Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Jottings from the Tropics: 25 January 2012


It rained a bit yesterday amount. Not a lot — only about 50 mm (2 in) compared to Atherton’s 130 mm — but in a brief burst that overflowed the gutters and set the temporary creek running. My next house will have very wide eaves and not a single gutter. In fact, I might just live in a tent. Or possibly an old powder blue Kombi with sunflower print curtains and no wheels. Yeah, I have plans.

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Before the rain settled in, I headed into Atherton. The sarus cranes that visit during the dry season have all returned to their summer grounds on the Gulf of Carpentaria, so the drive is not very interesting. Still, I saw a pair of buff-banded rails shepherding their brood across the road. At the last minute, one of the six little balls of fluff panicked and scuttled back to where it came from. I hope it got a good telling off and won’t do that again.

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I had thought that the rain was responsible for the small branches across the driveway near Paracutin, the megapode mound. But I have just witnessed an orange-footed scrubfowl rake out of the way a branch more than 20 mm in diameter and almost two metres long. If I could only work out a way to harness that avian single-mindedness and those massive feet...I could be rich! Rich beyond the dreams of...Okay, I could have mulch piles everywhere. And that has to be worth something.

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The red-browed finches came back this afternoon to select more grass stems for their dream home. I had the camera to hand. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! It was to hand because I’d just finished downloading yesterday’s snaps. I had switched it off, but had not yet unplugged it from the laptop. Fortunately, I was leaning against the desk when I grabbed the camera, so the computer didn’t go far. Honestly, I reckon the birds do it on purpose.




2 comments:

Kirk said...

I understand you have a owl singing you to sleep deprived depravity. It's sure better than car alarms, and screwing cats.
I think.

Snail said...

Oh, yes! It definitely is! Also, the owl's only done it once, which is something to be very, very grateful for.