Feb. 7th, 2009 11:42 pm
lederhosen: (Default)
[personal profile] lederhosen
Fourteen dead in fires in Victoria today. 46.4 Celsius/115F in Melbourne today... hope my friends and their loved ones are keeping safe. I think my stepmother's family are near some of those fires :-( [Edit: 'It is feared that more than 40 people have died'...]

Meanwhile, up in Sydney, we went to Ku-ring-gai National Park today for a family picnic in memory of Rey's brother, who died twenty years ago. Not quite as warm as Victoria, although still pretty hot, and there's smoke in the air here.

We walked uphill to a quiet spot with some good flat rocks to sit on, and started on lunch. While we were eating, we noticed a little black wallaby (maybe a brushtailed rock wallaby?) a little way downhill, and as we ate it gradually worked its way closer. It seemed to be semi-tame; it wasn't coming all the way up to us, but it was coming closer than I'd have expected from a wild animal.

Feeding wild animals is a no-no, but I thought it might be thirsty, so we filled a Tupperware bowl with water and I put it as close to the wallaby as I thought I could get, then stood back. After a couple of minutes of watching and sniffing, it decided the bowl was safe, and completely drained it. So I refilled it... and despite my brother-in-law thinking that a good way to win its trust was to throw a stick behind it to startle it into coming closer to me, it drank most of that too.

I think it must have been familiar with humans at some stage - it certainly wasn't coming close enough for us to touch it, but it seemed to be deliberately seeking us out. It looked to have had a pretty rough life - both ears pretty tattered, and possibly blind in one eye - so I wonder if it was a rescue animal that had been returned to the wild.

I've not seen a lot of wallabies before, certainly not this close-up - they tend to get neglected in favour of their larger cousins. It really was a gorgeous creature, and its face was noticeably different from a kangaroo's - a little like a mouse, a little like a deer, but not quite either. Rey and other family members got some photos, so hopefully I can link to them soon.
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