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Southern Cross Creations

An Australian Woman's Journal
about life in remote, rural
Far North Queensland


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Archive for the Month of January 2003

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27 January 2003
We got 75mm rain over the last two days in steady, gentle rain that caused no run-off or erosion. What a blessing! mystery caterpillar 3cm long and causes stinging if you brush against itWe're seeing caterpillars and flowers. The sound of a running creek is heavenly.

Australia is a land of fire and flood. More than 350 homes have been lost in recent bushfires in the A.C.T., the nation's capital. Fires continue to burn in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. Drought conditions have worsened the fire hazards.

I belong to an online spinners and weavers list for Australia and New Zealand.and the effects of ACT fires were brought home to me by hearing of two Guild members losing their homes, including a Swedish damask loom. We squeeked through our region's fire season with no fires very near, but lots of smoke for days on end. The recent rain is good protection now.

Jerry and I finally got our own craft page up, featuring our handspun, handwoven, handprinted goodies.

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20 January 2003
Capricorn Party last weekend! We helped prepare food and ferry guests to the party upriver. I wonder how many kebabs I helped Sheilah skewer? Before dark, guests sussed out flat places for their tents. At dusk Jerry threw the prepared kebabs on the barbie, in front of a hungry crowd who didn't mind that the flames were a little high. Luckily the bamboo skewers didn't all catch on fire.... Newcomers from Sydney won our admiration for their courage and spontaneity, having left Sydney that morning and finding their way to Camp Kilojoule for the first time ever. Old friends caught up on what's new. Weather stayed mild with only the faintest hint of mist. By 9 p.m. live music drew enthusiastic dancers to the gym where musicians alternately crooned into the mikes or growled and complained as Bear played and prodded the new sound system. Like the hungry crowd mentioned earlier, the audience was ready and eager for music. Children romped and fell into fits of giggles as they headed for the lounge to select and watch a DVD. Jerry and I eventually slipped away and headed home. The music played on and party ran 'til dawn.

Jerry repairs barbwire fence overseen by JagoDog



Besides party-time, we ran into unexpected chores. Jerry headed out bright and early to repair the front fence which got knocked down by an old dead tree falling over. The dog loves these interruptions to our routine.


barbed wire knot Jerry mastered the good trick of tying two lengths of barbwire together with a knot! Fencing magic!

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7 January 2003
I trust you forgive my lapse in writing these past weeks as we've been immersed in Christmas, New Year's, our wedding anniversary and a heap of birthdays, ie, party-time! Perhaps too immersed, I woke up on January 1 feeling a bit under the weather. Not the ideal way to start the year. A bit of rest and recovery are in order.

Elke asks SantaRedbird hosted this year's Christmas get-together in Cairns. We took dips in the salt water pool to keep cool yet protected from the sun by the shade of a temporary tarp overhead. Everyone brought plates of food, what a feast: homegrown and roasted turkey and duck, salads galore, cheese balls, eggnog and plum pudding with brandy sauce. The dog found the last half of the unguarded plum pudding as well as the dish of brandy sauce and left only tongue prints on empty bowls.

Evenings are so warm, we keep our home wide open to catch any breeze as we eat dinner and relax. The light attracts flying ants if there's been a recent rain. Thousands of flying ants. A frenzy of flying ants. A geckoe's feast of flying ants. We turn off the light and use a single candle. Now a pile of singed flying ants grows around the candle. Best to give up and go to bed.

bee hawk detailOn a recent evening a new insect came to our light. The new visitor was the size of a big hawk moth and had the same configuration. But his transparent wings are unusual and his fluffy yellow tail quite handsome. Jerry photographed him before capture and release, then closed the doors to discourage a return visit to the light.

After no luck on searching through our reference book on native fauna, Jerry did an internet search and discovered it was a bee hawk, Cephanodes picus, a relative of the hawk moths. Isn't he gorgeous?

bee hawk

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