As my house is on a cut-and-fill into the hillside, there is steep bank behind it, the view from my kitchen window.
I am gradually clearing it of weeds and making small terraces, pockets of soil for hardy vegetables like pumpkins to spread over its clay sides.
I am mulching it as I go. It is an inhospitable slope, habitat only for ants and spiders so far as I have seen.
Last week I was distracted from the washing-up by a dark motionless shape there. What was it and was it alive or dead?
Sneaking out, camera in hand, I was delighted to see it was an Eastern Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueurii).
An extraordinary creature up close, fiercesome of eye and fabulous of pattern, spiked and ridged and scale-armoured like a mini-dinosaur.
On my old mountain, his little cousin the Jacky Lizard was my favourite reptile.
On top of the bank is grassed, mown by me and the wallabies.
It backs up to the weedy wilderness beyond the fenceline, which includes Lantana, a favourite habitat for the Water Dragons, I read.
I am still charmed by these wallabies, and heartened to see them visiting me daily now and being far less wary. If they move off, it is only a little way.
Having been through this courtship process at my old property, I know we will eventually be happily cohabiting.
4 thoughts on “Critter bank”
It’s a pleasure to share with people like you who love nature too!
Hi Jenny & Ted,
Thanks for being such loyal followers of this blog! Yes it’s so nice to see more wildlife moving in. Wishing you some of our rain!
I can see you’ve been tracked down by the locals – what a privilege. More stories in the making – we’re waiting for your next book!
Meanwhile, have a peaceful Christmas.
Jenny & Ted
Love reading about you and your mountains. Thanks for taking the time. Jen
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