The rasping scream filled the corner of the garden and sent the neighbours dog into a barking fit. The scream stopped and started a few times and then stopped.
I had heard it a few times before. It wasn’t human. It was animal. I also felt I knew the cause of it. Being a sunny day and with the sound coming from the area near the pond I figured that a King Skink had found a frog in the tall grass. For such small animals, our local frogs can let out a loud, terrifying scream when hurt or injured, or I guess, perhaps fearing for their life.
I ventured a little closer and found a skink which soon moved off to hide from view. No sign of a frog. The younger frogs that we have near the house have disappeared for a time since we had three days of intermittent rain, brilliantly hot patches of sunlight and brief bursts of torrential downpours.
These little jade gems have kept me company while I have been ripping up wet cardboard and bagging it up ready for use in the garden. I have filled the banana gardens with cardboard and then topped with mulch. At the moment, with the weather as it is alternating between cooler damp days and really quite hot, sunny days, the worms in the banana gardens are incredibly healthy and active. Actually, these garden beds are also filled with wood off-cuts, soil, some manure, cardboard and layers of mulch. I am just about needing to top up the mulch as it has sunk in just the last few weeks.
The bulk of this mix is low-grade recycled egg cartons which break down really fast in water and are easy to break into smaller pieces. PAP 21 as indicated on the cardboard in the image is mixed paper cardboard. In this case there is a light glue adhesive which releases the cardboard quickly on contact with water. The cardboard itself is easy to shred after sitting for a time in water.
This is a bit of a filler job for me as I juggle jobs in the garden, what the weather is doing and what the house routine is demanding. I’m not ready to use the cardboard just yet, but it will be ready in bags for easy transport to the required location when I do need it. In the meantime it gets rid of the vast quantities of boxes that have piled up recently.
A King Skink basks in the sunlight during an intensely warm part of the day yesterday. Within an hour we had dark skies and torrential rain. Just the thing for the bananas which are putting on really good growth after almost twelve months in the container beds. It’s been a good few years now since we’ve had our own home-grown bananas. After our trip to Vietnam I am increasingly looking forward to that moment when I look out from the back verandah and see that incredible display of inflorescence or thyrse hanging from the plant.
Further Reading: Great info on Bananas to be found here.