Solbit Asks, “When Is a Bottle Brush Not a Brush?”

*New reader? Get oriented below.

Dear Nicalai,

Big news:  Nona says that today is the 500th day of our two-year around the world trip!  That’s not what’s on my mind though.

Don’t you wish people would name things right?  I get confused by names.  You’d think that names would tell you what something is, but, no, sometimes they trick you into thinking they’re something that they’re really not.  How’s a girl supposed to know what’s what?

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.  Papa told me that we were going to see some “bottle brushes,” so I figured that we’d either be in a bar or someone’s kitchen.  OK, or maybe one of those stores that has everything you need for a kitchen. Wrong!  Off to the woods (I mean the bush), again! Here’s me with what he calls a “bottle brush.”

trip to Blue Mountains, National Pass Hike from Wentworth Falls

No, it’s not a bottle brush. It’s a tree, Papa!  Everybody knows that this is a Banksia TREE.  Even I know that, and I’m a plastic Jurassic. Banksia is not the bottle brush tree, although, I have to admit, its flower does look like a bottle brush.  Doesn’t it? So, I can see why Papa called it that, but he’s wrong.

The Australian “bottle brush” isn’t even banksia; it’s Callistemon. (I’ve been googling plants since our last trip to the woods and learning things Papa doesn’t even know.) See how confusing this can get.  Well, let’s not dwell on what Papa doesn’t know about plants.  Let’s switch to what he doesn’t know about birds.  OK?

So, we’re walking further down the trail (I mean down the track), when, he says, “Solbit, keep an eye out for rainbows.”

What?  The sky is clear, we haven’t had rain, and he thinks we’re going to see rainbows—plural?  Hey, we’re not even going to see one rainbow, today.  Then he points to a tree and says, “There, there in that bottle brush! See the rainbow!”  He meant in the banksia tree, and he meant a bird.  See.

Rainbow lorikeets

The bird is beautiful and is a lorikeet, a rainbow lorikeet.  Well, I have to admit that they do have all the colors to make me think of a rainbow.

Then, as we’re looking down on the ground, Papa says, “Hey, look at the sulphur crests!”  I’m thinking chemistry 101 and maybe the chemical has crystalized into crests or pyramids.  Nope.  Again, the old man is talking birds.  This time he should have said, “Look at the cockatoos!”  Here’s a picture of them.


These cockatoos are big and mostly white.  They are loud and sassy, too.  They are not “sulphur crests;” they are “sulphur crested.”

I like their style, their assertiveness, but a lot of people say they’re a pest.  I can see why, because, when Papa yelled out “Hey, look at the sulphur crests!” they started to squawk and strut toward him.  They weren’t making friendly squawks either.  I imagine they prefer that he call them cockatoos, or at least get the name right, “sulphur crested cockatoo” not “sulphur crests.”  On the other hand, everybody else calls them sulphur crested cockatoos.  Maybe that’s why they’re so unfriendly? Well, you can see how this naming thing can be confusing.

Hey, Nona is calling me over to look at today’s pictures, so I have to go.  Bye! Remember, I’m your friend.



May 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

3 thoughts on “Solbit Asks, “When Is a Bottle Brush Not a Brush?”

  1. You made me take a 3rd look on this one and smile….so I guess it was worth posing your little plastic Jurasic critter on the bush! 😉


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