09 Nov HELP FALLS FROM THE SKY, SOMERSAULTING WORKERS & BANDICOOT BARRIERS …
Dusk and the starry-night sky are perfect for time-lapse photography, except when you have high winds. Such was the evening we chose to trial some shots of a Nightfall luxury tent – they’re far from perfect, but the test images give us an idea of where we’re headed. Now we can’t wait for our photographer to work his magic. What do you think?
It’s been another busy few weeks, building Nightfall. All of our luxury tent roofs are now up, thanks to neighbours and a band of friends who actively seek out adrenalin-fueled challenges. In spectacular fashion, the ‘high ropes’ boys recently dropped into our Lamington gorge. Laughter and banter flowed as they quickly got to work on the tent frame, somersaulting and gliding like acrobats to first put in place the insulation and then the tent fly-sheet. Those of us who prefer to stay on the ground could only marvel at their agility and confidence. No dragging ladders around for these boys. Then last weekend we had cause for real celebrations as our final tent roof was hoisted into place with the help of Nightfall’s neighbours and Wwoofer volunteers. It takes about eight people to do the job, so we’re very grateful to those who’ve come to help with the raising of each tent.
Nightfall’s organic permaculture food garden has also moved into a new phase with Steve’s parents Neil and Margaret instigating construction of a solid fence to keep out the bandicoots. The friendly nocturnal marsupial critters love to dig for worms and other insects, but they’re also very efficient at uprooting anything in their path, including our precious new seedlings. Now there’s only a few final touches to go and the garden will be fully enclosed. A mesh barrier below the ground should stop even the most determined bandicoot. Our remaining challenges: grasshoppers, snails and slugs. Molasses spray and beer traps go some way to protecting the plants. A pond encourages birds and frogs who’re happy to gobble up the slugs and other ‘pest’ bugs. Such is the life of organic permaculture gardeners.
Wildlife features highly in camp life at the moment. We saw our first koala, crossing Nightfall’s carpark a few weeks ago and each day we’re entertained by the antics of a growing band of brightly-coloured king parrots. What really took our breath away however was Monty, the python, shedding his skin as we watched in awe.
About a week ago we noticed the tell-tale glazed look across his eyes, as the scale covering them came away. Then the other night we saw him rubbing his head along the timber to release the old skin. Sure enough he began to peel it back, wedging his body and contracting his muscles to ease out of the skin. “Like a giant poo’ was the expression which best summed up the process!
So what’s next in this final stage of building Nightfall? Lots! After several delays we’re hoping the builder will return this week to finish the tent platform floors.; the under-floor stainless-steel showers trays are finally ready (after glitch the first-time round) signaling a return for the plumber; I’m madly sewing walls again; we’re planting trees along the creek as part of a catchment restoration program and watering madly to keep them all alive; and Steve is laying pipe to get water up to the top tanks and back down to each tent. We’re also keeping a close eye on a bushfire burning on the other side of our back ridge in the Widgee section of Lamington National Park. There’s no threat at this point, but it’s important not to be complacent.