Monday, 6 February 2012

Jottings from the Tropics: 6 February 2012

The tree kangaroos are being secretive. I know they are around because the leaves are rustling — as in shaking, not as in stealing cattle — and I catch glimpses of bell rope tails as the roos move along branches. Although it is great to see them, especially when they hop up to the house or climb in the garden, I am happy just to know they are here.

- o O o -

Little Poss licked my hand yesterday. The last marsupial to do that was a pademelon, who followed it up with an exploratory bite. Even a gentle nibble from those incisors can hurt. That’s when I confirmed that a) paddies locate food by scent and b) the smell of oranges is stronger than the smell of humans. If Little Poss returns tomorrow with pepper and sage, I’m bolting the door.

- o O o -

This afternoon I engaged in a surgical strike on the column of stinging tree saplings marching up the driveway. I scalded my foot while pouring boiling water over them, but it was still not as painful as brushing against a leaf. I have one more to deal with, but that can wait until tomorrow. I hope it doesn’t call in reinforcements overnight.

- o O o -

I probably need to get out more.


laurak@forestwalkart said...

hmmmmm....a gentle nibble vs a stinging tree...

i'll take the nibble!

good luck with that...i hope you don't wake up in the morning to an army of them in your driveway.

Snail said...

I seem to have won the stinging tree battle, although not the war. There are a lot more of them out there than there are of me!

magda and crew in australia said...

I've read about the Stinging Tree... brushing against their leaves is more than just a painful outcome... also read when out Bush, and one doesn't know, one can mistakenly consider their shape and size being quite ideal to use as toilet paper...
I cringe just considering the result from such a wipe.

Reading your scalding and their inviting appearance for personal use, well, I just wonder if they aren't out and about just to have a laugh!

Do the general Critter population have issues with the Stinging Tree's presence Snail?

Can't believe it... my word verification was 'scrotum'
I think Stinging Trees are reading this!!!!

Snail said...

Despite their formidable arsenal, stinging trees fall victim to a range of herbivorous insects. Paddies and green ringtail possums also eat the leaves, I believe. (Crazy animals!) And I'm sure that a lot of frugivorous birds go for the fruit, which looks like a mulberry. The defences don't seem to work that well. I don't understand it at all.

I really am laughing out loud at your word verification!