The Rainforest Journal: Outing #16 – Day 6

(Friday 19-December-2014)

@12:30pm

DSCN1346

Having walked through the usual million spider-webs, I’ve made my way down to the creek where the only annoyance are the million mosquitoes.

There’s no sign of anyone, well, I’ve heard two groups of “walkers” passing by above but that’s all. No Creepy Pete, though it’s only lunch yet so there’s still time for him to stop-by and vampire my whole day away.

These fucking mosquitoes.. The thin woolen shirt I have on is no protection at all from the little fuckers; my entire back and both elbows are itching in so many places I don’t even know where to scratch.

I’ve rubbed my mankies down with a soapy rag and although it was no masterclass in hygienic perfectionism, I no longer smell like week-old scrotum grime, pretty swanky. Just waiting for my clothes to rinse in the creek before wringing them out to dry.

You know, I’d planned to hang-out here for the bulk of the day but something just feels wrong here today. It just feels off somehow. I’m leaving.

@2:42pm

God I just love how fluffy their butts look.

God I just love how fluffy their butts look.

One of the Currawongs calls..

Yesterday, like many days lately, a lone adult Currawong came to fill it’s beak with as much food as it could then fly away, before returning not long after to repeat the process. It did this repeatedly throughout the day.

Today, she brought her chicks along for the visit, and I got the chance to witness the Currawongs parenting abilities first hand and right outside the tent in what I’d have to say was a pretty touching chick-feeding session that went on for almost an hour, at which point I had to leave to go and get water.

Meticulously bashing the biscuits on the rock till they're just the right size for the hungry chicks to swallow whole.

Meticulously bashing the biscuits on the rock till they’re just the right size for the hungry chicks to swallow whole.

There wasn’t really any food outside since the Possums and Rats don’t leave much of anything behind each night. So our adult Currawong flies in and walks up to the door of the tent, then just stands there. I inform the bird, “I dunno, I don’t think I got anything much to give you today.. Not without cooking something”, then – after a bit of digging around – subsequently find that there are in fact some breakfast biscuits and toss some out there for her.

Does this one really need a caption?

Does this one really need a caption?

Like every other day, she grabs a chunk of biscuit at a time then proceeds to bash it against a nearby rock until the biscuit is only as wide as her beak, then picks up the smaller bits and flies off. She returns moments later but this time as she’s working the food down into beak-sized bits, three additional Currawong swoop in at her squawking non-stop.

Didn't seem to matter how many times she fed him: Little Piggy squawks for more.

Didn’t seem to matter how many times she fed him: Little Piggy squawks for more.

At first I thought there was some kind of territorial bird warfare taking place until I saw that all three new birds were chicks; complete with scruffy, light grey feathers, short stubby beaks and eyes that hadn’t yet turned yellow like the adults, and all three chicks were squawking at her, for food.

... and more...

… and more…

And man could they squawk up a storm. Each young bird acted – and sounded – like one of those spoilt, screaming brats you see throwing a spastic fit in supermarkets while their mothers try in vain to shut them up. All three of them squawked, flapped their wings around and stomped on their siblings trying to be the next in line for another mouthful of food.

The baby. Note the scruffy feathers. I don't know how young they are but all three looked like they haven't been flying long.

The baby. Note the scruffy feathers. I don’t know how young they are but all three looked like they haven’t been flying long.

I don’t even know whether all three belonged to the adult Currawong that was feeding them, but one bird at a time she’d frantically crack those biscuits into bits small enough for the babies to swallow, stuff her beak with as many as she could fit, then waddle over and stick it in one of their mouths before returning to the biscuit pile to do it again.

Of course, I’m not sure whether the adult is a male or female, and we all know that in many bird species both parents take part in the child-care, but I’ve gone with ‘she’ because I couldn’t see a dick anywhere, and calling the adult “it” just seemed silly.

@5:19pm

There’s actually no reason for this section to be time-stamped, but anyway last nights Marsupial visitors weren’t so very well behaved at all. In fact they’re getting so stroppy with each other I’m laying seperate “plates” tonight, one at the tent and one several meters away. I’ve only identified two Possums that seem to show up each night, so hopefully that’ll shut them up and stop the brawling.

Bob eating biscuits and sniffing the phone..

.. Because you just can't see his hands with only the red light..

.. Because you just can’t see his hands with only the red light..

 
.. Here's a cropping of the original just to illustrate: same number of fingers, same number of joints; knuckles and all. Proper little hands, just much smaller.

.. Here’s a cropping of the original just to illustrate: same number of fingers, same number of joints; knuckles and all. Proper little hands, just much smaller.

Last night, just as young Bobby and I were getting friendly – tonights hand-fed treat being a half a fresh tomato I had left from my dinner – the other “timid” Possum comes over and after a tense moment of Possum-on-Possum eyeballing, both Possums run crashing up the closest tree, just a few feet from the tent. They very noisily chase each other up the tree then back down the tree, then around the tent before crashing into the tent, then finally running into the scrub at full speed.

... before the war began.

… before the war began.

Grunting, hissing and noisy bashing around in the dark ensue until eventually, I see a pair of glowing red eyes slowly emerging from pitch blackness; bobbing and rocking left to right as they approach the tent.

"Yeah? YEH THAT'S WHAT YO MOTHER SAID BRUH. You want the food Bruh? Yeah? Why don'choo just come take it from me then bruh"

“Yeah? YEH THAT’S WHAT YA MOTHER SAID BRUH. You want the food Bruh? Yeah? Why don’choo just come take it from me then come on Homie I’m waiting just come take it.. “

Now, I’m not sure who won the stand off, but as the glowing eyes get closer I see it’s Bobby sneaking towards me, and once he’s back at the tent door he just continues where he left-off; chowing down on the gingerbread he was eating before all the drama, nice as you please.

I have an itchy bite in my groin. Hope there isn’t a leech hidden in the folds of my freshly washed underwear.

Anyway, young Bob resumes eating, and I decide – being the razor-sharp mind I am, that I’d give the youngster a pat to calm his furry self down. Thanks to my impromptu facebook post last night the suspense is kinda blown so I’ll just wrap it up. Just as I’m within “stroking distance”, hand right by his side, he turns his head and bites my finger. I have to stipulate that it was a very soft bite; the kind designed to make me move my hand away. It worked as intended. The kind of bite a young male Possum might give you when he’s just spent the past half-hour boxing with another Possum over the one plate of food on the ground. It didn’t hurt, certainly didn’t break skin so all forgiven.

Tonights hopefully argument-free Possum dinner. More than enough for everyone.

Tonights hopefully argument-free Possum dinner. More than enough for everyone.

Tonight, in an effort to remedy this “2 Possum per Plate” situation I’ve cooked almost a litre of pasta and peas – just for the Possums – and spread it out over three seperate spots in a five meter area. Two have tomato paste, one is just plain pasta with peas. I’ve also places a fourth dinner of instant mashed potato a few feet away from the furthest pasta spot so there should be enough for both Possums as well as any Bush Rats that drop by.

Anyhoo Is getting on so I’d best start uploading the pics and post.

The Rainforest Journal: Outing #16 – Day 6
Rate in Guidos

Jason
Animal-loving cleaner with a parrot.

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