I had a wonderful time visiting schools in the Cairns area in Northern Queensland. I drove along roads lined with fields of sugar cane, their grainy heads waving to passersby. Clouds of white smoke billowed from the cane mills in the distance. The first school I visited was Babinda, a tiny school set in amongst hills. The view from the library window is stunning, a misty mountain covered with dense green topical forest. The trees have come back now. The last huge cyclone devastated the area around these parts. The rain here is so light, like tiny feathers touching my face. The second school I visited was Gordonvale High. Great pieces of writing and drawings from the students there.
Birds are everywhere up here.
The ibis fly past my hotel window to roost in the trees in the little park next door. It’s going on dusk. They land on the tops of the mango trees, some clumsily, trying to regain their balance. They fight over a place to sleep and a few have to fly away, do a circle and try to land again. The ones at the very top are the dominant ones. They finally settle and I hear them singing the trees to sleep.
I see smaller flocks of birds, dark blue in colour swoop low under the trees. They are speeding along bird pathways, heading for their nesting places.

The Cairns library is a beautiful building. White, light, lots of glass but old and elegant. It is the nicest library I’ve visited. They were my hosts. Thank you Lee and Kristie. It was great to meet the adults in my writing workshops.

Caravonica school is also set snug against a green mountain. There is a lovely feeling of warmth in all these schools surrounded by the tropics. At Trinity Beach, the students are reading The Hidden Monastery. Yorkey’s Knob and White Rock were the last schools I visited. Good acting by the students for the Witch in the Mansion story.

Thank you Cairns for a wonderful time.

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