The monsoon trough is grazing the northernmost parts of the continent, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. (They might not have used those exact words.) But there are no indications that any tropical lows (a.k.a. potential cyclones) will form in the Coral Sea over the next few days. This suits me fine. The BoM radar at Cairns currently shows a flock of small storms heading NW from the ocean. It is one of those sunshine – rain – sunshine – rain days. That suits me fine as well. When the monsoon trough saunters further south, as is forecast for the early part of next week, the story might change.
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I was planning —as I often do — to reduce the number of items of my ‘to do’ list. On occasion I have crossed off every one, but these instances are so rare that they only just exceed the number of authenticated living thylacine sightings in Australia. Number one on the list was the dull but necessary task of pulling out clumps of long grass at the edge of the drive. The pademelons don’t keep them under control and even the caterpillars make little impact. It was time for mass poacide.
But the red-browed finches were perched on the grass stems this morning, selecting the best ones to take away for their nests. Like the tooth-billed bowerbird with his ginger leaves, the finches were very fussy. They scrutinised each stalk until they found the most suitable, the look of concentration enhanced by those scarlet eyebrows. I can’t kill the grass yet. I will have to wait until the finches have finished their construction.
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Last night I noticed that not one but two Litoria rubella occupy the window frame. This explains the frog’s apparent ability to break the laws of physics by disappearing from one spot and instantaneously reappearing at another. Although, I suppose, a frog’s jumping skill might also go some way towards explaining that. There is plenty of food to sustain the pair of small, but chubby, amphibians — the windows are covered in little moths and leafhoppers, every one a perfect snack.
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The young person on the grocery checkout this morning was surprised that I hadn’t realised that Thursday is Australia Day. I thought it best not to mention that I hadn’t even realised that today is