My notes read: “liquid amber eyes.” It’s the first thing I notice, standing face to beak with an emu, as it approaches to look me over.
Neat biological things I note too, in my sketchbook– things that make this specifically an emu and not another large, flightless, “Struthioniform” ratite: three toes… shaggy almost hairy looking feathers…
Blue skin… BLUE SKIN. Not colorful feathers, but beautifully bright sky-blue skin on its neck.
Its nest is full of huge, deepest-teal green eggs.
“Deep rumbling clucks,” I write. I now know what a dinosaur might have sounded like. Responding on an instinctual level (is that the pit of my stomach?) and also in my brain, I consider the amazing, far-flung ratite family. Trails of DNA are separated by drifting continents and oh-so-many years. Ostriches in Africa, rhea in South America– puzzled over by Darwin; emu in Australia.
Hello, Emu! I am glad to know you.
–Meeting emus, salamanders, jellyfish, and more: I invite your comments on my article