Into the Wild: Part I

September 24: I was going to wait until I had seen a koala bear before I posted “Into the Wild”, but Friday’s sitings prompted me to post it a bit sooner. If you could see just three animals in Australia, what would they be?  A kangaroo, a koala bear, and an emu?  A magpie, a platypus, and a Tasmanian Devil?  I have been here just three weeks and I have seen a multitude of animals, including kangaroos, parrots, and … oh – wait for it – possums!  And thus, my trifecta (at least in Canberra), including two marsupials. On Friday, I saw not one, not two, but three possums, including one during the day! Yes, you read that right – the DAY!

Help! Somebody get me down from here!


Possums are nocturnal, so I hope that little guy got past that nasty pee-wee and made it home okay!  Imagine the astonishment of seeing a p0ssum during the day! On the way home from ANU, I heard a rustling in the trees and saw two more possums; they were getting ready for a crazy Friday night out on the town!

Friday night antics - possum style!


Possums are a protected species here in the Northern Territory, so I’m sure I’m breaking some rule by harrassing them with the flash bulb – but I can’t promise I won’t do it again. They are so cute! and much cuter than the North American opossum.  Besides, I’m sure the flash on my camera is less threatening than cats.

As I mentioned before, Donna has a really nice backyard that includes a water fountain.  Each morning, it’s visited by magpies and currawongs and crimson rosellas who use the fountain as a birdbath.  I’m sure there are people who enjoy looking at the black birds but I’m not one of them.  Additionally, it’s swooping season, so I try to keep my distance. Instead, I stalk the the rosellas – I guess you would call me a parrot paparrazo!

(L) Morning wash on Currong South (Crimson Rosellas), (R) Evening meal at ANU (Eastern Rosellas).


And of course, if you’ve been reading my blog, you know I had my first paparazzo experience taking pictures of the kangaroos on Mt. Ainslie.


Kanga and Roo, Mt. Ainslie


I haven’t been back there again but I will return. I am also looking forward to a BBQ at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, where Donna promises there will be bounding kangaroos, emus, and koala bears.


Another news article about swooping can be found here.
See a video of the rosellas in the birdbath here.


In Canberra, where magpies swoop and currawongs poop
and rosellas tweet to different beats,
the birds move through the trees on soft of wing.
Oh, how lovely it is to hear them sing!