Chris and I were visiting the Parliament House during our quick trip to Canberra today, and it was interesting to see how the new Parliament House in Australia has been build into the actual hill; it’s as though this structure has been fully incorporated into the natural environment that it’s in. Chris kept remarking how Frank Lloyd Wright-esque it was. I didn’t quite appreciate it much while looking at it from the ground level; it was only until we got to the top of the roof and looked down at the grass and hill that I really got the full impact of the building and the way it was built into the earth (also, can you believe you can so easily even go into the Parliament House and just walk in as you’d like in Australia? That’s like just walking into the Capitol Building in the U.S. at your leisure, which would be completely unheard of!).
Another fun thing that happened today (that Chris would not agree was fun) was being able to see cockatoos in their natural habitat. We spotted a whole group of galahs, or pink and grey cockatoos, wandering around and picking at insects along the lawn in front of the Parliament House today. Cockatoos are native to Oceania, which means that you can see endless cockatoos throughout Australia. During all my visits, I most vividly remember seeing cocktatoos in Hamilton Island, Perth, Adelaide, and in the Dandenongs in Melbourne. We also recently saw rainbow lorikeets in the St. Kilda area of Melbourne. Because I once owned and took care of my own parakeet (or budgie, depending on where in the world you are from), I have always loved birds (just not pigeons or seagulls — the worst and most disgusting birds on earth) and have been especially fascinated by tropical birds in warm climates. Birds like cockatiels, cockatoos, and parrots are so incredibly smart, and the colors you get to see here in Australia are so bright and vivid. It’s amazing that colors like this exist in nature. I could watch cockatoos interact with each other and eat for hours in the same way that I could watch elephants, koalas, or pandas roam around and play. Koalas and pandas aren’t too smart, but elephants and these birds certainly are.