Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 302: Hide your fish and chips.

 The humble seagull or as this one should be called the Silver Gull, is the first animal to swoop in on your fish and chips at the beach.  After you have run the 5km of course, so you can actually have your fish and chips.  Subsequently you are pretty guarded about these festering little fat deposits, sitting on the grease proof paper.  Ready to rejoice forbidden flavours in your mouth, yummmm.  Your senses are on top guard.  The unassuming assailant dive bombs before you know it and wham, there goes some chips.  You don’t know whether to thank him for the less fat deposits that will be on your hips now.  Or ‘scream’ at the mind-boggling taste he has taken away.  These birds have been around for a long time for a reason and it isn’t to help you with your calorie count.   It is called survival.  Maybe next time thank him for the extra he took away and you won’t have to run the extra kilometre!  

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 301: Hanging Out.

With two cyclones hanging around the coast of North Queensland, the birds seem to be making the most of the calm weather, gathering all the seeds off the palm trees and doing a bit of a stock piling.  Whilst Cyclone Anthony is a long way south of Cairns, tonight I hope the people in Bowen have everything tied down.  The bigger gentle sea breeze is due at the end of the week; direction yet to be determined as it begins to build.    So I guess be like the birds do a little bit of stock piling, and have those loose items in the yard put away.  Hey it is all part of the adventure living in the North, make the most of the experience, and be prepared.

Day 300: Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

 Ok, so these are not exactly gum nuts but I am using the imagination, and the Bottle Brush nuts to improvise and tell the story of two classic Australian children’s characters; Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, which I love.   Written by May Gibbs; our two friends are gumnut babies and they go on many adventures with friends and foe in the Australian bush with an English fairytale twist.  It was actually first published in 1918.  Quite a big feat considering May was; one a women working in that era, and two, was at the end of the WWI.  When people probably needed some joy put back in their lives.  When I see gum nuts or banksia’s (bad guys) brings a smile to my face at the joy of reading a true Australian classic.  If you haven’t read their adventure, regardless of age it is certainly worth the effort.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 299: Australian Brush-Turkey.

  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and while some may say this isn’t one of our most attractive birds, and creates havoc in domestic gardens.  Others love their unique character, of building mounds to house their eggs.  Believe it or not; it is the male that does all the work, once the eggs are in the mound.  He digs holes in the mound and inserts his bill to check that the heat is constant between 33-38 degrees Celsius.  Adding and removing vegetable matter as required.  Once the chicks are born, they dig their way out, are pretty much on their own, tough love from the get go.  The Bush Turkey or Scrub Turkey as it is commonly known also has a 10,000 dollar price tag if you are caught capturing and eating one.  It is a protected species in our parts, so I guess it is here to stay for a bit longer.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 298: Pitcher, but not for Mojitos?

This would be another tropical wonder in the plant world, and a little bit different – Pitcher plant, from the carnivorous group.  Feel like putting your finger in?  Maybe not wise and don’t think the staff at the gardens would be pleased.  They do keep down the flies at any rate, so that has to be a good thing.  I did go to the gardens today in search of the giant bloom of Asia only to discover it isn’t so gigantic anymore.  Three days since it had opened it is now probably seen better days.    The moral of the story is; going to have to be quicker next time.  The remanets were impressive and still quite large, although a wee bit saggy.  Like we all get in old age; however, it is still worth a look.  It is something like a plant out of the Land of the Giants minus the giant so I am sure it is still safe to go.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 297: Happy Australia Day.

 Australia Day what does it mean to you?  It means so many different things for a lot of people.  Captain Arthur Phillip may have landed on the shores with the First Fleet on 26 January 1788 with eleven convict ships from the ‘Mother land’.  It wasn’t until 1935 that all of our states and territories marked the 26 January as ‘Australia Day’.  As recent as 1994, was when Australian’s started to celebrate Australia Day consistently, with the only way Australians know how; a public holiday!   Our nation has come a long way since 1788.  So we all have different ways of celebrating it, or not; backyard cricket, lamingtons, Pavlova, meat pies, bbq’s, Triple J’s hottest 100 and the cool refreshing ale; beer.    Maybe even squeeze a swim in, because today is a hot one, gotta love summer.  Regardless of how you celebrate Australia Day, be thankful for a great country we have.  The past is not something we can change; we have to learn from that.  However, we can all change the way our Nation will be shaped in the future.  Happy Australia Day, I hear a cold one calling my name now.