“That’s a kiwi blowing its nose.”
I grinned, quiet at first, but a couple of seconds later, I had to fight the urge to dissolve into laughter as the picture of a kiwi stretching out his wing to enfold the end of his long beak in a Kleenex danced in my head. The guys would never forgive me, I thought, if I scared away the shy nocturnal bird.
Regaining my composure, I listened for more clearing of snotty noses. I heard the sound twice more. We pointed as we heard rustling through the plants along the side of the trail. Then, we’d move in the direction of the sounds and point our lights into the understory of the bush.
There were four of us: D, an Englishman who had worked at a well-known botanical garden in London; M, a German whose specialty was physical geography; J, the plant specialist and bird enthusiast from Hawaii who could talk sheep and was close friends with someone I knew from Pennsylvania; and me.
All of us were intent on seeing a kiwi. Continue reading “Constellations and Kiwis”