Rainforest Life: Outing #8 – Day 3

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(Wednesday 27-August-2014)

@8:34am

Woke-up to steady, moderately heavy rain again this morning, and – having gone out for a quick piss, returned to find a leech inside the door of my tent.
Being ever the animal lover I didn’t kill him but simply tossed him back outside where he belonged.

@12:04pm

I’ve started building myself a makeshift privacy screen, to help conceal the tent more, and because I felt like it. It’s simply some lengths of string tied between two trees with leafy branches on them, angled towards the cliff-line – where many lookouts span the top from Wentworth Falls to Katoomba.

I’ve also raised the sides of my makeshift water pond, and that now holds about 10Ltrs of beautiful, fresh forest rainwater. The dirt and leaves all pretty much sink to the bottom, so it’s no issue filling my pot with crystal clear, pure H²O 😉

I still have the three 1Ltr bottles full too, so I’ve done pretty well from this rain I reckon: with just a dribble of effort, I have my own personal micro-dam and don’t need to walk to anywhere for a measly 3Ltrs of water – the water came to me ;O)

@2:51pm

The rain looks like it’s stopped for a while! I can even see blue sky, and there was some actual sunshine for a short time, about half an hour ago.

So while the going’s good, I’m going to have a late-lunch coffee, then do a decent exploratory walk if the extended, visible area around my camp: Standard for any site I’ve camped at, ’cause I like to know what’s within visible range.
I haven’t walked the area yet either, because last outing I was busy clearing, and thus far this outing I’ve been rained-in my tent a lot.

Reckon I got worms.

That’s what I get, I guess, for sharing my bowl with wild animals and letting strange dogs lick my mouth all over town. I’ll get some tablets when I’m in town next, if I remember.

Anyway, coffee, beakon, GPSr and we’re good to go!

@4:10pm

Back from my scout-around. I actually managed to get a photo while the Sun was out. Found a very nice looking beetle hiding behind a tree trunk. Little champion looked like he was just trying to get out of the rain, and didn’t much like being touched – he twitched nervously. I took a few snaps then left him to it, and went o

@5:40pm

Okay I’ve had dinner and am about to have a coffee before I zip up the tent, ’cause there’s a cold wind a-blowin’ and it’s slipping in the open door.. flap.. not for long though. Ahh there we go. Even with a gail-force wind outside, all you feel of it in here is a slight breeze, and for any gentler winds – like the cold one blowing now – no wind makes it inside at all. It just amazes me that two layers of micro-thin synthetic fabric can stop wind and rain so effectively, and once you take away the wetness of the rain and the chill of the wind, it’s nice inside no matter how miserable it might be out.

I spotted a very dodgey looking tree branch right up directly over my tent, that’s actually already broken, and now hangs at a 90° angle to the base of the branch, held in place only by the stringy fibres of wood that didn’t tear completely. It’s certainly big enough to pop my head like a grape, but only if it falls directly on my head. Mm my tent won’t save me from that if it falls.

@9:18pm

So I’m having my nightly read, when I start hearing something scratching my tent from behind me on the right. Must’ve been the tarp rustling with the wind, I figure, so I continue reading.

Few seconds later, the scratching starts again, then starts moving around the outside edge of the tent. Now, the fact that it’s scratching at the base of the tent pretty much rules out Yowies, Bunyips, Panthers and Rock Dogs, sure, but it doesn’t rule out rats and mice.

At this point, I know what you’re thinking, “You’re scared of a widdle mousey there, Big Man?”. Not at all, I will confidently reply, but I *am* concerned that rodents will chew a big hole in the floor of the tent – thereby opening the way for *anything* looking for a dry place – then proceed to chew holes in all my bags of food, thus leaving sticky sugar, powdered milk, coffee and pasta sauce all mashed into nasty, un-cleanable globs of yuck.

I’ve also got myself a slight catch-twenty-two situation, in that to see what type of animal is out there, I have to open my tent door, and once I go to sleep I’ll have to close it.
Now, regardless the type of animal, I would feel pretty bad about locking them in the tent all night, and more than a little irritated if I have to get-up at three in the morning to usher some small, skittish animal back outside before zipping back up and returning to sleep.

I also think I’ve developed a slight fetish for zippers over the past few months. The good quality ones yeah they’re just so smoooth, and having them all over my bags, tent, pants, and sleeping bag, who could really blame me, right?

The mystery mammal has not returned, so I’ll go back to reading and see what happens. If it’s a Marsupial Mouse I’ll be thrilled, hell I’ll even seriously consider leaving the tent flaps open for them to come in.
If it’s a mouse or rat, I’ll have to get careful about every little morsel of food I drop – even accidently, which will suck.

I haven’t seen a single animal even once at night either, since moving to this here. I was beginning to think a Yowie might’ve eaten them all.

Or even more likely, I’d simply squished them all dead stomping back and forth around the area.

Anyhow, for now it remains a mystery mammal, till I get a look at it.

Oh and the beetle: he was just a shy looking beetle who twitched nervously when I touched him. Champion none-the-less 🙂 I took a few pics, then left him to it and went on my way.

Rainforest Life: Outing #8 – Day 3
Rate in Guidos

Jason
Animal-loving cleaner with a parrot.

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