Following on from my post on Change Of Pace, until this virus crap is over, I’m going to pause further posts for the time being. I really don’t want to write stories pointing out absurdities and the like that’s going on at the moment. The world is an increasingly depressing place and I’d really like to get back to writing about Gippsland and more positive stories, rather than how the world is swirling down the toilet. Nothing is happening anywhere and all that we hear on the news is doom and gloom. We’ve only just been allowed ‘some’ concessions as to what can be done in Victoria but, in reality, most activities are still in shut down mode. With Winter on its way, there’s even less happening and I can see things remaining much the same for some time to come.
This particular page is solely intended to be a record of the various videos that I put together that record the numerous backyard critters that live in and about our backyard. Most are directly from our backyard and others from our metaphorical backyard and surrounds, such as the High Country. There’s no story to be told, just a visual record that I’ll add to from time to time. Hopefully YouTube will remain in existence to retain these videos for a long time to come. One day, in the future, it may provide an informative reference as to what we enjoyed in our rural abode and I hope that future generations will continue to enjoy this wonderful wildlife of ours.
As Australia, and the world, copes with the Coronavirus (Wuhan Virus, COVID-19 or what have you), governments around the world and notably in Australia began to impose ever more draconian rules and regulations in order to ‘save lives’. Some of the concerns and the actions were warranted, especially in the early days when little was known about the virus, but many mistakes were made by Federal and state governments and some of these mistakes exacerbated the dangers of this virus. Australia was well placed to avoid the perils that other countries had experienced and continued to experience, yet once again politics as well as experts and the like delivered the wrong assessments and outcomes and continued to do so until virus cases rose and most states, especially Victoria, began to impose restrictions and penalties that resembled a Communist era police state, with associated public support.
I’ve often intended to visit the Leongatha Show & Shine, but for whatever reason I have always missed it. So this year I made sure that I wouldn’t be doing anything else or forget that it was on. I had no idea what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised at the size of the event and the quality of vehicles that were on show. I remember going to a show & shine event in Townsville many years ago and the what was on display was, to put it mildly, somewhat amateurish. Not a lot of effort had been put into any of the vehicles to make them show worthy, with wiring in many looking like a rat’s nest, as well as hoses and the like looking old and manky. Even though it was a long time ago, people had been doing show cars for much longer and doing so a lot better.
In 2015, I wrote about the direction that we appear to be headed when it comes to finding places where you can legally take your dogs for walks, camping and other activities that you might pursue as a dog owner. As I pointed out, all and sundry dogooder, medical expert and know it all chastises anyone who doesn’t meet their weight or health ideals and tries to impose ever more on your chosen lifestyle. However, on the same hand they go out of their way to prevent enjoyable means of exercise. In my earlier story I pointed out how so many places are no longer accessible to dog owners and the trend seems to be to make access even more difficult, if not impossible. Councils everywhere are turning over age old rules that permitted access to areas as such as beaches and parks, where dog owners could play, teach and enjoy time with their pets.
One of the things that we can never predict from one day to the next is what manner of local fauna will have visited overnight or might visit our yard during the day. As it was with our Christmas Koalas, we always have to expect the unexpected and we’ve had an unusual influx of Galahs, Corellas as well, I suspect possibly due to the East Gippsland fires and the wafting smoke. And one regular visitor, or perhaps a group of visitors over the years, has been our local Echidna (link has an old, but fascinating, video about Echidnas). I’m not sure how many inhabit the surrounding bush, but I suspect that there are at least two that call this area their home. So early in the first week of January, as we were about to let our hound out for his nightly business, an Echidna was spotted fossicking about just below our veranda. I observed it for a short while and then decided to video its movements, as I didn’t have much video footage of this weird and interesting creature. It was also partly due to the smoke from the East Gippsland fires that made it easier to approach this Echidna from close range.
The latest catch cry being shouted everywhere (sick of hearing it) is that ‘We must declare a climate emergency!‘. Local councils especially are jumping onto this bandwagon and declaring that there is now a climate emergency. What exactly is the emergency and what rescue, recovery and mitigation activities are these councils undertaking? When an emergency is declared, it usually involves a real and present danger or attending to the after effects of some natural disaster that has affected a vast area and/or number of people. All I see about me, after these declarations have been made, are people going about their normal business. No one appears to be aware that an emergency is afoot and that they are now subject to emergency action as detailed by whatever procedures normally take affect in such circumstances. We may have fire emergencies, flood emergencies, cyclone emergencies etc, but what is a climate emergency? Continue reading
Just as we thought we’d seen the last of the rarer wildlife for this year, we had a visit from a koala and young that I think are the same ones that came by just over a year ago. The joey had grown sizeably larger, naturally, and was now just a little smaller than mum. However, it was now much more adventurous, as it was climbing all about looking for the best gum leaves, though regularly coming back to mum for a bit of what appeared reassurance. Mind you, at times, harassing mum seemed to be more of a hurry up to get her to move to another location. Once again, they were moving about during the hottest part of the day and I’d always thought they’d be resting somewhere and moving about only in the early morning or late afternoon. At first the two were in a fairly open area amongst the trees, so I had a reasonable opportunity for photographs and video, but then they moved into the denser canopy making it difficult to see them.
As I noted at the end of my story about our Labrador Jenna, a blackbird started to build a nest inside our veranda. It’s nest building was not going well, as the spot chosen was the lintel on the top of a doorway and there was nothing to hold the bits and pieces that it was gathering to make its nest, Everything was just falling on the floor and we were daily gathering up handfuls of twigs, bark and whatnot. Despite these issues, the Blackbird didn’t look like it was about to give up, having found what it thought was the perfect spot for a nest. Feeling somewhat down at the time with the loss of Jenna, I decided to give the Blackbird a hand and placed a piece of wood across the lintel to assist in holding the nesting materials in place. The blackbird was clearly very satisfied with this development and in no time had finished off the nest.
There’s always something interesting or unusual happening in the yard throughout the year. If it’s not the birds or animals up to something, then it’s the trees and plants. This Spring, something perhaps not overly unusual but most certainly on a huge scale has happened to all the Messmate gums in our yard, our neighbours and, as far as I can tell, elsewhere in the neighbourhood. For some reason, leaf galls have appeared in massive quantities and caused leaves to drop in vast numbers. Our yard is full of such leaves and when I took our hound for a walk one morning, I noticed similarly large numbers on the road, with most squashed by car tyres or feet. These leaf galls were everywhere. I’ve seen these most years, but never in such quantities and our neighbour is also perplexed as he hasn’t seen such a mass event in all of his years living in the area.