Water World, G-Rated Version

Duck & Turkey

March has been a bit damp up here in FNQ.  At times the whole world seems to be water.  Water falling in torrents, pouring off the roof, pooling into puddles and lakes, sloshing around underfoot, running in rivulets, before roaring off down the creek in raging brown torrents to torment the coast.  But without the violence the film featured so prominently.  

Cairns has featured recently in the news where caravan parks have had regattas for Winnebagos and sugar cane became the new seagrass.   But my flooding woes reported in the last couple of blogs were 2 weeks earlier where I had much more rain.  I am a bit miffed that the media did not flock to Possum Valley to record my trials and tribulations, and no helicopters or drones were buzzing overhead to witness my heroic repairs lashed to a rope in a swollen waterfall wrestling 9m long pipes.  Oh well, news reporting is prejudiced and population baised.  10 years of mischief, mayhem and slaughter in the CAR (Africa), goes mostly unreported, but the poisoning of a couple of people in the UK reverberated around the world.  Unfortunately Stalin was right when he said that “one person killed is a tragedy, but a million killed is a statistic”.  Actually one of the poisoned has recovered.  Queensland weather reports have a similar weighting.  A lengthy analysis of past and future weather for the tiny SE corner and eight words for the rest.  Queensland stretches 2,500 kms north from Brisbane.  Like being in Manchester where I was brought up, and being given the forecast for Istanbul.  

I have just totted up the rain for March and it comes to 1048 mm, with a total for the year of 1815 mm.  Ample by any standards, but not as much as some.  Australia is the world’s driest continent and huge stretches of land go years gasping for a drink, so it is tempting to think that ‘saving’ the excess at one place and channelling it to another parched place is good news all round.  Not so fast.  The huge rainfalls are actually in a very thin strip down the coast.  Not as much as some might think.  To ‘harvest’ the rain requires huge storage capacity, ie dams.  Massive projects subject to rapid siltation and short life span.  Also prone to huge disruption of the ecosystems at both ends of the pipeline.

There were a couple of fine days in the month when I got busy with repairs and the local animals came out to party.  The animals get fed up with persistent rain too.  Some just sulk and do just enough to stay alive, and some take to raiding my house more frequently.  The Lewin’s Honeyeaters fly round inside looking for food scraps such as rice grains on plates waiting to be washed, or failing that they knock off the spiders.  Scrub turkeys come out of the rain and stand around miserably on the covered patio or risk stealing some food from the duck when I feed him.  He is much stronger and often grumpy, but they are much quicker. 

Duck & Turkey

Duck & Turkey

While I was working on the waterfall, a handsome Eastern Water Dragon came out to take advantage of some weak sunshine.  It is about 350 mm long and only a meter from the cascade.  They are usually found near water and often sun themselves on the jetty near the sauna.  If disturbed they can dive in the water with a splash and disappear as I think they must swim underwater and leave no ripples.  If dear guests have been mystified by a splash when approaching one of the dams, it was probably this dragon, a Boyd’s Forest Dragon (which is smaller), or perhaps even a snake bird or a little cormorant.  Occasionally the platypuses come out of the water, but I fancy they don’t dive back in but slither without a splash. 

Eastern  Water Dragon

Eastern Water Dragon

This dragon obligingly stayed put while I went to the house to get my camera and when I came up to within 1 m.







On the same day as the pics above, I took the picture of the red-bellied black snake next to its old skin shed about a month earlier.  I am pretty sure it is a permanent resident of the shed living somewhere in the shelves of junk on the west end.  I don’t go looking for it or seek to evict/kill it, as that is the surest way of inviting an attack.  Live and let live is the best policy with these docile snakes.  It is only the 14th most venomous snake in the world, and hey! you might even survive.  My grandkids frequently play in my shed, but when the eldest has seen it, he beats a hasty retreat rather than mess with it, which is just the right  thing to do.  I brought up 2 little girls to maturity here, hoping I can do the same with 2 little boys.  

Black snake in workshop

Black snake in workshop


It is about 1.2 m long and looking resplendent in its new skin and just cruising past my main workbench.  The floor, which is dirt, hasn’t been seen in a decade, is covered with a generous layer of wood shavings and no doubt much to the liking of the resident.  I am confident there are no rodents in the shed.


  1. Robert says:

    We like G-rated!

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