Thursday, April 02, 2009

Ten Native Animules . . .

It's been a hectic and sleepless couple of days. Lily developed pancreitis after scoffing (I suspect) a load of left over chicken pieces and bones from Saturday's 21st, and exacerbated by my offering of Round Steak trims on Tuesday. So it's been a sleepless Wednesday night and two trips to the vet and $400 later, she's fasting, fine but not quite herself just yet and doomed to a diet of chicken and rice for a week or so. It is however requisite that she do a poo . . . so in a walk around the garden this evening and due to my inability to focus on anything overtly creative, I have not had a great deal of time to think about today's Theme Thursday which is "Ten" So here, in the spirit of all things Australian are ten things that are all pervasive in my garden, please try to visit the others because this is such a great theme and the responses so diverse

So for your viewing pleasure I present 10 great Australians.


Gum Trees - This is a Lemon Scented Gum which resides right outside my kitchen window. It was a six foot sapling when I built my house 20 years ago. It's now a 100 foot giant that drops it's leaves all year round and actually smells like lemons.



These are the 'alarms' of the gardens. Grey Miner birds, not to be confused by their noxious Indian cousins who are attempting to run them outta Dodge! They have a multitude of calls - protection, fear, aerial threat, ground threat and just damned annoying for the hell of it squawks.


Australian Magpies . .father and son . .he chased the youngling off last spring not long after I took this shot but the youngster was loathe to leave and hung around pathetically squeaking. I have three distinct families and the youngster has returned with a wife of his own and is inhabiting the bottom right corner of the front garden. Their song is a gorgeous loud 'chortle', melodic and discernable. They're known for being very territorial and aggressive but ours don't seem to feel too threatened so there's no need to put an ice cream tub on your head with eyes drawn on the back of it . . unlike the one down the road that is very interested in the Van Gogh effect and lopping off your ear!


The pretty boy of the back yard. A Rainbow Lorikeet succours sumptuous nectar from a native Robyn Gordon outside Adam's bedroom Window. Unlike their melodically beautiful plumage, they squawk. LOUD and in bunches. Very aggressive, chase off the more shy King Parrots (hence no photo here of the Royal Family) but man are they pretty . . .


Fruit bats . .I stole this rather well lit and I suspect photoshopped picture of a possibly stuffed fruit bat (maybe it's just a little tired). I haven't mastered the art of night photography without flash or light so have been unable to capture the squeaky brawlers who love, love, love the bamboo that runs along our northern fenceline. I rarely see them but they can be heard . . late . .at night . . just about bed time! You don't want to park your car underneath where they eat . .they have sticky poo!


Sulphur Crested Cockatoo . .much prized as cage birds these are NATIVE to Australia and found nowhere else in the world, a little known fact! They too are the pirates of the sky, hang around in bunches of 50 or more and are incredibly noisy in the early morning. Occasionally a tame escapee will be among the mob and sit on your shoulder . . .When they're startled, that little yellow peak becomes a multi pronged comb making them very handsome indeed . . .God must have a birdwash because they're immaculately white.

Bearded Dragon . . these are getting fewer and further between as suburbia encroaches so we were lucky to have several this summer. They freeze when a predator comes near and refuse to move so are wonderful photographic subjects. The Miner birds alert to their presence but they stay put. I was bitten by one once offering it a little piece of mince. You can pick them up but they're very, very prickly.



This beautiful boy lives under a gap in the concrete below the pool. He sheds every spring and looks spectacular. I know it's the same lizard because he has a bird wound on his tail where he was aggressively pecked by a magpie or a Kookaburra . . .had one in the shower once and Adam rescued it with a cylindrical post pack! They're big, slow and very amenable with a lovely blue tongue.
White Winged Chuff . . the 'bikers' of the back yard. They hang around in gangs of 12 or more, steal each other's babies in a sheltering wing display and turn over the garden like chickens. They're the size of a Bantam Hen with a peculiar whistling song and when they get cranky they pop those red eyes. Click on him and you'll see!

Brush Tailed Possum . . now these guys are just the ants pants. They're so pretty. They scrap now and then but if you catch them with a flashlight they freeze and you can have a really, really good look. If you're diligent enough they are tamable and are very partial to left over veggie peels and fruit . . if you're lucky . .you'll see mum with a baby in the pouch . . .

There . .I spared you Funnel Webs, Trapdoor Spiders, Redbacks, Huntsmen and Christmas Beetles . . . but be warned, there will be a post on 'ugly' Australians and it won't be for the squeemish.

46 comments:

Grow Up said...

Nice one, enjoyed that.

Ronda Laveen said...

I enjoyed very much seeing your critters which you seem to have no lack of. A post on "ugly Australians? Sheesh...I'm on the edge of my seat.

Grannymar said...

Good to hear of Lily's progress.

Great collection of colourful garden visitors.

Nowadays I have few garden visitors, an invasion of neighbourhood stray cats has reduced the variety of feathered friends.

steph said...

That turned out to be an expensive party!

Pancreatitis is a very nasty condition. I do hope that Lily has 'performed' by now and that her owner can get some rest!

You will give us some warning about the scary animules, won't you?

Miladysa said...

Excellent post! Thank you :D

I do hope Lilly did the business!

Ces said...

*Faint*
*THUD!*


That gum tree is knockout gorgeous!

tut-tut said...

Great intro for me of Australian wildlife! For someone who couldn't "focus" you surely came up with a great post.

I hope Lily recovers and eats only what's offered her in the future.

Mrsupole said...

I sure hope Lily has gotten better and you can rest.

If this is what you post when you do not have time or feel well, then I can only imagine how fantastic one would be if you had the time.

I enjoyed this post so much. I learned things here, I love the birds and that tree is fabulousious. The wingspan on the bat was great. My possum sits at my sliding glass door and looks inside. But if I try to go near it, it runs. It would be great if it stayed there. You must hear so much music each day provided by nature that you have no need for a stereo.

I love the lizards, my cats kill ours and I try to make them stop but they won't. The cats leave that possum alone, cause he is bigger than they are.

Thank you for sharing.

Baino said...

Good cos I love them!

Well Ronda, we don't have squirrels which I think are very cute and inventive.

Thans GM she ran out to bark at rabbits this evening so is on the mend. Ah, timing is everything, hang around at dawn and evening and you'll be surprised who visits. We even get the odd fox.

Steph tell me about it. she spent the day at the vet and I was expecting an Xray bill but she improved so no need. Scary? . .maybeeeeee

Poop patrol is on guard Milady. Don't I sound pathetic but she is my third child.

Darling girl I will try to give you something more comprehensive. They're just so tall that it's hard to photograph a whole tree. They're beautiful, quintessentially Australian but boy if you have to live with them they're messy. (sounds like men)

Chicken and rice Toots until she's back playing Soccer!

Mrs most of the pics were in my Flickr album . trust me this was a lazy post. I once had a cat that I cared for very much but once she died (she was a housecat) I've been reluctant to get another purely because they're so destructive to wildlife. If you leavae tidbits out for your possum, over time you can sneak a little closer and once they trust you . . you can hand feed. I haven't been able to do that here because of the dog! The lizards are about half a metre long. Too much for anything other than a feral cat. A house cat won't touch them.

laughingwolf said...

neat stuff, baino :)

The Clever Pup said...

Australia must be the most wonderful and most scary place on earth for animals.

I can't imagine having a lorikeet outside your window. Or the brushy possum.

In urban Toronto we get squirrels galore, raccoons, skunks, rats (ick) we had an American possum in our yard once and a woodchuck.

Candie Bracci said...

That was an amazing post Baino!
Well done!

Melissa said...

Loved this, Baino! Especially the birds -- magpies, lorikeets (sniff, sniff, I miss Anon), and cockatoo. What a cute possum -- very different than ours. Poor Lily! I hope she's feeling better. My childhood dog, Gus, scarfed a whole steak (only "chewing" twice) and moaned for days!

Marianna said...

Thank you for the pictures. A 10+ from me lol

Take care
peace and love
xoxo

hokgardner said...

Great pictures. I want to adopt one of those Brush Tailed Possums!

Brian Miller said...

wow, you have such an amazing world in which you live. great pics. my fav was the lorikeet, so colorful! hope Lily gets to feeling better soon.

Mariane said...

You cannot be sad with all those colorfull creatures around you. :o)Hope Lilly will get well soon.

Wordnerd said...

Fascinating! And thanks for sparing us the 'ickees' -- I read a book once about a guy who walked around the world, and in one chapter, he described his attack by something called "bull ants" in Australia -- EEEEEEKKKK!

Wings said...

GREAT post! Love the animals that inhabit your garden. Wonderful!

Megan said...

Always you are making me want to come there.

I have a picture of a lorikeet on my bulletin board!!! :)

Megan said...

Oh, and hope Lily is recovering well. Vet bills are steep, aren't they?

VE said...

I've heard all about your most poisonous creatures. Nice to see a feature on some other ones. Glad your tree is still there. Looking at the news from the USA it would seem like Australia burned to the ground...

Leah said...

So incredible, exotic--the lemon-scented gum, the lorikeet, the dragons. Wow.

Hugs to puppy.

Dakota Bear said...

Wishing Lily wellness.

Nice selection of ten, you have some interesting and beautiful birds.

Colette Amelia said...

very interesting! many of the birds I recognize from the pet store. I guess when you grow up with all the creepy crawlin lizards and bugs and snakes they aren't so scary...but holy cow! a lizard in the shower!!

Quickroute said...

tiz a diverse country to be sure you have many to choose from but nice choice!

willow said...

Love that bat!

Tom said...

very cool...you are lucky to have such a wild asssortment in your backyard...oh i guess you have to take the good with bad.

Susan said...

Oh I loved these. The magpies look EXACTLY like a father and son having a 'talk' (I laughed) and I'm soooo glad there were no creepies in there!

Dot-Com said...

Excellent! But I think bats are scary. Hope you don't see them too often.

Baino said...

And that's just a suburban sample Wuffa . .no kangaroos or emus!

Clever Pup . .it's pretty diverse alright and very unusual.

Thanks Candie

Melissa I could do birds for quite a while. We have several other varieties of parrot and cockatoo that frequent. I miss Anon too!

Thanks Marianna, that's a first!

Hok, the possums are really delightful and sooo cute.

Brian even here in the burbs there's plenty of diversity. She's fine thanks.

Mariane, that's true although I could do without my pool being the black duck pickup club in winter!

Wordnerd, I have a bull ant nest as well! Two actually . . I leave them alone and they leave me alone - most of the time. The bite really hurts.

Thanks Wings

Meg you know theres a spare sofa for you anytime and I know, I sent it to you!

VE the fires were very localised and in Victoria still thousands of acres but nowhere near me. And NEVER walk outside with bare feet there are plenty of greebies!

The trees are majestic Leah but they are so, messy, they drop leaves and bark and branches all year round.

She's much better thanks Dakota yep, the bird life is awesome - and noisy! Not enough to wake me up this morning tho! I slept in!

Collette yes it's a shame that we're known for the country where everything wants to kill you!

Thanks Quickie, you've prolly seen more of Oz than me!

Neat arent't they willow. Again, very urbanised and plenty around, they're a bit damaging en masse and rather stinky.

Tom, we are fortunate. Having acres helps, it's a little sanctuary!

Suze the maggies are always here and my bunch are very polite even when nesting, no aggression at all!

Dot, I hear them more often than I see them, they're nocturnal and rustle in the bamboo!

Cinnamon said...

What a wonderful post Baino- you have taken some great shots- and what an interesting variety of wildlife you have. I wish I could smell that gum tree!

I do hope your Lily is better soon. Vet bills- ouch :)

Evening Light Writer said...

Your birds are way more colorful than my birds here in the Eastern US! I love your possum too..cute..our possums are..well so ugly that they're cute.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

i'm in love w the brush tail possum....great post!!

that's some bat!!!

hugs to lily....no more martinis

Kris said...

No Great Whites or crocs in your backyard?

Baino said...

Well Cinnamon the gum tree isnt technically an animal but it is a quintessential Australian! Lily's much better, thanks and on a strict diet of rice and steamed chook. No FAT.(Wish someone would feed me twice a day on a low cal diet!)

Maybe so ELW but we don't get cardinals and pretty finches in Sydney . .

Erm nope Kris, the only things that bite here are the bloody mozzies after all this rain!

nick said...

How lucky to have so many astonishing creatures in your own garden. The best we can do is a few birds and the odd miniature frog. The Rainbow Lorikeet is breathtakingly beautiful.

English Mum said...

Wow that was fab - how did I miss that?!

Makes my Thrush seems very boring.

Oops, maybe I should rephrase that *blush*

Baino said...

Well Nick next time come out and see for yourself!

EM . .you're a twit! Time for a drinky poo! TGIF!

jay said...

That was a great post! I enjoyed reading about your native wildlife and I love the pictures. I had a book when I was very young, made up with those free cards you used to get in cigarette packets before the government decided to play nanny. It was called Exotic Birds (or something) and had a Rainbow Lorikeet in it. I simply could not imagine living anywhere such creatures just flew about loose. It still boggles my mind a little to talk to people who have birds like this in their backyard.

You have some great visitors - and I love the gum tree too. We have some hardy geraniums which smell lemony on a warm, still day, and it's just gorgeous.

Poor Lily. I read a few hints that she hadn't been well, on your Twitter bar. I'm so glad she didn't need surgery! Some people feed a ton of plain white bread to dogs who've eaten cooked bones in the hope it will 'wrap' them - I've done it myself. If she had pancreatitis, that can recur, so you might have to be careful about feeding her fatty foods in future. I'm happy to hear she's OK though!

River said...

I love these pictures Baino. I had a blue tongue lizard in my yard for a while, while the worst of the heat was on, L saw him edging towards the water dish and called me to take photos, they turned out very well. We haven't seen him since but occasionally hear rustling sounds in the ivy and the mulch so maybe he's still around. I love the lemon gum. A neighbour here has a huge gum tree which is visible through my living room window, sometimes I lay on the couch to read and end up just gazing at the tree instead.

Baino said...

River, at risk of being a nag, you really should start a blog! I must admit, I whine about the messy gum trees but there is no sillouette nicer than a fading sun and the black trees against the night sky. And they do smell delicious. Pity they're so bloody flammable!

Auntie, aka cagny said...

thank you for reminding me how exotic it is down under.
that was good!!!

subtorp77 said...

Very cool( and educational ). And I'd love to have one of those lemon gum trees( mmmmm...lemon )!

i beati said...

This was such a fun post for me- you should join camera critters.

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