Sunday, 15 January 2012

Jottings from the Tropics: 15 Jan 2012

My 1,500th post!

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I’ve just had a conversation with a brush turkey turkish. It must be my accent because the bird did not seem to understand what I was saying. I tried talking louder, but that didn't’t help. We abandoned the conversation, confused. He pecked at the ground and I feigned an interest in my diary. Perhaps we will try again later.

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Mount Bartle Frere was hidden by clouds when I drove into town earlier today. (I presume that’s what happened. I suppose Mt BF could have upped and gone on holiday like Billy the Mountain.) This looked promising.

After a morning of thunder, the rain — such that it was — arrived at around midday. According to Bureau of Meteorology data, we have had only 7 mm of rain so far this month. The lowest January total (since 2001, when the station started recording) was 103 mm, the highest 503 mm and the average 307 mm. January is going to have to take a long hard look at itself. That goes for the monsoon trough, too.

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I have been leaving open the shed doors during the prolonged dry spell. This is in the hope that the heat and lowered humidity will rid the shed and its contents of mould. Everything had been fine until Cyclone Yasi, when I gathered up the loose items in the carport and locked them in the shed so they wouldn’t be picked up by the winds and launched towards the neighbours at 200km/hr. In fact, everything was fine for a some time after that. But it went downhill when I couldn’t be bothered to drag it all out of the shed again.

The interior of the shed now looks as though it's been spray painted in black and grey. Mould and mildew coat every surface, sending up miniature cauliflowers of spore bodies. At night, I am kept awake by the sound of clinking glasses and tiny laughter as the fungi get together in their equivalent of the Algonquin Round Table to exchange bons mots and barbs and discuss the latest novels and foreign language movies. They have given a new meaning to the notion of culture.(Some of this might not be true.)

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But fungi are not the only troublemakers. The gap between the western side of the house and the forest narrows each day. I think the space is closing too fast to blame it on regrowth and these are not pioneer species. There’s a suggestion of Birnam Woods about this. I am going to check for little furry paws holding onto the stems.


Anonymous said...

helix, your blog is ALWAYS a treat.
thank you for taking the trouble to keep it up as well as you do.

BEst Regards,

Snail said...

Thank you, jj! There's always omething happening here --- even if it's mostly on a microscopic scale.

mick said...

Don't know about the mould and mildew. Heh! I even have trouble with my leather covered books inside my house! But about the encroaching vegetation - you might need to get some industrial sized cutters and saws :-) Then please get some photos of you using them!!

Tyto Tony said...

Maybe try bush pidgin, but be careful what you wish for with A. Lathami.

Snail said...

Mick, I don't even want to think about the mould on my books. At least the cauliflowers on those are white and yellow.

I am tempted to get a couple of tractors and a chain to take out the veg down the side of the house!

Snail said...

Good idea, Tony. I'll try pidgin with the turkeys. That means I'll have to talk turkey with the pigeons.