Killing machines

It’s that time of the year again, when killing machines are on the prowl……

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Next month the oval I’m parked next to will be getting poisoned with  a herbicide to kill broadleaf plants growing there.  Trying to find further information on the product selected isn’t easy.  Sure, plenty of manufacturers information, but no comprehensive independent information is easily found.

Bow and Arrow– gotta love the names chosen for these products – NOT!

Active ingredients.   

That list makes sense to an agricultural chemist, perhaps, but not to me.  Don’t get it in your eyes though, or there could be long term damage.

Mind you I shouldn’t be surprised at the lack of information.  Agrichemical companies are a law unto themselves.  Plus BigPharma.  Often one and the same.  How do you feel about the company supplying you with medication, also supplying farmers with toxic chemicals?

Needless to say, I’ll be leaving that area for a time.  For the sake of my health, and for my animals also.  Hopefully the kangaroos who come to graze there won’t be affected, nor the local magpies who eat the grubs that live in the soil there.  But who really cares?

Introducing Henrietta

Meet the newest member of the travelling crew, Henrietta!

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She’ll be showing up in photo shoots periodically.  When on the move, she stays inside, but loves to get out and about when we’re stopped somewhere new.

Golf and kangaroos

As a non-golfer, I’ve always felt golf courses were a misuse of land.  They require a great deal of time and money (and chemicals) for a privileged few.  Yes, I know, my bias is showing.  🙂  And I’ve had friends who were golfers.

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So I was amused one day in April, to see many kangaroos grazing on a Hill’s golf course.  Due to the lockout, they were mostly undisturbed by golfers, and were taking advantage of the fresh grass.

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This mob were quite close to the road, and I could see others much further in.

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Now, just a few feet away from the right leg of the roo standing, is a large mushroom.  There were actually lots of fresh mushrooms in that vicinity, and I was looking hungrily at the fungi.  However, it was THEIR territory, and no way was I going to intrude.

Here’s an article on another golf course and kangaroos.

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A number of years ago I was walking in a Conservation Park, in South Australia.  It had been established for quite some time, and the wildlife knew they were protected.  On this particular day, I saw a big male roos standing up watching me approach his mob.  There was no mistaking his claiming territory.  So I quietly deviated from the track, and did a big detour around them.  It was the first time I’d encountered such a situation, and it was a good opportunity to experience life from a different perspective.  No longer the dominant species 🙂

 

Our new neighbours

In the past week, we’ve been blessed with the sound of lambs 🙂  The sheep on agistment next door have been lambing, and the donkeys they live with are keeping them safe from dangers.  The ewes are very wary, so I can only admire them and their off-spring,  from a distance.  The weather has turned bitter, so I’m glad they have plenty of shelter.

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Halls Gap Zoo

Usually I don’t visit a zoo.  I don’t recall visiting a zoo since my school days.  There are many complex reasons, and I’m not casting judgement, it’s simply how I feel.

However, last month I was again in the region of the Halls Gap Zoo, and decided to go ahead with a visit.

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There’s good parking on the grounds, with nice shady trees, so I felt ok leaving the animals for a time.

The Meerkat enclosure was close to the entrance, and as I am fascinated with them, they got my attention for a while.  The keeper was just finishing a session with children there, so I was able to ask a few questions.  All these meerkats are boys, no females kept there, and their ages range from young to mature. It was a mostly sunny day, so they had a good stretch out.  There’s a glass wall separating the animals and the public, and that made for tricky photography at times.

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The deer wandered around the area, and interacted with the public as they wanted.  I had one deer who searched me for tidbits, and somehow managed to relieve me of my guide map, which I didn’t notice at the time.  She was fairly well mannered, even when she realized no food was forthcoming.

The Australian black swan, from Western Australia.  I was charmed by this bloke.

Many years ago, on one of my first trips out Bush, I was lucky to see a Bustard in the wild in flight.  In fact, it left a large deposit on the truck windscreen 🙂  They were prized by bush people for the great eating quality; sadly these birds are not as widespread as in earlier times.

This Cheetah shared quarters with another one, but I wasn’t able to get a good image of it.  Yes, it was looking right at me…..

 

I spent a great deal of time with this creature.  I was profoundly affected by the look in it’s eyes.

Luckily I had my long lense with me for when it came to getting ‘close’ to the giraffes.  And no, I didn’t spend $50 for a closer encounter 🙂  I saw them interacting with the keeper and was most impressed with their relationship.

Parrots of all sorts attract me.  I grew up with budgies, and had a pet galah, and become friends with other birds kept by friends.  So I spent quite a time whispering sweet nothings to this pair of magnificent birds, who were very happy to hang around posing.

Finally, I hear you say, some australian creatures!  Various wallabies in various sections of the grounds, and it was lovely to watch the wallaby come over to the lady in the wheelchair, so she and her little child could pat and feed it.  That sets up good memories for the child, who will hopefully remember it and in later live behave well with animals.

The white birds, corellas, were there in the hundreds, wild birds getting a free handout.  Cheeky as can be, and this wallaby at times had to push for his share of fruit.

There were some corellas in cages, which I wondered about, then found out they had been rehomed there when the owners had died.  It was funny to be walking along and hear “hullo” come from the cage!  It took me a moment to realise what was happening.  Then I was amused to see the same thing happen to another couple walking past later.

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All I could think of with this bison, was imaging in the old days, herds of thousands in gallop across the prairie, and how the ground would have rumbled with their presence.

There were emus at the zoo, but they were boring characters, whereas the ostriches were great value with their antics.  Can’t imagine riding one however!

A positive role for the zoo, was providing a habitat/safe house for this wedge tailed eagle, who as a result of an accident wasn’t able to fly and fend for itself.

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Some things cannot be accounted for.  I found myself very attracted to this rodent, and watched it for ages.  There were at least two in the compound.  It’s a large creature, and very active, and possible it’s one creature I’d pay extra for to get up close and personal with.  As I say, there’s no accounting for some things 🙂

The zoo has many many more creatures, both mammal and reptilian, including a croc, so what you see here is simply a small sample.  I spent hours there and could have easily doubled the time without being bored.  The office sells basic nibbles and drinks/iceblocks, as well as souvenirs.  The plans are afoot for a proper cafe to be built on the grounds, and I’m sure that will be a successful enterprise.

Lastly, don’t be scared by the dinosaurs, they are quite friendly!

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