South of Townsville
Its 0430 am and we are high up in the hills looking west for any sign of the hatching of a new swarm of Locust.
My mate and I have been in the out back for a few weeks now, living in a tent looking West, every day all day, towards the last place the locust were last seen, before disappearing 5 years ago.
My mate is a Australian black man, a Queenslander, loves working with aircraft, a good guy, one day he said to me, when I handed him the binoculars (his turn) "That If we keep looking West any longer our minds will travel out to see ourselves looking back at us" and he was serious.
Our Governments agricultural boffin's seem to think the locust will reappear again this year and start to swarm and eat anything they come across, which usually means all man's sown crops and wild life greenery, devastating the farming economy and the wild life.
There is a thin line of crop spraying Pilots, like myself, spread out to the south about 800 miles apart, all of us working for different companies, looking West across the outback for the tell tail signs of a swarm.
The plan is; Ambush them and this is our first time by the way!
The first of us to sight them, will call in all the crop spraying aircraft and pilots available and we will chase them, spraying them day and night until they disappear again.
A simple plan but unworkable!
We had no spare aeroplanes, When they finally appeared, every one of us was so busy with our own swarm!
We seem to wipe out millions and millions of them and never even put a dent in the swarm, the sky was dark with their clouds.
We usually run out of effective chemical, then we started mixing all sorts of farm chemicals in the hope of continuing the fight against our biblical enemy.
Ancient Man has be at war against the locust (Disambiguation)For over 5000 years.
It was believed this was the time when they would reseed the earth with their eggs as they had always done, since the time of the Pharaohs,
unfortunately there was no gps for us in them days to plot them accurately and make a plan! for next year.
Then I would go and spray them all night until dawn.
it was time to go and witness a true wonder of the world,
we would pile into our trucks and go to the field I sprayed the previous night,
small swarms were already rising from the field, but once the temp jumped another 10 degrees the whole swarm got airborne, blotting out the early morning sun with their frightening proportions,
it was as if we hadn't sprayed them at all, the ground was 4 inches deep in their bodies, there must have been millions of them dead, plus the field was also ravaged and barren of all green,
the Cockies (farmers) burnt the field out in the hope the fire might kill off the new laid eggs, who knows? it had to be worth a try.
No, not really, the only plus I saw was the fact that we kept them on the move and in doing so they missed valuable land and farms? and our Boffin's did predicted their arrival.
But really I'm not sure they even knew we were there, there was just too many of them to notice us, we were like an ant on the back of a very big elephant.
Another unanswerable question.
yes there were a lot of grass hopper about, but the swarm was gone.
(*Die, him he no die true, die little bit that's all).= heavy sleep!
"The hardest work is never too hard, nor the longest day too long.
But I've cut my cake, so I can't complain; I've only myself to blame."
Aussie: Mowbray Morris.