Living with the local wildlife

We all think of Koalas as the most cute and cuddly of creatures, they’re one of the most popular Australian native animals and there are many opportunities for visitors to have their photo taken cuddling a Koala. Did you know that they also bite? Well they do and a couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of one grabbing hold of my thumb and not wanting to let go, nothing serious but gave me a fright and antibiotics were prescribed as a precautionary measure. It wasn’t the Koala’s fault, he was casually sitting on the side of the motorway minding his own business and I was on my way to the shelter. Koalas are often victims to traffic and there was no way I was going to leave the little fellow (not sure what gender actually) in such a precarious position, I pulled over and with towel in hand walked over to the Koala hoping that he wouldn’t make a run for it and end up under a truck. Not knowing whether the animal was injured or just frightened, I threw the towel around him, picked him up with every intention of taking him to the vet for a checkup and that was when he decided to bite me on the hand. I swore and wondered if he was ever going to let my thumb go, nobody bothered to stop and help and seeing as though he was starting to struggle I let him go into the bush. Apparently a Koala that doesn’t struggle is either in shock, badly injured or very unwell, and this little fellow took off into the bush and up a tree so I am assuming that he was ok. Having a wild animal loose in my car probably wasn’t such a good idea anyway.

Getting bitten by a Koala isn’t terribly common, most people look surprised when I tell them and then start laughing, Hubby being one of them. Even the Doctor and Nurse at the local medical centre found it interesting, they’d seen plenty of other types of animal bites but never a Koala. It makes for a great story, and if I ever have to rescue another Koala I will know to be wary of his mouth as well as the claws and I’m tempted to leave a pair of thick gloves in the car just in case.

I don’t have any photos of my Koala experience, instead please enjoy a cuteness overload of ducklings out for a morning stroll and a curious Wallaby that visited us one afternoon.

Wordless Wednesday: Koala in pastels

Not completely wordless Wednesday, this week I’m sharing my latest illustration with you. You may have seen photos of a Koala in an earlier post, the images I took provided me with inspiration for this pastel illustration.

pastel illustration of a koala

Favourite photos for 2014

2014 was going to be the year for taking more photos, practicing what I’ve learned and improving my understanding of ‘manual’ mode. Not sure that I’ve succeeded on all counts but here are ten of my favourite photos from 2014, some you will have seen before.

Swell Sculpture Festival, Currumbin
Swell Sculpture Festival, Currumbin
Rainbow Lorikeets
Rainbow Lorikeets
Sunset on pond with birds
Golden hour
maxi the black dog
Ho Ho Ho Maxi
Agapanthus flower
Water drops on Agapanthus flower
Surfers Paradise, Queensland at night
Surfers Paradise, Queensland at night
Koala getting wet in the rain
Koala getting wet in the rain
Lizard in bush
Lizard in camouflage mode
Bundy the dog shaking himself dry
Bundy shaking off the surf at Yamba
Golden sunrise
Golden sunrise

Winter is almost over

Today we farewell Winter and although it still feels cold in inside our house, the warmth of Spring has arrived and with it comes screeching Sulphur Crested Cockatoos and Rainbow Lorikeets. Our Grevillea trees are flowering, as are the Coco Magnolias and neighbouring Eucalypts. The Koala has been returning every few days and is showering our yard with Koala poo and small branches of gum leaves, Bundy is obsessed with sniffing everything that falls from the tree and is happy to be outdoors for several hours at a time during the night whilst the Koala is around.

Not a bear, but extremely cute

We’ve had another Koala visiting us of late, this one is much smaller than our previous visitor and upon closer inspection of my photos, he/she only has one eye. Such gorgeous creatures and it is quite unusual to see them in the natural environment, the numbers are dwindling and they’re adept at being almost invisible. This one popped his head up over our back fence as he scaled the gum tree bordering our yard, the dogs went nuts while I raced inside to get my camera.

A couple of days later the koala was spotted in another tree, sleeping peacefully until I (along with a few neighbours) woke him up taking photos and exclaiming rather loudly, how wonderful it was to see a koala in our area. Obviously he/she thought it was all too much and relocated after we had vacated our prime photography position in the street, I was lucky enough to see the little creature move through the long grass and then climb a different tree, deeper in the bush. It is such an amazing thing to experience, it was hard for me to go to work that morning when all I wanted to do was stay home and do a bit of koala spotting.