Friday, May 29, 2009

I drove into Batchelor this morning to get the mail and was planning to catch up with things online but it was not as easy as I had hoped!
When I checked the mail box I thought, YAY! Just a small envelope of letters from Ray and Joy, they must really be sorting through the crap… then I saw the parcel notification card and went inside and was handed a massive bag of mail… urgh! Lucky the kids fell asleep on the way in and I could sit in the truck for an hour and sort though the massive bundle into smaller piles of urgent, sort-out-at-home, and no-clue-what-this-is-about!

Then we went to the library where I hoped I could pay some bills online and catch up on emails. No luck. The kids were great but there is only so much you can get done with two boys running and laughing around a previously quiet library and only so long you can ignore an ever growing pile of books on the floor in front of you before you really have to give up on getting anything done and start paying attention to your kids!

So while I took photos in to upload I did not get a chance and I had no hope of updating the blog. But there is a lot of other stuff that Tim and I need to sort out online and getting into town is not proving easy so we are going to ask the boss here if we can use his office and his computer to sort some stuff out tonight… if you are ready this then he said yes. LOL.

What’s been happening this last week….

Had a few funny wildlife encounters.

There are a lot of wallabies around the whole area and our camp is no exception. Before we parked our vans here the clearing up and track down to the creek must have been a popular spot because they hang around right outside the van (which the kids love). Actually, there is a mummy wallaby with a big joey in her pouch that hangs around out the back all the time and I have been trying to get a good photo of her but with not much luck. Darcy keeps trying to make friends and runs at her shouting “dog” and as you would expect mummy-wallaby never seems to hang around for a pat.

But most nights we hear them jumping through the walkway between the two vans and often hear the twang as they trip over our awning ropes (sorry, fellas) so we have gotten used to that noise. A couple of nights ago I was awake with Darcy and heard some movement in behind the vans. I listened for a while and it was not a wallaby. It sounded more like a person walking but you’d have to be crazy to be walking along there at night in the dark with no torch and even if you were crazy there is no reason to be walking there (keep in mind we are in the middle of not much and our camp is at the back of the middle of not much!) so you’d have to be crazy and lost…. But I watched for a bit trying to work out what the noise was. I saw something disappear up behind the donga (and I am still not convinced that it wasn’t a person!) but ten minutes later there was a knocking/hammering/banging type sound from the other end of our camp closer to the café. So I woke Tim up just in case there were people dicking around up at the café. He assured me that Julian often gets up at odd times when he can’t sleep and he might be up there working?!? WTF??!? I was not convinced and I stood looking out the window for a bit wondering if I should go and have a look but Darcy was unsettled and I did not want him to wake while I was gone (cos he’d fall out of bed). Then out the window in the light from our shower block I could see dirt flying in the air. ?? So I woke Tim again. He was convinced that it was Julian cos if it were a thief what would they be doing digging around our vans. He had a point but what the hell would Julian be doing digging a hole in the middle of the dark. Anyway, I went back to bed and figured I’d have a look in the morning.

Next morning I did notice a big dug-up patch of sandy dirt just near where I put the spinklers to water the plants that we are growing so maybe it was Julian after all. I forgot all about it until later that evening Tim said it wasn’t Julian and he reckons maybe it was a buffulo or wild pig. Hhmmmm…. ?? Does a pig sound like a person when they walk through the bush?? It will remain a mystery I suppose.

Less of a mystery… Tim putting his boots on this morning and his foot getting stuck and not going in the whole way. He tried again and still stuck… something in his boot perhaps? He tipped it up and out fell a dazed cane toad. I think it was already half dead from the pounding from Tim’s foot but he finished it off with a pounding from his boot. He then explained to Jordy that you should ALWAYS check in your shoes before putting them on.

A couple of days ago I ended up with my first snake kill. We’ve seen at least one or two a week since we have been here but this was the first that I spotted. I was working the buffet and the area around there is well traveled so not where I would have expected a snake especially seeing as Mum and I were walking back and forth in the outdoor kitchen area all morning. But mum walked past and I was following her and right there under the plate cupboard (that is up off the ground on stainless steel legs) was a snake tail disappearing into the garden. I told Mum to stop walking and called out to Zac, who was working nearby, to see if he had a shovel. No shovel but he grabbed a mop while I watched it head towards the mesh fence. I thought we had lost it but Zac managed to reach over the fence and trap it under the mop. Nothing in the area to properly kill it with so I grabbed a golf club (one of the many can toad killing devices around the place) and had to club it to death. Zac had a good hold on it so I could properly look to see what it was; black diamonds on it’s neck and a brown stripe across it’s eyes- a western brown, the one we really don’t want to see. But there is now one less.

Apart from our animal adventures I am not sure much else is going on, but I am really enjoying the experiences that living here (and traveling in general) is giving the kids. I love that Jordy can now identify the calls of several different birds, and can recognise the difference between a whistling kite and a wedge tail eagle in flight. Even by spotlight he knows the difference between a cane toad, a green tree frog, and a brown frog and he knows which is good and which is bad. He loves spotting animal tracks and when we ride the bike past a wallaby track we have to stop so he can get out and look more closely at it. I love (in a bizarre way) that when we go into a town and use a toilet in a building (like at the library) he looks for frogs, spiders, lizards and moths and he gets disappointed when there are no ‘friends’ in the toilet cubicle. I love that Darcy is free to play in the dirt all the time, that he is learning to swim in the creek chasing fish rather than in a chlorine swimming pool, that he is addicted to sprinklers, and is able to water the garden surprisingly well!

Ran out of time! But it works (though it is really slow!!!!) so hopefully I will be able to update again soon.