Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Darn Flies!!!!

The flies of the  Outback are probably the worst thing that one has to experience there.  You never get used to them, however there are some tricks that will give you a little respite.

One workable escape is during the heat of the day, if you can find some deep shade...Yes it is possible...It may be a Prickly Acacia tree in full leaf or even a shed of some kind, this is where the flies do not enter.  The bright sunlight to the shade confuses them and they stay on the fringes waiting to mob you when you come out.

The above is only useable when you are having a break, when the work is on so are the flies, especially around sheep or cattle yards, although cattle yards with the moving hooves, do tend to put up a nice manure smelling dust screen of sorts, so that then you do not have so many flies to worry about, only the meat ants crawling up your trouser legs looking for something that resembles the item you have just cut out of a bullock, ifn'  ya' know what I mean.

It is said that this is why men of the Outback are constantly checking their crotch.  It is a worry if you see hoards of ants snigging a large ova, meaty object back to their nest and you have recently felt some of these ants up your trouser legs, hence the crotch check, and apparently, if becomes a habit.

There are many expressions about the flies, here a few clean  ones:

Talking about the smart young Jackaroo, "There's no flies on him."  answer, "No, but you can see where they've been."

"Bloody flies, ya' kill one and fifty-thousand come to the funeral."

About a woman with morning sickness:"She's either pregnant or has just swallowed a fly."  Honestly, they both have the same effect on a girl. well sort of!!

It is the bane of the stockman, or anyone else for that matter, who is inclined to have their mouth open when the flies are about, to swallow a fly, or for a fly just to fly in and hit the tonsils and fly back out again...The inclination is that you  have definitely swallowed the critter, and it makes you gag.  It ain’t nice but it teaches you to talk like a ventriloquist.

The March Fly, those secret stealth bombers that swoop in on to the back of your neck, or any bare flesh, are the ones I really hate,  they sting, they leave an itchy spot, and they can cause a normally quiet horse to buck like mad.

The blue tailed fly, originally from Africa, are the worst.  This useless insects are responsible for more deaths in the sheep population in Australia than any other form of 'disease'.  Sheep have a high pain threshold, and the only way you can tell if they are in severe pain is by them lifting the top lip in an agonizing grimace.  The fly will lay maggots in the fleece, at the rear end of the sheep that has become dirty and wet  because of an  over growth of wool, and this laying will turn into a colony of thousands that will eat flesh, and infect the area that becomes moist with the early strike,  it is a horrible, sad sight to see, and a horrible sad job to treat the sheep.

I guess there is a place for all insects in the world, but flies, I'm buggered, if I can see what they are good for!!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Winter in the Sub-Tropics

It got down to 8c last night, here in Coffs Harbour on the north coast of NSW.

It wasn't cold, don't think I am complaining, I mean how could it be cold  under flannel sheets, two woollen blankets and a doona....Oh Yeah! and two dogs, even though it wasn't a two dog night.

I told a lady on the beach, one time, that my little dogs were double bed dogs.

"You mean they sleep with you?" She asked.

"Yes, they do."

"What about the smell?" Said the curious one.

I thought that a strange question, "They don't seem to mind." I told her.

"That's disgusting, " Said she as she wandered off.

With the lay of the land here, and the Great Dividing rRnge just up the hill, so to speak' we are only about 80 miles from snow when it comes.  Ebor, up towards Armidale, and Guyra often see snow this time of the year, but nothing skiable, just drifts in the gullies and on the road bridges that are often much lower than the road.

The ocean water remains within a few degrees of summer temperatures and can be up to 24c in mid winter.. warm currents come and go all year round..It's the getting out to grab the towel that is 'running the gauntlet'.

In the middle of Australia, in and around Longreach, where I spent my youth, or  is that splashed my youth, overnight temperatures, in winter, would get down to between 4 and 6c.  There would be ice on the horse troughs and you couldn't put enough warm clothes on to keep the morning chill off the body.  By 8.30am the sun would have you peeling clothes off like a striptease artist in Kings Cross, only you wouldn't get any cheers when you finished, if you did it would be very suspicious.

This is just a meandering of my mind, seems to happen a lot lately, but I get to go places that I have never been before, it's the getting back that is the problem.  Just Joking, I have a good mind, a good imagination and the nurses  here are wonderful.LOL.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Excerpt from From Whence They Came

As Penelope and Hannah made their way to the Captains dinner, Morgan, the black bearded, heavy set man, spoke to his cabin companion.

That's them...Those pair of birds will bring us a big ransom, and a good price on the slave market in Africa.”

Holding the cabin door just slightly ajar, the pair watched the women as they passed along the passageway. Morgan was thinking of the treatment that the younger, Hannah might get from him before he relinquished his control over her, and the thought filled his mind with the most evil of ideas.

(book yet to be edited)

Sailing on the Brigantine 'Emma' to Australia Charles Bevan Baker and other paying passengers are confronted with a drama that could lead to the worst possible nightmare for fellow friends and passengers.

How will this drama be resolved? Will we lose Penelope and Hannah to the slave trade in Africa? 

This book, the third in the Outback Adventure, is being written now, the second book, From Lotus to Lignum is in the hands of the editor/publisher, Fiona Gatt, and will be available for the readers in a few months...Then the wait for "From whence They came" will tidy up the series.