It’s All About Us

Hey gang

4:20pm 😉 Tuesday 13 September 2011
After getting cleaned up at the Dragons Lair, we headed out to Walker Bay. First we checked the North end, then headed to the South to find some shelter from the trade winds. We found a nice hidden clearing about a hundred metres (330ft) in from the beach. The thick coastal scrub just lifts the wind over our heads, but also lets the breeze flick in a little to keep things cool and fresh.

I learnt a lesson today. Tina should not have shopped by herself at the supermarket. She insisted though.
“I haven’t been in their for ages! I’ll do the shopping.”
Tina purchased some avocado, bread, tomatoes, eggs and potatoes. Cool. She also bought a tray of herbed steak, a cold chicken, some cheese kabana. Enough cold meat for three days. Cool too. Except we have no fridge or ice. 🙂
Now, we could have eaten the chook last night. But…we also had two live crabs that our bama mate had given us. They were happily resting in the mangrove leaves in the old blue Styrofoam esky we’d found at the Annan.

A Quick Diversion

Bama Explained
The term ‘bama’, pronounced ‘bumma’, is the local term in both guugu yimmithir and kuku yalanji languages for person or people. However, over time it has become the respectful term for differentiating between local aboriginals and white people. White people can sometimes be referred to as migaloo (whitefella), but that’s generally reserved for tourists who travel up here around the same time as the whales migrate North. We sometimes think there was an in-joke going on when the White humpback whale was named.

Crabs
Our somewhat famous mud crabs are arguably the best tasting crabs on the planet.
Mud crabs are most commonly found in tidal saltwater, mangrove lined rivers and creeks. They’re also found in mangrove lined coast.
Now, some people may argue with me, but in our humble opinions, the best way to cook Australian Mud crab is thus:

Assuming a 1 kilogram (roughly 2lb) mud crab.
It must be alive! If you can’t get live green mud crab, ignore this and buy a cooked one.
Euthanase it.
Squeamish people avert your eyes. Either place in a freezer for an hour,or spike it between the eyes with something sharp.

Preferably get a big pot of fresh clean ocean water,about 5 litres (1.3US gal) and bring it to the boil. Immerse the crab and allow it to come to the boil again. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes, then take off the heat. Let it sit in the hot water for a couple minutes, then remove and immerse in a bucket of cold saltwater.
Leave in water to cool for 15 or 20 minutes before eating.
Oh, if you put thick layers of fresh mangrove leaves in your esky with your crabs, they’ll live for days. Keep the esky in the shade and open it for fresh air a couple times a day. Replace the leaves every couple of days or so. Only mangrove though.

End Diversion

Anyway, we decided to cook and eat the crabs instead, and sacrifice the chook to the dogs in the morning.
Dinner was fresh Annan River mudcrab, boiled in Crystal clear Walker Bay ocean water. Accompanied with ripe Avocado, tomatoes, lettuce and soft multigrain bread and butter.

We went to bed early, listening to the ocean and the breeze we’d become so used to before Tina was diagnosed with the GBM.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

We both had an interrupted sleep. Tina was awake more often than me, listening to the radio and quietly shushing Jack when he barked at a hog or wallaby in the undergrowth.
I woke around 11pm. Then at some hour after that, I woke with an overwhelming urge to throw up.
After emptying my guts, I felt much better and slept til dawn, about 6:15am. Tina was fine. Not sick at all. Just not very tired.
I did something silly while cleaning up last night. It may have contributed to my sickness 😦
This morning, Tina had some steak and salad for brekky. I took our long bucket out to the beach with Jack to get some washing water. There’s a good 25 to 30 knot Sou’Easter blowing off the ocean onto the beach. Our spot in behind the 4 metre high, dense vine scrub is well protected, but the wind still rips through the canopy at the edge of the clearing, letting us feel her freshness when a gust rolls like a wave into our camp.
Which leads me to the beauty of Pig.

Pig, of whom I think you are intimately aware, provides our cooking fire, warmth and entertainment during our nights here in Paradise. Pig can contain a fire and its ash in a 20 knot wind. I reckon it could handle more though. The mesh on the vent at the bottom of Pig, Pigs Arse, holds the ash until it has completely burnt. The ash can’t start another fire outside Pig. The only evidence of Pig that you’ll see after we leave a camp after a few days, is a small pile of ash that might, but probably wouldn’t fill a 10 litre (4gal) bucket. Thankyou Legend Of The North, Pig is good 🙂

Tina weighed herself Tuesday morning at the Dragons Lair. She was 67.7kg (10.6 stone 150lb).
Prior to the Dexmethsone treatment, well actually, the Thursday Tina flew from Cooktown a month ago, she weighed 58kg (9.1st or 128lb).
An extreme appetite is a common side effect of Dexmethsone. There are others as well, some quite serious. I think it is either the Dexmethsone or the omezaprole that lowers your immune defenses. We have to be careful in case Tinas system weakens.

Today will be a quite lazy day for us. We’ve gathered wood, collected water, cooked breakfast, checked the weather on the radio, and decided to do a lot of nothing today.
Images today are of The Penn rod we found washed up on the beach. Which reminds me. I forget when we’re in range to Google this rod. Do any of you fisher folk have a replacement value for it?
There is also the float we found that will be for JJ or The Legend, a few obligatory Jack and Floyd shots (puppehz izz cute), and whatever else I have a whim to show. 🙂
For example, Tina dozing in her ‘Fraggle Rock’ t-shirt 🙂
Pig is there with his Blue 5 litre enamel pot (another gift from Legend). See the ash pike? That’s from boiling two crabs, boiling the billy twice, pan frying steak this morning,and boiling off the crab water this morning.
OK, here is a Tina-ism. It might give you an idea of where her head is at at the moment. Her confusion with naming things is more pronounced early in the morning, or at night when she is tired.
“These guys taste pastel!”
…said whilst eating weet-bix with creamy mixed powdered milk at 10pm one night. Pastel=like cream…duh!
…and Aussie kids are weet-bix kids! Sport, team, guys…
If you don’t know weet-bix, Google them too.

Lunch time!
A Tuna salad of Avocado and raw Broccoli florets with seasonings. Too nice on a tropical Wednesday.

We have plans for next month while waiting for the Pensions to come through. First,Tina is adamant that we attend the Wallaby Creek Music and Arts Festival. We’ll get a Centrelink payment on Thursday the 22nd before Wallaby Ck, which runs from the 23rd to the 25th. The tickets will cost us around $200 for the weekend, but dogs are banned. What do we do with Jack and Floyd? I heard a place in Rossville will board dogs for the two days. Jack and Floyd would be very well behaved, but I guess rules is rules.

3:30pm. Time to sneak into town and get some non-perishable food 😉

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Of Bandicoots Bream and Tinas Scissors

Grab a seat, this may be a long read.

Friday night, 9 September 2011
We were once again at the Dragons Lair relaxing with ale and good food. Dragon had cooked up a really nice Indian curry that was ageing nicely in our cooking pot on the electric stove.
Tina escaped early because the Friday night football marathon was on the electronic opium dispenser (aka the television).
I hung with the boys and watched a full game of Rugby League (Dragons v Tigers). Then watched most of the Tonga v New Zealand Rugby Union World Cup opener. You may think this normal for a bloke to do. You know, sit around on the piss, talking as armchair experts about game tactics and flow. Taking the piss out of Dragon as his team crumbled from a potential winning lead to a demoralizing loss. But no. I haven’t taken part in that time honoured Aussie bloke tradition in over twenty years! Well except for the odd State of Origin clash of course. But that was with mixed company and Roy & HG calling the game on JJJ. The tv provided the vision.
I poured myself into bed about 1:15am and promptly passed out. Meanwhile, at about 2:30am, the girl housemate, we shall call her L, came home. She sits down next to Tina and gives her a cuddle, “Darling, good morning. Would you like to come in for a coffee? Or a cigarette? Have you got a cigarette? ” So Tina crawled out of bed and had conversation, coffee and cigarettes with L at 3am. I wonder if they had Tom Waits playing on the CD? I slept through until 6:00am.

10 Sept 2011
Saturday morning. Market day. Mmmm…Home made pies!
At about 08:30, we grabbed a beef & a chicken with asparagus, plus a sausage roll, then headed down/up to the old Pilot jetty to give the dogs a run and to feast on our Cooktown breakfast.

A bit later on, 4’ish in the afternoon, we organised some water and groceries, then headed off to the Annan River (croc country) again. Before we left town, we grabbed two new handlines, some tackle and some bait.
We collected firewood from the track on the way in. Our firewood comes from timber dropped when they backburned up the track near Crocodile bend.
We pulled up by the river in the same spot we camped with JJ and Charline last week. I pulled Pig off the roof and we got the fire started.

Tina cooked up a chicken casserole using wings and a bunch of vegies. Yummm. The Pig did its job to perfection as usual. Just after dark I caught my first fish in ages (years actually). It was a pan sized bream. Perfect with chicken casserole! I scaled and gutted it, rubbed some salt on the skin, sprinkled herbs and spices in its belly, then laid it into the pan I’d oiled and preheated on the Pig. I let the fish sizzle for five minutes and turned it over. This was repeated four times, then the fish was laid on a plate to rest for a minute.
The skin was almost crisp, but slipped easily off the meat. The flesh was white and fell off the bones with little effort. However, it was still juicy and held its delicate sweet flavour.
Tinas verdict: “Yummy!”
Between us we ate seven chicken wings and the fish, so I guess we’re eating well 😉

  Around 8pm we heard something in the undergrowth. Floyd the pup growled and barked, all the while looking between Jack on his and the mysterious monster in the bush. Jack meanwhile, just lay there looking into the scrub without any concern. We knew by his attitude that it was some sort of native animal. After we’d settled Floyd, the mystery creature became a little braver. It turned out to be a little bandicoot, so we enticed it closer with some dry dog food and fruit scraps. It came within four metres of us before finally heading back into the bush an hour or so later. Both Jack and Floyd ignored it and went to sleep. They’re good puppies. 🙂

I lost half a dozen hooks through the night from the current dragging the lines into tree roots. So I pulled up about 11pm. I’ll collect them on Sunday afternoon low tide. Tina can be my croc spotter.

Sunday 11Sept. 2011
Up at 06:30. The lines went in about 7:30am after coffee. We’ve made a soup from the casserole sauce and it’s heating up. The lines have ‘telltale’ soft drink cans attached, so we can hear if they run. They’re only 20 metres away, so we shouldn’t have any dramas reaching them quickly.
I think Tina and I made a good choice with Floyd. He is showing intelligence even at this early age. He would now be just on six weeks old. He sits on command, comes when his name is called then sits at your feet, and generally shows a natural will to learn. Jack is tolerating his puppiness, but puts him in his place when needed.

It’s still only about 11:30 in the morning, but we’ve eaten a big meal and did some tidying and we’re ready for a siesta. The lines haven’t interested a crab,let alone a decent fish 😦
I’ll try a doze and a line will go. The Sunbirds are just off in the trees, two males are trying to out sing or fly each other, while the lone female follows the show, singing in approval at their displays.

I couldn’t sleep, so I went down on the bank, looking for sinkers and hooks. I found a sinker, then came across a top quality soft lure. It looks like a small greenish yellow mullet. Tina got me to hook it up to a handlines for while. So I climbed out on this big old tree that overhangs the river bank and proceeded to hand cast it out into the channel and jig it back in. The tide was on a good outrun so the lure was working well. It is internally weighted and sinks diagonally into the water, then when jogged, it make a lifeline paddle back up. A large Long Tom, full of teeth and needle like bones followed it in at one stage,but no strikes.
Then I hooked my other handline and buggered the whole show up. It took half an hour to untangle the lines while sitting over the river on tree trunk being swayed by 25 knot gusts. Then a legal size mud crab hooked up on the other tangled line. I couldn’t climb to shore to get within reach, so just hauled it two metres clear of the river before the big buck let go.
Bummer.
After untangling the lines, we rerigged and they’re out just on the edge of the channel. Maybe a big flathead might take a liking to my smelly old baits.

Low tide came and I took the opportunity to see if I could find some of my snagged tackle. I found one of my hooks and two sinkers. But I also scored half a dozen other hooks, ten sinkers and two wire traces. Score!
We’ve hooked onto our second big crab, but it too let go at the surface. I wish we had a big scoop net. We’re going to modify the long desnagging stick we have here so we can hold the next one to check its size and sex.
If all goes well you’ll see photos 🙂
Tina decided a haircut was in order, so she found her Wahl brand hair scissors…let me tell you about Tina’s hair scissors. YOU DO NOT CUT ANYTHING BUT HAIR WITH THESE SCISSORS!!
Tina bought this set, a pair of thinning scissors and a pair of standard scissors about six and a half years ago. She had always wanted a set of quality hair scissors. As a mother of four kids, home hairdressing was often a necessity. Anyway, this set was on special for $85, down from $250, so Tina snapped them up.
To this day, all they’ve done is cut hair. Maybe fifty haircuts in nearly seven years. They are very cool.
A Wahl 6.5″ thinning scissor  and a standard 5.5″ scissor. They are both Rockwell 57, 420 stainless steel, ICE tempered, and with a satin finish. They are super sharp.
So we both cut Tinas hair so she could see the scar and remaining stitches in photos. Check them out below.

Sunday Arvo around 15:30, or 3:30pm.
As the afternoon cruises on, one of the Sulpher Crested Cockatoos that resides in these parts flew by, screeching its signature hello on its way to somewhere unknown. A few Rainbow Lorikeets zip by, while just downstream a honeyeater calls.
Just on sunset I have the same luck. A nice break nabs my hook. I got him off and cast again. Five minutes later and bang! Something slams the line and wraps it up in the mangroves. Ah well. Another bream is good. Tuna is going to foil bake it with butter. The bandicoot is back and bolder than ever. Straight of the small rise and into the clearing. Damn! I forgot to put food and water out. I’ll do it now.

The bandicoot turned up about 6:45pm. It’s now 7:30 and it’s just on the edge of the light and the clearing, crunching a few little bits of dog food.
We’ve also just finished a superbly pan fried bream, courtesy of Tina. From hook to plate took under an hour. In environmental terms we burnt less energy catching and eating it than the fish provided us. Carbon negative? Probably not in the big picture. But it was guaranteed fresh 🙂
It’s coffee time. Tina has the billy on the go. We’re also snacking on plain brand fruit tingles.  Nomm Nomm! They come in the bagful!

Just in case anyone is wondering, today we also paid silent respect to all civilians and others killed by acts of terrorism and/or war.

The fish have either gone off the bite, or my last bait is gone. Ah well, next time around I’ll know when and where to fish for the bream.

08:00 Monday 12 September 2011
For the first hour after dawn it was calm. Then the regular breeze kicked in again. For the first time this year, we’ve felt mozzies. Not worth a mozzies coil but noticeable.
Late yesterday arvo, a local and his two boys came down and threw their crab pots in. I offered to watch them overnight and check them occasionally. This morning I pulled out four just legal buck mudcrabs and put them in an old Styrofoam esky with some mangrove leaves. That’ll keep them stable and calm. I’ve rebaited the pots, added extra rope to one and moved the other one closer to us, and they’re back in the river. Hopefully there’ll be more in an hour or so.
Our bama friend, Eddie, came back about 9:30 this morning to check his pots. I gave him the esky with the four crabs and told him the story. He gave us two of the crabs and left the pots in, saying he’d be back between 3:30 and 4:30 this arvo. We decided to hang around til then and keep an eye on them for him.

We’re going to break camp this afternoon and make a trip to Walker Bay beach. We need to get fresh water, and we have some long lengths of bamboo down the beach that we need to cut in half and strap to the roof of Jimmy the 4wd.
We also need to move from here for another reason. Crocodiles are crafty. A croc may swim by here and take no notice of us. It may do the same thing three or four days in a row. Then one day it will watch. It will learn the habits of the food on the bank over a day or two. It will come closer. We may get lucky and see it. Or not.
We’ve already broken two rules of croc country camping.

One: camp at least 30 metres from the river bank, especially if the bank has easy access to the water. We’re half that.

Two: don’t throw your fish cleaning scraps in the water. Well, the rule is technically, ‘don’t clean your fish at the river bank’. Now that would be plain stupid. We clean the fish in our long bucket away from the river, but we toss the guts into the river. It’s probably a good thing that the tides run hard here and drag the offal away quickly.
But having said that, I’m still very croc wary because I know there is a three metre croc that hangs around 600 metres upstream, and crocodiles happily tour hundreds of kilometres a month in a river system like this.

3:30pm Monday.
Our mate turned up and grabbed his pots. No more crabs this time. Tina got coffee going and we prepared to pack up.

Now this next paragraph you can choose to believe or not, but it did happen.
I walked over to the bank with my coffee to pick up some rubbish. A splash to my left startled me. A little five foot saltie got a front and shot across the water, diving as it got to the channel.

Time to break camp.

One final note. It is exactly one month since Tina first showed signs of being sick. She is amazing. 🙂

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Time For A Yarn By The Fire

The billy is on. Pull up a stump and take a load off ya feet. It’s been as slow as a wet week these past few days and I feel like chewing the fat for a while. If you want, I’ll translate that last sentence from Australian to English for you.
‘I’m boiling a pot water for a cup of tea. Find a chair and have a rest, because the past couple of days have dragged on and I would like to talk with you for a while.’

Went back to work on Tuesday after four days off (but broke) and my baby has been crook most of the time. Her neck is giving her bad headaches and making her feel sick…like throwing up sick.
I took today (Thursday) off to stay with her. Poor Tina has been in some pretty bad pain since this morning. We have no pain killing drugs until we go to town tomorrow. She is sleeping now though.
The weather has been typical dry season here. The sou’ east and easterly winds generally blow from  the end of May through to October/November. The winds on the coast get up to 30 knots or more, with an average of 15 knots through those months. Come November, the winds will ease and the temperatures will rise. The humidity will remain as usual, in the high eighty and ninety percent range. It will be tropical. Then the rains will come. Monsoonal torrents will soak the Far North for the better part of six months, isolating towns and properties as The Wet revitalises the landscape.  At the moment we’re lucky to be getting the odd coastal shower to keep the coconuts, our baby tomatoes, Paw-Paws (papaya), passionfruit and chilli bushes thriving.
Yes, we are cultivating.
This may be a sign of our evolving from a nomadic lifestyle to that of a combined hunter/gatherer farmer. But probably not. What will be nice is the thought that in five years or so, someone will turn up here and there will be ‘wild’ paw paw and passionfruit growing next to the coconuts. Maybe future visitors will plant more seeds, or help by replanting seed from the fruits they eat.  We’re planning on growing some fast greens like Bok Choy or Rocket. I’ve also got to catch up with Willie Gordon and ask him about local greens and fruits that are around here. I would prefer to cultivate local native foods than exotics.
We discovered a Mango tree at the Southern end of the beach last  week too. If wasn’t for the profusion of flowers on it, we may have completely missed it. It is well back in the scrubland, about 100 metres from the high tide mark. The tree is surrounded by Wattle, some She-Oak, and other native species that grow in the old, mulch rich former dune zone. Come November it should be laden with juicy, pink/green skinned, orange centred fruits of wonderfullness. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it yet, so I’ll tell you anyway. A few weeks back, a bloke roughly our age, and his presumably youngest boy of about four, came into the camp to say hello. It transpired that this very cool gentleman once had a shack on the beach back in the late eighties to nineties, and planted the majority of the Coconuts that thrive around here. Not only was this a cool bit of local history to have learnt, but it also gave us an idea of how old the local palms are.
We’ve been boiling the billy on the pig a lot. 4:20 is usually the best time for tea and we’ve had a bit lately. 😉
Coffee too. Oh, and we have been cooking bigger and better meals on the pig with one frypan and a big pot. Cheaper than the meals in the previous post. I might relate some recipes in future posts because they are “To die for darlings!”
You might be wondering how we can grow food in sand country near the beach. Well, we found an old scrub turkey nest. Basically a 4 metre by 6 metre mound of well rotted leaf, branch, root and other organic debris. All mixed with some sand to enhance drainage and composted by a dedicated bird a few years back. We collect this from in the bush and use it straight as a potting mix. It’s bloody brilliant stuff. I’ll show you some photos later.
I wanted to tell you a few little snippets of trivia that have been flitting around my head of late. That’s why I boiled the billy in the first place.
Actually, some of it isn’t mere trivia. One factoid is actually a sobering thought for some depression sufferers.

Consider this. Recents studies have shown that sufferers of depression who treat themselves with some thing or method other than prescription anti-deppressants, have a 25% chance of relapsing after ceasing treatment. However, those studied who used chemical anti-deppressants had a 42% relapse rate after ceasing treatment.

I’ve been picking up little bits of information at night when I’m not sleeping. Late night ABC Radio from about 10pm when Tony Delroy has ‘Nightlife’, through to Trevor Chappell at 1am onwards is 3 to 6 hours of brain food.
For example. Stephen Spielberg had a lecturer at uni when he was studying  drama and art. The lecturer’s name was Alan…Anakin. No, I kid you not. Darth Vaders real name Anakin, was Stephens lecturers name.

Peter Wier(sp?) first movie was ‘The Cars That Ate Paris’. You really should check this masterpiece of early Australian  cinema and classic sci-fi. Apparently this movie is widely regarded amongst sci-fi afficionados as a hallmark movie of its genre.

Another presumably tax payer funded study has found that the worlds happiest places to live, also rate in the places with the highest rates of suicide. Eg, Hawaii at number 2 happiest place has the worlds 5th highest suicide rate.

Here’s something that maybe one of you dear readers might find interesting. This a mash up of Captain Cook trivia that I knew as well as some stuff I didn’t know that I heard today when Dr Karl was on the ABC Local Radio.
Cooks ship, the Endeavour, was an ex Coal haulier that once carried loads of the stuff around Great Britain. The bark was renowned for its sturdiness in the wild North Sea. What I learnt was that James Cook chose that particular ship because of its robust reputation. He also picked this ship because of its size. The Endeavour wasn’t so much long as it was wide and spacious. The good Captain knew that the ex coal hauler could easily accommodate food, including livestock, to keep 90 odd men alive for three years.

More on the Endeavour. The United States Space Shuttle Endeavour is named after Captain Cooks vessel. You see, the Endeavour made many journeys in what may as well have been outrr space in her day. Also, one of Cook and the Endeavours primary tasks was to plot the path of Venus for some mathematical equation that would make Gt Britain superior in navigating the oceans or somesuch. Anyway. On her final flight, the shuttle crew spoke to the crew of the Endeavour replica ship that is currently circumnavigating Australia. The echange happened as the shuttle came in over Australia and the Great Barrier Reef.
The shuttle took 8 minutes to cross the Australian continent from the far South West through to the North Eastern tip where the HMB Endeavour replica was located. The same journey will take the ship til next year some time.
Another Endeavour related piece of news. I promise it to be the last in this post. A few posts back I mentioned that the Endeavour replica did come to Cooktown. But the harbour was too shallow for her to moor at the wharf. Plus, the weather was too rough where she had to anchor for the crew to put ashore.
As an indirect result of that circumstance, the government has committed a few million to the Cook Shire (I think) so that the harbour can be deepened. Of course, this will allow the larger cruise ships to berth at the wharf as well. This will enhance tourism, but geeze it’s gunna piss the local fishermen off! Dredging fouls the water for months. It takes a good ‘Wet’ to flush the detritus stirred up by the process. Then the big ships block off the fishing spots on the wharf!

Ok then. What else has happened of note?
I saw a very large Brown snake this afternoon. Jack the Dog and I were heading to the beach and this snake crossed the track roughly ten metres in front of us. My conservative estimate put this big Brown at 1.6 metres long and 2.5 to 3 cm in diameter at its thickest. That’s about 5’6″ and 1 to 1&1/4 inches respectively in imperial scale.
We’ll need to stay aware of snakes here. That’s the third snake I’ve seen around here. So far it’s one Taipan, one Brown, and what I think was a Red Bellied Black snake.
Snake trivia time. The Red bellied Blake snake is as its name describes it. Jet Black, wirh an almost Scarlet underbelly. But it is actually a member of the Brown snake family. The three snakes I have mentioned above are in the top five deadliest snakes in Australia. Now, normally this wouldn’t concern me. Snakes generally avoids humans. We’re instinctively dangerous to them, so they stay away. But they also love rodents.
The rodents love where humans live.
Conflict of interest methinks.
We are controlling unwanted rodents though. Jack the Dog has caught and killed at least four. We’ve drowned three in traps and I’ve caught two by hand. Oh, if someone ever tells you they killed a ‘Yellow- bellied Black snake’, explain to them gently that they just killed a green tree snake. The Northern from of the common Green Tree snake has a very dark back. It’s almost Black. The underside is Yellow. The southern form has a much lighter Green back. They’re also more commonly seen on fences, low tree branches, or in your rafters. If you disturb them when they are on the ground, they tend to flatten their necks to appear bigger than they are. Green Tree snakes are usually quite slender snakes, growing to 3 metres (in our experiences). They are harmless to humans, so please don’t kill them. One last thing about venomous snakes. Don’t rely solely on colour to identify a snake. I have seen Brown snakes, the venomous type, ranging from a dark brown through to fawn. I’ve also seen a brown snake in the wild that was orange. To add to the confusion, I’ve seen photos in snake field guides showing juvenile browns with banding patterns. So I guess if you want to be sure, avoid or at least don’t purposely upset a ground dwelling snake. Chances are around here is that it is venomous. The only pythons I’ve seen are couple of Black-headed Rock Pythons, dead on the highway at the southern entrance to town.
You’d think that we’d be trekking through the local scrub with our hiking boots, thick socks, spats and denim jeans on after the above stories. But no. We still get around in shorts and thongs. We’re just more aware of our surroundings when we do.

(Friday): I’m going to set up a bucket trap for tonight to catch some rodents. Tina was sick still today, so I let her sleep and stayed home again. I have to go to town this afternoon and see the boss. We can’t phone from here because we have no reception. I also need to get the pain meds from the chemist for my Baby.
We’ve had some fairly good rain overnight too. The temps have stayed in the 20’s from my estimate. That’s the poroblem with no reception. No weather reports except for the radio. I need a rain gauge and a thermometer!

Back from town.
I couldn’t find the boss, but I did get groceries. Just the basics. SR flour, sugar, powdered milk, oats, peanut butter and some bread & butter. Bought some discounted garlic steak and turned it into a stew with onion, spud, tomato and some spices. Simmered over the pig for an hour or so until the beef softens.

Saturday
Tina is still basically bedridden. We didn’t go into town today. I started the table work and did some gardening. We did manage a short beach walk, but that made Tinas neck worse.
I’ll have to go to town tomorrow. For nothing else but to see if I still have a job.
Saturday evening. The fire is going. It’s a clear, cool evening. The sea breeze is finding its way through the scrub, giving the wind chimes an excuse to sing. The crickets have started their nightly ritual, trying to find a mate. The ocean is kissing the beach. The moon is almost directly overhead and almost half full. It is casting a nice glow across the ground and on the trees.
Tina has been asleep most of the afternoon. I hope her neck eased a bit for her. In the past three days I realised how lonely it would be here without her. She has slept on and off when she could. But only half hour or hourly. Each time she rolls, the pain wakes her up. As a result, conversation and interaction with her has been fleeting, even though we’re less than a metre apart most of the time.

Righto, that’s enough. Sometimes I can talk underwater with an apple in me mouth.
Photo time!

For your viewing pleasure:

The billy on the boil.
Jack the bodysurfing Dog.
Jack wants to go to the beach.
The baby Tomatoes.
The beginnings of our new table.
The Bamboo is seasoning well.
The back of our pig pen.
The front, with our wood drying fire.
We need firewood.
Late afternoon. Vegie patch at centre, with our ‘Guest House’ in the background. Jack and the pig on the right.

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An Open Letter To Our Government RE: Flood Levy

Now, I know that I usually try to refrain from all things political (unless it’s environmentally related), but this morning I found that I couldn’t hold my tongue. I’m really disappointed that our government wants to tax us because we have recently gone through a flood (tax or levy, it’s all the same thing). And because I’ve basically got a big mouth… I figured I’d let you guys know all about it.

Thoughts? (I can forward them on too, if you like)

Edit: My apologies to Anna Bligh for sending this original letter to the wrong Twitter account. In my defense, Anna has a number of accounts that she hasn’t used for a while. I simply took the first account to be hers. Yes… I should have looked better… my bad.

This is the letter that I posted on Twitter this morning… hence all the @’s and # tags.

@JuliaGillard @PremierBligh

A quick Q RE: #floodlevy A genuine inquiry I’d appreciate the time you take to read & would love a response if possible.

Wondering how much did State & Federal governments actually give #floodappeal. We don’t hear much about that any more. However, I must say that I was very disappointed in the original $1mil offer. At the time 200 000 people had been affected… that million would only stretch to $5 per person. At the time you were also very proud of that offer and couldn’t see why people complained. Not very fair… not very Australian.

Now I also must say how proud I am of my fellow countrymen. The rest of us collected $150mil+ for #floodappeal in a mere few weeks. These are people in our community. People who have already taken on the responsibility of taking care of their friends and neighbours. People who have shored and bouyed our state when it needed it… who have jumped in and just done what needed to be done. People who have taken it upon themselves to help you do your job of caring for our citizens, to be frank.

And to reward those people for their selfishness you are going to take more in way of a flood levy?? Honestly… how do you have the balls to even ask? After your piss-weak offer and our completely selfless donation of OUR time and money… shouldn’t you be trying to step up to the mark yourselves, rather than penalizing those who have already lost so much, and still given what they can?

Yes, I’m aware that the govt has spent lots on Army, Emergency Services, etc… but that’s your job, your responsibility to your countrymen. It’s your job to take care of our citizens, even when something terrible and unexpected happens… nay, ESPECIALLY then. But I’m also aware of all the things that were fixed/cleaned/saved by many and varied individuals who took to those jobs of their own volition. Your public thank-you’s to these people was nice… but this subsequent ‘temporary flood levy’ is an insult.

And let’s not forget that maintaining our water catchments is ultimately also the government’s responsibility. I hate to jump on the ‘his fault, her fault’ bandwagon, but you do have to admit that things could have been handled better there, and that at least some of the damage (perhaps even deaths?) could have been avoided if it had been handled differently.

And to add to that one… who allowed a whole bunch of housing to be built on floodplains because of our ‘flood-proof’ dam? We believed the govt on that one when asked to. You must consider these things.

Disregarding who IS at fault (laying blame won’t fix anything), I do know who is NOT to blame for this disaster. Everyday Aussies are NOT…

Personally, I’m disappointed… in the govt, not the Australian people (let me clarify that). I’m disappointed that you are going to give with one hand and take with the other. Not fair… not when it’s your responsibility anyway.

So, here’s my serious question that I really would appreciate an answer to… well a few questions…

How much has both State and Federal governments added to Flood Appeals? And I’m also interested in how much this flood levy will net us? Basically, are you trying to tax back your donation? And then… is there plans for any other inflated taxes. How much will you ask average Aussies to pay for? Do you plan on taking until we pay for the whole damage bill ourselves?

That’d be handy, wouldn’t it?

Video: The Fitzroy River at Rockhampton in Flood 31-12-2010

This is just a short video I took on my way home from work New Years Eve. The Fitzroy River was at about 8.5 metres and rising.

Rockhampton Floods 2011 – A Few Photos & Anecdotes Part One

I procrastinate.

It was late November last year when I had an idea we might get a Big Wet. We’d been getting a few storms over the weeks. Not too much, but intense when they came. There was also those annoying, but welcome scuds; small patches of rain that would soak one part of town, but leave the rest dry. We were getting used to camping with the expectation that we might get a little wet at times.

November 2010 – Hedlow Creek

The second last weekend in November was going to be wet. We headed out to Hedlow Creek on Friday arvo. I wrote the following as events unfolded:

20:20 Sat. 20th Nov, 2010.

We Live In Our Car.

First, this is not a bad thing. Our rent is the cost of a tank of Diesel every couple of weeks, plus maintenance. We don’t have a TV, nor any major mod-cons other than a car stereo and the laptop with obligatory ‘net connection. We have a radio scanner that we listen to to entertain ourselves at times. We have a small inverter to rechgarge the phones and computer etc. We have a 12 volt flouro that lights the car interior. Our battery is a Champion brand 720 Amp marine battery. It has specially designed plates to resist the wave slap in boats. This translates to a better capability to handle regular discharging without collapsing. So far we have had no dramas. But then, it has a 2 year warranty and we’ve only had it a week.

Sleeping is comfortable. We fold down the back seat of the 4WD wagon and stick a double size air-bed in there. Our $8 low pressure/high volume pump inflates the bed in a minute or two.

We have a heavy duty tarp/awning that hangs off the drivers side, giving a 4 by 5 metre covered area to keep our boxes and esky and stuff under. When we’re driving, this stuff is packed in the back. Our home is the car, so we use it to get to work as well. As a result, we can pack the car in about 30 minutes. We have a full toolbox, a half dozen storage crates, plus the soft things (blankets etc). This all fits in the back with the seats up. The dogs sit on a canvas tarp on the back seat and we’re set.

On the weekends, we fit us, the dogs and the two juniors in the car and go camping, usually at our favourite swimming creek.

It Is Raining … A Lot

Now, this could be a bad thing.
We got here Friday night (a little over 24 hours ago). We set up the tarp and the rain started. We’ve had rain most of the week, but it looked like clearing…BBZZZZZZZZTTT!!! Wrong…

I’m guessing we’ve had about 2 inches in the old scale. About 50mm since 8pm last night. It has been continuous, steady drizzle with the odd heavy downpour. The catchment for this creek is moderately large, meaning it is catching a bit of water upstream. Fortunately we have about 3 metres of safe ground before we have to worry about the camp getting inundated.

The other problem we are going to have is when we try to get out of this spot.
We’re camped midway down a gentle slope, on a level spot. The track has recently been graded. It is Black soil. Do you know what Black soil does when it is wet? It sticks to things. Tyres especially.
We spent Thursday night out here and it rained enough to get a little sticky. Our home has a unservicable front differential. This means no Four Wheel Drive. With just a few mm of rain on the track, it was like trying to drive with no steering. Cornering at 3km/h trying to get the front end to drift in the direction you wanted it to go. Fun stuff, but it chews the track up.

Which leads me to answer the question you may be asking. “Why don’t you piss of now, before it gets any wetter”?

Well, it’s already too wet. Driving out will be a case of driving up off the track onto the grass (it’s cattle country). The track was a vague option, up until the four 4wd’s and the two motorbikes repeatedly drove up and down one section of the track, converting it into a slush pit with no chance of getting any traction.

The usual band of destructive 4 wheel driving nutters have decided that the access track is fun to play on. Because of their stupidity, we can’t even attempt the smallish hill in front of the car. We’ll go cross country instead, using the grass to stop the Black soil sticking to the tyres.

Maybe the rain will ease a little tomorrow. Or not. I’ll follow up then…

We Had ‘A Moment

It’s Still Bloody Raining (06:42am Sunday 21/11/2010)

It rained continuously last night. Sometimes it got heavy.
I was woken by my better half at 3am…”You better look at that creek…”
It had risen over a metre between 9:30pm and 3am.
“Wake up daughter, time to pack.”

We got things jammed in the back in about ten minutes or so. The awning and tarps, dog blankets etc were left out. I got ‘Jimmy’ (the 4WD) going and made an attempt to move. As soon as the rear wheels turned it slid sideways. The front left wheel dropped into a small depression next to a very large tree. I tried to back it out. Tried to rock it out. We weren’t going anywhere…

The Unservicable Diff Works – Mmmm, Freaky

(If you read my post from last night, you’ll know about the front diff and how the Crown wheel bearings are supposed to be stuffed. I tested the diff last year and it was making some horrible grinding noises…was to be replaced before January 2011).

…I decided in desperation to engage the front hubs and try 4WD. The worst that could happen is the diff would make nasty grinding noises and do nothing.
It worked. I mean, it worked without all the horrible grinding noises. However, the ground was sodden. It was as slippery as ice. The only way to get traction was to do as we’d thought earlier and try and go cross country. The grass would give us better traction.
I rocked the car back and forth gently, climbed out of the hole, missed the big tree and moved up to high, grassy ground.

We dragged the tarps and other stuff up to the 4WD and left them there, then threw the dogs in the back and headed through the scrub. My Best half walked ahead, checking for low spots, stump holes and logs. Poor baby was soaked. Even the storm jacket copped it.
We got out to the formed track eventually and made our way to the crossing.

Hedlow Creek Crossing In Flood 2010

Hedlow Creek Crossing In Flood Nov. 2010

0700am Still Rising

We got to the crossing about 4am. It wasn’t quite light, but it looked at the marker to be about 20cm under the 2 metre mark. We’re going nowhere. It’s now 7am and the marker has about 5 cm exposed. It has risen roughly 35cm in 3 hours. The rise is a lot slower than it was. I’d say the lake at the end is taking up a lot.

We don’t have any option but to wait this out. We could go back the other way, but it runs over as well, and it is probably under a metre of water by now. Plus, it’s 15km to there across some low country that may be under.

We’re OK though. We’ve got plenty of food and water. Plenty of power, and we’re dry. We can move if we need to find higher ground.

I have a theory about this diff. A while back, when I was servicing the front bearings, I noticed that the splines on the outer end of the axle had been burred. At some point, someone had stuffed up when working on it. I cleaned up the burrs and refitted it. I haven’t tried the diff since then. It’s possible that was the real issue (I hope). I’ll keep you posted on how we fare.

****

Well, we ended up stranded between Lake Mary and Hedlow Creek until Tuesday. It wasn’t all bad though. No-one else was around, or could get to where we were.

Flooded Hedlow Ck With Sightseers

Flooded Hedlow Ck With Sightseers Nov. 2010

Camped On The High Spot

Camped On The High Spot

2011 Australian Flood Appeal

So I’m sitting here… safe and dry in our 4WD. We’re parked under our daughter’s carport and have been here for more than a month now. We turned up here to hide when the rains started… mainly to stay dry for a while. And then the flood came…

We haven’t had a whole lot of trauma associated with the flood in our part of the world, thank whatever powers that be. Not really… not when you take into account the horror and tragedy that have impacted on the rest of our state. And now, so much more of our country seems to be disappearing beneath the torrent of flood.

I feel kind of useless here. Sure, we knew a couple of families who needed a little help with the clean-up around their yards, but the SES guys did such a great job cleaning up that we weren’t needed. We’ve sneakily fostered our son’s dog for the duration, but we can’t foster animals for the long term because we have no yard to house them in. We’ve been there to listen and support our friends, offered advice etc… the little that we could do. Most around here take a flood in their stride, so there’s not really much supporting or advising to do. We’re not wealthy people, so a large monetary donation is out of the question. I can’t help with heavy clean-up work because I have a bad back.  We have no special skills… no useful equipment… no extra goods to donate. All we could really do while we were sitting here dry and safe under the carport is upload photos and keep track of everything happening via updates on the net, … but I still feel like I haven’t done enough.

It’s kind of frustrating.

And so I started thinking hard on this one. I thought about all the people in all the communities affected by this flood. It started playing on my mind… all the news reports… the number of times that I have had to phone, text or email someone to make sure they’re ok… the bad news… the humour… the pride. Finally I decided that it was going to do my head in if I didn’t at least TRY to do something else. And so…

I gathered together all those multi-facets of my personality to try and nut this problem out. After the initial general murmuring and jostling, we sat down around a beer, a bong and a packet of Samboy Tomato Sauce chips… and we had a little meeting…

‘What can I do to help out?’ I asked myselves as we all found comfy chairs.

‘Well,’ my outrageous arty side replied. ‘I can paint… I could make an art piece and offer it up for auction. It’ll be brown and violent and full of Aussie tenaciousness…”

‘You’re pretty full of yourself, aren’t you?’ that bitchy side spat venomously. Outrageous arty side glared at that bitchy side, who had that frustrating smile on her face. She just loves making trouble… and she loves picking outrageous arty side any chance she can… sometimes she reacts in completely unpredictable ways and that bitchy side loves anarchy.

We all know that she stirs shit for fun… but we’re also thankful that she’s there for us when we need her,  so we put up with it, lovingly even. None of us chastise her… not really.

‘Come on now, don’t start fighting already,’ mother said… but gently. ‘We’re here to try and solve some problems, not make more.’ Mother is the only one of us who really has any control over bitchy. She sulks with a flourish, but to her credit, she sits down dutifully. Then another small voice speaks up.

‘She has a point though,’ whispered the scared little girl. ‘We’ve never tried to sell our art before. What makes you think that this could work?’

‘What makes you think that it won’t?’ asked pride, a little too harshly.

‘Arty side is pretty good, you know,’ agrees confident independant woman. ‘You guys never give her enough credit.’

There were a few quiet murmurs from hope, compassion and will, until now sitting quietly in the corner, munching on chips.

‘So what would we do with it?’ asked practical is best. ‘We’re not famous and we don’t have any real contacts with the art world. Where would we offer it for auction?’

‘The Green Bus!’ happy tree-hugging hippy chic in the tie-dyed headband shouted… then looked nervously around to see if she’d reacted a little too strongly… then giggled.

Hope, compassion and will shifted their chairs a little closer to the conversation. We all saw this as a good sign. Perhaps… if those guys were gaining some interest…

‘The Green Bus…’ mother mused. ‘That’s not a bad idea.’

‘And Twitter… and RedBubble… don’t forget them.’ Geeky emo chic suddenly became interested in the conversation and jumped in with heaps of techie ideas. But to be honest, she gets so intense and geeky sometimes that most of us just lose track of where she’s going and turn off. To save geeky emo chic from doing her pills because no-one was listening to her, we gave her some new glitter pens and an A4 size notebook and sent her off with the pedantic whining one (’cause she would have just been a pain in the arse anyway) to make a long and detailed list of it all… all the while assuring both of them that they were doing a great job.

Suddenly brutal honesty spoke up with the thought that we’d all put off speaking. We all sighed…

‘How much can we raise… really?’ she asked. ‘What if our effort comes to nought?’

‘It won’t,’ the dreamer injected. ‘None of it will be for nought. We may raise $20… we may raise $200… but not one cent of it will be for nought. Every little bit helps, even if it’s to buoy the spirits. Sometimes the outcome of an experience is more rewarding than mere dollars and cents, you know. Has anyone ever thought of that?’ A short silence ensued as we mentally slapped ourselves in the head for being so worried about our artistic ‘value’… probably broken by the munching of chips, or something similar…

‘I don’t want to be responsible for handling any money,’ stressed out slapper whinged.

‘I hope we can’t get in trouble for this,’ worrier worried. ‘What about the legal stuff?’

Suddenly a gale blew through the meeting, sending papers flying willy nilly… several of us gasped.

‘Legal stuff? What legal stuff could there be?’ the great aussie battler bawled, her voice a mixture of the recent thunder and the sound a wayward cow makes as it floats past your front verandah. ‘What’re they gonna sue us for tryin’ to help our mates out in a rough patch?’

‘Yeah, fuck’m if they don’t like it,’ the bitchy one called from the corner. It kind of surprised us that she agreed with someone… for a minute or two we all just kinda stared at each other.

‘So, we’re really gonna do this, huh?’ the wild pioneer asked, her smile radiating sunshine and beautiful birdsong into the air around her head. ‘I’m proud of you guys.’

Suddenly scared little girl started to whimper.

‘But I”m scared,’ she cried softly. Mother came and scooped her up gently in her arms.

‘We all are,’ she whispered, ‘but we’re all here for each other. That’s why we have to try.’ Little girl smiled and mother hugged her close and tucked her into bed with her teddy.

The meeting continued and all details were discussed rather peacefully after that… surprisingly. It’s been generally agreed that while we may not know everything (Note: bitchy side and pride both wish it duly noted that they are NOT in agreement with the rest of those soft-headed pussies), we would very much like to give this a real go.

Details were passed to verbally eloquent and somewhat humorous to try to pass on to the rest of human civilisation…

Yeah, I know… I’m probably crazy. But I am an artist… we don’t call artists crazy. We call them eccentric.

So here’s the piece, some close detail and information on how you can be a part of this auction. Please get involved if you can… if you can’t, then perhaps you might know of someone else who might be interested. Let’s see how much we can make for our Aussie Flood Appeal.

This piece remains unnamed (at present). As a part of this prize, the winning bidder will be given the opportunity to name the piece and a dedication will be inscribed on the back, along with date and artist details.

2011 Australian Flood Appeal PhoenixArt

I envisioned doing a painting that would convey our land, from our distinctive red lands to our productive black dirt. As I plastered water paints onto my canvas, I pictured the land engulfed by the thick brown flood water that so many of us have become accustomed to in recent weeks. I added water, diluting the paint… and as I watched the resulting drips I saw gouges and furrows dug from the land as raging waters tried to escape. I saw rivers and creeks, flowing and overflowing into areas where water normally doesn’t go.

2011 Australian Flood Appeal PhoenixArt Top Left Detail

As I flicked water and paint with my fingers, I saw rain and wind and rising water, bringing with it deluges that overtake all manner of material ‘things’ and carry them as flotsam on the inland tide. More flicking, and several shades of mud splotches appeared, sticky and brown, grey and smelly. To finish this piece, I ‘drowned’ the whole thing in a dirty brown concoction of paint, water… and some small leaves and dirt. This was an homage, of sorts… to the many other artworks of mine to have been destroyed by rain or flood. And then I saw the retreat of the water, and the result of ‘inundation’… the ‘stuff’ left behind, the property drowned and ruined. Carefully, I lifted the piece out of the water, and was pleased to see small pieces of dirt and leaves left behind to mimic the detritus left behind for so many of us to clean up.

2011 Australian Flood Appeal PhoenixArt Bottom Right Detail

This multi-media piece has been created with water paints on a D/1616 Mont Marte 46x46cm (18″x18″) mounted canvas. In creating it I have also used small leaves, twigs and flowers which have been sealed to the canvas with artists’ sealant.

We here, on The Green Bus will be privately auctioning this piece to raise funds for the 2011 Flood Relief Effort in Australia. However, we don’t want any money to change hands during this transaction… well, not through our hands anyway. What we ask is that the winning bidder donate an amount equivalent to their winning bid to any Flood Assistance charity of their choosing. Whether that be here in QLD or another part of Aus, we don’t care. Whether you’d prefer to donate to The Premier’s Fund, help to fund an animal shelter, or even if you’d like to donate to a more specified smaller appeal that’s been organisation closer to your own home community… that’s completely up to you. All we ask is that the proceeds go to helping our mates out.

Make your bids here, in the form of a comment on this post. Remember, I can see your email address, so please don’t bid if you don’t mean it. We’ll keep bidding open for… oh, let’s tentatively say a couple of weeks? Let’s say the 1st of February (QLD time… AEST… +10GMT) We’ll keep track of them and announce any new bids on Twitter as they come along. At the end of the auction we’ll ask the winning bidder to make their donation and provide us with proof of payment in the form of an official receipt or email from their chosen Flood Relief Fund. When we receive that confirmation, the piece will be shipped out ASAP.

So there you go… that’s my convoluted contribution. I guess now it’s just up to you guys…. if you like.

‘Gerrat it mates…’

‘Yeah come on… have a go.’

‘… if you don’t mind, that is…’

‘God, you’re such a suck-up.’

‘Man that was hard… I’m tired now.’

‘I’m hungry…’ …

2011 Rocky Floods Part 3 – A Few Comparisons

Here’s a few shots that may (or may not) show some comparisons as the water rose in Rockhampton.

This is a shot over the Yeppen Floodplains when the river level was at 8.5m. At this height the airport, train services and highways to the South and West are closed.

 

Rocky Floods 2011 Looking Across Yeppen Floodplains At 8.5m

 

 

Here’s the same area several days later with the river peaking at 9.2m.

 

Rocky Floods 2011 Looking Across Yeppen Floodplains Storm Over Gracemere In The Distance

 

 

Here’s the difference out at the airport. At 8.5m…

 

Rocky Floods 2011 Looking Over Rockhampton Airport At 8.5m

 

 

… and at 9.2m, there’s not much left that’s dry.

 

Rocky Floods 2011 Airport Staff Driving Along Runway At Peak

 

 

And… something a little more personal. This is our son Alex outside his house at 8.5m. The little silver tag on the powerpole in the background is the 1991 flood level (9.3m) marker.

 

Rocky Floods 2011 Our Son's House At 8.5m

 

 

And this is what his street looks like at the peak of 9.2m. It’s up there somewhere…

 

Rocky Floods 2011 Our Son's Street At 9.2m

 

 

Stay tuned…

 

 

2011 Floods in Rockhampton Part 2 – Around Town

Some more flood shots for you, just in case you’re not too sick of them. We’ve been walking around town a bit, and this is just some of the stuff I’ve seen… more as I get the time to upload.

To any interested media or Emergency Services staff… please feel free to reproduce and/or distribute these images. Please attribute pics to PhoenixPhotos and let us know where they’ll be used so that we can provide a link here…

I took a bus ride into the city last Wednesday. The river was at its peak of 9.2m.

Rocky Floods 05-01-2011 Flood Meter At The Peak of 9.2m

Photo by PhoenixPhotos

Rocky Floods 05-01-2011 Council Workers And Sightseers Quay St

Rocky Floods 05-01-2011 Emergency Services Checkpoint Quay St

Rocky Floods 05-01-2011 Yacht Moored Alongside Trees In Park On Quay St

Rocky Floods 05-01-2011 Quay St Boardwalk At Peak 9.2m

Rocky Floods 05-01-2011 East St From William St Towards Flood

Rocky Floods 05-01-2011 Derby St From Roundabout On Bolsover St Towards River

Rocky Floods 05-01-2011 Derby St From Roundabout At Allenstown

Rocky Floods 05-01-2011 A Reassuring Police Prescence

Rocky Floods 05-01-2011 Bus Services Slightly Disrupted

On Saturday, we took a walk along The Range out to the Emergency Services Checkpoint at the entrance to the city. We stopped at the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens along the way too.

Rocky Floods 08-01-2011 Entrance To Rockhampton. Yeppen Bridge In Background

Rocky Floods 08-01-2011 Emergency Services Checkpoint At Entrance To R'ton, Cnr Upper Dawson Rd And Bruce Highway

Rocky Floods 08-01-2011 Fire And Rescue Services On The Job

Rocky Floods 08-01-2011 Looking Over Murray Lagoon At Botanic Gardens

Rocky Floods 08-01-2011 The Sign Says It...

But there are some plusses to this flooding… for the right species at least. These little guppies are breeding like crazy.

Rocky Floods 08-01-2011 Fresh Water Meets The Flood Botanic Gardens

… the birds are taking full advantage of the situation too.

Rocky Floods 08-01-2011 The Birds Are Loving It. Baby Egret Botanic Gardens

… And the Aussie spirit just can’t be dampened. There are important matters to attend to. Life goes on…

Rocky Floods 08-01-2011 Life Goes On... Rockhampton Golf Course

Cyclone Season

I’ve been really lazy concerning this blog lately… and I”m still feeling a bit the same way. So I’ve decided that I’m going to cheat and add another of my art pieces to bore you. This one is titled ‘Cyclone Season’… I thought it apt considering the weather of late…

This piece is inspired by the large raindrops that signal the start of the cyclone season around these parts. You will also see elements of our dry land, raging seasonal rivers and cyclonic wind forces… in an abstract tribal kind of way, of course.

Abstract painting. Water colours on 24×30 canvas board.

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