Go bananas!


Each summer I watch as the banana plant next to the Donald Street bridge develops a healthy crop. Who on earth planted them there? Is it someone from those houses in Baird Street, the ones that back onto the sloping piece of waste ground that separates their back yards and the bridge? Someone did: you can’t just go to a nursery and get a packet of banana seeds.


Equally as mysterious as their arrival is that, every summer (around late February or early March), they disappear. Are they harvested by the person who planted them? Knocked off by a rogue banana trader?

The urban foraging movement has gained a bit of momentum in Australia in the last couple of years; for places to find “Redfern celery” or “mental institution Illawarra plums” go here. I’ve been having a look around Hamilton North and Styx Creek to see what I can find. I think I could rustle up quite a feast.

This morning I found the ingredients for Drowned Rat Goulash.


A schnitzel requires some flattening out, but in Ham North we pre-flatten our animals for your convenience.


Those pesky pescetarians are catered for with a variety of fish dishes. Fruits de mer, anyone?


I had this fellow pegged for a bouillabaisse but now I’m not so sure; I think he’s looking at me.


I came across this duck egg sitting on a bed of water hyacinth. I suppose that even ducks get caught short every now then, the urge to lay overwhelming the ability to waddle back to the nest, but mother ducky’s loss is the urban forager’s gain. Yummo!


To finish off our urban forager’s repast we need a dessert. I have the perfect dish to end such a meal: Cat-Killed Mousse.


Bon appétit!

Out nabout


Some days it’s lovely and quiet down the creek; other days, it’s like Pitt Street at lunchtime. I know that this pic doesn’t exactly illustrate the kind of frenzied pedestrianised activity that I’m alluding to, but it was, well, a bit busy the other day. Three lads on bicycles, a couple of dog walkers, and these guys with their ute.

There seems to have been increased monitoring of the water around the creek and the gasworks recently, or perhaps I’ve just noticed it more. Certainly Jemena have pulled their finger out but, really, the gasworks is so totally cream-crackered that I wonder what they expect to discover with all their testing. That it’s getting cleaner?

It didn’t rain for a couple of weeks, which seems like a record after all that La Nina behaviour of the last year or so. It really is amazing, when the rain stops, how quickly the crap builds up. I wonder: is it good to have masses of crap in the creek because it hasn’t been washed away, or have a nice clean creek because it has been washed away? That’s a bit like “Would you rather be blind or deaf?” I know, but there you go.


It did rain again a few days ago, bringing a small harvest of trolleys downstream. But I believe we’re in for a hot, dry summer – or so They say. It’ll be interesting to see the flow-on effects around the rail lines and the gasworks. At the moment there are lots of predators around (hawks, foxes, cats), which indicates a healthy base to the food pyramid. But if the weather dries up I imagine that there’ll be less bunnies and ducklings and other tasty fox treats.

There is also the Baird Street factor. Baird Street is, for the purpose of TomTom and Google Maps, a regular street in Hamilton North. We residents, however, know that Baird Street occupies the fractal zone between to wormholes, each with their own massive anti-gravitational pull. The result is that Baird Street is in both Hamilton North AND the saturated tropics of Far North Queensland at the same time.

How else could Baird Street have such a healthy crop of bamboo …

… AND bananas!

I rest my case.