Hi, I’m Lucy. I’ve lived here almost all my life and I like the mountain because it’s always green and has lots of rainforest and birds and wildlife. It’s very easy to grow a garden because it’s got really good soil.
Nature plays a very important part of daily life for me. I always listen to the kookaburra calls and I play by whistling back to them and pretending I’m a kookaburra myself.
The Lost Tree
I remember there was this big tree and it was a very good tree in the middle of a huge driveway, a very nice tree to play under and sit under and read books under it. Then one day they decided to cut it down. That was really sad because it was a huge tree.
Stings and Bites
I’ve been bitten by bees six times and five of them were on the mountain all at once! We had a beehive and I got a stick and was banging the beehive and then the bees came out and stung me five times across the forehead… So Mummy and Daddy rushed me to the doctor in an ambulance vehicle. I’ve also been bitten by ticks, many ticks, and none of them made me feel ill! I think I’m very lucky ’cause of that. And I was bitten by a spider around the back, out there…
Glynn is a life-long resident and member of one of the original settler families
I remember when I was a girl saying to my father, ‘What are those little birds?’ And he said, ‘I don’t know their names, darling. Hilda would know.’ This was Hilda Geissmann Curtis, an aunt, and she knew because she was an extremely knowledgeable lady, an excellent photographer and well-known in naturalist fields. So I would ask her.
My father was a busy farmer, knew the the birds, loved them, didn’t know their names. There were no bird books around. But a friend gave us some money as a wedding gift and that was the thing we bought – a bird book. We were always interested.
THE HOMING PYTHON
He came into the laundry via a big old lemon tree. He was there for a couple of months . . . Not a problem. He’d crawl out on top of the fibre-glass roof and sun himself. He was very big, at least eight and a half foot, maybe nine feet. A carpet python.
Once, when John went away for a week, the snake came out on top of the cistern and lay there looking at me. He was really only about three feet away from my elbows as I did the washing, which was a bit unnerving. If he’d been up in the rafters I’d have been fine but he just lay there watching me with his head on the edge of the tank.
There were a number of days when John was away and I said. ‘Well alright you can have it. I’ll do the washing tomorrow.’
So one morning I came out to do the washing and he was smiling at me. He was definitely smiling. It was totally unnerving; because a snake isn’t meant to smile at you.
Then I saw that one little tweak of scale at one corner of his mouth was twisted up and I realised he was shedding his skin. So he shed it and it peeled back over his head like a glove and on and on and on until he got rid of his skin. Then he had a change of personality. He became . . . not aggressive . . . But really quite assertive! He’d lie there watching me but move more frequently and more readily and his colour changed.
I rang the museum and talked to them about it. They said that for a week or maybe two before the skin is cast there‘s a build-up of fluid between the new skin and the old and this makes them quite sluggish and they don’t see well because there’s fluid in front of the eye. Then the old skin peels off backwards and the fluid is absorbed and they’re there in their splendid new skin.
I was really feeling quite nervous by now because the snake was much more active. I was nervous for our little dog and when I was out doing the shopping I would shut him in the house. I didn’t want any confrontation while I was away up in the village.
Well, when John came home we decided the snake had to go. I didn’t want him harmed but I didn’t want him in my laundry either – taking over the joint!
So we decided to get the National Parks people, to see if they would help, and they came and hooked him out from behind the tank and put him in a bag and carried him away. They took him off and released him down Cameron’s Fall, down the track.
And my brother said, ‘Hmm . . . Good luck!’ – Because we knew about carpet snakes coming home, you know. Ten days later he was back.
He simply came back and settled down again behind the tank. And this time he brought a friend. One day I looked up and there were two of them. I could see through the fibre-glass, not very clearly but certainly well enough to see the two huge bodies there.
John got up on a ladder and had a look. The second snake was vast. Never seen anything like it.
What they were doing up there I don’t know. It was August, spring-time. I guess I got the idea there was something going on. I don’t know whether they were actually mating, or whether there is a courtship period when they’re feeling amorous. But anyway we got the Park’s men again.
This time they took them both. It was quite a struggle. It took two men to handle the big one. I remember watching through the glass from the kitchen. The snake was lapping around one of them and suddenly he let out a yell. ‘Hey Bruce! Come on, I really need help here.’
What he would have done alone, I don’t know. He was pulling with all his strength, a young strong man, on one coil of snake to keep it from lapping any further. And then it was perfectly easy for the other man to unwind the snake. They bagged it and took both snakes away.
They took them right down below the Beacon. We thought we might be sitting pretty. But he came home again, didn’t he? The original snake came back. It took him twenty three days I think – but then he was home again.