I’ve come to a conclusion, a thesis, a manifesto
(actually just the first two terms are accurate, the third one less so.
But I’ll wait until another day to complain about my thesaurus
instead of wasting time now on a topic that could only bore us).
Anyway, to get back on track
what I wish to point out is actually the fact
that although Brisbane has a high level of human habitation
it seems like every time I pass a patch of vegetation
there’s some sort of wildlife waiting to spring out
and this observation has left me with little doubt
that contrary to its image of being civilised through and through
Brisbane’s actually more like a giant, open air zoo.
If I may present my first piece of evidence:
both at the uni and my student residence
there’s bush (or brush) turkeys running around
a phenomenon that can be observed all across town.
They build their big nesting mounds out of leaves
and rotting debris that can be found under almost every tree.
Example two comes from when I was walking down a main road
and I could hardly go a dozen steps without stepping on a cane toad.
They’re all over the place, big, ugly, toxic and amphibious
and even in my home state of WA they’re making an insidious
advance slowly across our northern borders into the Kimberley
(See, I’m not just amusing. I’m educational apparently).
Example three would have to be the swarms of bats,
for those who don’t know, they’re like giant flying rats.
Every night as the sun dips beneath the horizon
anyone who resolves to keep their eyes on
the sky can see them criss-crossing the troposphere
searching for food and colonies far and near.
At the university there’s a pond I found
with a bale of turtles (yes, that’s the collective noun)
and eels as well ( but they were harder to photograph).
As well as a lizard that almost bit me on the calf
(although with good reason I must admit,
I was busy looking at the turtles and almost trod on it)
There’s possums running up and down trees and power poles too.
The first time I saw one from a distance I thought it was a roo,
but then it ran straight up a branch when I got a little nearer
and that made its true identity a whole lot clearer.
Smaller creatures – although getting less attention –
also deserve their own special mention.
Big orange-black spiders build webs between any objects close together
and despite some reassurance I’m still not convinced whether
they’re poisonous or completely harmless.
You know what? I think I’ll try to avoid a bite regardless.
Anyway, I’ve outlined the fauna of the sub-tropic
and in the process I’ve pretty much exhausted this topic.
I feel I’ve achieved what I set out to do,
that is to demonstrate that Brisbane’s like a giant zoo.