Friday, April 3, 2009

Wild things

Sometimes it’s easy to forget the fairly amazing fact that I’m living in Australia. You know, I’m going about my daily business—kid stuff, working on the computer, running errands housework cooking blah blah blah—and after a while the different accents and shop names don’t seem so exotic anymore.

And, after all, they’re not what really makes Australia special for the non-Australian, are they? It’s seeing the local wildlife firsthand that really brings it home. These sightings seem to be coming more frequently lately, as autumn starts to make some inroads and the days get shorter. I mentioned the Festival of Cockatoos, and there have also been increased numbers of king parrots around our complex. And for the last few weeks, we’ve been getting regular visits from a mother and baby brushtail possum after dark; at first, mum was climbing up to our balcony with baby peeking out of her pouch, and now baby clings to mum’s back as they nose around for runoff water from the plants (or in the bowl we've been leaving out for them). They haven’t agreed to pose for any pictures, but they don’t seem particularly shy of humans, particularly since they generally announce their arrival by knocking something over. Best of all, when DP was closing the curtains last night, he saw a kangaroo standing on the grassy median which runs down the boulevard behind our apartment, patiently waiting until a truck passed before bouncing across the westbound lanes and disappearing down a side road.

(Have I mentioned that where we live is about a 10-minute walk, or a one-minute drive, from the busiest part of Canberra’s downtown? Perhaps this is why people say that, in spite of being the nation’s capital, Canberra is really just a big country town.)

Every time it happens, I feel as excited as if I were still Miss B’s age. And it goes without saying that all of these sightings are vastly preferable to close encounters of the eight-legged kind.


Zoe said... Best Blogger Tips

As it starts to get cold in the mountains more and more birds come to Canberra. There's lots more on the way ;)

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Excellent! Also, DP keeps trying to convince me that in winter Australian magpies get to be the size of small dogs, but I'm pretty sure he's yanking my chain....?

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