For the past few nights something new has turned up here at the farm. Scritchy – the boss dog – and I, go for a walk at night to keep an eye on the kangaroos, wallabies and wombats just to make sure that they’re not wreaking too much havoc in the orchard. The past few nights the torch that I carry on those walks has shown that we’re being watched by a set of eyes glinting in the torchlight. Those eyes when spotted quickly run for cover and then peek out at us from a nearby hiding spot.
The title of this week’s post is actually a nod to a 2006 zombie film. It is a known fact that zombies clamour for brains. I was hoping that the eyes in the forest weren’t a zombie clamouring for my brains as I believe that would be an unpleasant encounter with an uncertain ending. Maybe the eyes were actually after Scritchy’s brains as she is boss dog here after all? Who knows?
The kangaroos, wallabies and wombats were certainly aware of the new intruder, but they were mostly unconcerned by the new presence. I took this to be a good sign as it is good common sense to avoid zombies and wombats and their friends generally display good common sense.
After a couple of nights of the furtive behaviour from the eyes, the intruder displayed themselves for the creature that they actually belonged to. Fortunately for the readers of this blog it wasn’t a zombie as I’m uncertain as to whether I would survive such an outcome and few people would want to read a blog that went like: “brains, brains, brains … moan”. Honestly it would get quite boring after only a very short while.
The eyes became comfortable with the torchlight and eventually the new presence revealed itself to be two fox cubs. I’m not sure what to make of this new addition to the farm.
The Aboriginals believed that the Dreaming has two rules: obey the law, and leave the world as you found it – not for better or worse, for God judges that, but the same. The first rule enforces and exists for the second. Together they let place dominate time, and translate well understood ecological associations into social relations (taken from The Biggest Estate on Earth written by Bill Gamage). This is not an entirely helpful set of rules as to what to do about the fox cubs and it is worthwhile mentioning that dingoes which are the native dog (similar to a coyote) presumably arrived on this continent via a trade between the Indonesians and Aboriginals many millennia ago. The dingoes then out competed the Thylacine’s (Tasmanian tigers) on the mainland and resulted in that species extinction on the mainland. Certainly there are no wild dogs in this forest though.
At this point I’m going to take an observe and wait approach to the two fox cubs here. On a positive note, the rat, field mice and rabbit population here has taken a savage blow so perhaps there is a place for them at the farm?
Returning back to the zombie theme, I’ve recently installed a stainless steel mesh over the glass and timber door to the cantina shed. Alright, it wasn’t actually for zombies, but it was to reduce the likelihood of that door breaking during a bushfire. I also installed an aluminium door jamb on that particular door and very observant readers will notice that the underside of the cantina shed is now enclosed by dark grey corrugated steel sheeting.
|Cantina shed with stainless steel mesh over the door and the underside enclosed by steel|
|Sudden summer downpour over the farm this afternoon|
Speaking of tomatoes, there are a few good examples of the local species of the nightshade family growing here and I took the photo below of a Large Kangaroo apple (Solanum laciniatum) at the farm. There is even a small robin nesting in the foliage at the very centre of the photograph.
|Large Kangaroo apple (Solanum laciniatum)|
|Tomatoes growing strongly at Christmas time|
|Shed living - it's good! The Long House|
|The flower garden has now completely over grown the paths and steps|
|2hp Electric Chipper chopper|
|Dandelions a good source of bee food|
|black/red currants, gooseberries and jostaberries|
Way back in 1994 when grunge was still cool and Kurt Cobain hadn’t ended his own life so tragically, I went to a dinner at a cheap Chinese restaurant. It was at that dinner that I sat next to an attractive and engaging young lady. I’d known her for many years and in fact the first time that I’d met her, I didn’t even notice her because I was underneath my trusty old 4 speed Suzuki four wheel drive fixing the clutch lever which had broken again. I believe that at the time my feet gave a friendly wave.
As an interesting side note, it is worthwhile giving a bit of hard earned advice at this point in time. Never buy a soft top (convertible) vehicle. Honestly I’ve never owned a vehicle that was broken into more than that particular car. I once had a CD player in there, but not for long. I kept down grading car stereos until I’d gotten to point where thieves would break into the vehicle, they’d take a look at the rubbish radio and then go: I don’t think so. They used to let me know that they visited frequently by leaving the zippers on the roof undone. Well done, there is a lesson in there about possessions I’m sure.
Oh yeah, the Chinese dinner. Well at that particular dinner, this engaging young lady drew pictures of her Dachshund dog and other such fun things on my arm. I was intrigued.
A week or so later Valentine’s day arrived, and fortunately I worked not too far from her house so after work I rode around on my push bike (remember it was the recession here) and dropped off some red roses and a card.
A formal date was organised and due to circumstances beyond my control - but probably to be expected, the little Suzuki four wheel drive was in at the mechanics getting its gearbox repaired and I had to ask this young lady to pick me up. Now it should be pointed out that this situation is a total dating disaster, but fortunately the times were on my side and being the era of grunge such things were to be tolerated at best.
The date went well and two weeks later I moved into her home – with of course her Dachshund and Jack Russell terrier and all of the other assorted share house people. It was a full house.
Now it is worthwhile remembering that this was indeed the era of grunge and money was in short supply everywhere. The house, despite being only four kilometres (2.5 miles) from the very CBD centre, it had a bathroom that was in a separate building in the backyard. What made winters at that house really challenging and interesting was that the toilet was in the rear corner of the backyard in what is known here as an outhouse. There were slightly more spiders than residents in that outhouse too. I was a bit dubious as to the claims that the carpet had been vacuumed sometime in the past six months and the furniture certainly looked as though it had been obtained through hard rubbish collections. Still that’s how it rolled back then and it was home enough for me and I was very pleased to be there.
Too be continued…
The temperature outside here at about 9.00pm is 11.0 degrees Celsius (51.8’F). So far this year there has been 816.8mm (32.1 inches) of rainfall which is up from last week’s total of 810.0mm (31.9 inches). Today, I have been sunburned, then rained and hailed on only to end up being finally frozen whilst out in the orchard tonight whilst writing this