Monday, May 9, 2011

What You Want Is A Python In your Roof.....

It's wilder over the border. Our new home in Queensland has meant we keep company with new friends. Not just of the two legged variety either.

We are surrounded by nature and have become used to sharing our garden with a colourful sea of butterflies and dragonflies. Exotic Green tree frogs remind us we live in a tropical paradise and tiny translucent alien like gecko's visit our home regularly.

I have embraced all this nature. You have to go with it. You just feel a part of the natural order of the world and see all these things have their place. I don't know what I will come across next and when I do chances are I will never have come across it before. The fact that I am discovering insects that I never knew existed makes me feel a childlike wonder. I love that I have found that again. It all seems somewhat mystical and not about man-made and me. Conversations take bizarre directions and my new found nonchalance at the neon crawling insect crossing our deck or twig like spider outside astound me. I am different. I notice the intricate beauty of the spider web with amazement. The amazing colours of the crawling bug inspire me like a fashion designer taking inspiration for a new creative collection.. I've slowed down and noticed the details. It's not so out of place so my first reaction isn't to flinch. We have all embraced it and accepted that we are in unchartered territory for us Sydneysiders. That's why we are here.

With wildness comes care though. Advice of locals is priceless, their opinions and dealings with their surroundings can shock. We have been scared by snake stories. I do not want one in my house, but apparently the handyman says I do...'I wouldn't leave all your doors open like that, or you'll get a snake in the house for sure.’
He then rattles off which snakes to avoid (how do you avoid a snake, I won’t be actively seeking one out?) and which snakes are friendly. This is a priceless snake lesson and I now appreciate the security of mowed grass, rather than just appreciate it for its manicured appearance. I am also thankful I chose a house on a hill with a clearing around it. Tree snake anyone? There are snakes in trees - of course!
I was starting to find the conversation wild and beautiful and images of myself a modern day female explorer in the jungle of my surrounds were appearing in my head when, snap, brought back to focus on this tropically sweltering day with the words...

"What you do want though is a python in your roof. Eats the mice and rats. Every home should have one.' Speechless. I want a python in my roof? It’s a harmless python, mind you. Will keep to itself. Do Queenslanders have pythons in their roofs?

And his advice on cane toads. Ours are small ugly Zen like creatures that can decorate the grass at night like small military soldiers standing sentinel. The sound they make is like a motor engine starting up and their poisonous glands in their toady skin made Princess Abbey quiver. But after the initial shock of sharing a lawn with toads at night, you realise that they don't really do much but sit there. They eat bugs. Ours aren’t the scary big monsters I had worried to encounter. But Queenslanders hate them. Introduced from Hawaii to protect the cane crops from being ravaged by pests the Cane toad failed in its mission and bred with alarming velocity taking over the state. I would not want to be the man/woman responsible for that brilliant idea.

My friend visiting from Sydney who shall be nameless, laughingly recounts stories from her visits up North with her Nan & Pop. 'Come on Kids – they’re out tonight, grab your clubs" calls Pop and takes his teenage grandkids out to play golf with the unsuspecting slow blobs parked on his grass. I am shocked! My horror at my friends’ admission brings admonishment that I am on the wrong side of the fence. I think..those poor little things and then think - I had better harden up!

The Handyman must realise I am a bit new at this and after similarly bringing up his golf club solution to the cane toad invasion, looks me in the eye and says, 'Well if you would like to handle things in a more humane way, you could always pick up the toad in a plastic bag and just put it in your freezer.' Oh my Lordy! Do people in country Queensland have cane toads in their freezers?

The cane toads are still happily sitting Zen - like in my flower beds at night. Fairy princess Abbey doesn't quiver at the idea of them and is a happy member of The Tree Frog room at Kindy.

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