It is a common misconception that the bush is a quiet place. All those trees and shrubs and dirt. What noise could there be apart from the rustling of leaves?

There is the scurry of lizards, scattering specks of dust as they shift out of the way. The creak of branches as they shift in the breeze, sometimes rubbing against other trees or shrubs, rustling and scraping.

And, almost always, there are the birds. If the bush is thick, they may be in the canopy, chirping and chattering as they find food. Larger birds perch in the lower branches, keeping a watchful eye on what’s happening on the ground. Shy whipbirds are adept at remaining out of sight, though their distinctive call is hard to ignore. And if you’ve ever been in the bush with a brush turkey nearby, you’ll hear the thump of large feet as it pushes its way through the scrub.

For all the noise and activity, there is a sense of solitude that comes from spending time in the bush. Even a brief wander through the trees will do it; a gentle reminder that life is bigger than this moment, and that many things that seem so important are really quite inconsequential.

Where do you go when you need solitude?

I’m participating in this blogging challenge for the month of January, which supports starting the year on the “write” track. You can find out more about the challenge, join in and read other posts here.

Photo: a grove of trees