Well, Australia Day weekend is over. All around the country the barbeques need a clean, the beer fridges are empty, and the cars are still full of camping gear.
No-one wants to get back to real life but the kids are due back at school on Wednesday after 6 weeks off and there are probably many mums out there, just like me, who have more things to do than there are hours left.
I will be spending today (Tuesday) naming the huge amount of school books I picked up for the kids on Friday (and are still in the back of my car), finding school uniforms (that I have washed and put away carefully. So carefully in fact that we may not be able to find them), and hoping that there are shoes suitable for wear somewhere in the house; the weather has meant the kids haven’t worn anything other than thongs for weeks (no Aussies don’t call them flip-flops!!).
I also have to unpack the caravan as we decided at the last minute to go off camping at Heathcote with the fossickers for the weekend.
It was a great weekend for camping, the weather was perfect and we had a very relaxing time. I didn’t do much more than sit around and read and the kids threw rocks in the nearby dam and played with the dog. Yes, we were very lazy 🙂
Even though it was supposed to be the entire purpose of the weekend only once did we do anything that resembled fossicking. We went off with a few other to a nearby creek and did a bit of gold panning. We didn’t have much success, only a few tiny, glittering flakes. We are never going to make our fortune that way!
We had more luck finding wildlife though, and without even trying.
Minutes after we arrived a yabbie was unexpectedly shovelled up by one of the group and delivered to Number 2’s gold pan. He was examined and returned to a safer part of the creek.
Soon after that Number 2 moved a clump of floating weed and a few small shrimp-like critters jumped out and flopped around his feet. These guys were also scooped up into the pan, showed around and returned to safety.
Dragonfly nymph skin.
Number 2 was also excited to find a few recently shed skins of dragonfly nymphs just above the waterline. These guys didn’t need to be cared for quite so gently and were turfed into the bushes once they had been investigated!
We also found a small frog, beetles and other wiggly water creatures whose names were beyond our powers of identification.
The most interesting discovery of the day came once we decided to go back to the caravan and make some lunch.
We were wandering back along the edge of the creek heading towards the car and came across a huge red-striped leech hurrying towards the fossickers who were still left. Eeek! He was clearly on his way to lunch as well and we were glad we were going in the opposite direction!
Even though our bug-loving kids are usually my faithful photographic assistants and happy to hold any critters for me they were strangely reluctant to touch this one…. Ok, maybe their reluctance wasn’t so strange. The leech was as wide as my finger and twice as long, we joked that it was so big we could hear it sniffing for blood and its little jaws gnashing in anticipation!
We tried to move it on with a stick, gently encouraging it to go somewhere else and safely away from our friends but it seemed intent on its meal. Oh well, everyones gotta eat. 😉 We called out a warning to the potential meals still hard at work downstream and made our escape.
Later that night no campers reported damage, so clearly the leech either had no luck in the creek or was sufficiently sneaky and managed to feast unnoticed. 😀
Panning for yabbies.