Saturday, 27 October 2012

Day 352- Of Termite Cities And Lily Clad Pools

Termite Mound, Litchfield National Park, Darwin- 10th Aug 2012

As some of my longer blog friends might have known, I had a hate-hate relationship with termites. My tribal house was once named "Termite House" because it was nearly eaten up by the dreaded bugs in 2009. 

Magnetic Termite Mound- Litchfield National Park, Darwin, 10/8/2012

I was therefore a little surprised that termites and what they built were revered and conserved in Darwin and were tourist attractions at the Litchfield National Park. These mounds were considered truly amazing architectural feats as they were built complete with tunnels, arches, chimneys, insulation and nursery chambers.

Magnetic Termite Mound, Nicknamed "The Graveyard" by me and my friends

This city of termite mounds was cordoned off from access by tourists so that it could be properly conserved. The reason why the mounds were all aligned north to south was so to minimise  exposure to direct sunlight.

Welcome to THE termite mound of all termite mounds. This is the Cathedral Termite Mound. A signboard next to it says :

This mound is home to a colony of grass eating termites called the Cathedral Termites. It is about 5m high and could be more than 50 years old.

I have to confess I felt a little queasy standing so close to the home of possibly a million termites but I just had to share this. Me, a mere  Termite House basher next to the true architects and builders, completely humbled and in awe by this magnificent structure that could very well be the Angkor Wat of the termite world. 

In the preparation for this post, I was just reading some of my back posts on the history of my termite house when I realised something. If not for the fateful Day 28 when we found the house being attacked by termites, my tribal house might not have come to me because it was meant to be sold or given to someone else. 

To the termites of my home, I still won't say thank you although you will have my respect if you can build structures like your brethren in Australia. 

And speaking of proportions, the morning before  we drove to the Litchfield National Park, we went on a river cruise on the Mary River. One really sweet experience was having our boatman drive through a lily-clad billabong.

Sunbathed and glorious, we were told that these flowers bloomed only for a day before they wilt.

We were all encouraged to pluck one from the river. Look how big the flower really was. You can wear one as a blouse 

with a matching hat!

Perfect for a day out with my date, Mr Crocodile.

*wink, wink


Ara said...

Looks like an amazing trip!! The termite mounds are impressive but I would be nervous right along side you to stand too close!! You look like a lovely flower all dressed up for a garden ball! hugs from Texas, Ara

Remco said...

Wow impressing story about the termites, and so big or you so small..
To the picture with the big red flouwer I should add: two nice flowers.
Amazing things you share, a bit jelous over here...
But keep them comming ;-)

The Old Maid said...

Ahhhh, another trip - am I right?

Stunning flowers! Guess nature grows in every direction if we don't disrrupt it.;)

Still..... I would bring some Bygones or Raids with me to kill all these insects! lol!

You look so SWEET in that hat, dear Sam!!!

Hugs and kisses

Susan said...

At least that type of "White Ant" builds its own nest, the type that ate our fence prefers to live within the meal that they're eating... One day you have a fence, then next day it's dust. I'm glad you enjoyed the rest of your trip and stayed safely away from the crocs!

Daydreamer said...

OMG! I have Huge respect for your fearlessness in standing next to the Cathedral of the Termite World! I can share your unnerved disgust that they would eat your House!!! The very idea gives me the creeps! And yet to see what they can build.... !
As for the Flowers.... Gorgeous! I would not have thought they are so big...! We have water lilies here... a scant four inches across for their blooms! You look lovely clad in your Tropical Blossom Gown!
And didn't your Mother warn you to stay away from the Dates with big teeth and a "Wink" to their eyes..???
I'm glad you had this adventure, Dear Sans! And thanks for sharing!

Dark Squirrel Victoria said...

Ugh...termites. Amazing pictures, the tree houses are quite beautiful in their own way.
The water lilies are gorgeous!


BiWuBär said...

Nice to meet your new boyfriend... like the smile of Mr. Crocodile... ;O) Fantastic pictures and fantastic impressions of an exciting journey. I can understand your feelings about the termites in your houses (the real one AND the tribal house) but as with all insects outside the house they're kind of fascinating. These termite mounds are true masterpieces of nature. Oooops, almost forgot - nice outfit, as well the flower blouse as the hat. Would be perfect for Ascot... *grin*


rosanna said...

Dearie, I was at my dad's place when we saw your post.
He said " Look at her, she looks so young!"
Sans, you are perfect in these pics, I love all of them, the brave Sans, the sweet Sans, the smiling facetious Sans, the sunny Sans.Not to forget Mr Crocodileand his crooked smile ;o))
Big hugs my dear, miss you a lot.

Maria Ireland said...

Thank you for sharing your fantastic trip. Your pictures are wonderful. Isnt nature fascinating she has so many wonders.
Hugs Maria

Eva said...

Un fascinante viaje y unas impresionante fotos. Se te muy guapa con tu traje de flor. Un saludo, Eva

Piikko said...

What an amazing journey! And oh my, what a handsome date you had!! :D I envy you now! Not only for seeing croco but also for seeing those beautiful flowers. Well, I do not really envy you, I am happy for you. :) And I am happy for me too. Why? because I have a blog friend who is showing me the most beautiful things!♥ Thank you again! Hugs

malu2 said...

Que guapa estas!!! estas fotos son una belleza!!
Gracías por compartir tu viaje!!
Besos de las Malu´s ♥♥♥♥

Sans! said...

Ara, Darwin is under-rated. It was my 1st trip to Australia and I am glad we picked Darwin :). The highlight for me was to stay out in the wilderness in Kakadu . It was quite amazing :).

Sans! said...

2 nice flowers, Remco? Yes, the flower was so big, it could have been 2 :):):). Unless that's a complement, then thank you !!

Sans! said...

Ewalina, I was told by the pest guys never to kill termites with Baygone or Raid or any of those spray because you have to attack the whole colony. So they use this poisonous powder to let them think it's food so they will bring it back to their "mounds" to feed everyone.

Very hard for me not to spray them immediately when they are eating my dollhouses or handbags!!! Or like the last time, minis I brought back from Europe. Arghhhhh... yea, I still hate them!

Sans! said...

Susan, I know about those white ants you are talking about!

I asked my friends who were living in Australia if they would keep the termites or the trees. If you ask me, i'll pick the trees any day!

Sans! said...

Betsy, in Singapore a "buaya" or "crocodile" in Malay, also describes a man who is a flirt :):). Yes, animal or man, you should stay away :).

The size of that lily is misleading. It's the way you hold it when you take the pic. Our rather wonderful boatman / guide showed us the trick. :):).

Sans! said...

I'm afraid there was no tree house V :).

Sans! said...

I'm afraid there was no tree house V :).

Sans! said...


((((((((((((Papa Rolla)))))))))))

Ro, tell your dad to come live in the tropics. It's a very youthful environment :):):).

And thank you for those high praises :):). I especially love "facetious" .

You know Ro, there hardly pass a day when I wasn't thinking "hmm...must tell Ro about this or show Ro that ..." . O dear, I can feel myself on the verge of a song....You ahhhhhhh alwayssssss on maaaaa mind... :):):)

Sans! said...

O Birgit, that old croc? He's just a "friend". But he is quite a handsome bugger, isn't he? I have never been so up close to a crocodile. I was travelling with some friends and my girlfriend is so afraid of reptiles (especially snakes), she wouldn't even look at a picture of them. Imagine where she was when the boat came so close to Mr C. LOL

Our guide/boatman told us that crocodiles are generally harmless. Just don't do anything stupid like getting drunk and passing out when they hang out or take a swim in their pool and they won't bother you :).

Sans! said...

Maria Ireland, no one and I mean no one can beat Mother Nature when it comes to fascinating! :):)

Sans! said...

Muchas gracias, Eva. Es la flor que es bastante :) :) Yo soy sólo la hoja que acompaña :).

Sans! said...

Piiko, this whole post reminded me again of the one you did with your daughter in the sea/river/pond :):).

I will never forget that post :):)

Sans! said...

Muchas gracias, MaLu! :):)

besos y abrazo por tu y POL y Maria Luisa poco :):):):)

Ana Anselmo said...

wow, great pics!!! Love all of them and as always I was enchanted with the story you tell us around them!
Maybe you don't like them, Sans, but thermites are really fantastic....but not in our homes , in any scale, of course.
hugs from Lisbon

Amy said...

Before I read your reference to Angkor Wat, I thought, they look like ancient temples. Amazing. I understand how you feel about termites, I had them in my house, though not architect termites like these, of course, and I imagined I could hear them munching away on the wood. But look what they can do! I should be so fortunate to make sculptures as complex and grand. And functional!!

Ascension said...

Me alegro de que hayas disfrutado tanto y que por fin hayas hecho "las paces" con las termitas jejeje
Me encanta viajar contigo y con tus fantasticas fotografias.
Pero lo que mas me gusta es ver tu gran sonrisa, se de lo que mas me acuerdo jeje
besitos ascension

Eliana said...

Amazing place. Great photos!

Rosamargarita said...

Las terminas no solamente destruyen casas! pero yo tendría miedo de acercarme a esa catedral de termitas y al cocodrilo!
Un abrazo

Drora's minimundo said...

I prefer the termites to the crocodile. Must have been an amazing experience. The water lilies are
gorgeous. These leaves probably served Adam in Heaven.
Hugs, Drora

CWPoppets said...

Hey Sans, you look lovely with your new hat. It suits you really well and you smile is so infectious. :-)
I would definitely prefer the lily pond over the termites, too!

Margriet said...

That termite hill is enormous!! You are very brave standing so close to it!!!
The flowers are beautiful!! What a wonderful trip it must have been!!

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