The Rainforest Journal: Outing #19 – Day 6 & 7

(Wednesday 28-January-2015)

Day 6

It irks me a little that I’ve a gap between Day 2 and this post, but what can you do? I have some photos from these days but owing to the bad weather they were pretty uneventful as concerns animals Anyway.


The fog is always good, but the rain gets a bit much after three days straight.

The fog is always good, but the rain gets a bit much after three days straight.

The rain has not stopped falling since Monday, and since there’s not much for it – when you’re rained inside a tent – but to read, I haven’t bothered with posting daily updates. Mind you, I’ve loved the rain in summer when it comes, and don’t even mind it now; gives me a chance to read uninterrupted all day since there aren’t any diurnal animals around in this whether, other than the Lyrebirds but they seem to strictly eat live grubs they rake out of the leaf litter, and show zero interest in any food I’ve ever had laying around the camp.

It ceased it’s downpour briefly, over the past hour or so, but – if the Lyrebirds going spastic with song isn’t evidence enough that more wetness is forthcoming – right outside there’s a huge mass of grey cloud quickly moving closer by the minute, clearly visible.

What looks like blue sky at the horizon is thick rain cloud. Just a phone photo though.

What looks like blue sky at the horizon is thick rain cloud. Just a phone photo though.

Of course, the rain doesn’t quite keep the Brushtails away of a night-time, but it stops them hanging around for hours. When it’s raining at night they come down to see what food is proffered them, eat it, then fuck off again.

Every night, mind, I’ve had either Guido or little Daisy in the tent but only for a brief period. They seem more restless – less relaxed – during rain and so they just don’t hang around as much or for as long. The only theory I can offer is they (a) don’t like getting any wetter than they have to and/or (b) cannot hear predators or other rival Possums approach, because the ground is so drenched; indeed, I don’t hear any Possum approaching the tent when the ground is wet, and only know they’re here when they start climbing the tent, grunting at one another or through the smacky noises they make chewing their food.

They’re very noisy eaters.

So with reduced animal activity, and stuck in the tent the only interesting happenings are within the pages of the books or short stories I’ve been reading, and since this is not a lame, wanky Book Club I won’t be discussing shit like that.

For the record though, I’m currently reading Bram Stokers Dracula. I’ve read it before – a year or so ago – but it’s a good book. I’ve got a few other books lined-up too though, since I’m almost half-way through Dracula and only downloaded it last night.

The rain had just stopped again! Alas we may not be beset by the perils of wet, muddy Possums dripping everywhere to-night!

I will update this stub of a post, if and whence thy Marsupials are numerous this evening.


The rain has pretty much stopped tonight, and although the Possums came, Bobby took control of the pasta first and – since being cornered in the tent by Guido the other night – doesn’t seem at all interested in coming inside, although Bobby was always a bit more jumpier than Guido and not half as willing to cross the threshold as the latter. Although I’ve noticed Bobby is nearly twice Guidos size now, he just doesn’t seem to be as .. What’s the word .. robust, in personality.

Guido with pasta; circa 10:00pm

Guido with pasta; circa 10:00pm

I did get a snap or two of Guido last night around ten, but then he took off and for the rest of the night all I heard was Possums snarling, clicking, grunting and screeching. It’s getting to be quite ludicrous really: most nights I pen the tent door and look out on half a dozen Possums all sneaking around – picking through the bits of pasta I flick around the area – and yet I’ve only got one pot-full of pasta to give them.

This stimulates – though I’m not sure ‘stimulates’ is really the best word here – fighting over what little their is, and lately, no doubt in response to the heavy competition, I’ve begun to have Possums scatter their visits throughout the night. Guido himself has – several times now – returned just as the first light of dawn is breaking to the east; pawing, bashing and climbing the tent until I open it and find something for the little fucker – just to shut him up and stop the intrusion on my sleep.

Indeed, today – with the aid of the clan pair of underwear I still have over my face – I slept until 1:30pm simply because my sleep was continually punctuated by nocturnal animals all night. But that’s not all The Possums fault – no noooo. The Rats. Those fucking dirty rats are losing their aire of cute muy rapido.

The show-stopper, the main event, the man himself: Guido.

The show-stopper, the main event, the man himself: Guido.

Later – just before sunrise as the sky started growing blue with the dawn – Guido, as aforementioned, came for a little ‘just before bed’ visit. He walked in the tent and started sniffing around at the remaining bags of food before I unwrapped a yogurt fruit bar for him and wiggled it around with the usual, accompanying “t-t-t”.

Straight away he hopped into my lap and began munching happily at the fruit bar, while I cupped both hands around his back and patted him, rubbed his ears, etc,. I must say he pigged them down like he hasn’t eaten in a week, and although I saw him earlier in the night eating pasta – hence the two above photos of him – I wondered whether he’d not got much; whether Bobby and the others had beaten him to the bulk of the food. Of course, he still has all the trees to eat and cannot really be hungry – simply greedy – but he most likely has worms too which can be the only logical explanation for his voracious appetite.

I didn’t bother taking photos of this visit because I was half asleep and it was just on dawn – so approximately 5:00am – and frankly, I just wanted him to eat his shit and fuck off so I could try getting back to sleep.



(Thursday 29-January-2015)

Day 7

Although I still have around 4ltrs of water I managed to collect from the tent over the past few days of rain, every time I make a coffee I’m noticing .. things floating in it. First it was bits of dirt and fine particles of bark, now I look closer I see the bits of bark have legs.

Of course, it all looks good until I warm the coffee on the stove, at which point all the bits of dead bug and sticks and whatever else float to the surface and swirls around, yeah. I’ve drunk worse. I drunk water with live mosquito wrigglers in it when I was in my 20s, least these bugs are dead.


I tried being friendly, in fact I think I’ve managed to remain pretty damn zen-like towards these little fuckers. Well, not anymore.

Don't let the cute little ratty ears fool you: they're evil little sleep-destroying motherfuckers.

Don’t let the cute little ratty ears fool you: they’re evil little sleep-destroying motherfuckers.

At first, I’d return from town to find – every few outings – holes chewed in the floor of the tent; no biggie, bit of silicon and a strip of fabric and they’re patched within the hour. Good.

Then, the hole’s start appearing more ..regular; everytime I return from town there’s one or more to patch-up. Still, I patch them up and forget about it.

Then, they start chewing at the tent while I’m in it; I hit the side of the tent when I hear them at it, they run away, all good.

Now, they chew holes constantly;whether I’m in the tent or not. Every night.

Every night, they come and gnaw and gnaw, and gnaw at the tent. Always with the fucking gnawing. Doesn’t take them more than a few minutes to chew a new hole, and then in they come; hopping around, hopping on me then chewing right into the bags of food they know are in here.

Last night, I waited – head-torch set on red – for one of the little vermin fuckers to climb up inside the tent-inner, on the mesh where I could see him. As soon as he was visible, I punched the little fucker as hard as I could – as hard as I could that is, without putting my hand through the mesh – at which he reacted by hopping over the other side of the tent, where I hit him again; equally hard.

I didn’t hear him squeak or squeal, but he very quickly made his way down off the tent and that was the last I heard from Rats for a while. I fell back to sleep and then, just before Guido made his presence known at around dawn, thought I heard that fucking gnawing again though – being half asleep at the time – I can’t be 100% certain it wasn’t just Guido scratching at the tent.

So the final solution for these dirty rats is fast approaching. I cannot bring down poison because even if I was cruel enough a person to cause any animal such a slow, agonizing death – my ex had no compunction about this method of mouse-killing, I found it an absolutely abhorrent, disgusting disregard for the suffering of another living thing – I couldn’t poison just the Rats; since the Possums would eat the baits, the Monitors would eat the dead Rats and so on.

So a fast, manual death is the only option available; whether it be squashing them when they run under the floor of the tent, or letting them come in them bashing their heads in, something has to be done. There cannot be so many Rats in the area, that killing a few wouldn’t stop the hole’s being chewed, and if more come along I’ll just kill those too.

Junior will happily eat any rat corpses without issue even days after they’ve started smelling bad.

For now, however, I am going to try simply hurting them. I’ve several microfiber dishcloths – the ones so perfect for stunning flies – and I’m quite sure that given a slightly moistened end for maximum pain on impact, slapping the little fuckers repeatedly once they’re in the tent will teach them, quickly, that inside the tent is a baaad place to be. The problem is, I have to first let them chew their way inside before I can punish them for doing so.

Anyone else got a better idea? I am all ears.

Another part of me says, “well, they’re just hungry animals trying to get some of the good stuff the Possums get”, and while it is true that the Possums don’t leave much for each other – let alone the Rats – the Possums don’t chew at my tent every night, and I’ve tried tossing extra food out before bed in hopes of ‘appeasing’ the rat population but still they gnaaaaaaw. Gnawing, always.

So for the Rats now, the hippie bullshit ends; they’re snake-food, lizard food, a pest to be rid of.

Maybe I’ll end-up with a groovy if not somewhat creepy rat-claw necklace. Hopefully though, just causing them pain will be enough.


Dishcloth fetishist and cheese connoisseur, Junior.

Dishcloth fetishist and cheese connoisseur, Junior.

Junior’s been around the place all day today again, and though I only had two pieces of cheese to give him he still hung around – just outside the tent – basking his day away.

Fine specimen of Lizardness and arboreal stunt-man.

Fine specimen of Lizardness and death-defying arboreal, upper-canopy stunt-man.

Ten minutes ago he was right outside the tent here, and right now he’s up in a fork of a tree at least twenty meters – or sixty feet – off the ground, just walking along a branch nice add you please. I dunno how they climb trees so well either considering all they have are their claws; no sticky-pads like a Gecko, no prehensile tail like a Possum, just claws and a brain that’s evidently small enough they don’t realize that a fall from the upper canopy of a massive tree like that would kill them dead.

Stupid lizard.

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