Friday, September 09, 2005

Combating natures terrorists

The Victorian government's Department of Sustainability and Environment have dedicated an entire web page to the plight of poor cyclists like myself, who each year around September, are effectively held under house arrest by the territorial instincts of Australia's native bird life, particularly the infamous magpie.

the new face of terror:

While dispensing such useful advice as: "avoid areas with swooping birds", "wear a helmet", and my personal favourite: "do not befriend swooping birds", they also provide an opportunity for cyclists to buy "swoop!" merchandise (pdf) (i.e. eye stickers to put on the back of your helmet).

To put things in perspective, this time last year I came up to Canberra (with my bike) to visit Aff. I was swooped six times in the space of a week while riding my bike - and these birds meant business - I have helmet dents to prove it!

The year before, while riding my bike in Cape Paterson, I went right over the handle bars of my bike while trying to look back at a swooping magpie (mental note: when turning your head, remember not to also turn your handle bars). Seeing me on the road with grazes to my left arm and leg, the bird clearly realised it's work was done, and let me be.

While I seem to be losing my own personal war on terror, all is not lost. Earlier this year, while in New Zealand, I had the unique opportunity to dispense some pay back at the Hokitika Wild Foods Festival:

And yes, I can confirm - magpie tastes like chicken.

Other battle fronts

Not to be out done, Aff also took the opportunity to send a chilling warning to all snails considering messing with her vegie garden:

and to males of all species, another prevocative warning from Aff:


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