Saturday, 25 June 2011


On Friday evening, the blue quandong tree (Elaeocarpus grandis) shed a branch. Just before dusk, about 8m of lichen-frosted, orchid-festooned timber plummetted from the crown, felling a native nutmeg and tearing down masses of lawyer vine and mistletoe. This happens all the time in the rainforest. I usually leave timber where it falls, but this branch dropped on the drive way, blocking me in. And I was running out of biscuits.

I don't have a chainsaw, but I managed to clear the drive in two and a half hours with a pruning saw, secateurs, lianas in place of rope, a lever made from a small tree, a basic knowledge of geometry and an increasing desperation for chocolate biscuits.

The pademelons were no help at all.


Magda said...

Amazing what the desire for a chocolate biscuit does to one's ability to achieve the near impossible Snail...
You have managed to clear the driveway so well, one would never know anything was ever blocking it!

I've noticed Critters usually treat physical exertions by Humans as a time for being entertained... it's when they do their form of applause at my achievement I wonder whether to bow with a flourish or simply cuss!

That chocolate biscuit I hope tasted like pure bliss after your achievement.

Quite an amazing feat you pulled-off Snail... I'm awed with admiration for you.

Gentle hugs... you might just be aching all over by now... Congratulations from Magda in Australia

PS... did you take any photos of all the beautiful items you mentioned were on that slab of a branch laying between you and your path to Chocolate Biscuits before you demolished it? Or was the need to reach that meeting with Chocolate Biscuits stronger?

Bernie said...

Super human effort! I hope you had plenty of chocolate biscuits afterwards to boost the sugar levels once again. It's amazing what we can do when we have to.

We hear gum tree branches cracking and crashing to the groung in the bushland around us ... especially during the dry season here. The sound echoes up and down the little valley. Luckily we've never had a branch from any of the gums drop on our property at an inconvenient time ... so far!

Tyto Tony said...

It's a sweet life in the rainforest, eh?

mick said...

The perils of the rainforest! Avoid them is you can!

Lulu Stader said...

I bet the chocolate biscuits were worth it though.

forestwalk/laura k said... the biscuits made you do it!...ha!

and the look on that pademelon's he's saying 'get back to haven't finished clearing the drive...NO chocolate biscuits for you!'

(we have trees come down all the time too. hear that familiar THUMP and feel the ground shake. we leave them where they fall also...good for the critters...and the earth...)

Snail said...

The chocolate biscuits were wonderful after all that work. I've pulled up slightly sore today, but not too bad, considering.

The paddies are now making the most of the fallen leaves and quandong berries, so I suppose they are now doing something to help!

biobabbler said...

may I just say "lichen frosted"? NICE writing, you little budding lumberjack. =) Once at Mount Rainier NP with a friend, accompanying her on an adventure to find a reported spotted owl sighting, we came up on a HUGE huge tree across the road. Giant giant log, really. She was non-plussed and just told me to get out and push. Well, since it didn't have side branches to speak of, we just ROLLED this HUGE tree out of the way. Wouldn't have even occurred to me.

I think your furry neighbor is like our cats: they are much entertained when I spin into a cleaning frenzy. "OOh, activity!"

As kids, my sister and I walked through a DRIVING, cold rain storm over a mile to the grocery store because we were DYING for fudge. So, returned home with the ingredients, hot bath, then fudge-making and eating was the rest of the day. Heaven. =) I kept saying "We wouldn't do this for hamburger!"

Anonymous said...

Ah,the things we'll do for chocolate, and count the time well spent. I think the pandemelon is the smart one -- stick to nuts and berries, and you don't have to clear away the trees -- but I'm not giving up my chocolate either. Hope the biscuits were yummy and worth the work.