Rainforest Life: Outing #10 – Day 4

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(Tuesday 23-September-2014)

@11:10am

Alright about to go get me some water. Although I like the walk in general, I dislike the first five-hundred meters – the stretch of scrub that leads to the trail. Not only is it like walking on dry, crunchy noodles it’s so noisy, there’re so many dead trees, rocks, burrows and a blanket of waist-high grass it just looks like snake heaven and going by the number of food species I’ve seen hopping, crawling and wriggling around my campsite, I’m sure the snakes won’t be far behind: Out of hibernation, and hungry.

@11:30am

A beauuutiful “Bells” Lace Monitor just walked past my tent. If I hadn’t been so quick to jump-up and get a photo he would’ve taken a drink from the plastic sheet outside I think, since that’s where he looked to be ever so slowly heading.

Heard him coming from about thirty meters away too, though I wasn’t sure what was making the noise until I looked: I just hear this “Crunch crunch. draaag. Crunch crunch. draaag.”, and as it grew closer I lean over to see what’s making the noise and there he was – nice as you please – just plodding along towards the tent.

I instantly got the camera going and, not wanting to scare him off, tried just poking it around the corner of the tent. I snapped a few photos but it was no good: the daylight reflected off the screen to the point I had no idea whether the photos were in focus or even had the reptile in-frame.

So I quietly slip my boots on and – stealthy as a ninja – slide out my tent. He spots me instantly of course, points his nose at the sky, then flicks his enormous forked tongue out a few times. Flicky-flicky. Flicky-flicky.

I crouch like a tiger, check to make sure the phones camera is ready to go, then slowly – still crouching – take one step forward.. ..he takes several steps away..

I slowly take a few more steps.. ..he takes even more steps.

This little game went on a minute or two – me closing the gap, him widening it – before I realized there was just no way I was going to get any closer, and stood upright.

At that point he started walking away – still stopping every few meters to flick his tongue out and back in a few times, then he’d lay and flatten his entire torso on the ground.

Every time I’d slowly sneak-in a step or two, he’d get up and move a few more meters, flicky-flicky-flicky with the tongue, then lay flat against the ground again, then look back at me.

As I followed him of course I had a slight internal struggle: debating whether to run over, close the few meters and grab him – honestly now, a selfie with the second largest reptile in Australia. Could you imagine what an excellent profile pic that would make? – or leave him in peace and be content with photos.

I ended-up opting for the latter.

Partly because I wasn’t sure I could get to him before he bolted up the nearest tree, but mostly I figured grabbing him would scare the shit out of him so he probably wouldn’t come back if I did that.

I’ve handled enough large lizards to not be too worried about the claws and know how to hold them though, and what a selfie that would’ve made.

In the end he continued on his way, un-harassed and plodded off at his own pace: swallowed by the thick, long grass as his crunchy footsteps gradually faded.

As for the Antechinus, I haven’t even had a hint that they’re still around. I would assume they’ve either died or are in their logs giving birth though, since it’s about that time for them.

@2:16pm

I have not only returned with water, but *triumphantly* returned with a full 10 litres. @~3ltrs per day that will see me right for water till at least Saturday. The walk was all good. No snakes throughout “the pass” – as I’ve dubbed it, and no humans anywhere else all the way there or back.

@5:45pm

For dinner tonight, Possum and I will be having Continental Satay Rice with heaps of peas again, and butter. It’s hardly fine dining, but at least it’s not pasta.

@9:32pm

Possum has been, smacked and slurped down *some* of his food, but I scared him off be daring to slowly and ever so carefully sit up to watch him through the mesh window. I already had the red light turned on, so it must’ve been a slight wisp of fabric or similar that scared him off. Little bastard. The closest to any kind of interaction I’ve had with this animal so far, is my watching him either eating or running away.

The lizards are more approachable.

Rainforest Life: Outing #10 – Day 4
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Jason
Animal-loving cleaner with a parrot.

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