We know they are there, but we don’t often see them – freshwater crocodiles in Ross River, that is.
Freshies, as many locals call them, are smaller than salties. They are generally shy, attacking only when startled into defending themselves; and when they do, their narrow jaws and relatively small teeth can’t do as much damage as a saltie’s heavy head, although the Australian Museum warns us that they can still cause serious injuries.
They can also be hard to spot, even in plain view.
We had nearly half a metre of rain from Wednesday morning to Tuesday morning but it has all cleared away to the South now. (Mackay has had it, and Rocky is waiting for it, as I write.)
150 mm of it came on Monday – Tuesday and included a wild but very localised storm around 5 a.m. on Tuesday which completely wrecked a dozen houses and damaged many more, about two suburbs away from us (ABC report and photos here). We were woken by its noise but not affected by it, thank goodness: those who were unlucky enough to be in its path now have to deal with Yasi-level damage just a year after that cyclone.
I went down to Aplin’s Weir yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, on Ross River just upstream from us, to take the obligatory flood photo. I now have a collection of them, at least one per year, because the river reaches this level after any big rain event. It’s still very impressive.
By way of contrast, here is a photo taken from the footbridge last July, in the middle of our dry season (note the smoke from fires in the hills).