Jan 062017

Walk in the Rainforest: Queensland, Australia

Trish and I are house/pet-sitting half-way up Mount Tambourine which is a tourist region about 70 minutes from the city of Brisbane. It is actually just 20 minutes from Surfers Paradise and great beaches. We have the best of both worlds – beautiful rainforests and golden beaches.

National Park of Mount Tambourine

Dogs are not allowed in National Parks, so we gave Barney a good walk before setting off. This would be only a 3-4 hour venture as the park is less than fifteen minutes away – albeit that the road climbs and climbs and driving has to be in second-gear up and down.

A Little Research.

Trish and I found out that a rainforest contains the best living record of the major stages of laevolution. Pollen fossils in this area reveal that most of Australias forest are at least 50-100 million years old. (That made us feel quite youthful! LOL). It was out of these rainforests that most marsupials developed. About 15 million years ago, Australia and Antarctica were joined and these rainforests were abundant. We learned that there are about 19 ancient flowering families – of which 12 live in Australian rainforests. Unfortunately, Trish and I were not able to identify even ONE!

The Value of Rainforests

Beneath the high canopy and in the dense moisture is Gods gift to humans. We learned that the rainforest is home to more than half the worlds plant and animal species. It is Gods Pharmacy as it contains natural medicines and plants that can be converted into western-style drugs. It is estimated that more than half the worlds rainforest has been destoryed. Sadly, now it covers less hand 10% of the earths land surface due to deforestation – mining, towns, resorts, lumber removal. Thankfully, eco-travel and purchases of rainforest will cut down on further destuction and re-forestation will exceed.

Our Walk

Trish had her camera ready to take picture of the incredible life around us.

While I also had a camera, my joy was to walk ahead and listen to bird calls as I sat unmoving on a rock or tree stump. We naturally walked together and pointed out the joy of our day.

The incredible height of trees caught us off balance. We have walked in rainforests before, but we forgot about past experiences. To photograph some of the trees, the camera had to be on the ground.

Competition for Life and Light

Like in the Serengeti plains, species compete for life and light, or take advantage of anothers existence. I am thinking of the tick-birds that ride on the hides of big game or the fishes that clean the mouth of sharks. Here in the Tambourine Rainforest, vines wrapped themselves around trees.

A huge palm tree is being embraced by the Strangler Fig.

– looks like a suffocating embrace to me (LOL). The Stranger Fig, high up in the canopy, drops a seed that starts roots in the earth. These thicken and interlance and eventually strangle the host tree. (Perhaps, there is a human message there for earthlings relationships – LOL).

Meeting Snakes on the Way

This is the fourth visit of Trish and I to Australia. Without generalizing, we can state that the majority of Aussies that we have met (including rangers) have a unconcerned attitude towards snakes. This is probably because few deaths from snake bite over a period of twenty or more years. Most Australians (including us) have never seen a snake with the exceptions of a zoo.

Here is a warning from Tambourine Rainforest that we read:

Avoid snakes. Snakes usually attack people only when they are threatened. If bitten, apply a pressure bandage over the entire bite and immobilise that body part. Seek immediate medical attention.

We are headed northwards over the next few months. We are told that the rainforests are more tropical and different from what we have seen so far.

We strongly recommend house/pet-sitting.

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