Day 4 – Thursday, 31-Jul-2014

I awoke with a headache half an hour ago, so I’ve had a few Ibuprofen and am now shovelling coffee in me. The wind woke me several times during the night – just so loud.

Honestly, if I spent a quarter the time I waste talking to myself writing fiction I’d have dozens of novels done already.

In my defense though, I do spend a great deal of time talking to various animals out here as well whether they be a meter-long wombat, kangaroo or wallaby, spider, cockatoo or ant: I talk to them all if they end-up in my periphery.

Not much has happened that’s really worth noting thus far today. I walked to get my daily water, had brunch, then walked around looking for an open patch of Sunshine to charge this phone with the solar panels I have with me.
It’s currently 1:48pm and I’m back at camp ready for my favourite time of day – dinner. It’s a bit early yet, but I usually cook it up at around 3:00pm to save me dicking-around with a head-torch after dark.

I might carve some wood while I’ve nothing else to do. As an ex-cabinet-maker and occasional creative carver, this place is heaven for the number of exotic timbers that ‘re just sitting around waiting to be sculpted into something. So far I’ve collected Red Bloodwood, Bluegum, Hairpin Banksia, Ghostgum and Turpentine timbers and there are plenty more around here to choose from.

Ahh the Blue Mountains Panther. I was reminded of this by a local who lives in Oberon, who told me the location of a cave down around Ruined Castle.
Apparently, the cave was created by a guy who lived out there and carried a “fuckin big knife” but one day he just vanished without a trace.

Anyway the Panther.
Story goes, that way back in the 1800’s – Victorian Era times, the privileged wealthy few often took a shine to collecting exotic animals, had their own private mini-zoos. Anyhow, people are different: some would’ve collected rare, exotic birds, snakes, that kind of thing, while others chose more mm dangerous animals, like wild cats.

One particular collector had himself a little group of wild black Panthers, and though he tried to make arrangements for the care of his large assortment of animals before he died, he failed to seal a deal. Distraught at the thought of his beloved big cats being left in their cages to starve to death he opted to release them into the national park instead.

Now, nearly two-hundred years later, descendents of those handful of Panthers have multiplied and are out here now prowling around unseen, stalking new victims in the woods.

The thing about this story that makes me grin, is that there’s simply no way to prove that something doesn’t exist – whatever it might be.
A good analogy is the Atheist vs Religion debate. Neither side can possibly prove either the existence or non-existence of a God, yet each goes on arguing about it. “The Panther” is much the same with sceptics scoffing, and believers “knowing” there truly are Panthers out here, in the bush. 🙂

As for the guy in the cave with the huge knife who vanished, we’ll stick that in the same pile as the “Black Lady” and other Blue Mountains ghost stories. 🙂

6:27pm and everything is done bar maybe one last coffee before bed. Tea actually, I’ll have that instead while I wait for the panther to come get me, ho!

Well, just when the day looked set to wind-up, I hear rustling leaves nearby, followed by “tink.. tinktink” at my aluminium pots. I hit my torch and catch his tail-end as he runs into the scrub. I turn my light off and lay back down again. A few seconds later, “tinktink..tink”.

This hide and seek game went on a while before I managed – being very patient and twice as stealthy – to snap some photos.

Turns out, the “Mouse” I’ve had hanging around my camp most nights is no Mouse at all, but an Antechinus, of the Brown variety based on wikipedia and Google image comparisons.
Carnivorous Marsupials with teeth like a cat or dog that only superficially resemble mice.
These cute little marsupials – who’re no relation to rodents – hunt crickets, spiders and cockroaches and other bugs, and when breeding season rolls around the males are so over-sexed their immune systems break down, and they all die at about the same ti

Leave a comment