Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kangaroos, Lagoons and Allergic Reactions

A kangaroo peaking at us from the grasses along the edge of the lagoon. It looks like he has horns but it is just the white on his ears.

Double click to learn about the food web of a lagoon.

Saltwater Creek and Lagoon (The picture below shows the creek in the foreground with the lagoon in the background.)

This map shows the location of the Trial Bay Gaol (jail) and Trial Bay. Double click below to read about the interesting history of this site that was once housed Germans during WWI.

Trial Bay Gaol (jail)

To the left of this camper is an Ensuite. That is a private bathroom. Note: A kookaburra is sitting on the corner of the camper awning.

First daytime kangaroo sighting and right in our campground! (The night before we saw four in the headlights as we were looking for a camping spot.)

Mama and Joey

Kangaroos to the left and Galah to the right (on the feeder)

This joey is having his breakfast.

The Trial Bay BIG 4 Holiday Park caretaker took us to see this very dead, and deadly, "baby" black snake.

Trial Bay BIG 4 Holiday Park is a GUMNUT award winner. See their Worm Farm below.


Trial Bay ~ South West Rocks

Note: April 25th is ANZAC day. ANZAC stands for Australia New Zealand Army Corp and ANZAC day is a day to honor those lost in Gallipoli in WWI.

Our ANZAC day began with a walk down around the saltwater lagoon at the Trial Bay Holiday Park where we were staying. Signs warned us that the ground is unstable around the lagoon and to approach the edges of the water with care. As we reached the water we were greeted by dozens of black swans taking flight. They settled down on the water in the distance and made a spectacular sight. Then we spied a kangaroo to the right just poking his head up above the grasses and staring at us in the most inquisitive manner. He (or she) would disappear now and then to have a bite but would inevitably pop back up to see if we were still there.

Two female kangaroos and their joeys were in camp again today. They nibbled on the well-groomed lawns and looked up at us now and then but really paid us no mind. Galahs flew through the air and perched on feeders and on cabin antennae while kookaburras laughed at us from the trees then came down on the clothesline and cabin railings waiting for a handout. Several spoonbills were perched high in the trees and lorikeets whizzed past us and settled down in the crimson bottlebrush.

After exploring the banks of the lagoon where we saw fish ripple the smooth water’s surface and ants busy at work on the trails, we walked back to camp. I asked the camp caretaker about a particular flower as I snapped away with my camera and he asked, “Have you seen the black snake?” “No,” we replied. “Aren’t those poisonous?” we asked and then proceeded to tell him about the poisonous brown snake our neighbors found in their garden. “Yes they are, but this one is dead,” he replied. He walked us just around the corner to the road coming in from the main entrance to the camp and there on the edge of the road was a “baby” black snake. Our caretaker informed us that even this little guy was deadly.

After that we thought that it probably wasn’t so smart to have been walking around the banks of a saltwater lagoon in thongs! As we walked back to our site I noticed that the strap between my toes was rubbing and I looked down to see blood between my big toe and second toe. The skin was broken and there was a red spot but I initially wrote it off thinking that a twig had probably poked me or perhaps a mosquito had bitten me and he was squished. I rinsed me feet and traded by thongs for socks and joggers thinking nothing more of it until later that evening. Around dinnertime I started getting itchy around my bra line and the waist of my shorts giving a bit of a scratch now and then. When I finally pulled up my shirt to have a look I had enormous red patches all over my torso. I was a bit concerned but put some Qtol (to soothe rashes and bites) all over and carried on. When it was time for bed I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and change and discovered my entire torso completely covered in a furious red rash. Now I was more than a bit worried and started trying to figure out what had caused it. I’d heard about Ross River Fever that is caused by mosquitoes so I Googled that. With a 7-9 day incubation period that didn’t seem likely but I was having joint pain in my knees that day and I definitely had the rash but no fever. (Arthritis and joint pain are other symptoms.)

We kept the phone by the bed in case my symptoms went from bad to worse and I tried to get some sleep. Surprisingly, I slept well and I awoke with no rash. (I took one of my Singulair allergy pills hoping that would help.) I still have a few mosquito bites that are bothering me but the rash is gone. The only other thing Mike and I thought of was perhaps I’d had an allergic reaction to the fish we’d eaten the night before or perhaps the oysters the night before that back in Forster. It is a mystery.

The oysters were offered to me in the camp kitchen at Lanis Holiday Park in Forster. Shane was cleaning up a bag load and explained to me that his job as a concrete guy is to cover these long sticks with concrete for the oyster businesses. When the oysters spawn the seed floats through the water and attaches to rocks, (actually, anything and everything) and they attach to these concrete “sticks”. After about 3 years they are ready to harvest. The bag of oysters was a “perk of his job” that day which included coating 160,000 sticks with concrete! He was hoping to come to the area permanently but was currently in the process of trying to sell his home, thus camping out.

Well, I tried one raw oyster and I’ll just say one was enough! I was wishing I had something to wash it down with! Being the brave one that I am I tried one again later when he offered it cooked. Now, Oysters Kilpatrick is mighty tasty. The oyster is cleaned and then left on a half-shell and cooked with Worcestershire sauce, fresh lemon juice and topped with cheese that is baked to a golden brown. That is really yummy! Mike passed on this entire experience but I’m glad to say I’ve tried oysters in Australia. (Except if that is what caused my allergic reaction! I may never eat them again just to be safe.)

No comments:

Post a Comment