The above photo is of a blue tongued lizard, sunning itself in our front garden. There appears to be a family of them living under the house – mum, dad and babies. Willy the cat fortunately ignores them, the large ones anyway, but the local wattle birds persistently attack the lizards on sight.
We also noticed the other day two delightful little spotted pardelotes stripping bark from the honeysuckle vine for nesting material.
They are a rare sight in the suburban back garden, the bulk of the avian population being blackbirds, Indian mynahs, wattle birds and pigeons, with the occasional flock of rainbow lorikeets dropping by.
As you can see from the photo above, the plum tree is looking ragged and chewed. This is due to depredations of possums, both of the brush tailed and ring tailed varieties, who inhabit the garden at night. In the past, the two blood plum trees were laden with fruit during summer. For the past two years, as the possum population has grown, the trees have yielded less than a handful of plums. The possums eat the blossoms and then get stuck into the new leaf growth, effectively eating themselves out of any future bounty. In other words, they are pests, but protected by law, so you can’t dispose of them.
The brush tail possums are amazingly bold and friendly. They saunter up to you and would even try climbing your leg, if you let them.
Willy the cat won’t tackle them, fortunately – he’d come off worse in a tussle with a brush tailed possum. He’s even running scared of the mynahs and wattle birds who are extraordinarily aggressive birds.
We have new next door neighbours, so Pinto the feisty kitten has gone to live in Castlemaine with her owners and no longer troubles our backyard . However, the new neighbours, who recently emigrated from the UK, have two cats who are due to come out of quarantine tomorrow. They are bengal/burmese cross cats, a male and a female, so I’m really interested in seeing them, but Willy is in for a shock. Hopefully they’ll co-exist in harmony with the local felines.