land of green trees

land of green trees
the desert no more...

Sunday, 30 October 2011

what happened to the smallest goanna in the world?

Well, here I am, sitting alone in a house (with 3 small children) in far Western Queensland. Dust storm blowing up a gale outside, lightning strikes predicted, all the fire crews down at Ethabuka, hours away...The fires were contained on Cravens yesterday, and we were all heading off to camp the night at a perrenial waterhole on Ethabuka, for a meeting. Happy to be out of the house and with the promise of checking pitfall traps and fish traps, the kids dusted off their bathers and excitedly piled in the car. A 4 car convoy led us over many, many dunes, until arriving finally at the ratcatcher camp (otherwise known as esteemed scientists.) They were able to display the smallest goanna in the world to the kids, which looked much like an Aboriginal painting it was so decorated and beautiful. We then approached the house, where we needed to check on a small fire approaching from the South. The small fire was by now a horizon filled with smokestacks, piled up in great mushroom clouds bursting with explosive heat. The kids and I just as rapidly got back in the car, and got the *#*##*#* out of there. 'Sorry kids, now we have to travel over 50 or so sand dunes and a couple more hours back again....this time mostly airborne'. So the fire now has raced with massive gusts past the homestead down there, no-one is hurt, but many many many hectares of just recovering arid zone are now torched. It's fast approaching the neighbours, after cutting a clear swathe through the property. At times like this, in this weather, all people can do is stand and stare as it goes past, and feel as insignificant in this landscape as we truly are....

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