far from civilisation in the respite offered by my little cabin in the bush i sit on the porch reading, soaking up early morning rays. it's the last saturday of january, 2011. already the year is a month down. soon i must go face it.
i am the only one up; it's by far the best time of the day. already the mercury is rising but it's not uncomfortable yet. the cockatoos who were recently eating sunflower seeds on the balcony beside me as i stepped out uncouthly squawked their disagreement at my arrival. i came, they left.
360 degree welcoming sounds to the day are amplified to my secret spot as i sit quietly like fern watching the animals at the zuckerman's farm in charlotte's web. there's so much to see & hear. it's like having best seats in the opera house. an invisible conductor allows the cacophony to ebb & flow as various creatures chime in. it is something to revel in.
suddenly there is movement at the end of the plateau where with close friends i've been developing a permaculture food forest with the first of three mandalas designed around ponds, now operational.
by the gate towards the creek there are horses & dogs. with people. they appear to be armed. on my property. despite not believing in land ownership per se, i am the guardian of this sacred land & do not advocate unnecessary murder. death as sport is an irreconcilable concept. this is a retreat, a refuge.
i yell but they choose not to respond & turn around & head down the side of the hill. my hill. to my surprise i become incredibly territorial. adrenaline pumps in fluoro red.
my actions stir the house. a reconnaissance mission is undertaken. i stay put, on guard. that's me on the balcony. i can hear them beneath me. i call out to the echoing men's voices. but they do not speak to me. the trespassers continue down the hill ignoring my entreaties which become increasingly... insistent. they're hunting. further down the mountainside making the trail their dogs follow, is this guy:
pretty cool huh? he looks like he's been freshly groomed knowing that he'd be starring in a photo shoot that very day. what a rock star.
the goat hunters eventually run into our ambush & are cut off at the pass. really. we cover them from all sides. what we are armed with is actually much more intimidating than them. it pays to be prepared in the bush. i'm a survivalist after all.
the goat lives to see another day! and pauses for his close-up, before high-tailing it in the opposite direction rock-hopping up the mountain further.
he appreciates that we shoot with cameras only. an altogether different kind of deadly. and yes, we have the goat hunters on close up too.
photos © andrew berman