Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Eighth Plague

Do I start with the plague or with the ruthless killer?
Himself always says that if you take a ruthless killing machine and put a bell on it, all you get is a ruthless killing machine, wearing a bell.
Exhibit A.Although she is the smallest of three felines, she is definitely the hunter. Caution is advised when stepping out of the bedroom in the mornings as there is often a 'gift' deposited somewhere in the hall. Geckos are a frequent choice, but over the summer there was a steady stream of mice and bogong moths culminating in what appeared to be a rat a week or so ago...*shudder*; normally the bastion of good sense and pragmatism, I had to get No2 Son to remove that one.

We have had birds, but mostly live. I'm not sure if this is better. One morning I stepped into the study to find a large New England Honeyeater, 'toes-up' on the floor, with Morticia sitting expectantly nearby. I guess her continued presence should have been a clue. Returning with a brush and dustpan I did a double take at the now empty floor and then, following the excited mews of Countess Bathory, looked up to see the 'victim' perched on top of the bookshelf. A wild pursuit followed, finished by the reliable 'tea towel over the bird' trick, after which the unfortunate creature was tossed off the balcony and alighted in the nearest tree to consider its good fortune.

Anyway, I digress; The Plague. the wet spring and mild summer resulted in a boom in the number of locusts mating and breeding in the south east of Australia.

Measures were put in place to spray the larvae before they got to a point where they could fly, and thus 80% of the plague was prevented before it could reach the fertile farming communities, the land groaning under the weight of the best potential harvest in years after the break in the drought. This didn't stop a significant number making it to the city. Back in March I sat in a conference room and watched the little devils drop out of the air conditioning ducts onto the tables in front of us. Not nice.

The locusts I'd seen in plague proportions at the pub one night, were brown and unremarkable. Imagine my surprise to find this fellowin my kitchen the other morning. He is, as my father would say, 'magnificent' is he not? He seemed to have escaped the clutches of the 'Black Widow' although he was pretty subdued and eventually disappeared on top of the kitchen cupboards, never to be seen again. He looks huge here but was actually only about 7cm long.

Unlike this monster.


Here is a scale photo taken by the BA (love those sandals!)

Disturbingly, when we got back from church he was gone. Now I don't know whether that was under his own steam, given his fairly sorry looking state when we found him, or whether he was devoured. I try not to think of it. Either way, that little black cat has a pretty dark side to her!







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1 comment:

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Oh my GOSH! You guys have had plague!!!! And that last one is HUGE!!!!!!!!!! Yike!