This week I've been to Sydney, Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Torquay, all to do with emus and my picture book 'Emu'.
I don't have photos yet from Sydney, but here are some from Narana and Torquay.
This is Mama Emu. Yes, Mama. She was mighty curious about me, pecking at my watch, camera bag and even my camera. She wasn't aggressive at all, just not terribly respectful of my personal space. Fair enough, I was not paying her a great deal of attention, and I was entranced by her chicks.
The chicks are about 5-6 weeks old and growing fast. They weren't that fussed by me, I don't think. They lazed about, and occasionally did laps of their enclosure. It was fun to watch them. They stretch tall and run in a quite upright fashion, but their balance is still developing and they took the odd tumble. Then scrabbled straight up again and kept going. If you want to know what this looked like, put your arms inside a shirt or jumper and fall over. Now, without using your elbows, get to your feet. Not so easy, is it? I bet the chicks did better than you.
Those stripes are fairly bright here in the short grass, but let 'em loose in longer-grassed surroundings and they vanish from sight.
And then there's time to rest.
When they were done with me, I bid the emus farewell and hit the beach.Oh, alright, I watched the beach. And the surfers. Not sure I'd have been in the water, even if I had had the time. But watching is mesmerising.
On to Torquay Library, where the lovely Kim had been working hard to support my visit. I had a goodly group of young people and their families and we had plenty of fun talking all things emu.
First we read.
Then we danced.
Then we made emu beaks. There was another egg-based drawing activity, but emu-beaks were definitely the hot-ticket item.
Thanks to Geelong Libraries, Kim and the enthusiastic audience.