Our old friends Peter and Vicki, who were looking after Red Mill for us, and our beloved Silvia busted their proverbials to make the place look as good as possible before we returned. Bless 'em!
It still breaks the heart to see the broken-off tree tops and the great holes where there were once trees, and the stumps still lying there, and having coconuts dominating the skyline rather than rainforest trees, and being able to see cars drive past - - - but they have done a great job cleaning up, removing rubbish, painting etc. We are very grateful to them all.
To first-time visitors Red Mill House looks just fine.
And - in this climate the holes will fill again fairly quickly with something that has been waiting for the opportunity to get some light and get going, for a long time. And - - - I'll have enough light to grow a few vegetables!! Give it a couple of years - - - - - .
The rain has kept going, with now 3.7metres of rain recorded for the year to date. The odd dry and beautiful day here and there, and hopefully that will improve as the 'dry' season sets in.
Lots of exciting things happening for us - a new Daintree Regional map which will be printed in the next few days, and a new Red Mill House website to go live in the next few days - both of which we have been working hard on.
Birdwise - Cyclone Ita has taken so much of our fruit and flowers from the forest that we can't keep up with the nectar feeders and fruit trays. It is certainly a good opportunity to get a close look at our honeyeaters et al as they squabble for food. There are opportunities to see Victoria's Riflebird, Red-necked Crake, Azure Kingfisher and others in the garden. The river is a little quite at present, but will start to flourish again soon with some fine weather. Good Cassowary sightings north of the Daintree River.
Our UK trip was fabulous with the Birdquest trip along the west coast of the UK and up through the Outer Hebrides living up to our expectations. Puffins, Guillimots, Razorbills, Gannets etc galore and the great opportunity to see the sea stacks and breeding colonies. Also managed to catch up with wonderful birds like Chough, Corncrake, Ptarmigan while in Scotland. We loved the wilderness in Scotland and sacrificed a few nights in London to stay in the Sottish Highland area of the Cairngorms for a bit longer, while the weather remained favourable.
Now, back to work for the year!!!