the lorikeets and me~

Satin Bowerbirds~

Satin Bowerbirds are native to Australia. The birds pictured here are females. Males are dark black, but have the same startling blue eyes.

Bowerbirds are named after the elaborate stick structures called bowers that males build to attract a mate.

They use found objects, to decorate their bowers, the flashier and bluer, the better!

Females inspect the bowers, while the males dance near them, and females choose their mate based both on the dance and the bower.

Bowers are decorated with anything colorful the birds find, like pens, buttons, blue plastic, blue balloons, blue bottle caps, blue feathers etc. There have a definite preference for blue colors that match their eyes!

I am impressed with any guy who will not only build a house for his mate, but shop till he drops to decorate it, and dance for her too!

Wow!

I didn’t find any bowers in Australia, but here is an image of a bower that I found on The San Diego Zoo’s website.

Photo Source: San Diego Zoo.org

Cheers to you from the lucky female Australian Bowerbirds~

Pied Currawong~

I know just how this bird is feeling.

.

This is my face after reading the news.

I also relate to the stressful snacking,

and that guilty look afterwards.

Birds seem to always understand us.

Hope these guys bring smiles and cheers, to you, from me at The Holler~

Note: Pied Currowangs are omnivorous birds from Eastern Oz.

Hope on the Horizon: Pandemic Anxiety Management II~

I think this koala is sending a message to you and I about anxiety!

In the midst of darkness,

there is light.

Check out: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8115879/COVID-19-Australian-researchers-CURE-coronavirus.html

Good people are working,

to help.

Countering,

pandemic anxiety,

with realistic hope,

is powerful medicine.

Hope floats,

and flies.

Let’s move on with building our toolbox to manage pandemic anxiety.

ANXIETY TOOLBOX:

Self Talk Reframing (Cognitive Therapy)

Guided Imagination/Visualization

Exposure Management

Progressive Relaxation

Distraction in Action

Self Soothing

Spiritual Meditation/Prayer

Second Voice

Exercise, Diet & Good Health Practices

We covered the first three in the last post. Here are the next three.

I would love for you to add tools of your own that are, or have, worked for you. With your help we could build a truly awesome anxiety busting toolbox so people can pick and choose what is comfortable for them. If you have some tools that work let me know. It will be helpful to all of us.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation was developed in the 1930’s during The Great Depression which was a stressful time too. It is a systematic method for relaxing your body and mind. It emphasizes muscle tension and release, and is focused specifically on quelling the actions of anxiety on your body and mind. Google it if you want to learn more. Here is a simple example:

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-do-i-practice-progressive-muscle-relaxation-3024400

If you couple this with focus on your breathing similar to what is taught by yoga, and practice both together, you will have really powerful tools to bust anxiety. Here is how to breathe as you tense and release your muscles:

https://www.verywellmind.com/how-do-i-practice-deep-breathing-for-anxiety-3024389

Even if you try these techniques for the first time now, it will help to lessen the unconscious muscle tension and shallow breathing that is our reaction to anxiety. When we are anxious too much adrenaline and cortisol flood our body. This weakens our immune system. Conscious breathing combined with muscle relaxation help us stop stress hormone release and protect our body and our mind.

There are many different progressive relaxation options available online that will lead you through the program. Pick one you like and try it out.

Distraction in action is doing the things that make you, you.

Being true to yourself, engaging in your own interests, hobbies and passions, is possibly the most powerful tool of all. If you have passion and hobbies that bring you joy (you are all bloggers, you have these strengths) these passionate interests can pull you out of bad situations, keep you focused on what engages your best self, and keep you steady in the storm.

Lots of us are home now. This is the time to follow your passions fully, indulge your creativity, and let it help you escape from the noise.

A blogger pointed out to me how important humor is in managing anxiety and doomsday thinking. You can’t laugh and panic at the same time. Humor is a saving grace.

Self Soothing is basically devoting time to provide your own TLC. We normally neglect ourselves. When you are under increased stress, as we all are now, taking time everyday to soothe yourself is critically important. What is self soothing to you? Is it a warm bath, watching a game, playing an rpg, listening to music, cooking, gardening, working out, the possibilities are endless. Make a mental list of what is comforting to you. The more things you come up with the better for you. Make time for these things now, everyday, more than ever.

And remember, turn off the news after you have gotten the gist of it. The bad gets reported, and the good gets neglected. We need to remember to also focus on the good.

Cheers & calm to you, from me, at The Holler~