The Rainforest Journal: Outing #12 – Day 5

(Tuesday 21-October-2014)

@9:42am

Another cold wet day today. One rainy day’s great to cool the place down, but it really doesn’t take long to get sick of it. It’s spitting right now, heavy enough so I can’t even go off and have my morning shit until it’s eased a bit. Yeah, I wasn’t too sure whether that last line was bordering on “too much information” either, but decided it’s already done now. It is a personal journal after all.

Anyhow with rain set-in and showers on and off all day, it’s going to be a slow one – for both animals and myself.

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THE UGLY SLUGLING

@11:16am

I just found another one of these mustard slugs again a moment ago: not under a rock this time, but sliding it’s way down a tree trunk. Riley’s Mustard Slug – sounds great. Mm. Anyway, the first time I yanked a big rock out the ground (it was in the middle of the trail I was clearing, and back then I paid no mind to all the animals homes I was destroying) I figured it might’ve been a snail that simply hadn’t developed it’s shell yet; hence the ugly red streak in the middle of it’s back. Now I see one crawling about with the same red blotch and no shell at all I’m inclined to think it has to be a slug. An ugly one at that.

Looks like the kind of creature, that if you licked it you’d hallucinate. I’ll try that next time.

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Yet again, with half an hour of research under my belt the mystery is over regarding the identity of yet another animal. F U Science! Triboniophorus graeffei or the Red Triangle Slug is the animal in question. And although, no matter how hard I looked I couldn’t seem to find a photo of a specimen as bright yellow as the ones around here, they are apparently quite variable in colour and may be pink, red, yellow, white or grey, with the only common feature amongst them all being that ugly red thing on their backs and red border along the edge of the foot.

Fuck knows why they called it a Triangle Slug – Riley’s Mustard Slug sounds so much better. Probably the same idiots who gave our most dangerous snake the yawn worthy title of “Brown Snake”. They seriously need to get more imaginative people thinking-up names for our local fauna. Captain Boring had his shot and he sucks at it.

Anyway it might be an ugly slug with a stupid name, but it’s identified nevertheless

@12:23pm

Now all the morning pft is out of the way, I’ve done a bit of a rudimentary walk around the area scanning for the dinosaur but all I see everywhere are wet leaves and fallen branches. There are dozens of burrows in the ground everywhere you go of course – the kind of holes you shouldn’t really be sticking your hands into – but nothing that looks quite big enough for a reptile as large as a Lace Monitor to fit into. Of course being cold and wet again today rules-out any reptilian activity anyway.

PASSERINE AND PSAPHARUS

@2:25pm

I’ve just had another visit from one of the local Crows. I’d been crouched outside playing with a Black Weavil (Psapharus spp.) and just placed the bug on a log to wander off and do whatever weavils do, when the bird landed a few meters away with that familiar swooping sound and a flap of its wings.

Black Weavel. Cute, for a bug.

Black Weavel. Cute, for a bug.

He walked back and forwards in an arc – closer each time – until reaching the prize he’d come for: last nights pasta. He gobbles one of two bits then proceeds to fill his beak with as much as he can stuff in it before flying off. Taking pasta back home to some chicks at the nest? Maybe.

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This visit triggered a somewhat vague desire to confirm that these all black birds are in fact Crows and not simply all-black Currawong or some other species, and what I discovered is that technically they’re no more or less a Crow than are Currawong, Magpies and actual Crows. They’re Ravens. I know right? “Ravens in Australia? Horseshit!”, and I thought the same before reading-up on their differences. Indeed, I always just assumed a ‘Raven’ to be simply the English word for what we call a Crow.

Turns out, while Crows, Raven, Currawong and Magpie are all in the Crow family  (Corvus spp.), Crows and Raven are different animals, so calling a Raven a Crow is akin to referring to a Tuna, Bream or Flathead as simply a Fish.

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To be specific, the taxonomic name for the bird in question is Corvus coronoides thus, I’ll refer to them as Ravens from this point onwards.

Here is the wikipedia entry on the bird:
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_raven

MONITOR MATTERS

@5:34pm

No sign of him again. Being cold though that’s to be expected.  First warm, sunny day will be when I would expect him to come stomping over for a visit,  but I don’t know where he is or whether he’ll drop-by.

Day 2 of this outing was the last sighting of him.

@8:35pm

Our regular, ‘sketti-loving, smacky-eating possum is – right now – busily scoffing his chops right outside. Though I’ll let him eat in peace and not worry about a photo tonight, I just figured I’d include that before wrapping the days entry up and posting it.

The Rainforest Journal: Outing #12 – Day 5
Rate in Guidos

Jason
Animal-loving cleaner with a parrot.

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