Friday, 30 December 2011

Jottings from the Tropics: 30 Dec 2011

The monsoon low formerly known as Tropical Cyclone Grant has cleared Cape York Peninsula and is now over the Coral Sea. There is a vague possibility that the system will reintensify during the weekend, but whatever it does, it will continue to track east and become Somebody Else’s Problem. 

Given the frequency with which cyclones form in Australian waters, the meteorologists at the cyclone centre must have an interesting time coming up with names. Doubly so for those who are new parents. The next name on the list is Heidi. After that, Iggy. Will we get as far as Tropical Cyclone Narelle this season?

-  o O o  -

Brisk south-easterlies are knocking down branches. The blue quandongs are particularly susceptible. They shed limbs under such mild conditions that it is surprising they manage to spread out at all.  One flatulent possum could take out half the canopy.

A branch dropped near me during my morning stroll down the driveway. When I picked it up, I noticed that yet another stinging tree had sprouted through the leaf litter and would have to be removed. I am designing a stinging tree extractor modelled on the army bomb disposal robot. 

-  o O o  -

Before returning to the garden, I donned a safety helmet. It is bright yellow — safety yellow — to make it easier for ambulance officers to find me under a pile of quandong branches dislodged by a dyspeptic ringtail.

Since I’ve been wearing this helmet, the brush turkeys have treating me with what I can only describe as diffidence. I believe the expanse of yellowness — of a similar shade to the male turkey’s wattle — has them cowed. When the weather gets cooler, I wil test this hypothesis by wearing a red balaclava and a yellow cravat and recording the outcome.


mick said...

I hope you will record -photographically - the results of your experiments with different colors - and then, of course, post it all here for us to see!

Snail said...

Oh, of course!

Denis Wilson said...

Yes, I second Mick's proposition.
As they say: "I'd love to see that!".
Your Possums must be mighty in their flatulence.

Snail said...

They are, Denis. They are.

Sherrie Y said...

One flatulent possum could take out half the canopy.

Come on, now. I just woke up. It's not sporting to knock me out of my chair before I've even had a cuppa.

Snail said...

Blame the possums, Sherrie!

biobabbler said...

oh, this was delightful. =)

I went checking lizard traps years ago w/a friend and the female orange-throated whip tail lizards was TOTALLY freaking out--novel behavior between us (many trap nights under our belts). Then my compatriot-in-trap-checking realized he was wearing a large, BRIGHT ORANGE shirt, and the lizard was pregnant.


The lightbulb lights.

While we didn't test it (well, formally), we pretty much believed our theory. She was in NO mood to see a bossy, aggressive, and (heaven forbid) horny male. Back the arf off and let me eat in peace! =)

A delightful post. You are wise to wear such brilliant headgear.

Snail said...

Oh, poor lizard! I bet she was grateful when you worked out the problem.

Apparently, male Ulysses butterflies will come down to bright blue cloth and get a bit aggro. I haven't tested this, but it would be quite easy to do. After the balaclava and cravat experiment, naturally.