Rainforest Life: Outing #9 – Day 2

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(Saturday 6-September-2014)

@8:06pm

Chilly, overcast morning we have today. Prior to this outing I checked the forecast several times too, and according to my weather app – AccuWeather – it’s meant to be sunny with only the odd rainy day here or there. Then, yesterday morning I opened our government run meteorology/weather site (bom.gov.au) and that had rain forecast nearly every day. From that, I can pretty much draw the conclusion that AccuWeather is full of shit.

Ahhh 🙂 I just love walking up and seeing the inside of my tent, then realizing I’m back here again 🙂

I do like the little comforts I get, when I am in town, but they just get so boring and empty so fast. Non-camp food, or anything that isn’t pasta or noodles is probably my favourite thing in town. I stuff my face on anything my stomach has missed-out on while I was down here, and not only does it taste that much better since I haven’t had it for a while, it’s also an opportunity for me to intake high-calorie food in my “off-days”.

I suck it all in – like a food sponge – for days on end, and then, I’m suddenly bored with it.

Bored with eating like a pig, bored with the tap water, electricity and other comforts, bored with the other ‘guests’ at the backpackers: bored – generally – with being in town.

@10:03pm

All the morning business now taken care of, I’m deciding what to do for the day.

Of course, being completely self-absorbed, finding ways to amuse myself is no big drama: I want do draw while I’m out this time since the lack of distractions will make it much easier to focus, I want to go for lots of walks to try and identify as many plants as possible, practically – I would like to resume the clearing of crunchy sticks from the ground around the camp and I need to raise the sides of my rainwater micro-dam: since it’s just a plastic sheet, and I’d hate to see water push the sides over and spill-out.

Of course, I have no shortage of opinionated monologue to vomit forth, so I could sit and write all day too, but since it’s currently rain-free it seems silly to waste the weather sitting here.

@1:10pm

So the rain has started again; just light at the moment, but gaining consistently. It didn’t start till I’d had myself a bit of a wander.

While tasting unripe geebungs from a tree I’d walked past I look down and low and behold, there are what look to be much chubbier berries scattered all over the ground around the base of the tree.

I’d collected a few before tasting one, and as soon as I’d started sucking the berry I had to smile: they really do taste like sweet cotton wool. Not fairy-floss or cotton *candy*, but cotton wool.

Completely un-chewable, this cotton wool fills most of the fruit right to the skin, and is attached to a cherry-like stone in the middle.

I smiled, because it’s almost like natures own practical joke: an edible fruit that tastes okay, yet contains nearly no flesh at all to actually eat.

There’s the tiniest layer – inside the skin – of fruit pulp with a similar consistency to overripe Banana, but the colour and flavour are much more like a melon. The important and amusing thing to note however, is there’s almost no consumable content in an individual fruit or berry – or whatever they are classified taxonomically as – whatsoever: you get more to chew and swallow with the skin itself, than anything inside it 🙂

That’s not to say of course there’s no point eating what there is of them: they *are* after all fresh vegetable matter and they have a flavour like tiny melons, but you would need to suck an awful lot, to stave-off hunger 🙂

Still, a good supplemental food to help compensate for my lack of fresh fruit or veges down here, so I’ll be eating more 🙂

I ended-up collecting about half a cup, or a medium-sized handful – as pictured at the top of the page – but don’t want to eat em all until I can find another bush that’s dumped more ripe ones at it’s base.

Aboriginal people, traditionally, would discard the skin – since the inside pops-out when you squeeze the fruit – but Aborigines had a lot more than just Geebungs for fresh food, so for dietary/nutritional reasons I am spitting out only the seed and eating the skin. Tastes like green apple skin, so not like it’s bitter or nasty to eat.

The best flavour comparison I can come up with is probably a honeydew melon, and the texture of the fruit is like the furry outer part of a mango seed, after someone else has already chewed all the flavour out.

@7:19pm

Furry Ladymouse has been and gone, would’ve been around 7:00pm she was munching out, and although they’re very skittish creatures when it comes to sudden movement or noises, she always sits and lets me pat her the whole time she’s eating now. If I quickly lunge my hand at her she’ll hop away, of course, so slow movement is a must.

They seem to be most in-love with sugary food, with wet Arnott’s Arrowroot or Teddybear biscuits and watery milk with a pinch of sugar being the foods they get really excited about. They also like plain, dried, deep-fried noodles, but salty foods aren’t their favorite.

I have shared their bowl, and eaten marsupial spit, but I *did* worm myself while in town the other day 😉

Hadn’t seen her all day today, so it’s nice to know she’s alright. She is very heavily pregnant looking, so I’d imagine labour won’t be far off for her. Although Antechinus have pouches, they’re open so newborn breast-feeding babies have to just hang-on to their mothers teets or die.

Another sad fact, is than they always give birth to more young than they have nipples to support, so inevitably a portion of each litter have to die because there just aren’t enough nipples for everyone. But, nature being the ultimate recycler it is, the mother eats the dead and the sick ones: Waste not, want not 😉

@10:15pm

Lying here, reading another creepypasta before bed (I really shouldn’t read shit like this out in the woods, but books are way too bulky to carry anyhow), when from about two-hundred meters away I hear a screaming that can only be described as the sound a monkey would make if you gagged him then dipped his feet in boiling water.

Made my blood run cold.

A sad, surprised, shocked “oo-oo-ee” kind of cry that I would have to attribute to something bad happening to something

What kind of bad? I can only speculate. The screaming only lasted for about a minute, before the forest was swallowed again by the usual night-time silence, as if nothing had happened.

Rainforest Life: Outing #9 – Day 2
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Jason
Animal-loving cleaner with a parrot.

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