I wanted to get back amongst wildlife and was quite looking forward to propelling myself into a different environment; one with music our only electronic distraction to getting down with nature. The house is built on sound principles; mud brick, composting toilet, fire drum and wood stove for heating as well as cooking (though there is a gas stove for those back from a night out cuppas.)
Not that we went into town much either. Friday night our one night where we ventured in to see 'Kinky Boots' starring Joel Edgerton at the community hall. The people who volunteered to run the pictures this weekend were coincidentally the couple who kept an eye on the property normally. I think we left the place in good repair as we gathered firewood and tended garden beds. We also went on lots of walks and climbs and walks that turned into climbs as the place is predominantly volcanic rock which means you can look out on a stunning vista with reliable frequency.
We saw grazing kangaroos at evening and there was plenty of birdlife around the house and in the bush. There seemed to be a nest of yellow robins as a few flitted past as you drank your coffee on the verandah.
Our best wildlife experience came the Friday when we braved a day turned wet and chilly to drive into the nearby national park. There we saw roos that would bound off but not so far nor as quickly. We got good views of mothers with joeys in the pouch - headfirst and feetfirst - seven emus contentedly grazing near kangaroos and taking no notice of humans however brightly coloured. The highlight though came when
two kangaroos decided to take being toey literally and started into a fullfledged fight with just the two of us having ringside seating. If you've never seen a roo fight (and, despite spending the first seventeen years of my life among the kangaroos, that was my first), they hold their heads back and they mainly box each other with their paws, but they do kick either the stomach or lower down. It's not a bloody fight to the death and, once the matter had been resolved, they return to calm positions.
We saw an echidna cross the road (my third) on our drive into 'Coona' and the peregrine falcons were in plentiful supply, so perhaps their prey are as well. It was an area to remind me just how much a feature of the Australian landscape the pine tree is. Nobody paints them like they do the river gums and ghost gums; eulogise them in folk song like the mallee; and this could be because they're not a species that is particular to us. There were plenty of gum trees as well so I guess it doesn't matter.