Was this really summer?

I’ve heard the temperature has been 8 degrees celsius colder than the average summer temperature. I believe it. I only went in the water once and that was when a dinghy dropped us off in water up to our chests. All this beautiful turquoise water and I haven’t been swimming! I’ve worn wool on almost every day of my Tasmanian summer and often several layers. And now it’s fall.


Last night, there was loud scratching at all the windows. It sounded like a B horror film. I thought I heard someone whispering, “red rum, red rum”. This morning I found dragonflies attached to the house. Naturally, they are huge. The insects and spiders are all supersized here. The bull ants, huntsmen, beetles and dragonflies.

Mild rain was predicted last night. It poured and poured. Tim set buckets around the house while I slept. We recorded 62 mm this morning, which is the most we have had in one day during our stay. Actually it’s more than is recorded for entire months, even the winter ones.

Now we only hope that the sands haven’t washed down onto the jetty road. We thought we would spend our last few days here walking the walks. Instead we may be shoveling the sand, again. Where’s the ibuprofen…and my mittens?

I think I’ll wait until later to look.

Local lizards, beetles, possums and snakes

I’ve grown fond of the lizard who hangs around the sun room. I can hear the little pitter, patter of his feet as he runs across the linoleum. He no longer resides in my sneaker but I found where he was storing his food stash. He made quick work of a little beetle.

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These beetles give off a strange scent. i thought I was smelling mildew in the house, but Tim figured out it was the beetles that get inside the house. Stinky bugs. Other huge beetles remind us of the “Cluster Flies” from home. In the morning, we find them lying on their backs doing the back stroke to death. They are so large, when they land on their backs, their legs aren’t long enough and can’t give them enough leverage to flip back over. Then I sweep them outdoors.


This beetle was floundering around the other day. It’s very ornate with a superstructure antenna. Unfortunately, it makes it unstable and top heavy and it also has a hard time flipping over when it lands on its back.


We watch movies on the computer and have been sitting in the sunroom at night. Since it is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows on three sides, the light shines around the periphery outside. We have learned a possum makes a nightly trek around the house, checks out the barbecue for snacks and heads off.

This is the largest white lipped snake I have seen here. I guess it does have white lips. I stamped my foot and it slithered off into the tussocks. It left the wallaby turd behind.

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It’s March 1 and the first day of Fall?

Seasons are strictly by the calendar in Australia. None of this equinox, solstice stuff. Summer ended on February 28 and Fall began today. I’ve made a silent vow to walk a track a day until we leave. These photos are along the creek to Little Squally Cove on the south eastern side of the island.

Little Squally Waterfall Little Squally cairn Little Squally Creek

The view from the lighthouse overlooking the compound and Erith Island.P2270140.JPG

Returning home on the lighthouse track with a mother and joey wallaby.P2270142.JPG

Yesterday, I submitted the monthly totals of rainfall to the Bureau of Meteorology. We had 121.6 mm of rain for the month, which is the most rainfall on Deal Island since 1939. We experienced one of the wettest summers in 72 years! And it was wonderful.

Since it’s the first day of Fall, we have cold gale winds. The garden is looking so good. I hope it survives. When the sun comes up, I’ll check and consider setting up barriers around the smaller plants again. Then rinse the sea salt and keep my fingers crossed. We’ll see if I take a walk today.

Another beautiful sunset and dinner on the jetty

I don’t know if I like nice or bad weather better. Nice weather is nice. Bad weather is dramatic. We are enjoying nice weather and a group of kayakers arrived in the early afternoon. They are on a fundraiser to clean up the beaches of the islands in the Bass Strait and the event is called Clean Across Bass Strait. They spend time at each of the islands cleaning debris off the beach. They have mostly found debris off ships, recreational visitors are pretty tidy. I saw them pull in and then they walked up to the house and even walked up to the lighthouse before picking up a bag of debris along the rocks of east cove.


I was in the middle of my encounter with the giant sea creature. I boiled water in a very tall stock pot and put him in. There was some thrashing about and I had to hold the lid on. Pretty horrible. Tim had already vacated the premises. Things settled down and it cooked up beautifully. I chilled it then got a ton of meat from the tail and claws and we ate it with a dipping sauce of tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, red pepper and milk taken from the Lighthouse Cookbook.

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We had a nice dinner on the jetty with the kayakers with stimulating conversation. Several had spent some time either visiting or living in the United States or Canada, in beautiful places: Vermont; Whistler, BC; Aspen, CO and Marin County.

We are all moved by the beauty of Deal Island and the Kent Group. It is awe inspiring to approach from the sea with the soaring cliffs, bright orange lichen covered rocks and aquamarine water. It was also heartwarming to see everyone individually walk up the hill to the new bench to get a good phone signal and call family and friends.


Another beautiful sunset.jpg


There’s a lizard living in my sneaker

Since there are gianormous spiders and man-eating ants here, I have developed the habit of turning my shoes upside down and tapping them before I slide my foot in. I usually wear my hiking boots but today I only planned to do a little work in the garden so was putting on my sneakers, which I haven’t worn for a while. I noticed a small dead beetle in the heel and was getting ready to dump it out when I realized it was dinner for my sneaker’s inhabitant who was lurking up by the toe. There was a small skink curled up in there. I think it’s the one I see walking around in the sun room, where the shoe rack is. I decided to wear my boots.

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So off I went to the garden to finish my clean up. I tested a rat trap by putting my pinky in it (by accident). Luckily I was wearing leather gloves and only have a slightly purple finger to show for it. I sort of knew something like that was going to happen when I got the traps out. I was weeding and saw the Tasmanian version of a Praying Mantis or some sort of twig insect.

And for dinner tomorrow, we have this insect like creature from a local fisherman. I’m sure there will fun afoot in the kitchen ala Annie Hall. It’s huge! It must weigh about five pounds.


We built a wonky bench

During the run of bad weather, we kept busy working in the shop. We found lumber, nuts, bolts and screws and, using only hand tools because we’re not allowed to have power tools, made a bench. Not bad eh?

It may look a little crooked but it works for its location. There’s a corner on the road from the jetty to the compound, which usually has good cell phone reception for Telstra phones and laptops. It is fondly referred to as Telstra corner. If you do a Google search for Telstra Corner and Deal Island, there it is. The trouble is it’s on a hill with slopes in at least two directions.

We made a similar bench for Seguin Island but it was sited on level ground. This was on a slope that went downhill and forward. I got a headache just thinking about the angles. But it worked! Then we hemmed and hawed about putting a sign on the bench. Telstra corner seemed too commercial so we came up with the universal reception signals instead. And it will remain on Telstra corner because it won’t sit anyplace else.


Apparently red skies in morning also predict a gale

Sunrise Deal Island.jpg

Sunrise Sunday

Tim has been wearing a hat most of the time because his sunglasses died. Two days ago, when we went to Squally Cove, a willy waugh whipped it off his head, took it straight up in back of him and then deposited it about 20 feet in front of him. Later that night, one of the fishermen in the cove recorded wind speeds of 70 knots and all three boats in the cove dragged their anchors during the night. And it continues today with 15 foot seas off the island.

We have a small fishing boat sort of stranded here. They can’t leave because of the weather and weren’t planning to be here more than a day or two. It’s been five days now. Maybe tomorrow will be calm enough for them to go home. Sometime this week a group of kayakers from Surfriders should arrive as part of a fundraiser/clean up effort. They plan to spend the first hour on each island cleaning up the beach. They’ll have it easy here unless we scatter our trash, packed to take off the island, on the beach.

The wind shifted to the west and yesterday I walked to a couple of lookouts to see the surf. Squalls blew by. Waves crashed on Erith island with surf rising at least 200 feet up the cliffs. It’s nice to come back to the comfort of the cottage on days like this.


Red skies at night predict a gale the next day!

We are enjoying our last full moon on Deal Island and the skies cooperated.

Full moon over the Museum

We had fog on and off all day, and even recorded several mm of water in the weather gauge from it.

Fog rolls in and out

It lifted in the afternoon and produced another beautiful sunset with the sky ablaze.


As I walked around last night, I marveled at the size of the island and its sheer cliffs. The lighthouse hill is a 1000 foot cliff on the edge of the island. The island is 1600 acres and is inhabited by two people, us! We are surrounded by soaring hills and big sky and usually big waves.

There is a small chance we may get to see the Southern Lights over the next several days. There is a certain chance we will have gale force winds over the next several days. The weather is very exciting here. Especially from the comfort of our cozy, caretaker cottage. The wind howls and whistles, the rain pounds the roof and the sun is brighter than we have ever seen.

Lighthouse hill alit

  Lightouse hill afar

Deal Island Sunset

Wonders on the walk to Little Squally Cove

It’s been a little while since I have had rock visions but they are back. We ran a shopping errand and took a trip to our local Lowe’s. Little Squally Cove is exposed to the southwest and gets all the lumber which falls off ships. It’s a good source of wood for projects on the island.

Lowes Little Squally Lowes

I looked up and there was Porky Pig.

Porky Pig

Next I spotted an armored Ninja Turtle.

Armored turtle

On to the real creatures, this could be a white lipped snake but I’m still not sure a snake has lips. Does a chicken have lips?


This might be a blue tongued gecko but he wouldn’t stick out his tongue for me. I think he was bashful.

? Blue tongue