Is it really that difficult?

I haven’t posted for a while. I’ve been investigating whether I should return to University to study Law. It’s a subject I’ve been interested in since childhood and recently I’ve decided I really don’t want to be a “writer” but I do want to write. That is, I don’t want a career as a writer but I love writing and want to write for me (and anyone else who wants to read my stories).

I’ve also been busy working on my writing application Quoll Writer, I am currently creating version 3 which will use a new technology called JavaFX. You can see how that’s progressing on the Quoll Writer blog.

I also still have a part-time job and am a full time father and husband so time has been a little precious lately.

But today I found myself at a loose end with nothing too pressing to do so I decided I would go for a walk. The Queensland weather has finally stopped doing its annual Liam Neeson in Taken impression and the temperature is now a much more sensible 25C rather than the increasingly normal 33C with 60% humidity.

I live in a semi-rural area with a large, as yet undeveloped forest nearby (just about every square inch of South East Queensland seems to be in the process of being developed for housing). A couple of months back a large bushfire erupted in the forest and devoured a considerable chunk of it. I’ve been wanting to see the devastation ever since. So with the grocery shopping out of the way, some sunscreen applied, a clear schedule and a clear conscience I grabbed my hat and set off to try find the damage the fire had wrought.

A single, unsealed road runs through the heart of this forest, the forest is earmarked to be developed for housing at some point but as yet it is relatively unspoiled. At some point in the past the forest had been cleared and a number of ranchers had made a living there, the remains of this human habitation can be found today if you look hard enough. One dead giveaway is introduced species, these are foreign plant species introduced by humans into their gardens where they tend to thrive. When the humans move on these species linger and often still do very well, even decades later. If you see an abundance of these plants in a particular area of bushland, chances are humans once dwelt nearby. There is one such place close to the road in the forest, but something horrible has happened since my last visit, I didn’t find any evidence of fire (more on that later) but I did find this.

Piles of stinking rubbish that someone, or more likely, someones had decided to dump. Now you have to understand that in this picture I’m at least 1km from the nearest “real” road here but there is a council dump not 10km away from where I was standing and the council often give out free dumping vouches for this type of rubbish. Why did someone go to such an effort, since they would have to drive down the unsealed road and then into the bush to dump this. This was all domestic junk, there was even a picture of a couple of kids that I didn’t take a photo of but how dumb do you have to be to leave that in?

The last time I was in that area it had become a dumping ground for old tyres, i.e.

The entire area is covered with rubbish piles and used tires. It’s disgusting and unnecessary. Is it really that difficult to take things to the dump and pay a couple of bucks to get rid of your waste? Why do the rest of us have to put up with this literal crap?

But lest you think I’m being hyperbolic here’s some more junk piles I found today (not an exhaustive list either):

Apologies for the fingers, grrr rubbish
Someone has tried to be cute and arranged the teddy bears, it isn’t cute it’s disgusting

On previous visits to different parts of the forest I have found a number of abandoned cars, for example.

This was one of about 5 I found in one visit.

But the rubbish is what gets me, the thoughtlessness of it, the selfishness, the arrogance and the laziness. We all have to share this world, it shouldn’t be that big an ask for you to clean up after yourself.

So, irritated, I moved on. I still wanted to find evidence that a giant fire had rampaged through the forest, and after about an hours walk I finally found what I’d been searching for.

I went a little further on and saw.

This is a little harder to make out but this entire area was burned, in the background is a giant rock that was also burned and scorched.

And then the strangest thing happened, off to the right of this picture I was suddenly approached by these two characters.

A rooster and a female, I think they were eloping, Chicken Run style baby!

Now bear in mind, at this point I haven’t seen another human being for 2 hours and I’m at least 2kms from the nearest house, the entire area has been razed to the ground and out of the blue I’m approached by two domesticated chickens who clearly have no fear of humans and seem to think I have some food for them.

As bold as brass.

I tried to walk away but they started to follow me. After a few minutes I decided I would try and take them back to their home, I’d work out the details on the way. I’d seen dingo tracks on the same dirt road a few hundred meters back and I know there are foxes in the area (my neighbours have chickens). This pair, if they didn’t find their way home, wouldn’t make it through the night. But alas, after a while they seemed to realise I had no food and after a failed attempt at picking them up and an even more dismal attempt to shoo them along they stopped following me. I hope they find their way home but my confidence isn’t high.

The rest of my time in the forest was uneventful, I encountered no more chickens or giant piles of discarded rubbish. But as I’m always telling my kids, if you don’t go looking for things then you never find anything.

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