When we were children, year-end holidays were always spent camping in a tent at the beach as far away from 'civilization' as we could get. My father always found a spot tucked just behind the sand dunes and in among the casuarinas and banksias. The beach, of course, was filled with the sound of the sea and the cries of gulls. But the tent itself always seemed to be surrounded by the sounds of Leatherheads – Noisy Friarbirds as I now call them.
We would wake to their chatter in the early morning and run down to the surf for a swim before breakfast. In the evening as we sat around the campfire we listened to them in the trees as they settled down for the night. In between were long lovely days of sun, sand, and sea – and nothing and no-one in sight except ourselves.
I have planted grevillias in my garden and the Noisy Friarbirds are frequent visitors. They still sound like summer to me and I know I can still find the ocean waiting for me when I get in the kayak and get out there.