Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sweet nothing

I have written before of 'The Avenue', which is a track down to the water pump; its name coming from the glorious white-barked gum trees that line this gravel walkway. It was in one of these gum trees that I spied a morepork [owl] though must confess his residency was short lived. Perhaps this little bird, for it was a juvenile, decided that it didn't appreciate a daytime sleep being interrupted by humans walking to and fro past its hidey-hole. How can a bird sleep under such difficult circumstances!

The meter-box that hid, for a short time, the black snake that still causes me to shake at the thought, is towards the end of 'The Avenue'. In spite of the snake, and I am convincing myself that snakes do not go to the same place twice [a comforting thought!], I trail regularly down The Avenue to switch on the water pump. Most days this is indeed a pleasant pastime that cuts wash-day blues into a smaller part.

Now that the days are hot, and the gum trees are in full blossom, that walk deceives the mind into thinking it must be near an airfield where small planes buzz, buzz, all day. However there are no aeroplanes in sight. The noise is simply bees gathering honey. Small honey bees flit from perfumed flower to perfumed flower; that perfume remarkably heady in the morning air. When one wanders along a city street many perfumes waft by ... most are artificial, and many are unpleasant causing one to wrinkle the nose and wonder why, oh why, a human body can dab such odours in places designed to send perfumes far and wide.

The other morning the buzz of the bees busily gathering honey sent me back to the house for the camera. Would I be able to capture the hive at work? The result is below ... the bees seem to not be bothered by human presence, and I wonder if they realise that this particular human is partial to a slab of fresh bread spread with honey?

Monday, January 10, 2011

It was black!

As is the case with many homes in 'the bush', our water supply emanates from a bore. Thankfully the water is not brown, nor does it stain any place it lands. The water from our bore is pure and clear. Not that I drink it except in coffee or tea ... I buy bottled water from the supermarket. This is because of the propaganda one reads about germs in water.
Anyway, back to the story in hand.
Our water is pumped by electric pump from the bore to a holding tank near the house. Each time I wash the clothes, as part of a routine, I wander down 'the avenue' and switch on the pump, which isn't as efficient as it could be. Any where from an hour to and hour and a half later the tank overflows and I hurry down to switch the pump off. Easy! 'The Avenue' [so named by no other than myself] is a formed track lined with an avenue of gums that have a fascinating bark. At one stage of their growth the bark is almost white, then in a certain time of the year the bark tends to peel off, much like a cast orange skin that just misses the trash bin. Bark lies in interesting shapes along the track.
Another phenonomen that is beginning to occur at this time of year is the ritual stripping of end leaves, and small twigs, of the gum trees by galahs and twenty eights. The Avenue then displays a carpet of crunchy green ... until the sun's heat dries it when it turns into a rather pretty shade of pinky beige. One can imagine a cool living room decorated in the colours of the leaves still on the tree [a cool almost lime green], with accents of the pinky beige.
Recently the house tank overflowed. I had a larger wash than usual so hurried down to switch the pump off. Upon opening the door of the meter box, to my utmost horror, something black sprung up from the base of the box. I slammed the lid down and almost ran back to Dave insisting he come and see.
Once upon a time a family of geckos lived in the meter box ... sometimes one would fall out when I opened the door as it had been too close to the edge. What I recoiled from was not a gecko!
Dave armed himself with a tool designed to hold snakes at bay. I armed myself with a spade. Tools of the trade if we were in the business of disposing of snakes! By this time I was persuaded that what I had seen must have been a snake ... if it wasn't simply the piece of stick that rested on the bottom of the box, just in case Mrs Redback decided to make a birthing spot for her babies.
Refusing to open the door ... I am not silly ... I insisted Dave undertake that honour. Gingerly he opened the door. There was nothing there!
For a moment he looked doubtfully at me. Did he think I had imagined the black thing?! I persuaded him that I had indeed seen something, and that something was black and sprung up.
There was a small arpeture at the bottom of the box; we surmised that Mr Snake, which I was informed most likely was a harmless python [still a snake!!!], had most likely slid earthwards through this small opening. Needless to say it was with some trepidation that I switched the pump on and off for the next few times. Now I realise that a snake would probably not go back to the same place twice if its source of food was no longer available.
Yesterday one of the geckos, or one of its relatives, had returned. I will now continue to be careful when opening the door to the meter box.