Just look at this dog. So far each farm I have worked on has had at least one dog roaming the land, old and young, skinny and fat, naughty ones and of course, the good boys. This one today may have to be the most friendly/happy/attention-seeking dog so far and I’m not mad at it.
I will certainly miss being greeted to a dog running over to us in sheer delight and expecting belly rubs. It helps the early starts and the searing heat. Each dog has a bit of character, bringing fun and energy to the team.
Funergy. That’s what they bring.
Whether it is Django stealing our work gloves and expecting a chase inbetween catching mice or Honey watching us prune mango trees whilst on the lookout for possums, they are great company.
But of course, these haven’t been the only animals we have encountered on the farms. They are the animals I would prefer to encounter for sure, much more pleasant than a brown snake or death adder. I have encountered four snakes directly underneath me whilst I work, although I’m sure they were non-venomous.
Just don’t hold me to that.
Two pythons, a yellow belly and a jet black snake that we were unable to identify. The last one I was sure was a black tube that runs through the fields to water the crops. I was about to stand on it until I saw the scaly skin slithering away from me very slowly. Even if they aren’t venomous, a snake bite cannot be too pleasant. The supervisor simply shrugged his shoulders, told us to ‘work around it’ and on we went.
This is expected with farmwork. If anything it has helped me to lose my phobia as I have little choice but to mingle with such animals and insects. A huntsman spider was my worst nightmare until I realised they weren’t a threat, suddenly my priorities became what would require a helicopter ride to the nearest city hospital.
Green ants have been the biggest pests. They are very aggressive and expect a bite if they are on you. These little insects are the reason for so many anger outbursts on the farm, if a nest drops on you, expect multiple bites and don’t expect to simply shake them off. They grip on for dear life.
But I still appreciate them all. Every creature, deadly or friendly, big and small. It must have been such an amazing experience for those discovering these new lands during exploration to see such variety and new species. It also makes me wonder what the universe has in store for us once (if) we manage to explore space further. I cannot even imagine.