The Rainforest Journal: Outing #14 – Day 7

(Friday 21-November-2014)


Todays entry will be a short one but I figure while the sweat isn’t stinging my eyes and before the Rats start running under and chewing my tent floor like some fucking Alfred Hitchcock movie, I should post something; how else will I remember how god-damn hot, bug-riddled and miserable the place is after several consecutive 30°C days.

Today, I spent the first few hours deeply divided between laying in the tent sweating buckets and standing outside in the hot, contact-lens-drying wind surrounded by flies.

Finally I reached a compromise – of sorts, and decided that declaring all-out-war on house-flies was the only option that delivered me any kind of gratification at all: if I couldn’t stand outside my tent without being harassed constantly – which I most certainly could not – then I would spend the day inside the tent, doors slightly open for ventilation, and woe be upon any fly silly enough to enter my little bubble of nylon.

Routinely I got out, walked over to the water-bladder-come-bathroom and rinsed my face, hands and shoulders by which time a small army of flies had already sniffed me out and started huzzing around my eyes, nose, ears,  walking on my back, arms and anywhere else they could find moisture; which is to say, everywhere.

“FUCK! OFF!”, I yell at them. They don’t care, they’re insects they don’t listen.  Eventually, having slapped myself many more times than the flies I walk quickly to my tent and get in; SEETHING.

For the rest of the day, I laid flat on my back reading with the tent door open just a slit to allow air in. Of course, air was not the only thing to enter the tent. One by one, flies buzzed in through the opening. One by one they sought me out and every ten minutes or so I’d sit up, close the zips and hunt them down. One by one.

As I cornered and stunned each fly, I picked it up by one wing, singe the other wing off with the lightest wave of my lighter, then drop it outside; right next to a chicken bone that a community of little black ants are in a feeding frenzy over.

The effect is almost immediate; the fly spins in distress which attracts the attention of the ants. One ant latches on, the fly kicks and jumps. That attracts the next ant – who also locks his little jaws onto the fly.

With each new bite, the fly jumps around like it’s on fire until enough ants have latched onto different parts of the fly to stop it moving, at which point it is eaten alive.

The fly vivisection area.

The fly vivisection area.

I must’ve caught and placed about 20 house-flies to be eaten by the Ants today, as well as one blow-fly and a march-fly. Always alive; I was always careful not to kill the flies – merely stun them – so they’d be fully aware and feel every bite, once they’d been handed to the Ants.

The Ants even ripped the maggots in half – as they were ripping the blow-fly apart. Such efficient creatures.

A butterfly.

A butterfly.

Other than that, I saw a butterfly, a Currawong dropped by and one of the Possum are outside right this moment eating pasta. It’s the baby: I just checked and handed him a bit of buiscut, which he carefully accepted without being so snatchy this time.



I’ve had a headache since I woke up, still got it now, have no aspirin or similar to take for it and my contacts feel like sandpaper in my eyes – though not having any solution on me, and needing to be able to see going up on Monday – I could just take them out and flick them into the bush.

I could just be dehydrated, but with water warm enough to taste like it came out the trunk of someone’s car, well.. It’s warm enough to make coffee without a stove.

There’s my day! Tomorrow will be even hotter, and Sunday is meant to be 36°C.

I wonder how many flies I can feed to the ants between now, and then.

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