Five adult fish lived in the one pond, just five. By this stage I’d probably walked around it 1500 times and seen all five on just a few occasions. Most times given the size of it, none were seen.
In the peak of Summer when water was hot it was rare to see one, could go months without a sighting; they stayed deep. On cold windy days in winter, same thing. None.
But when winter conditions were perfect all five huddled in shallow along select banks sitting in the heat radiation. Five distinct sets of markings, five individual fish.
Visiting that pond sometimes eight times a day gave confidence to say only five existed there.
One of the coolest things about awareness is knowing stuff. The number of days an adult fish was seen in a year was very low. Uncommon.
A thousand odd visits established more than just the baseline patterns. I’d learnt to understand what normal meant, what sightings were likely, unlikely and rare.
One day walking the pond the fish spoke clearly. The behaviour was extreme and 100% of the population visible and on the move. (five)
To a passer-by they may not even see a fish, maybe one, maybe two but not five. To a trained eye, all five, and to that same trained mind five active fish spelt significance.
In the car and a few kilometres down the road two kangaroos punched on in the park. There’s nothing uncommon about the behaviour in general, but had I seen it in town before? No. An extreme observation.
Walking along a fitness track gave more clues but it wasn’t until rounding the corner and stopping to feel the direction and intensity of the breeze did the combination spell out a meaning. In multi-dimensional bush talk the sights, sounds and sensations were clear. Rain event.
I headed home, packed the boat to the sound of a squeaky windmill, it too triggering deeper layers of instinct signalling what was coming. The air temperature, humidity, the insect chorus in the trees…it was all combining as one clear text message from Nature.
If not conscious to FEEL these things or atleast notice them one could begin to question their connective state. Many clients admit they’d lost it, but once shown their eyes bulge.
A quick prep at home, then I left.
The first stop was to walk through mangroves and shift a trail camera from a dry ironbark gully. It would get washed away.
The second stop a few miles north showed an empty creek, the sounder signifying the barra had already left.
I cruised on. The chase was to find a key piece of information on which way local island pigs moved during significant and intense rain events, this data was missing from our studies. Tide coming in, I hotfooted two cameras into position, one north of their active zone and one to the south.
It’s their only travel options, mangroves and water act as boundaries. A fourth camera was already on sight capturing daily movement, but stayed clear of it.
It wasn’t too long before getting home again, squeezing that job in before dark. Cameras in place, weather event coming and set moves already in play. Excited? Fcuk yes.
Weather charts said moderate rain but Nature said it would rain properly.
Sneaking Off Fishing
Barra do a number of things before an event. Some vanish, some head upriver, others line up to feed. The tide and moon was in favour around midnight for a known bite location, one they seem to congregate. I didn’t bother stopping at usual haunts because experience said they’d be gone because they too knew what was coming. Over the years on plenty of occasions there had been ghost towns in the barra world, areas they all vacate ahead of time.
On arrival conditions felt great apart from the constant wind, a lead up style breeze feeding the weather event. I modified technique to suit based on the data and they bit hard for about an hour with six wild fish around 950 to 1050mm hitting the deck. They pulled hard……that too meant plenty.
Back To The Pond
The next day I was at the pond again, the fitness track and in the backyard, feeling it.
It was coming, an unsettled feeling took over, a mix of excitement and urgency. Some inner kid gets released during all this haha, let’s be honest, who doesn’t like playing in the rain?
Skies closed after dark, radars glowed and eventually down it came in the region.
To fast forward the story it was the southern camera receiving all activity, pigs tracking south in this case just before 185 millimetres fell over 24hrs. Rain is like a reset button for everything wild and it’s cool to know well in advance before significant events take place.
Knowing ahead of time puts you ahead of the game. Way more rain fell than forecast. If believing the printed forecast I’d of lost the game – one camera would drown ending with a $600 loss, the barra bite would have peaked elsewhere with me casting into empty waters (the wrong place) and the chance of solving the pig mystery slipping by again, however I won this one via awareness, had fun and also secured the answer to the pig question that bugged me for years.
The power of the pond is a special gift!
Exciting learnings were not limited to the time on the clock the pigs relocated, or the direction they went, but the order in which mob members shifted. I filed that info. My fieldwork is unpaid, hours learning costing money but gaining rare knowledge. It’s awesome, exciting stuff.
Was it five fish in a pond that gave the intense rain event away?
The skills to form a baseline?
Or all of it and more?
The game of predictability stretches from micro to macro. I’ve nailed barra bite behaviour right down to minutes and seconds, ahead of time and teach guys in seminars to do the same. Each catch explainable to the nearest reason and second.
Predicting animal behaviour comes from a lot of time spent at the micro level and the macro level.
There’s personal synchronicity with fish and animal response a year ahead, to the day and hour, and the movement of the largest boars to one day a month yet the greatest skill of all, that of CONNECTIVITY starts with learning how to observe, acknowledge and feel what’s happening around you.
Now 46 years old; an entire life spent barefoot in footy shorts. What is special, the skills are explainable and make progressive sense. Laying it out for others to follow the same path has taken a lot of time.
So far the results are impressive and it’s the hands on, in-person weather course delivered ‘my style‘ that’s opening the doorway for others to start this way of living….and it’s the ‘feeling’ part that makes people smile.
How do they feel?