australia…land down under and home to skippy, hoges and steve irwin to name a few. such a beautiful land girt by sea…says so in the national anthem. anyhoo what it doesn’t say is some of the most beautiful sea cannot be entered due to the poisonous creatures that call it home. salt water crocodiles, box jellyfish, great white sharks to name a few. so if you are worried about swimming in the ocean stay home it’s sure to be safe there….not according to the very large snake crossing the road not far from here early last week or the redback spider hanging out on our toilet door at 5am this morning. it is fair to say that we have our share of spiders here. we cleaned the pool furniture last week and destroyed seven redbacks off one lounger. so they are not aggressive and to healthy adults will not kill but we now have a 16 month old dynamo who would feel the full brunt of a redbacks poison – it’s a chance we are not willing to take. I only know one person who has been bitten by a redback….so it’s fairly unlikely to happen to us. little boss is another kettle of fish….she plays in the garden beds, investigates under the barby and sticks her legs through the pool fence so I find myself dragging her away and telling her “no” much more than I like. they’re not aggressive but if a food source presents itself surely they’d have a crack….
the interesting fact about redbacks that we recently learned is that the daddy-long-legs spider is known to catch and eat the redback spider so that could explain the masses of daddy-long-legs spiders that we have hanging out in every nook and cranny of our house – inside and out – I just wish they would start feasting….come on daddy-long-legs get busy, I say, the more they eat the less I have to kill. at least we don’t have funnel-web spiders here….by far the most impressive spider in oz, just keep them on the east coast. while I was looking for information on the redback I stumbled across a website that had an article about our “lucky country” titled The Animals that make Australia the Death Trap it is….clearly not written by an Australian and an article that received more comments for its poor grammar than content…as a visitor I guess you would sleep with one eye open – just not your mouth – as an aussie you just deal with it….that’s why our national footwear is the thong…as I was heard asking Mr B Badger.com at stupid o’clock “pass me a thong will ya, there’s a redback on the door”
so the good news is that little boss has started actually sleeping through the night. up until now she has not actually woken up in the night but has stirred for a feed so that has meant that I get up and feed her, sometimes twice a night, which is no big deal considering that she feeds and then returns to a peaceful slumber. I, on the other hand, take a considerable amount of time to return to a relaxed state and consequently don’t get the sleep I need to function as a normal member of society. anyhoo now that she is established on solid food and settling into her own routine of activity during the day she has decided it’s okay to sleep for and 8-10 hour stretch – you beauty – I am so looking forward to getting a “full” nights sleep…or maybe it is best described as and uninterrupted nights sleep. see the bad news is that last night I was woken from a fabulous dream by MrRooben standing in the doorway to our bedroom heaving the contents of his stomach onto the floor. yep a 1am chunder alarm had me moving like jagger as I tried to get from the bed to the back door without feeling the warm squish of undigested dog biscuits between my toes. imagine my surprise when I looked over and saw Mr B Badger.com snoring away apparently oblivious to the events leading to me cleaning the floor on hands and knees….
now the ugly news is that western australian fisheries department have been given the green light to bait and kill a great white shark that has been spotted since christmas lurking off the south-west coast – threatening beachgoers. yes we have had our fair share of fatalities caused by great white’s and unfortunately there is an element of risk associated with swimming in the ocean but I fail to see how killing one shark will make a difference to beachgoers safety….are the fisheries department going to kill every shark that comes within range? what I find even more disturbing is that in the article featured in the west newspaper the fisheries department bait the shark and then shoot it OR it dies from exhaustion – lovely. the beach played an important role in my childhood. I went to the beach more than I went to school – if you saw my school you would understand why – and I had a healthy respect for the ocean and it’s power instilled in me from an early age. I have been dumped by big waves, stung by blue bottles and other unidentified stingers, carried out by strong currents and carried in by a fellow surfer when I was dangerously close to hypothermia. I have also watched in awe as dolphins swam through the waves in front of me, have spent many mornings watching the sun rise over the ocean and now watch it sink into the ocean as it sets. the great white shark is listed as a vulnerable species – maybe we should stay off it’s turf because the consequences of killing off sharks that present a danger to beachgoers may be further reaching than we think…