The Rainforest Journal: Outing #15 – Day 6

(Friday 5-December-2014)

@3:07pm

Over as quickly as it hit, but it hit quickly indeed.

Over as quickly as it hit, but it hit quickly indeed.

Another thunderously thunderous storm is moving in. Wow it goes from calm to all-out-tornado-force just like *snap*.

Last night, in what’s becoming a somewhat regular occurrence, I had a Bush Rat in the roof of the tent. Evidently, there aren’t any chew marks at all in the mesh and the only thing I see them doing up there is minding their own business eating bits of stale bread. I guess with so many other Rats, Possum and other competing animals they feel safe up there – between the inner and fly – and if it weren’t for the fact rodents tend to just piss and shit wherever they are at that moment, I wouldn’t mind them being up there. Instead I’ve been rustling the tent to get them down from up there because once one rat pisses around up there, another will come to mark the spot etc,. Before you know it you have that nasty Rats-cage smell. Nope, no thank you.

Un Rattus, eating bread right above my head.

Un Rattus, eating bread right above my head.

Of course the Rats didn’t come out until the huge storm had devolved into light rain – at about 12:00am-1:00am or so that would’ve been – and I haven’t seen or heard a single Possum this entire outing; Young or old. Of course there’ve been storms most nights which may keep them in their burrows and most certainly turns the food I leave out into soggy bluh, but the Rats and birds aren’t so timid or fussy so it gets eaten eventually.

Today was water refilling day, and as such I left early this morning to do just that. Along the way I found a fallen branch across the fire trail big and thick enough to kill an elephant.

Glad I wasn't walking here when it fell. Not at all uncommon either, branches this big - even whole trees - falling randomly. Though last nights winds (which I recorded and uploaded to yesterdays post as an mp3) most likely caused this.

Glad I wasn’t walking here when it fell. Not at all uncommon either, branches this big – even whole trees – falling randomly. Though last nights winds (which I recorded and uploaded to yesterdays post as an mp3) most likely caused this.

Once at the creek I witnessed three people jog past in under half an hour, practically an action-packed social event around here, and three more human-beings than I’ve seen all week.

One lone woman jogged past followed by what looked like two gays out for their Friday whatever. All three of them looked so thin and gaunt holy shit you’d swear they were skeletons with spray-on skin. I looked up in acknowledgement as they ran past without saying anything, while holding my bottles in place to stop them floating away. Honestly, I have no fucking idea what would possess anyone to run up and down a mountain like that. I can understand fitness junkies get an endorphin hit when they get into it, but surely there’s a point they’d have to get to when enough is enough? If it were me, seeing my own reflection staring back at me with its sunken cheeks, greyed skin and bug-thin limbs would do it.

Anyway I washed my shit, and by shit I mean just my t-shirt and underwear since I only brought one pair of socks and refuse to walk around a leech infested rainforest barefoot, refilled my remaining juice bottles and strapped my bag back up; ready to go.

Straight from the source, rainforest-filtered water.

Straight from the source, rainforest-filtered water.

Before leaving I walked across the road to eyeball the other side of the creek – looking to see if any potential exists to get down there and follow the creek till a camping spot is found – but three steps down the slope the soil started a little mini-avalanche under my feet. When I reached the top again I saw there were already four leeches on my pants and one on my backpack. Half a dozen leeches after just two meters of ferns; Nope nope noooope.

Finished digging-out each leech then torching them individually with my lighter until they popped like corn – confident I won’t be camping down there anytime soon – I throw my pack on and start heading back.

Not too far along I see a reptilian Broeski heading up the hill. I slow my walking pace and reassure him with some choice words, before turning the camera on and taking a few steps closer to him. I snap a few photos of course, all the while telling him he’s a beautiful lizard, that I haven’t seen him around here before and how happy I am to meet a new lizard Broeski. He didn’t try to run at all, which was surprising – somewhat – since they seem to do that the first time they see you, and this definitely wasn’t a Monitor I’ve met previously. Anyhow, done snapping pics I took a few steps back, switched the camera off and continued on my way.

An unknown Monitor. Looks like an old grandpa lizard to me.

An unknown Monitor. Looks like an old grandpa lizard to me.

 
...

Returning to camp I was shocked to see how many beetles were in the tent. They’re little black and orange ones, and they’re just everywhere at the moment. I counted at least ten just at a glance but I know there were more tucked away in the seems out of sight.

These little beetles are just swarming the valley at the moment. Everywhere you look there are a few gathering to .. do whatever beetles do.

These little beetles are just swarming the valley at the moment. Everywhere you look there are a few gathering to .. do whatever beetles do.

Shortly after, a fast but indeed furious storm tore through the valley causing several beetles, a wasp and a grasshopper to jump in the open door of the tent; seeking shelter from the pelting rain no doubt. I helped the wasp and beetles back out once the storm had finished, but the grasshopper remains tucked safely in one of the folds on my backpack; apparently in no hurry to leave.

Grasshopper hides from the big, scarey storm. He was tucked in there for two hours; then, just before dark he decided he wanted out once the rain and wind had stopped.

Grasshopper hides from the big, scarey storm. He was tucked in there for two hours; then, just before dark he decided he wanted out once the rain and wind had stopped.

Okay so having just typed that last paragraph, I hear a loud, repetitive batting sound: The grasshopper flying into the closed tent, which I have just opened and let him out of.

Bad photo but they move fast. One of the dominant species of ant around here. Weird-Looking things.

Bad photo but they move fast. One of the dominant species of ant around here. Weird-Looking things.

For tonights single-guy-living-in-the-woods “dinner”, I have instant mashed potato with week-old tasty cheese melted in and bush spices.

Tonights slop: Instant mashed potato.

Tonights slop: Instant mashed potato.

And here’s a sunset pic, some people like them.

I know some people like photos of this kind of thing; tonights sunset flooded the entire landscape, trees, dirt, everything, a soft tangerine-peach color.

I know some people like photos of this kind of thing; tonights sunset flooded the entire landscape, trees, dirt, everything, a soft tangerine-peach color.

To top it off, I’ve just seen a few Fireflies hover past; flashing their greeny-white lights. Close-up the light looks green, but at just a few feet it looks more white. They only come out to fly and flash their lights when the weather is calm, only at night of course and not when they have to compete with bright moonlight.

...almost forgot: a juvenile Currawong, learning that other people's bread tastes good.

…almost forgot: a juvenile Currawong, learning that other people’s bread tastes good.

 

The Rainforest Journal: Outing #15 – Day 6
Rate in Guidos

Jason
Animal-loving cleaner with a parrot.

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