the dangers of living in the suburbs

10 04 2011

We’re very happy to live in an established neighbourhood with lots of trees. This ensures plenty of bird life, possums and recently a few fruit bats (or flying fox) enjoying the environment along with the residents. I came home in the evening mid week and spotted a Tawny Frogmouth on the wires above the driveway, raced in & got the camera and managed to take a snap before it flew off.

This weekend though, we’ve been distressed to see two magpies and a fruit bat hanging lifelessly from the power lines (there was also another dead fruit bat straddling the wires further up the street). Somehow they’ve managed to electrocute themselves across the wires. The electricity company has been called to get them down (if they down’t blow off before then) and we’ve asked them to check if the wires are too close together…

Magpies fruitbat

Seems such a shame that our suburban infrastructure can be so dangerous for the wildlife. I’m sure there must be ways to prevent things like this from happening.



60 hours to sit still and smell the coffee

21 03 2009

At 9:15 pm. the kookaburras pause near us and do their thing where the joke’s on us. A quick cackle of raucous laughter and chuckling, and they’re on their way (they’ll be back in the morning). The evening noise begins and the animals in the trees are cracking in the bark. Koalas grunting and squealing, maybe an owl and an occaisional Sugar Glider. The end of the day is forced upon you with the daylight fading to darkness (accompanied by a brilliant view of the starts) and a special type of tiredness will ensure a good sleep.

The dawn chorus is amazing. Well, it starts before dawn at 5:30 and goes right through till 8:30. So much whistling, chirping, squawking, tweeting, and warbling.

Late in the after noon a mother koala with baby on it’s back climbs down a tree and wanders across ground near us. I jump for the camera and head them off and take a few photos. They are preoccupied with scrounging away on a couple of old stumps, eating soft bark by the look of it. The baby jumps of mum’s back and has a frolic on it’s own and comes closer to where I’m kneeling to take photos on their level. The baby sees me and suddenly it’s walking towards me and climbing my leg! Yikes… It’s too close to take photos of (had the 70-300mm zoom on) so I called Wendy to come and grab the camera for some photos. It’s all pretty amazing and I’m not keen on having the thing climb any higher, they have huge claws and I don’t want an eye out or a split ear. I had to walk around a bit for it to realise I wasn’t a stationary tree, and it climbed down and went back to mother who by this time was coming closer to see what baby was up to.

The rest of the day is reading books, brewing coffee on the fire, and cooking dinner.

The great thing about all this is that you close all those doors in your brain that are open to the rooms of ideas, work, family, church, problems, jobs to do, etc. It’s very nice having something else to do. Well, there is nothing to do, well at least it doesn’t feel like it. The only things that need to be done are those required to survive, or maintain and cater for a (reasonably comfortable) existence. Things like keeping the fire going, eating and drinking, etc. Then there’s the things you do when you’re reading, talking, walking, and maybe some chores like mowing, cutting wood etc. And the day turns into night, and then day again. Just like that. <found a lovely short video animation that reflects this cycle but from a different perspective. Check it out at website for Solar.>

I suppose the point is, that we need a break now and then to keep it real and grounded, to pause and look around and enjoy the simple things. Let’s do it again soon.