In the U.S. I would have said that we live in the rainforest, in Australia we call it living in the bush.
One of the things that I love most about where we live is all the wildlife. I wake in the morning to pademelons (like small kangaroos) grazing on the grass around our house. They look up at me with their sweet faces and go completely still – thinking that I won’t see them. I say hello but still they stay, having lived with us for generations (theirs not ours) they have learned that we aren’t dangerous.
The pademelons, echidnas, koalas and other wild creatures are why we don’t allow cats or dogs on the land. Our community decided many years ago that since we live inside the rainforest, it was only fair that the wildlife who have lived here for thousands of years would not be displaced.
I have been coming out to the studio lately to this pair of microbats sleeping back to back above the doorway. This isn’t unusual, they often stay for a few weeks various times of the year, flying out for food each night and leaving their poo each morning for me to sweep up.
Below is the tiny tree snake that has been hanging out at the stairs leading to my studio. If it wasn’t for the bright yellow under his head, I might have accidentally stepped on him on my way in the morning. Now he is above the stairs which is safer for us both. Tree snakes aren’t venomous.
Later in the week I saw a much larger tree snake, maybe this one’s mother. She was very quick so no photos.
Below is the smaller of our two monitor lizards. I will have to show you a better photo another time. I could hear him from the studio crashing around in the compost, so I came out to try and get a photo. He has ripped the back off the compost for better access and I couldn’t see him. But then I saw movement through the slats and waited for him to come out. He is a young one and unused to us so was very nervous. If you look carefully that is his head poking out. The next moment he was running towards the forest so I couldn’t get another photo.
But then there is the other side of living with creatures. The paper wasps are nonaggressive and gentle as wasps go, and we would be happy to live with them if there weren’t so many. If my husband doesn’t clear them out once a year they get to the point of covering underneath the roof , the window and down the walls. It is a regular metropolis, hundreds of nests. Then their waste contaminates our tank water (we collect our water from our roofs).
But even the gentle wasps got angry at him disturbing their nests. He was stung on the face soon after this photo. He didn’t come down though, not until the jumping ant stung him. You would not believe the size of some of our ants…