I think Iíll write a (relatively) short entry now, just to finish off Lamington.
I did manage to get Ramblings06 up, using the internet connection of my hosts, who actually live in what they call a granny apartment on the end of this house.† It turns out that they recently got a satellite internet connection, so I could just plug into that and get online, instead of tying up their phone line.† The government subsidizes the satellite internet connection for people who live in remote areas.† I had several emails, which I downloaded.† Once back in my own unit, I read and answered the emails, and Iíll see if I can use their connection again this morning, to send the replies and maybe get this up on the website.
Late yesterday afternoon I lazed around here on the veranda, enjoying the beautiful day.† There were birds coming in view from time to time, and I enjoyed watching them.† Then, all of a sudden I saw a black and yellow bird fly in and land on the edge of the forest.† I knew what it was even before I got my binoculars on it, but when I did, there it was in all of its glory Ė a male Regent Bowerbird!† What a little beauty he was, too.† Four hours in the rainforest and not a sniff of him, but 20 minutes on the veranda at ďhomeĒ, and there he was.† I saw him again later, too.† I had actually seen another species for my trip list in the rainforest that morning, as opposed to what I wrote here Ė Brown Thornbill.† There was another very plain little bird with a thornbill type bill, but he didnít have any kind of identifying marks, and I havenít been able to figure out what he was, even though I saw the species a couple of times, with very good, very long looks each time.† A mystery bird Ė one that an Aussie birder would have known instantly, no doubt.† So, unless I see something new this morning, I am leaving Lamington with 127 species, of which 14 are lifers.
I put out some bird feed a little later, and got some pictures of a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo with his crest extended, and maybe a picture of a Lewinís Honeyeater.† After it got dark, I put some carrots and some grapes out in the pans reserved for possums, and one came in and ate it all later.† The feeding pans are right outside the living room window, and I could turn on the outside light and open the window, then take pictures from about 6 feet away.† I had the usual problem with eye-shine from the flash, but weíll see how the pictures turned out.† I tried a few without the flash, but I donít think there was enough light.
For dinner I had two packs of the frozen vegetables, to finish them up, sorting out the carrots for the possum, with my steak, bacon, and cheese pie.† Excellent.† I have one more pie, a chicken and veggie one, and I plan to heat it up for my brekkie this morning.† I also plan to use some of my sliced roast beef to make a sandwich for my lunch on the road.
My next stop is Girraween National Park.† The terrain should be very different, I think.† I think it is dry granite country, with dry eucalypt forests and granite outcrops.† I have a list of 28 species of birds that people have reported from there, and I still need 23 of those species for my trip list.† If I see half of them, I will be doing very well, though, as some are not easy ones to see.† 6 or 8 of them is probably more realistic.
I have a decision to make about my route down off the mountain.† The most direct way would involve a series of unpaved roads, per Google maps.† I have it all mapped out, in great detail, but after my experience with Google maps last week, where the one key road wasnít actually a through road, I am hesitant.† There is also a big sign at the beginning of the unpaved road that says 4 Wheel Drive only.† My little Suburu Forester is All Wheel Drive, but it doesnít have the ground clearance of what I consider a real 4 WD car.† It would probably be just fine on the road, and the Google map situation would most likely work out fine, too, but I think I will go back down the twisty paved road with the one-lane stretches, which will probably add 30 or 40 minutes to my drive today.† It feels safer, though, and I am very cautious about taking that kind of chance.† I am sure I am not supposed to take this rental car on that series of unpaved roads, and if something happened, the car rental company would be all over me.† Even with the longer route, it should only be about four hours of driving time today, which isnít bad.† I might ask the owners here about the unpaved option, if I remember, and maybe I can be talked into it, but I would guess it is the paved option for me today.
I slept pretty well again, and this morning it is 61 degrees in here, which is perfectly comfortable for me.† No need to light the nicely laid fire Ė it can be saved for the next guests.† It is overcast today, with clouds down to the tops of the hills across the way.†
I plan to take a shower this morning.† The water heating is ďon demandĒ, and you set the temperature you want, and then just use hot water.† Energy saving at its best.† My host suggested 37 degrees C for a shower temperature.† That is only 99 degrees, which seems a bit low to me.† Maybe I will try 38 or 39; he said his wife likes it a few degrees warmer than he does.† You canít change the temperature once the shower starts, without turning off the water and going across the room, so it would be nice to get it right in the first place.† If it is too hot, I can always add a little cold water to the mix, but if it is too cool, there isnít any easy way to heat it up more, so it seems like it would be better to err on the hot side.† I only take a shower about every other day when I am traveling, unless it is hot and I am sweating a lot.† The temperatures up here in the mountains have been great.
So, time for me to put my pie in the oven to heat, take my shower, and pack up.† Iíll try to get this posted before I leave.† Onwards to Girraween!