Category Archives: Wildlife

Labour Day 2015


It’s a beautiful afternoon here in my little piece of paradise on the Coffs Coast north of Woolgoolga. Adam and I are getting ready to fire up the Barbie for the first grill of the season. We’ve just returned from a walk to Mullaway beach where I got to see 2 whales frolicking off the beach.

I don’t think I will ever lose my joy at seeing animals in there natural settings. To behold a whale breaching while standing at sea level is pretty extraordinary in my book though. I can spot them on the headlands easily enough but from the shore it’s a tad harder.

It was Labor Day in the states 7 September this year. A very special day for my sister Margaret because it was her actual birthday.

I find it quite funny how holidays fall now. Father’s Day in the states falls in June but the same celebration in Australia falls in September. Mother’s Day though is exactly the same.

I hope no matter what you are doing today you rejoice and are thankful you’ve been able to enjoy life.

  

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Roos About


Spring is in the air down under! A couple of weeks ago this is what we saw. The kangaroos are really enjoying the sun and lush grass. We were heading back from Cabins Beach when I saw these three while crossing Mullaway Drive.

The grass looks yummy to them!

The grass looks yummy to them!

Baby joey peeking out for us!

Baby joey peeking out for us!

I had to share this. They looked so content. I am glad my sony has a great zoom! The roos are certainly about in Mullaway putting on a show!

Birds Around The Hood


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eastern rosella sitting on a palm in our neighbour’s backyard.

Adam and I have been showing Lisa around the neighbourhood. We love the birds. I know this is a short blog but I wanted to show off some of the shots I took. I know we’ll see much more as we take her around the places that we love. I must admit I do like showing off Australia so I thought I would also show you some of the birds I’ve captured with my trusty Sony camera I got from Fry’s in Burbank, California.

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3 Galahs on Woolgoolga’s Main Beach.

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A flock of seagulls on Woolgoolga Main Beach

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A Noisy Miner perched on Grevilla near our front deck.

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Noisy Miner enjoying our Grevilla.

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Two kookaburras on powerlines that I saw the day I took the shot of the noisy miner.

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A single Kookaburra

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Rosella perched on our clothes line (Hills Hoist).

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A kookaburra we saw on our walk from Mullaway Beach back home.

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Close up of Kookaburra from walk to Mullaway Beach.

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A Willy wag tail on Ocean View Headland

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Two Pelicans at Coffs Harbour’s Harbour today.

Memorial Day and Squirrels


It’s Memorial Day here in Huntington, West Virginia. Adam and I arrived in the USA on 21 May to attend a memorial for my brother, Kevin which was on 24 May 2014. It was a very hard day for all of us who knew him. This Memorial Day is layered for us with sweet and bittersweet memories.

Lisa, Kevin’s wife, Sandy, his step-daughter, Piper, their faithful dog, Adam and I went to Ritter Park to enjoy the weather as well as lunch that we picked up from Arby’s. We watched the things going on around us. I got a thrill seeing a squirrel. I even recorded a video of a squirrel munching on a curly fry. I wanted to share this with Australians or anyone else who never got to see a squirrel munch on  a curly fry. It seems like it’s been over 5 years since I saw a squirrel and to see one eating a fry was just really special to me.

It was great to see families out enjoying the day. Memorial Day in the USA is a day when the military is remembered for their service to the USA during war and peace time. It is a lot like Anzac Day for Australians. There are parades around the nation. I got to listen to Lisa and Sandy reminisce and I even reminisced about Kevin too. I got to walk where his feet trod.

I hadn’t seen Kevin in over 20 years. We had tried to tee up meeting together when I would return stateside but something always happened and our best laid plans went down the gurgler. I regret not being able to see him again in person. The pain of my loss is very raw. It is easier though being with his family.  It was good being together with my siblings even though it was a sad occasion.  My brother Chuck did a wonderful eulogy for Kevin. I wanted to cheer and clap. My sister Judy also stood up and spoke some touching words about Kevin. I just couldn’t manage it at the moment. I wish I could write more about him. Words though just can’t seem to do justice for the way I feel about Kevin. It’s something I find hard to express. I think my poem Hero was the best I could do. I guess I could have stood up and read that but in that moment I just didn’t have the strength to do so.

This Memorial Day for me was filled with laughter. We didn’t cry today. I know we will still have tears. It’s part of the grieving process. I will always miss my brother. I will always remember this Memorial Day because for me and I hope for Lisa and Sandy, this Memorial Day seemed to have many different meanings. I will never forget this Memorial Day because it was a treasure to be with the ones Kevin loved.

Video Blog of Cabins Beach King Low Tide


We have been experiencing some king tides of late. Yesterday was especially a big one. I took the Kodak Sports Video Camera and the playlist below is the following montage of footage that I took. I hope you enjoy what I took!

No Pictures Please!


Adam, the dogs, and I walked one of our favorite routes this afternoon. It always seems that when I want to take pictures I never have my camera on me. I did have my iPhone but every time I retrieved my phone the birds or the wildlife would not cooperate with me.  I must remember to attach my Kodak to my dog bag so that I will never be in that situation again. Things happen though and sometimes even the best plans go awry.

There was a red and green parrot which I have checked in my bird book which appeared to be a king parrot. The kookaburras were out and about in the crowns of the eucalyptus trees. As we walked on top of Darkum Headland I kept a look out for kangaroos. Since there were none to be seen, I let the dogs off their leads. Normally they run down the side of the headland to jump into the water. Grady took off to fetch a stick. Lenny and Mitch were out of eye shot for a little while. Lenny normally comes bounding back to be loved on by Adam or myself.  The two labs had been gone quite a while as I sat throwing the stick that Grady was begging me to throw for him. I looked to the right to see what I thought was a seal in the water. I was calling for Lenny and Mitch like mad. The seal was in one of the dogs most favorite spots to swim. I felt panic rise inside me when Lenny returned to Adam. Grady was guarding his stick.  I noticed Mitch trying to swim out to the seal. I asked Adam to lead Lenny while I leaded Grady handing him Grady’s lead because I had to get to Mitch pronto before he tried to terrorize the seal. (I was having flashback to the kangaroo incident.) By the time I was heading down towards Mitch yelling for him to come, he was on top of a rock ledge trying to figure out the best way to get to the seal but he finally decided to come to me to my great relief as I was on the edge of the headland making slow progress to get to him. I put the lead back on him returning to Adam. I noticed that the seal was out ahead of us now straight on. I tried to get my iPhone to take a picture but it was like the seal was camera-shy. I couldn’t get the shot.

I am looking forward to being able to camp up top of Darkum Headland for whale watching. The season begins in June ending in November. I already have the perfect spot in which to set up the tripod with my camera as well as binoculars. I think to make my life easier though, I won’t be taking the dogs with us. It will make my life of eye spy with my lovely blue eyes totally enjoyable as well as stress free. Last year I really loved watching the whales.

We continued our walk to Cabins Beach with the dogs on lead. Once we got to the bottom of the stairs, we let the dogs free run for a bit. I normally want to get them back on lead as we head on the path to go to Mullaway Tourist Park because it’s just easier to get home that way instead of traipsing up the sandy side of the walkway that used to be very easy to go up and down with.  The beach was very pebbly. I also saw lots of shell washed up in bits and pieces but found a few little treasures to take home with me.

After we left the Tourist Park, we walked down the Boulevard to get home. I notice two eastern Rosella perched on a bush. I grabbed my iPhone only to discover they had disappeared.

This is why I have decided to call this blog no pictures please because the birds and seal were very elusive today. They didn’t want to be photographed. I do remember the snapshots in my head.  Better luck next time I hope! Thanks for reading!

Black Cockatoos Coming To Roost


Yesterday evening I decide to make dinner on the Barbie. We have a nice back deck and since summer is coming to an end it’d be great to use the deck as much as possible because we aren’t sure how many more warm evenings we’ll be having.  Adam was sitting on the swing while I was at the table. We had finished eating and were listening to the birds when I noticed all the black cockatoos coming to the huge gum tree at 8 Orchid Road which is 2 doors down or up from our place depending on how you look at it.  I had my iPhone with me and took this video.

There was also a Currawong call in there because one was on 10’s antenna. You can hear cicadas and crickets  join the cacophony of sound which I love so much. Since I couldn’t figure out the zoom on the video part of my iPhone, I ran into the house and grabbed my Pentax that I used it for this close up.

I have never noticed so many black cockatoos coming in to roost at 8. At one point there was 12 that I counted. I was thankful for being able to do so last night. I want to get dinner done earlier tonight so that I can try to set up a tripod so that my video won’t be so shaky. It’s kinda hard to do great video when your hand is shaking.

As the sun was going down, I noticed the stars coming out one by one. Amazing! I was blown away. I actually began to notice a constellation coming out. Then the flying foxes (bats) were flying over and I was agog. I am really very blessed to be where I was. I felt like a little kid. I hadn’t taken time to notice the beauty of dusk. I would have stayed out longer but the mozzies (mosquitos) were eating me. I didn’t put on any Aeroguard. I took it for granted (the beauty of dusk) and pray I will be able to capture the dusk again today with all the wonder that I found last night.

Where ever you are in your part of the world, enjoy the beauty that it beholds. Much love and peace, Yaussiechick

black cockatoos

My Blessings With Two Kangaroo Terrorists


Yesterday the sun was out. Adam and Lenny had gone to Coffs Harbour for his course. Our other two dogs, Mitch and Grady, were needing a nice walk. I thought since it seemed to be such a lovely day, I would take my two dogs out and let them go for a free run at a spot we frequent. I am very lucky to live close to many beaches that are leash free. I decided to take the route that would have us go through Mullaway Caravan park onto Cabin’s Beach. We’d walk along take the path that would put us up on the headland walk that would take us to Darkum Creek. I made sure to wear jellys because it was going to be very muddy due to all the rain we had. We’ve gone this way many times. The dogs love to roam and Grady is forever wanting to fetch. When we walk on the headland though I don’t throw the stick that he normally brings me because it’s too hard to do with all the trees and shrubs. We are heading toward the beach again. I hear Mitch barking furiously. Grady isn’t interested in the stick anymore due to Mitch’s barking. I am walking at a leisurely pace but when I hear the two of the barking I start calling to them to come to me. I see what Mitch is excited about. It’s a grey kangaroo by a banyan tree. He’s tall. I know he’s over 5’6″ because I am that tall. If I were to stand up beside him he would tower over me.

Stupidly, I take out my mobile phone to record this when I see Grady terrorising the kangaroo. All three of them head down to the water. I am screaming for the dogs to stop. Panic is racing through me. I said out loud, “This is why you should never let your dog of the lead.” I am trying to figure out the best way to defuse the situation.

Grady has a mean streak in him but on this occasion, I am stunned to see how vicious he is. They are in the surf. Mitch is barking egging Grady on. Grady is jumping trying to get the roo. The roo is trying to catch Grady but with the two of them going at him he feels trapped. The roo goes down in the surf. Grady has him by the neck. They are all fighting for their lives. I can see the blood lust in Grady. Mitch is trying to bite the roo too but not on the neck. He is more playful if that is even possible. I can see the roo looking at me pleading. I grab for Mitch first but then decide it best to go for Grady because of the blood lust. I don’t know how I manage to grab the grey and white terrorist but I have. I put the double lead on him pulling him away. I am still yelling for them to leave the roo alone. I try calling to Mitch in a more calmer tone so that I don’t sound so deranged. It’s not working. He’s still trying to get the roo. I only have the lead with the double lead attached to it. I know I can’t take Grady back towards the roo to get to Mitch because he’s still wanting to get to it. My coaxing isn’t working on Mitch. Nobody else is around to help so I frantically look around trying to figure out how to secure Grady praying out loud to God to keep all the animals alive and to Mitch to leave the roo alone.

I see another tree with a branch hanging down closer to the headland. I scurry with Grady trying to escape me to the tree. I hold Grady by collar as well as scruff of his neck so that he doesn’t slip his collar while I unclasp the double lead from the lead. I secure the lead looping it through it’s handle to the tree. I clip Grady to the tree heading back to collect Mitch with the double lead.

The poor roo is exhausted. He has been struggling for at least 5 minutes. It must have seemed much longer to him. I can see the pleading in his eyes as Mitch keeps nipping at him trying to get him up again. I have to be careful that I don’t scare the roo more or get hurt because he wants to lash out. I don’t really blame him. I grab Mitch by his tail clipping him with the double lead using all my strength to get him away from the roo. He’s 31 kg.

I go for my shoes and the mobile phone I had removed from my pocket after realizing I had it on me.  I had gone in the surf with it then ran back out because I didn’t want to ruin it. I check the phone which luckily is still functioning. After putting on my shoes as well as collecting Grady, I walk us back home. Mitch was bleeding and Grady got flailed. I am crying but I want to try to help the roo. I call our vet and ask for the number to WIRES (Wildlife Information Rescue Education Services). I rang the number given. It took a little while to answer. Megan was great asking me to slow down. I was really in a state. I explained that there was a roo who had been attacked by my dogs. She took my number. I got the dogs home rinsed them off to try to figure out how badly they were injured. I called the vet and then Megan called me back. She asked how I was and that she was getting some one to come out to look. I then got another call which was from one of the rescuers. I asked if I could come and help him find the roo. I wanted to see the outcome. We decided to meet at the Caravan Park. Another lady pulled up and said she was with WIRES. I explained the situation. She asked me to get in her car and we met Brian up near Darkum Headland Road.

When we finally got to the beach where I had left the injured roo, we found him up on the beach but he was dead. Brian explained to me that they may be huge animals but they have tiny hearts. We imagined he died from the shock. We saw the puncture wounds from Grady but it didn’t look fatal. Chris drove me home and I took the dogs to the vet.

Mitch needed stitches for the puncture wound he received. Grady, on the other hand, had to be sedated because they had to remove the skin that was hanging off of him. They kept Grady over night at the vets. Mitch was very stiff toward the end of the night. This morning Mitch is getting around pretty well. I have just picked up Grady from the vet.

I have learned quite a few lessons in less than 48 hours. I will need to keep an extra lead with me so that I can intervene more efficiently when it comes to my dogs. I don’t think I will let my dogs off lead very much now but if I do, Grady will be muzzled. I don’t like seeing that side of him.

My vet said something yesterday to me and looking back now I know he was right. He is only an animal doing what he instinctively wants to do. Yesterday, I was ready to put Grady down. Today I am glad he’s still alive. I am not sure if he knows how lucky he was because in all rights he should have been dead because roos will try to drown their attackers. The vet nurse revealed that fact to me today.

I want to be a responsible pet owner. Dogs are an introduced species to Australia for the most part. I am also hoping to become a WIRES volunteer.   We only have one planet and we need to protect it.

Grady the kangaroo terrorist

Grady the kangaroo terrorist

Grady's right side

Grady’s right side

Mitch got off pretty lightly

Mitch got off pretty lightly

Both of my dogs were very blessed not to be killed. I feel bad about the kangaroo. He was just wanting to survive. I will try to be more responsible about the way I do things with my dogs because I don’t want another repeat of what happened. I don’t like the idea of having kangaroo terrorists for pets. I know some may think kangaroos are pests but they lived here first.

We are stewards of our planet. I need to do my part. I am blessed to still have my two roo terrorists and my own life.

 

Which possum do you prefer? North American or Aussie?


The only marsupial in North America is the Virginia opossum. When I was a child I thought they were ugly. Australia’s native animals majority are marsupials. When I moved to Australia, I lived in an inner western Sydney suburb called Homebush. I was quite surprised to see something scurrying across the powerlines. I thought they were so cute. I couldn’t ask Adam what they were but I ended up asking Sr. Margaret one night when she dropped me off after choir practice what the creature was. She told me a ring tail possum.

Both of these extraordinary creatures are wonderful but I know which one I prefer. Which do you like? If you can’t decide that’s fine too. I am just curious what you think!

Oh and shout out and thanks to Shauny G for the help getting my WordPress to work the way I wanted!!! Absolutely brillant mate!!! TA!

Little treasure from my walk with Adam & our dogs!


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Adam thinks I have enough shells in our house but every once in a while I discover little treasures I can’t pass up like these 3 shells!