Rainforest Life: Outing #9 – Day 10

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(Sunday 14-September-2014)

@10:57am

Alrighty, we’re all done with morning matters, and are about to head out, deeeeeeper into the valley, than ever before.

Got my satellite beacon, phone, GPSr and in my backpack, two bottles: one half full of tepid, room-temperature “iced” coffee, the other half full of that orange flavoured powder stuff. Nothing but a handful of Geebungs and gallons of coffee for breakfast, but that’s alright: I’m no great lover of breakfast anyhow.
Off we go.

@12:23pm

Dead-ended that way.

According to the topographic maps, the area should’ve been nice, gentle slopes.

It was too, until I reached the edge of a ledge with a one-hundred meter drop. I looked around to the left, then climbed to the right – more ledge. Grr. Back to refill from my bladder at camp we go.

Next on the menu, is a swampy-looking slope that’s wetter, and probably crawling with leeches, but dry enough not to sink down past my ankles.

@12:41pm

Woo them Geebungs go right through ya. Maybe it’s the dried mushrooms. Mmm.

Anyway, off we go again!

@3:32pm

Dead-ended again. Once I have power enough fir my phone and my official paper topographic maps, I can plot a better course to the river. It’s cool.

@3:51pm

So here I am crouched on the ground outside watching the ants – as I often do – when out the corner of my eye I spot movement, and quickly look towards it.

There, several meters away, is a tiny copper-headed skink. Everyone knows the ones: they’re found in most backyards. The ones that drop their tails as a defense mechanism when you try to grab em?

Well this little guy had a flawless, full-length tail almost twice as long as his body. The fact that I was crouched still for so long watching the ants meant he was unaware of my presence, and so I stayed statue-still while watching him wiggle and run over ten meters of leaves: eventually running right past me and off over the other side of the camp.

Though one tiny skink isn’t very big news, what the sighting of him represents is much more significant: reptiles are becoming active. I am unsure whether Spring has technically begun, but it’s nearly halfway through September, and the last few days sure felt warmer.

There’re certainly a lot more flies and ants out; the later of which have become less placid in they’re behaviour from what I’ve seen. I watched the aforementioned bull ants fight it out over a dead bug, just before the skink ran past.

The ant carrying the bug was clearly running from the other bug-less ant, even though they were both the same species.

I watched them for around fifteen minutes: one quickly crawling away with an insect twice it’s size in his mouth, the other rapidly gaining as he followed before finally catching-up and grabbing the bug from the first ant. A tug-o-war ensued, the result of which was the first ant won – maintaining his possession of said dead-bug – before they both ran under the tent to continue the chase.

So if more bugs are popping from their eggs with the warmer weather, more bug-eaters should be emerging, and with their arrival more bug-eater-eaters should follow, right?

So if the bug-explosion is starting, the mouse-sized animals will be out hunting them, and the snakes and goannas should in-turn start hunting them.

Have to get myself some snake-proof Gators for my ankles.

Rainforest Life: Outing #9 – Day 10
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Rainforest Life: Outing #9 – Day 10

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Jason
Animal-loving cleaner with a parrot.

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