Thursday, 4 January 2018

Consulting the weather pig, Google and other experts

I have a weather pig. He's big and fat and shiny and points his snout into the wind. He looks very wise and I spend a lot of time staring at him, willing him to share the secrets he holds deep within his porky breast. 

Weird, I know. 
I do realise that inanimate objects don't talk, but I can't help standing by the the pig and waiting.
For words of wisdom.
For a pun. ('Piguliar weather we're having today.')
For titbits of gossip.
For a compliment on my stamina in mowing a firebreak around the house with a push mower in 35 degree heat.
For information about all the things I need to know, now that I am surrounded by paddocks and wide open skies.

So far, the weather pig hasn't revealed much, except for the current wind direction. 
But I live in hope. 

In the meantime, I've had to resort to Google and the friendly advice of others more knowing than me. Others more vocal than the pig.
For instance:

How fat can a blue tongue lizard get without bursting at the seams?
(Subquestion: Do blue tongue lizards have seams?)
I found a real porker in the lower paddock today. She looked more like a football than a blue tongue and was extremely sluggish. I complimented her on having a greater girth than the weather pig, then left her in peace once more.

My fat little friend.

According to Google, blue tongues grow prodigiously fat when pregnant.
And then - this astonished me - they give birth to live young.
So much for the reptile-egg-laying thing I learnt in school.
Click on this link below to see a video (unless you're eating while reading this):


Is it true that blue tongue lizards keep the snakes away?
And if so, would one blue tongue lizard of prodigious girth be enough to keep 24 acres snake-free?
According to Google, no. 
And no (implied).
Same response from a friend in the environmental field.
I didn't like this, so I returned to the weather pig. But the pig just stared sagely into the wind as if to say, 'You can't pig and choose your answers to such questions.'
Darn Google.
Darn the learned friend.
And darn the pig! If he's going to make puns, surely they should be better than that! 

Do roos have loos?
The answer to this has been harder to find.
Google has taken me on a fascinating journey through the finer details of scat identification (for both fresh and fossilised poo!), but has failed to answer my question.
I suspect the answer is no, given the vast quantities of kangaroo poo scattered indiscriminately all over our land.
But I  came across an interesting sight this morning that has me still wondering - a pile of roo poo in a secluded little nook amidst the blackberries. 
If this isn't a roo loo, I don't know what is!
It's even round and the grass is flattened so it doesn't
poke uncomfortably upwards during use.

The discreet side of the roo loo.
Not even visible from this angle.

And why wouldn't a kangaroo like a bit of privacy like the rest of us?
Feel free to respond. All new knowledge and ideas gratefully received.

By the way, western grey kangaroo males have a strong curry-like smell. Just a bonus fact find I thought I'd share.

Is it stupid to poison your blackberries before the fruit has ripened?
Google doesn't know. 
According to the Great Dane, any time you can kill a blackberry bush is the right time to do it. Blackberries are noxious weeds and deserve to die.
According to my mum, all blackberries should be loved and nurtured and never ever sprayed because one of the great delights in life is to make blackberry jam and blackberry pies.
I pondered the issue before the weather pig and thought I heard a rumble from within his porky breast, then realised it was coming from my tummy. Must have been the thought of blackberry pie...
I love blackberry pie.
But I hate noxious weeds.
And so I'll have to agree with both my husband and my mother. I'll keep spraying the blackberries on our property and will pick fresh fruit in a week or two from the enormous bushes along the side of the lane.
And then I'l make pies!
Almost harvest time. What to do?

Will wedge-tailed eagles prey on a whippet?
You know what? I'm happy to stand by the weather pig and wait patiently for his reply to this one.
Because I'm scared of what Google might say... or what it might show when it takes me to YouTube.

Olive the whippet or a sitting duck?
I don't want to know so don't share your ideas on this one, thanks.
But I'm keeping her inside until those two wedge-tailed eagles that have been soaring around the hills have gone elsewhere for their dinner. 

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