With summer fast approaching, the wildlife is beginning to show itself. The ‘roos are around all year but they are not the only resident locals that we share our few acres with.
We have a skink – at least one – which sleeps on the windowsills some days, spends the heat of the day in the shade-house and checks out the workshop from time to time. But they could all be different skinks. They all look alike to me. We found three baby skinks under some bark at the wood-heap once so replaced it carefully and tiptoed off to do something else. Our friend has seen a skink with its babies on its back which is something else I didn’t know about them.
Baby skinks (above)
There is a racehorse goanna in the garden and we sometimes see him (or another) down the paddock. The little birds get all atwitter, Herc (the sheep) picks up on the vibes that something is up (but he can’t work out what) so he starts yelling for his Mum and Dad (that’s Vin and me).
And we have a sleepy lizard.
We went to Narrogin on the weekend. I always watch for emus about halfway between Collie and Williams and sure enough, there were six or so just where I expected them to be.
Before I was married, we had a pet emu. Mum was always being given strays of one kind or another and she was pleased to be given an emu. It would ‘drum’ often, making a deep booming sound. There was great excitement when after what seemed a very long time, Emu (very original name) suddenly laid eggs. So now we knew she was a female. After that, she laid 13 to 17 eggs a year. We’d drill a hole in the shell, blow out the contents and make a sponge in the baking dish.
The shells were quite a rich green. Apparently the colour changes according to the feed and Emu was well fed. Every so often she would feel the need to race around her large yard, scattering chooks and running flat out with her body to one side or the other then extending her head straight out in front. By the time she stopped, she’d be puffing.
The emu is a ratite or flightless bird like the kiwi, ostrich, rhea and cassowary. I’ve written articles on all of them if you’re interested.
We live on 18 acres in the south-west of Western Australia. Our property is bounded on two sides by State forest. This is open eucalypt woodland, home to a number of marsupials and wildflowers. The most plentiful, and most commonly seen, is the western grey kangaroo. Although ‘our’ roos aren’t tame, they don’t flee in a panic and we able to enjoy their antics and take the odd reasonable photo. Luckily we are not mad keen gardeners although the kangaroos are. We’ve learnt not to plant what roos most enjoy.
Kangaroo & Joey
Did I mention my posts about kangaroos? They are here!
I really love sheep and there are so many breeds around now. Before the days of computers, I knew very little about breeds other than Merino and the few British breeds that had been imported into Australia for breeding fat lams.
There are so many other fascinating breeds and we now have fat-tailed, dairy and/or self-shedding breeds on Australian farms.
I’ve written a number of articles on sheep breeds which you can find below.