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Old 09-03-2011, 02:03 AM   #10
Sundowner OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Sun Over Beach, Oz
Oddometer: 3,882
Next morning, the rain is coming down steady and moderate. Nothing I can do but have a sleep in and wait it out. The fire's died overnight so breakfast is cold water from the near empty camelback and some Anzac slice I made before leaving home. By 10am I'm keen to throw the bike back together. The repaired tube has stayed inflated all night. The rain just won't stop hammering down. By noon, trapped in the tent and having read a couple of chapters of a book and becoming aware the rain's easing, I get the bright idea to grab a wash under the rain. Stripped off, soaped down and starting to rinse off with the rain, suddenly it stops. Eap! It could be worse. A bus load of violent, cane wielding Nuns could have driven in while I was standing nekkid next to the bike in the sudden sunshine. After donning fresh clothing, I start looking about and sorting the wet camp.

A nearby introducted cactus plant (all cacti are introduced plants in Oz) that I suspect are edible Prickly Pear (the red bits the actual fruit) but I'm not familiar enough with them to give it a try.

One of literally hundreds of mouse burrows in the long grass metres from my camp. I didn't see a single mouse, fortunately, however during the night I could hear something jumping on my metal cooking gear, followed by the ungodly screech and beating wings of an owl attacking. It was amazing to hear.

Soon it starts to drizzle rain again. I grab my camelback and go for a walk up to the abandoned farmhouse. Just as I reach it, looking for a non-existent rain water tank, I notice a good stream of water cascading off the damaged roof guttering. In a matter of minutes I've got pure, fresh rainwater to last all day. Wandering back to camp, I gather a gum leaf covered fallen tree branch. The leaves burn with an explosive energy due to the oil trapped inside, so with a couple of matches, I've got fire again. The wood found nearby is dry enough to catch quickly. There's plenty of it as well. I only take the solid stuff, as I know many of our native animals live in the hollower pieces.

I get some water boiling for a cup of tea and get stuck into the tyre change job. Once done, I'm actually starting to really like this campsite again. The birds start to come out and the sun shines through clearing skies. It's too late to make any real distance today, so I grab my chair and book then settle into some reading and bird watching.

A flock of bright and noisy parrots flit from tree to tree nearby, so out comes the super zoom FZ40 Panasonic camera - my new toy. I manage to get some great shots just sitting quietly near the fire.

A nesting pair of Musk Lorikeets

Looking for a safe nesting hollow in a gum tree.

While the partner checks me out.

A pair of common Galahs, known to mate for life.

A flock of magnificent Rosellas, a fast moving and noisy bunch.

Some Port Lincoln Ringneck Parrots

And while quietly reading my book, I spot these guys out the corner of my eye, only a couple of metres away grazing on grass seeds.

A dozen or so Stubble Quail. They looked fat and delicious. They all lived happily that day, as I had plenty of food with me.

Finally the sun went down on what turned out to be a pretty decent day. And my tyre's looking properly fixed. With the weather looking alright again, I make my mind up to head east, into the Victorian Goldfields, rather than north towards the goldfields near Yunta and the Flinders Ranges. They'll wait for another trip. I stayed up late enjoying the fire and the sounds of the bush once more.

Tree hugger.

Sundowner screwed with this post 09-03-2011 at 02:52 AM
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