Monday, 13 February 2012

Jottings from the Tropics: 13 February 2012

Another quiet day here. Hot, too. I managed to scare two pademelons that were snoozing in the shade. The first was Pip, who I didn’t see while she was asleep in the long grass. She hurtled away, only to skid to a halt (literally), when she realised it was me and not anything frightening. For the rest of the afternoon, she made a big thing of not moving whenever I walked past. This will be her undoing, I fear.

The other pademelon was Red. He turned up this morning after a few days’ absence, looking a bit the worse for wear. Given the state of him, I suspect he was in the lock up all weekend. He staggered over to the azalea and flopped down in its shade. The ground is carpeted with Pandorea there, which makes cool bedding on a hot day.

I should have left him alone, but I could not see him breathing. I would rather not have paddies dropping dead only a few metres from the house. Untidy, smelly, attracts the wrong sort of visitors. He did not stir when I approached. I could not see his sides moving. I tried a polite cough. No response. And then I pinched the tip of his tail. Oh, that got a reaction. He was not happy. In future, I will let the flies determine whether an animal is sleeping or not.

- o O o -

On the subject of living daylights and the scaring out thereof, I had a surprise this morning when I collected turn in the wind leaves from a tree near the house. The tree is next to a fallen branch that I really should do something about. And probably will, when the fungus on it stop being so darned photogenic. Because I was concentrating on the tree and not the timber, I didn’t notice a mid-sized spotted tree monitor basking in a tile of sun. The usually vigilant tree monitor didn’t notice me, either, until I was almost on it. Then it scuttled off making such a racket that I was convinced I was about to be eaten by the last surviving Megalania.

Once again, I blame the weather.

- o O o -

A while ago, I blogged about the rainforest tree Siphonodon membranaceus, which has a fruit that looks as though it has been carved out of bone. I left one of those fruit in the garden for the rats and possums and paddies, little expecting them to do anything with it. I now have loose seeds. Or what I think are seeds encased in endocarp. Maybe they are slivers left over when the animals got bored. I will plant them and see.

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