Sunday, 6 December 2009

Tropical diary: First week of December

What's been happening in my neck of the woods this week ...



It's hot. Hot and dry. Yes, I know this is the tropics and we're six days into summer, but it's not usually this hot — or dry — in our part of the world. Oh, it did rain the other day, heavily enough to remind me that not all the gutters are protected by leaf guards. But apart from that brief downpour, it's been dry. And hot.

A bulldog cross wandered into my garden on Tuesday. Nice animal, well looked after, friendly. I called the number on its collar but got no answer, so I asked Council to send around the Animal Control Officer. While I was waiting, the dog stretched out on the patio and took a nap. Then I noticed a young pademelon wandering closer to check out what was happening. This had the potential to end very unhappily.

I slipped my hand under the pooch's collar and made shooing gestures at the pademelon. That just encouraged it. The more I flapped my hand at the paddie, the closer it came. When it reached the edge of the patio, I had to drag the dog into the house and close the door. There it stayed, lying on the cool tiles until the Council ute arrived. The pooch seemed overjoyed to see it. I'm not sure whether the dog mistook it for the family car or just loves going to the pound. (Or, possibly, doesn't like my place.) Anyway, it is now back with its owners and the wildlife remains unsavaged.

On Thursday, a journalist from the Cairns Post came up to talk to a group of residents about a housing subdivision proposed for a rural block close by. The development — of approximately 170 new lots on what is currently zoned rural use only — is likely to have a significant impact on wildlife in the adjacent rainforest, as well as having a substantial effect on the Johnstone River, from which water will be harvested to supply the new residents. Because of this, the proposed subdivision is considered a controlled action under the Commonwealth's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act. The Feds have asked for more information from the developer before making a decision. We're keeping an eye out for new … er … developments.

And we had a party last night.

10 comments:

mick said...

I love the story of you taking a big dog into the house so it couldn't harm your wildlife. re the proposed subdivision - I find it very disturbing to think that if Australia's population continues to grow at the projected rate more and more such beautiful areas are going to be changed for all time - 'ruined' would possibly be a better description of what is likely to happen!

budak said...

i'd have thought a bulldog (the English sort?) would be no match for a pademelonic marsupial. But then I've never seen an actual bulldog.....

tony said...

A pademelon is any of seven species of small marsupials of the genus Thylogale. They are usually found in forests. Pademelons are the smallest
good job I have my wicks companion. now I understand the story. Got the same story here about building on protected land but here no one can do anything about it Especially when the presidents son now owns it to build a villa.

Gouldiae said...

G'day Bronwen,
Nice story - the first bit. I'm reminded of the joke about the old stray dog that used to turn up at this laddies house at 3pm every day. She would give it a drink of water, a dog biscuit and it would come inside for a nap for an hour then disappear off, presumably to it's rightful owner.
The lady noticed it had a collar, so one day she wrote a note describing what the dog did each day, and stuffed it under the dog's collar.
Next day, the dog returned with another note under it's collar - "Dear lady, the dog's name is Bluey and comes from a house containing three children under 4 years of age. Would you mind if I came with Bluey at 3pm tomorrow?"
Regards,
Gouldiae.

Snail said...

Mick, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to control the dog if it decided to go after the paddies, so it was my only choice. But it was a well-mannered pooch, so there were no accidents, thank goodness.

On the Dept of Infrastructure's 2031 Plan, this area is listed as rural, so there shouldn't be any new subdivisions at all!

Snail said...

Budak, English bulldogs (it was crossed with something else --- maybe a staffie?) aren't great distance runners but they do have a short burst of speed. Trouble is, my pademelons aren't too bright and they have pretty bad diurnal vision. I didn't want to take the risk.

Snail said...

My apologies, Tony. I should have given a bit more detail. The picture at the top of the post is of one of the red-legged pademelons dozing in the front garden.

It's difficult to get people to understand the importance of preserving habitat. Not only preserving but restoring it too. It's an ongoing battle.

Snail said...

Gouldiae, I hadn't heard that one. Love it!

Pestie said...

Snail,
Do you know what the reference for the EPBC referral is for the subdivision? Presuming there will be a public display period with comments able to be submitted?

Have just dropped back into reality after some time away from the computer and am (obviously) just catching up on your news! Sorry for the delay...will bring you up to speed on mine soon...

Snail said...

ATM, we're waiting for the developer's response to the listing. I check the fed website fairly frequently and they haven't posted anything yet. Haven't kept quite such a close eye on the Cairns Post or Courier Mail. Developer is not happy and feels that we should wait until the subdivision is approved before we lodge objections. Yair, that's exactly how it works.

Surprisingly little rain here, other than that brief heavy downpour. Plenty in Mt Garnet and Chillagoe, but bugger all here. Garden is dry and dusty. Very bizarre.