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Summer is here ...

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

Summer has arrived but thankfully the cicadas haven't started to 'sing' yet.

The crunchy grass is finally beginning to grow again after months of little rain. The wetland is still dry even though we've had several thunderstorms rumbling off the mountains to our west. The creeks are all flowing again but only just. We still need more rain. Summer is our rainy season so hopefully the storms will continue.

The animals must find this hard as there is still limited water around, especially with the wetlands still dry.

Our purple swamphens ( porphyrio porphyrio) have made their home up around the house and in our very depleted house 'dam', we call it a pond which is more appropriate as it isn't that big for out here but you wouldn't fit it in your average suburban back yard.

Purple swamphen

Our red-necked wallaby ( macropus rufogriseus) still appears here most mornings depending on the season. We called her Mos, Mother Of Sunflower. It is a long story but she was our first friendly macro-pod, mainly because her young joey was unafraid and would love to eat the sunflower seeds we fed our chooks.

Red-necked wallaby Mos with her young joey who we named Sunflower

He grew up long ago and was sent away by his mother to fend for himself. Mos has continued to include the house in her range and has produced a number of joeys since then, although we know that she has lost two of those.

We still have some of our regular ducks, the plumed whistling ducks (dendrocygna eytoni), turning up each morning. There has only been a few lately. Sometimes we get 40 plus birds here. They arrive in the morning and spend most of the day around the house often sleeping or grooming each other then leave just on dark.

We have tried to decide if they are the same ones returning each day but they are hard to tell apart, except for a recent duck that turned up with only one eye. It seems fine and doesn't appear to have any trouble getting around.

The hot weather wouldn't be the same without our reptile population. Don't be frightened. They are beautiful animals.

We have quite a few goannas or lace monitors (varanus varius) who include the house in their range. They look like small dinosaurs, although some can grow to well over a metre. They are easier to tell apart due to their distinct patterns. Unusually we also have one goanna, Jac, who has only three legs! Jac, a female, has been recorded here for over 15 years so is getting on now. Here she is flat out!

Jac our 3 legged goanna or lace monitor

We love our Jac but will frequently give us a scare when she appears outside the door or in the car port. She is completely used to us now so has no fear. We have respect and stand back!

Carpet pythons (morelia spilota) are common in this region. They are non venomous snakes that feed on frogs, birds, eggs or anything else they can get hold of, including chickens, as we have found from previous experience.

These large snakes spend most of their time around the wetland looking for frogs but

There are lots more characters to get to know and adventures to be had. We'll delve into some of these animals as well.

It isn't just about the fauna though. Our beautiful flora is also a delight.

The narrow leaved paperbark (melaleuca alternifolia), also known as Snow in Summer, has just finished flowering with a wonderful display. It actually flowers here in spring so the name is a bit of a misnomer for us.

Check out our Snow in Summer gallery.

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