Wednesday, March 31, 2010


So I was walking thro’ the Jacana Reserve this morning and I was just behind Chez Harris-Thibault when I saw a column of what I first thought was smoke rising from a mound of junk. I assumed some piskie was smoking his meerschaum early o’ the morn, naturally an opportunity to grab him by the piskie toe and claim my bonus, but in fact it was a column of vapor. I tried to capture it with my phone which is dying (note to everyone who knows me: I am going to get a new phone and could mean a new phone number, be aware). Anyway I risked (and gained) getting my feet wet wandering through the grass to see what was there and it was a mound of junk – grass and dirt junk with a bit of actual rubbish junk thrown in – and some holes, and the vapor was rising from an indefinable point in the pile, I suppose because it did not become properly apparent until some cm above the ground. There were some properly defined holes into the pile, but the steam was not obviously (as opposed to obviously not) coming from the holes.

I suppose there are two possible explanations: either the vapor is emanating from the creek that flows under the reserve and which was buried under a huge amount of household waste in the 1970s, and which is a little warmer than the air above it. The junk signifies a point at which the reserve is kind of falling in a little bit – and let’s face it the surface of much of the rest of the reserve is covered in depressions, it’s virtually a lake system at the moment. The other explanation is that foxes or rabbits or something else is living in the junk en masse (hence the holes) and were just generally heating up the air around.

What do you think?

By the way I am well aware no smokey vapour is visible in this picture but it is delightful anyway. A funny thing happened: as I say, my phone is dying. It collapsed shortly after taking this picture and attempting to send it as an email. So then I charged it up and went through the photos on it looking for another photo of the same thing from a different angle which I also took. It was not there. What was there was about 70 photos (many of them either blank or of completely blackness) most of which I had deleted over a year ago. I wonder if I will get phone calls from the past too?


hsg said...

Decomposition creating heat?

David said...

I reckon the garbage would be too old (40 years) to still be decomposing so close to the surface; but maybe the fact that the ground is disturbed there supports this theory.