Miranda’s Daily Blog: Day 165

You might find it hard to believe, I know, but I’ll tell you it’s true:  I didn’t panic, I didn’t even feel scared. That’s right, this morning as I opened my eyes to the day and saw a spider crawling out from inside my swag, and making it’s away across the pillow…. I remained uncannily calm. Now you may well know by now that spiders have been a great challenge for me in my tree top life. And I think today marks a momentous occasion… I am finally getting used to them. And in turn, perhaps this says something about my changing relationship to the environment I am now a part of. Only a few mornings ago I was marvelling at the brilliance of a silvery spider-web, glistening with dew-drops in the misty morning. And I began to think about how beautiful these creatures are. I mean, the delicate spider web strung just out of reach from my platform is a long way for the encroaching presence of spiders crawling in my bed in the dark of the night… but still, it made me appreciate them in a new light.

The other day when I was sitting typing a message on my phone, a little eucalyptus beetle crawled onto the screen. It made its slow way across the keys as I waited patiently for it to move out-of-the-way of the one I needed to press. As I typed my long, detailed message, the beetle went on a journey of discovery around my phone, onto my hand, back onto the phone, and again on my hand. It made me smile. I felt as though I was in a cartoon, where this moment would symbolise the fact that I have been in this tree for a long time…. You can imagine the scene now, I am sitting very still at the top of the tree, unflinching as beetles and bugs crawl over me, maybe even a vine has started growing around my foot! Well, it’s not quite like that! But the interplay between beetle and mobile phone seemed to epitomise my current situation, with it’s interesting combination of being comfortable with both technology and nature.

Speaking of cartoons…. Have you ever noticed how if they want to illustrate that someone is up very high this is done by having a bird fly gracefully past. Imagine a situation where someone’s house is floating up into the sky and they look out the window and see nothing but blue sky, a few clouds, and a bird flying by at eye level. Well, this is exactly what it was like for me when I was talking on the phone and I looked out my “window” and at that very moment three yellow-tailed black cockatoos were making their way right past me at eye level. Their wings gracefully moving up and down. Did I almost notice one looking at me and catch my eye?

Perhaps I am becoming more connected to nature up here. But there are some things that I become less connected to. And one of those things is mud. I realised that today when I had visitors to my platform. And they brought with them mud, contaminating my clean white platform with their ground-dwelling dirt! It has been raining heavily the last few days and the ground below has apparently become quiet muddy. These are things you forget about when you live in a tree. I had to make a “boots off” policy for when guests cross the line between my “deck” and “indoors” … to at least keep my bedroom clean! But it sure did have me reminiscing about life downstairs! I imagined what it would be like to stand on the ground again. The forest floor beneath my boots squelching with mud. The springiness of the moss-covered ground. I imagined what it’s like to have to step up and over logs, to walk on the uneven surface. Up hills, down hills, putting one foot in front of another over and over again…. (I think about four steps is the limit up here before you have to turn around and pace back the other way). I imagined walking through the streets in Hobart, the feeling of the footpath beneath my shoes. I imagined taking my shoes off and walking on soft grass. It’s almost hard to believe that I haven’t put my feet on the ground in so long. Sometimes I peer over the edge and see it there. It’s 60 meters away, which in the scheme of things is not really that far. Yet for me it feels so distant because I cannot go there, have not been there in five and a half months. I’ve made the commitment to stay in this tree until the forest is protected, and I am absolutely determined to continue to with my tree top vigil for as long as this takes. There are things I miss about walking on the ground (though muddy boots isn’t really one of those things). However, I do not want to put my feet on the forest floor below me until I know that this tree and the forest around it will be protected now and into the future.

And that’s where you come in… because the more people who get on board the sooner we can make it happen. Every day that passes is another day in which high conservation value forests across Tasmania are being lost. Please take a moment to sign the cyber action, sending a message to the corporate customers of Ta Ann. Let them know that you, like me, want to see these forests safe from logging.


Posted on May 27, 2012, in Daily Blog. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. hey miranda 🙂 this made me smile, glad you’re having engaging interaction with other creatures of all shapes and sizes.
    hope you don’t have to be up in your tree much longer if you’re no longer wanting to be there.
    also hoping to come up and visit you before i leave tassie
    ~ dan

  2. Lovely post Miranda. Did you get your new tarp yet? There were people in the forest this weekend. 4WD rally on Saturday and TWS carbon counting today. I wonder if any of them came within coooeee of your tree?

  3. HIya Miranda. Lovely description of the macro fauna your home sharing with, and how your spider phobia may have loosened a tad!! I recall watching a spotted pardolote come and go from a deep fissure while in a Mountain Grey Gum tree sit some years back. It would appear from the hollow, and whoosh, take off in a flash, then return within about a minute with some food it collected on the wing – awesome!! Power to ya sista, s

  4. Garry Stannus

    I think there were about a dozen ‘downstairs’. It was muddy!

  5. hey Miranda. your really getting in touch with nature up there in your tree, its nice to see that the smallest of insects can have a profound effect on a person. everything in nature is a wonder, keep safe and keep up the good fight.

  6. Great news on over coming fear of spiders progress…hell it just wanted to sleep with u & be nice & warm, nothin too personal:)…your way to big & dangerous for it to eat..99.9% give off great vibes & nearly all will do their best to keep out of your way…last winter in Nth Qld i was so cool to be rollin up my swag in the morn. & find a very beautiful little baby gecko had slept with me…try this…put your finger in front of the next spider friends face & i bet u anything it retreats…anything bigger than its mouth is very safe…(p.s. if they have a bright white tip on there tail or a red stripe…brush/flick them back to earth)…the big barkeys are cool dudes once u get to know them…ok great to hear from u again…hope the solar panel is workin well for u on overcast days. (new type do)…& u keep the exercises up…GB

  7. Today group of us sat in a sacred circle at a site the locals call the navel of mother earth ( local name is Moray. Google it) high in the Andes of Peru and we all took our shoes off and placed our feet firmly on the ground for you. You are holding our space and we are holding yours, thanks Miranda

  8. Spiders are ok when you realise they are more scared of you, and it’s their home.
    Outside is better but. Boy they have a strong work ethic – new morning and new web in dew, spun through the night. We have a golden orb out the front – he’s set up web, ‘Rufous’ I’ve chosen.

    We have the black cockatoos here too. I know that’s not their offiical Parks name, but they are so slow motion elegant and I just have to watch them when they fly past – and unlike many humans there are always two and they mate for life. We could learn from black cockatoos, and from Galahs, and from many wild creatures.

    It’s all special, Nature. Unnatural flouros, cities and traffic suck life.

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