The cane toad topic has been temporarily abandoned due to the perfect sunny weather. Cane toads only come out to play when the ground is damp it seems. So the photo opportunity for them is on hold until the next shower of rain. And, as the barometer is rising, it seems like there will be no
wet weather for a while.
Meanwhile, in other ways, we are adapting to a different climate and a different way of life.
Much of the furniture we had in our ‘old’ house, in cooler Victoria, somehow seems out of place here on the Gold Coast.
Before we left Victoria we sold our Queen Anne style dining suite and now it seems we should sell the matching buffet, which I have loved (and used well) ever since I bought it from my mother’s (old) best friend some 20 years ago. It just doesn’t look right in this house.
Yesterday I ‘bit the bullet’ and advertised it on Gum Tree –supposedly a good place to sell second hand furniture (as well as many other things). So far, 36 people have looked at the ad., but we’ve had no phone calls from buyers. We can but hope.
In Australiain the 1930s someone had the bright idea of importing cane toads from Hawaii to supposedly devour the small (native) cane beetles that were proving to be a big problem to Australian sugar cane growers.
102 Hawaiian cane toads were released near Cairns and elsewhere in Queensland.
Not a good decision.
Now there is estimated to be about 200 million cane toads wreaking havoc across northern Australia.
They made little or no impression on the cane beetle population, but they certainly made a disastrous impression on Australia’s wild life.
Not only do cane toads spread disease, but they are deadly poisonous to any animals which eat them (animals which previously ate the occasional native frog).
Cane toads have been responsible for killing off crocodiles, turtles, snakes, goannas and other native fauna. They have also poisoned pets and the odd human (though no human has died as a result). They have spread as far as the spectacular Kakadu National Park; a fact bordering on
The eradication of the cane toad is now in the hands of the general population as no remedy for the problem has been (yet) found.
And…now find that we are living in cane toad territory. So we must do our duty.
If there’s been a drop of rain in the evening, outside we go, with torch, gardening gloves and plastic bag and check for any ugly visitors. See a cane toad? Quickly pop it in the plastic bag (remember, we are wearing gloves to avoid their poison). The bag (with toads) is then placed in the fridge, where the toads go to sleep in the cold. When they are thoroughly asleep, we make it a bit colder for them by putting them in the freezer. That way they are gently and humanely
put to permanent sleep. A few days later the toad bodies are placed in the garbage bin, to be collected by the unsuspecting garbage collector. Cruel? I’m not sure.
Next cane toad night I’ll take the camera. Stay tuned.
In amongst ferns and other plants in our new garden, we discovered a pond - and in it, ‘Oh, look’, called someone, ‘tadpoles!’ I, being a fan of tadpoles from way back and being quite familiar with them from the dams and rivers around our old place of residence - and also from being a teacher of very little kids who almost always all adored raising tadpoles, I rushed to admire them. But something wasn’t right; they didn’t look like the tadpoles with which I was familiar. In fact, as one young man said, ‘They look evil!’
The penny dropped and I went to ask Mr Google Images about Cane Toad tadpoles. And there they were; pictures of these little evil-looking things. Black, not brown and mottled, plus possessing a pointy head, with bodies sort of flat on the underside and rounded on top and, for some reason, quite unfriendly looking (if you can imagine an unfriendly looking tadpole!). So, that’s what we had in our new pond: Cane Toad babies.
So the pond is no more. I won’t go into detail about how we dealt with the thousands of tadpoles. Suffice to say, they are no longer
living with us…nor with anyone for that matter. And the pond has been filled in with large rocks.
More on the parent Cane Toads another time.
Renovating a house is an interesting pastime. Interesting, in that whatever you do, there is nearly always a surprise to follow. When walls are knocked down and new plaster added, the carpet is soon ruined by plaster and paint - and gaps of raw floor are revealed. So, new carpet is on the agenda. Paint the new walls and architraves and then the ‘old’ walls & architraves look dreadful. So more painting. Move a window or two and the old blinds don’t fit the new windows, so curtains to make. The new walls make the old kitchen tiles look awful, so new tiles to be put down. The main door opens on to where the new carpet will go, so a ‘stretch’ of new tiles must be put to make a cleaner entrance. The new outer walls make the original bricks look scungy, so the whole house will have to be rendered and painted. The driveway is on such a steep slope that we have already obliterated one LED driveway light (by driving into it), and caved in one door of the car. So a new driveway will have to be constructed.
And, we haven’t yet started on the original plan of enlarging the main bedroom and adding an en-suite.
Ah, well, it will be wonderful when it is finished!
And a little piece of good news is that today I sold two very ugly mirrors that had been glued to the walls of the house, receiving the
princely sum of $10 for them. I guess that every little helps!
I've spoken about the wonderful library we have in our 'new' town. Perhaps what I neglected to state is that the library is free to join, it's free to borrow - and accessible on the Net - and full of friendly staff as well as thousands of books, DVDs, CDs, magazines, newspapers and goodness knows what else.
The other thing I need to share is this picture of what is in our backyard. Nice?
Yes, it's more than nice. This is Queensland, Australia, and most Queenslanders have something similar in their back yards. I'm not (never have been, nor ever will be) a wealthy person and yet I have a house with three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a study and, as you can see, a swimming pool, surrounded by palm trees. It is now the middle of winter and we are not currently using the pool, but it still looks lovely, with reflections of the garden and the beautiful blue sky above. What more could one want?
This is Australia, the beautiful country. Sure, our politics are crap - but what else do we have to whinge about? Who would wish for anything more? Not me!
Well, the multi-million dollar library, situated only 1.7kms from our new home, has accepted me as a member. All very computerised and modern. Sadly, I don't have any time for reading right now, as every day is taken up with the house renovations which seem to be expandng in more ways that one. Certainly the house has expanded - and it is starting to look very good. But, as each project is begun and, in some cases, even finished, we see yet another improvement that could be achieved. We have had so many tradesmen here that I almost feel a spooky loneliness when there are no workers making hammering and sawing noises throughout the house. But, oh my, how lovely it will be when it is all finished.
I have a pile of newspapers and magazines to read and no time to read them. And now I have joined the wonderful new library - and have a small nortebook with a list of about eight books I have been yearning to read - and yet no time. But it will all come to be and there will be days in the future when I will be able to sit in the glorious sunshine and read whatever - and for however long - I wish. It's only patience - and a bit more hard work that's required.
I'll get there!
PS: The new library lets you borrow up to 20 items at a time! Blimey! Who has that amount of spare time?
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.