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Another Day, Another Cane Toad in my Toilet
Monday 14th March 2011 – Somewhere in Noosa, Australia
Another day on the farm, and more WWOOFing experience today, but not before another cane toad greeted me as I lifted the lid on the toilet. It has only occurred a couple of times to date, but it is annoying me nonetheless now. It’s all part of life on the farm though, so I can’t complain.
I thought I would grab the cane toad by the back legs and throw it into the field beyond, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The thought of sticking my hand into a dirty toilet to grab a poisonous cane toad by the legs didn’t appeal to me for some strange reason. I opted instead to grab a plastic bag, put my hand inside, and then grab the toad. This worked well, and it was funny to see the toad gliding through the air, its legs flying all over the place as I tossed the creature as far as I could into the field. A satisfying thud told me the toad had landed somewhere in the long, weedy grass.
In fact, the weedy grass is such a problem here that today was all about getting rid of such weeds. Mike was back at work today and I was left to my own devices. I prefer this, and tend to work better under less pressure. I had to take the quad bike out around the fields, spraying weed killer on all the weeds with a black top to them, being careful not to touch them and deposit their seeds over the ground, thus spreading them further. I was told briefly what to look out for, but that I should avoid spraying a plant that – to me – looked identical to the weed. I had my work cut out, and the sprayer wasn’t the most powerful I have seen.
It was a hot day today, and my hat was a must. I rode around in my shorts, less t-shirt, and enjoyed being out in the lovely weather, having fun with a spray and a quad bike. The ground was uneven around much of the land, and quite boggy around the larger lake. The long grass prevented me from identifying exactly what I was riding over, and I feared getting stuck from time to time. I stopped for a break and took the opportunity to finish the small room in the cottage, sanding the walls down and re-painting. It looked good after all the demolition work previously.
Mike returned home early as he was not feeling well, so I just cracked on with the job at hand. I finished the room and got back on the quad bike for more weeding. I had almost finished the first paddock now, and it had taken a while, but then I suddenly realised you could alter the nozzle on the sprayer, and shoot the weed killer out like a jet of water from a hose. I couldn’t believe I had not thought to try this earlier. Suddenly the job became a lot quicker. Indeed, when I spoke to Mike he commented on how long it had taken me. I neglected to tell him of my stupidity, and just blamed it on the long grass and hot weather.
At one point today a large snake crossed my path, and I needed to slow to prevent running it over with the quad bike. I have no idea what it was, only that it was black, and very fat. Also, Mike said I was brave to have gone out into the long grass with shorts on, given the amount of snakes about. He said it would have been easy for a snake to have bitten my ankles if I had run one over. I couldn’t help but think this information may have been of more use to me before setting out in the first instance. Either way I guess I was lucky, although oblivious at the time.
Mike’s daughter bought pizza for us all this evening, and we all ate together. They seem like a cool family and have welcomed me into their home. I am very grateful of the experiences I have already acquired here on their farm.
Throughout the day the owner’s two dogs followed me about. They have done so since day one, and always want to go where you go. They are very friendly and very inquisitive, but have that damp dog smell that I detest, and if you give them the time of day, you will be their new best friend. This is nice at times as it is company, but frustrating at other times when you are trying to get on and they are in the way. It is almost as if they feel they have a duty to follow you, and as I am up and down the main path throughout the day on the quad, they feel the need to follow each time. You can see how exhausted they are after a while, and you want to be able to tell them not to follow, but they do time and time again. At one point, one dog lay under the quad bike, whilst the other mounted the bike in a joint effort to stop me from riding off again and forcing them to follow.
This being said they are good dogs, and when they are not wiping their eye gunk all over your jeans, they are good companions. This evening they escorted me back to the small cottage in the dark, and then returned back to the main house afterwards. They like to chase the animals also, and are frequently darting about here, there and everywhere.
After another busy day I was ready for a good sleep. I checked the toilet for toads – there were none – then went to bed. I am enjoying my time here so far.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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