Hey, folks, so my Korean kitty-kat post a little while back has broken — vaporised, really — all my personal records on TGTW.
As this post goes to the presses, the tally of “likes” from other WordPressers stands at 330, way more than 10 times my average number. Unbelievably, comments have reached about 75 and it’s been re-blogged a dozen or so times.
Evidently there are a lot of cat people out there in the blog-reading world. If I’d known that, I would have carried a bag of dried fish with me on my Korean rambles. But without a zoom lens it was only due to good old dogged (catt-ed?) persistence (and having nothing better to do with my time) that I got the shots I did.
Anyway, as a thank-you for all the nice feedback, here’s yet another picture of a certain devilishly handsome feline:
* * * * *
“I might grow old in Brisbane, but I would never grow up.”
~ David Malouf, ‘Johnno’
It feels like cheating to quote from a novel I haven’t read yet, but I thought for this post I needed to seek out some Brisbane references from arguably the most famous novelist to come from this city.
..and see Malouf’s name on the “Queensland Greats” wall…
..I’m reminded of this egregious gap in my reading history.
I’m not the reader I used to be, sadly. Fiction reader, anyway — I’m lucky if I get through two or three novels a year nowadays. I don’t know if that stems from getting older and (even) more cynical, so that it’s just Facts and Information I seek from my books, or whether too many cable-TV dramas have sated my appetite for escapism.
Maybe it’s just another casualty of my reduced reading speed, which was never that high to begin with. I do spend hours reading each day, but it’s nearly all online, and is mostly news, opinion, humour, technical stuff…INFORMATION.
Too much information.
And the photos — always the damned photos…
Johnno, one of the scant volumes out there to be set in Brisbane, remains on my shelf, almost alone — most of my library is over with Kate. It seems reassuringly slender, but I have an American crime novel to finish first — I started it at least three or four months ago.
But back to the park, which on this trip was special not just for its usual quota of charismatic reptiles…
..but for its creepily wondrous golden orb spiders:
Golden orbs are the most visible arachnid component of the landscape in this part of Australia. They’re big spiders, they stay out there in their webs all day long, and their golden-threaded webs are wide and strong — supposedly strong enough to snare small birds, though I’ve never seen this.
You don’t know the meaning of the word “creepy” till your face has made contact with one of these metre-wide webs in low light. And I’m speaking as someone who’s had an inch-and-a-half-long flying cockroach land on his neck after turning on a light…
Think that sounds creepy? How about a golden orb colony?
Yes, golden orbs occasionally organise themselves into multi-webbed colonies of hundreds of individuals. They’re not the only species to do this, and apparently some spider species even cooperate to a degree in their feeding patterns, though not with the organisational prowess of several insects.
This amazing colony at Roma Street, situated on some high ground where breezes would deliver a cornucopia of prey into the waiting traps, is the best I’ve encountered. On this trip they came close to supplanting my quest for dragon pictures. But again: no zoom, so “capturing” them was a challenge.
I’ll switch over to visual mode now, and intersperse some spiders with the lizards, flowers and other Roma Street residents — and a few of Malouf’s observations about the Brisbane of the 40s and 50s which may or may not still ring true…
“Brisbane is so sleepy, so slatternly, so sprawlingly unlovely.”
“The pavements gave off a heat that rose right up through your shoes.”
As it was getting dark, I left the exotic flora and fauna behind and wandered towards Central via Wickham Terrace, home to countless medical specialists and one of our historical gems, the convict-built windmill:
This is one of the coolest parts of the inner-city…
..though I usually tell visitors that the “real Brisbane” is more likely to be found in certain older suburbs and along the river.
“It is simply the most ordinary place in the world.”
Well, yes and no…
~ And that’s all the Goat wrote