The Rainforest Journal: Outing #17 – Days 8 & 9

(Sunday 4-January-2015)


Bout 3:00pm, before the storm started.

Bout 3:00pm, before the storm started.

Another two days of stinking heat and it’s finally starting to rain. The forecast was for afternoon showers and although a storm began building at midday, all it did all afternoon was stop the wind from cooling the place down and add to the humidity.

Fucked even more-so by the fact there was a nice strong, cool wind cooling the area prior to the storms approach. Maybe it’ll at least wet the place down enough to make for a cooler evening because the past few nights I’ve been sweating like a rat in an Indonesian restaurant.

Junior popped by again today but this time came up and tongue-flicked around the tent for quite a while before circling around – back over the other side – and re-approaching to sniff around again and, again, I had nothing at all I could give him to eat so after snapping a few photos, apologized as he walked off.

Poor dood; I even photo'd him sitting where the water used to be and still didn't have the light-bulb moment.

Poor dood; I even photo’d him sitting where the water used to be and still didn’t have the light-bulb moment.

Afterwards, I realized that he might have been happy enough just to score a drink of water; he did in fact spend some time around the tarp on the ground outside – which almost always contained at least a little water back at the end of winter – and so he may have been wanting a drink. I could’ve spared him some H2O too but I didn’t even consider it till after he’d left. It’s raining now anyhow, so he’ll be sweet.

Junior!  My lizard homey!

Junior! My lizard homey!

Last night saw the usual Possum craziness, with a cacophony of grunting and hissing all around. Interestingly, the past few nights Guido had been emerging from his burrow before it’s actually dark. In all the time I’ve been here, no Possums have ever been witnessed out-and-about *before* it’s gone completely dark.

No doubt – being the crafty Mattapan he is – Guido knows that coming out just a little earlier than the others will ensure he gets first pick of the menu items for the night. Sadly for him though, it’s the end of the week and I’m all out of fancy treats and there is no fresh anything left.

He doesn’t come out during daylight of course, but just before dusk comes to an end, when it’s *nearly* too dark to see without a torch.

The storm arrives.

The storm arrives.

Holy fuck that thunder cracked right over my head. Scared the shit out of me. One them super loud, sharp arsehole thunder-claps it was. WOO! It’s also interesting to note, that everytime there’s a storm or even afternoon rain, the Lyrebirds start singing just down from here. Close enough to sound just outside the tent, but never close enough to photograph. Maybe they’re celebrating the storm for the cool it brings. It’s certainly pissing down.

Here’s the recording, live as it happened, all that:


Is still pissing cats and dogs, but the lightening and shit seems to have passed. I wonder how clouds – nothing more than soft-as-air, fluffy water vapor – can make such huge, sharp, cracking noises. Whatever. I’ve just wrangled with a very strange looking spider; persuaded him out of the tent, so I could zip the door closed. The number of spiders in my tent right now is, well I don’t know but I’m seeing more and more as the weather has warmed-up over the last few weeks. Some have yellow legs with chocolate-brown bodies, some are a motley grey and make little webs in the corners, some look like ants with their small size and shiny black bodies. Long as they’re not big enough to be funnel-webs I don’t give a toss; they can run around inside and get all in my shit as much as they like.

I draw the line at anything bigger than a large pea though, or any spider than rears back at me when I disturb it.

Tonights Possum dinner has been pretty much ruined by the rain; reduced from the gloriously stodgy, thick potato and pasta it was into a diarrhea-like slop. I haven’t heard any Possum activity so far tonight though and they don’t seem to come out doing storms so there goes another twenty minutes slaving over a stove in the afternoon heat for nothing. Well, the Rats and birds will pick through the leftovers, and my favorite ants – with the gold butts – seem to love mashed potato so it’ll be eaten either way, eventually.

At the beginning of this outing, I remember mentioning one of the Possums climbing a nearby sapling then doing this sky-dive, bungy-style leap – BOOF – onto the roof of the tent. Well last night, once they’d eaten the one kilogram of mashed potato, peas and tomato paste between them then lost their shit at one another by bitch-fighting over nothing; since there was nothing left, one of the males climbed onto the roof of the tent and just started bouncing around up there like a god-damned monkey. “MOAR TAYTOES!”, seemed to be what he wanted but he’d already eaten them all.

The last time all I had to do was poke the fabric and he got down, but not this time no no; this time, I poked the fabric and did my best scalding “naughty-dog” voice. Would the little fucker get down from up there? Nope. I even grabbed the little hook in the middle of the roof and shook the entire tent which would’ve been enough to scare the Rats down, but the Possum stayed fixed, glued to the roof.

Finally I did the most sensible thing and simply ignored him: ignored the paws, the thumping and the prancing about until he grew sick of being a pain in the arse and climbed down of his own accord.


The thunder and lightning are back and although it’s milder now, being right at the foot of three gum trees does make me wonder (a) what the safe distance is meant to be from said trees, (b) whether all the batteries and other charged electronic devices would attract lightening and (c) whether the polyester fabrics of the tent would provide any protection at all or optionally (d) just melt to my skin along with my pants.

Really, being in the bush surrounded by twenty meter trees probably isn’t the safest option during a thunderstorm but there’s no point in stressing about it, since there’s nowhere else out here that’s not surrounded by twenty meter trees. Not only that, but if the Lyrebirds can just stand around singing smack in the middle of the guts of the storm like numbshits and still live long enough to reproduce every year, there’s probably not that much to worry about. Incidentally, they sang their way right through the entire storm. Didn’t stop at all until dark.

Silly birds.

Anyway I think I’ll go to Tasmania when I’m done here. Lots of rainforest down there, and average mean temperatures that’re cooler too as well as Tasmanian Devils. Maybe I’ll spot a Tasmanian Tiger or some shit.

“MOAR ‘TATOES!!”. Ahhh that Guido, he’s quite a Possum.

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