Greets to you Oh Rambling Masses,

Time for some happy thoughts. Enough doom and gloom for now...

I thought I would turn my hand to crafting a bit of a description of the particular slice of paradise in which we live. Berowra, for those who don't know, is at the extreme northern outskirts of Sydney, Australia. As such, it is in a very bushy area - a far cry from the concrete jungle of the city.

We are blessed with all manner of wildlife in a setting that suggests it is eminently possible for mankind to live side by side in peaceful coexistence with nature. We are not apart from nature, but a part of nature, and that is something that we should never forget. At various times, we have directly seen or seen evidence of the following of God's fine creatures:

  • A Wallaby - I've seen him scurrying off into the bush adjoining our property on 3 separate occasions. He comes over in our backyard and sleeps amongst the bromeliads sometimes.
  • A number of Possums. We often hear them rehearsing for the marsupial tour of Riverdance on our roof. As a result of the heavy possum presence, I am currently engaged in one of those man-projects that one starts and eventually (one day) finishes - building an enclosure around our vegie garden so we can actually get some tomatoes this year, unlike last year. When our apples go off, we feed either the possums or the rainbow lorikeets, whoever gets to them first... Here are a couple of shots of our possum (Basil) in one of those classic Oooops moments, trying to get at some apple scraps...

 

  • Water Skinks and Water Dragons. Our main water dragon (Speedy) can often be seen basking in the sun. Here are some choice snaps of Speedy, hamming it up for the camera...

  • Diamond Pythons - we've had 3 different ones grace us with their presence at various times over the past 2 or so years. They are magnificent creatures - very shy and totally harmless. Hard to spot in this photo - just look for the green branch...

  • Red-belly Black snake - just as shy, but not quite as harmless. We had one in our backyard for a couple of weeks. He even took one of our Koi Carp, the blighter.
  • Goannas - we've had 3 or 4 different ones visit us for a while. At the moment, we've got a small one (about 90cm in length) who keeps trying to catch Speedy and make a meal of him, but thankfully he hasn't been quick enough or lucky enough yet... In the second photo, a goanna is eyeing off our carp, trying to decide whether he's hungry enough to go for a dip...

  • Small brown frogs by our ponds - don't know what type they are, but summer evenings are filled with calls of "Bik. Bok. Bek." in a delightful chorus. We often have tadpoles in our top pond.
  • Koi Carp - we have 4 of them in our lower pond, adding a splash of colour...

  • Rainbow Lorikeets, Eastern Rosellas, Crimson Rosellas, King Parrots, Kookaburras, Wattlebirds, and of course the ever-present Sulfur-crested Cockatoos. We even had a Wattlebird nesting in a hanging pot by our front door, incubating two eggs. Getting home of an evening became quite the exercise in careful and quiet sneaking, as we opened the front door ever so slowly so as not to disturb the roosting mother. The two little ones have de-nested now, and one of them has definitely survived. Here are some pics of the natural order of things. It's amazing how much joy can be derived from watching nature at work.

An empty nest in the process of being built:

Trying the nest on for size:

Two little eggs:

The first shot of the little ones:

Just starting to open their eyes, and very hungry:

Starting to look more like real birds:

Mum, playing injured to try and distract me away from my photo session with the little ones:

Looking very alert. This shot was taken about an hour before they left the nest:

It's a big world on the first day out of the nest:

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