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Wake Up! - Snake!

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So there we were, start of the week - enjoying the F1, (yes, I know - it's an elitist sport that sycophantically panders to the ethereal whims of the 'woke' movement), but I just try to ignore that side of it and enjoy the racing. Anyway, Jo had her fresh from the garden strawberry and herb blend gin, and I had my vodka based paint-thinner. We were all set. We watched the race - Jo is a die hard Hamilton fan, while I'm firmly in the Alonso camp, thus arguments abounded and there was the usual amount of moaning and gesticulating at different points of the race. Fun for everyone. The night past, and having been laid low with the Mexican beer flu, I was soon asleep - no doubt a ghastly picture of limbs akimbo, complete with resonating snores, when, it seemed - the world was ending. From the foggy depths of my flu and voddy induced slumber, I became aware of quite a lot of shouting. Now, as I was asleep and the race was over - I was fairly sure it wasn't coming from

Ferocious Spiders, Armoured Katydids and Venomous Caterpillars

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On a whim, it was decided that a sojourn to the local National Park was in order. So with the sun comfortably set - it was off to Mt Lewis. The place has a chequered history in terms of exploitation and conservation. It was extensively logged and mined for tin - in fact, alluvial tin can still be seen in the creeks and pools throughout the park. Of course, we weren't there to do a bit of casual night-logging, our mission was simple. Critter bothering. We were hoping to spot a Chameleon gecko or two, but alas, that wasn't to be. TBH, that's the norm - at least for me. I might have a species in my head that I want to record and observe, but I don't get all forehead vein popping about it. If it happens groovy, if not - it still beats zombieing out watching netflix right? As I alluded to, Mt Lewis, for the most part - is now a National Park. So any and all wildlife interactions were going to be hands-off affairs. I generally refrain from touching wildlife anyway, especi

Australia's most valuable snake?

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A couple of days ago, I was about to take a break and glanced out the window to see what might be about. A wallaby or a bird to have a chat with over my cuppa perhaps?, when I noticed there was a blade of sugar cane serpentining its way along the deck. I did a double take - sure enough, it was a little snake. Now, despite what you might think, seeing a snake during the day - cruising on the deck is not a common occurrence. So I fell out the door and quietly approached it. The first thing I noticed was that it was missing most of its tail, ( I understand that everything from the head down looks like a tail, but snakes do have them all the same ). I was thinking about this as I attempted to I.D the unfortunate fellow, (I settled on Marsh snake, Hemiaspis signata for the I.D). But I couldn't stop thinking about the tail. I have no way of knowing how the snake suffered the injury; bird, shovel, mower - I just don't know. But without a tail, its chances of long-term survival are

Hand-Feeding Wild Lizards

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Remember that I said I would do a post on feeding the skinks 'round the joint?. Well, here it is - sort of. The skinks were fed, unfortunately I didn't quite manage to capture the moment as well as I would've liked. But there is, at least, some semblance of logical progression with the shots, so I guess that'll just have to do. This rather handsome Robust skink, rocked up and skittered about the place for bit, before ending up at Jo's feet - taking on the air of a puppy, begging for a treat. An act, for which it was richly rewarded. Upon arrival on top of the firewood, actually licking its 'lips'! As I was buggering about with the bloody camera, the cheeky fellah shimmied over to Jo, and in a flash, snatched the tasty morsel right out of her fingers. It did so with such force that the meal worm was torn in half!. Does sir require a napkin? A face-wipe it is then. Can you keep a secret?. No?, I'll tell ya anyway. I have to admit that I

Blue-winged V Laughing kookaburra

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Ah, Friday!. Though, I suppose if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, ( and the past - lol ), it's still Thursday. If that's the case, don't worry - Friday's great. You're gonna love it. Anyhoo, we went camping a while ago - not much to report really, it was camping. You know?, an activity that costs a fortune to live like a homeless person for a few days. My favourite bit, other than the camp fire - was the bird life. And there was a lot of it. Not least of all, the Blue-winged kookaburras. Perched over the swag as the sun was setting Different bird, same attitude The blue-winged is obviously closely related to the laughing kookaburra, and while both are complete bastards, the laughing kookaburra is larger and louder. They share having blue colouration on their wings, however, the laughing has a prominent brown streak running through its eye. The blue-winged kookaburra is a co-operative breeder, a group being made up of a breeding pair and one or more

A day in the life

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There was nothing for it today, but to sit outside and do some writing the old school way. With pen and paper - and you thought my spelling was shocking when I have the benefit of technology aiding me . The reason for this was yet another power-outage. I suppose though, when one chooses to live in a developing country - it's to be expected, ( I'm joking of course, they stopped developing Far North Queensland years ago ). But it gave me an excuse to sit quietly, and chip away at things that need my attention. As I was doing so, I noticed that the Sunbirds were being a little noisier than usual and were edging closer and closer to me at the same time. My first thought was that there may be a snake in the vicinity, so I started to look around. I couldn't see any threats to the birds, no predators in sight. However, no matter how reassuring I attempted to make my tone, they kept up their keening and chitter chattering, while frenetically darting about the joint. Something

A Visit To Abattoir Swamp

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Not too far from our place, there's a hidden in plain view kinda joint - that's both brilliant and infuriating, all at the same time. It's a wildlife preserve, managed by a few locals who do a hell of a lot with sweet bugger all. As is the way of things it seems. But these good people keep the place in great shape, including labelling some of the more interesting plants found there - so that flora challenged people, such as myself , can glean some much-needed knowledge. They have a facebook page: Friends of Abattoir Swamp | Facebook , so if you do the FB thing, you might consider joining. I would, but I suffer from Groucho Marx syndrome and as such, simply cannot join any group that might have me for a member. Anyway, over the weekend we went to get a little birdy fix, (more than 160 species of birds alone, have been spotted there). Along with reptiles, frogs, marsupials and all manner of insects and arachnids - there's something for everyone! . The focal point o

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