Gippsland Summer – The Animals

It appears that summer has also made Fatso (our neighbourhood Echidna) more active, visiting our yard and winding up our two hounds, who think it’s an alien attacking the house. The hounds don’t know what to do with this generally slow-moving, spiky, yet rapidly disappearing into the ground creature. I fear more for our hounds than Fatso, but sometimes removing him is a Labour of Hercules, so strongly does Fatso dig in and hold onto the ground. I don’t know how much force can be used before there’s injury (to Fatso), but I don’t dare use too much, as I’ve had the devil’s own time removing Fatso previously. So I left Fatso to his diggings this time and, in the morning, he was gone once again.

Echidna - Mirboo North Victoria

Echidna – Mirboo North Victoria

Notwithstanding the rains, it has also been blowing a gale the last week after Christmas and our 30+m (100′) gum trees have been swaying all over the place. My wife called out to me that a young possum (a Ring Tail) had run up a tree and to come have a look. The possum had been running along the ground from sheltered trees to these open trees (my wife first thought that it was a baby wallaby by the way it moved on the ground), but our two hounds had spotted it and given it a fright, and up the nearest tree it went. It looked somewhat precarious until it finally found a foothold and then appeared to breathe a sigh of relief. What’s surprising, is that you don’t usually see possums about during the day, but perhaps the wild weather had unsettled this one and made it seek a better place. We checked on it a little while later, with the hounds safely indoors, and the possum was gone, hopefully to a more settled location.

Ring Tail Possum: I think I can

Ring Tail Possum: I think I can – Mirboo North Victoria

Ring Tail Possum: safe at last - Mirboo North Victoria

Ring Tail Possum: safe at last – Mirboo North Victoria

Our amphibious friends are also out and about in greater numbers, attracted by insects and the like buzzing about the riverbanks, and weren’t all that fussed posing for a photograph of two. We also have frogs at home, but they only appear to become active at night and they are impossible to find amongst our ferns and other plants, though you can hear them just fine until you start moving about. These may not be the most exciting or colourful of frogs (only about 20mm long), as that’s often what you get in the area, but they do tend to vary considerably in colouration from frog to frog, almost as if they are trying to blend into the background (which I suspect is the case).

Frog - Goulburn River Victoria

Frog – Goulburn River Victoria

Frog - Goulburn River Victoria

Frog – Goulburn River Victoria

Frog - Goulburn River Victoria

Frog – Goulburn River Victoria

Getting photographs of interesting animals can be a case of ‘luck of the draw’; you can never go looking for something specific and expect to find examples. I’m not sure what other animals I’ll come across this summer; however, should I find something interesting, I’ll add them to the post.