Grit Blogs > Emus and Dingoes and Roos Oh My

Hello Winter, Goodbye Kangaroos

Allyson CrockettWhile most of you are enjoying the warmer spring weather, and you deserve it — I’ve seen those snowy pictures some of you have posted — I’m enjoying the cooler days and nights of autumn. And what a relief it is.

We’ve cut the firewood and stacked it in anticipation of the cold winter weather. Not that it gets too cold here, not by northern hemisphere standards, but the temperatures can still plummet to freezing overnight. And a cosy fire on a chilly night is one of the simple joys of life. The mornings are often sunny and bright and the frost soon melts along with any dark and gloomy thoughts.

Red kangaroo sleeping

In the warmer months, there are kangaroos galore around here. You’ll see them in the mornings, you’ll see them in the evenings, and when it’s very hot they lie around in the shade until it’s cool enough to come out and graze. When it’s very dry they come in and drink from the water containers I put out for my geese.

It’s hard to take a photo of the landscape without there being a kangaroo somewhere in the picture — a bit like ‘Where’s Waldo’ minus the stripey shirt. And they think they’re blending in. At night the road becomes an obstacle course, imagine giant rabbits darting out of the bushes with no plan of action. There’s a high probability that something large and furry will bound into your vehicle. They become confused in the headlights and leap the wrong way resulting in a collision. As graceful as they are, when they turn too quickly they often slip and fall which can end in disaster for them.

Where's the kangaroo?

As the weather cools, all that changes. The kangaroos disappear. And it all happens so fast. You can go out one night and there are hundreds of them, the next night there may be none. It’s as if they all got the memo that it was time to head north and they jumped on a bus and high-tailed it out of here. You’ll still see a few of them around, enough to keep my dogs in good shape chasing them across the hills (even a lean, fast dog like my kelpie is no match for a kangaroo in full flight), but it’s fairly safe to drive at night, and seeing a kangaroo becomes the exception, not the norm.

Kangaroo and geese

This is also the time of year when swarms of moths fly through, three or four nights in row. They always find a way into the house and I spend the next few days sweeping and vacuuming. My bathroom is built as an add-on under my veranda, so this year I left the bathroom light on so they’d hang out in there. And hang out they did, it became a moth free-for-all. It was unpleasant in the bathroom at night, but it kept them out of the main house. Every morning for three days running, I swept the bodies out of the bathroom. This inspired all those playing dead to come back to life and flutter back into the bathroom. Fun game!

For the time being, I’m living in a kangaroo-and-moth-free zone. The days are cool and sunny, and the rain should arrive very soon to fill my tanks and herald the onset of winter. Life is good, as always.

By the time I post again, we should have had some rain. When it rains here, life can get very interesting. Sometimes it is a case of ‘it never rains but it pours’, but I’ll tell you about that next time.

Till next time, keep the faith ...