There is never a dull moment in my house with the new and exciting adventures that occur nearly on a daily basis. Whether a new and exciting bug, a creepy arachnid or a small green tree snake, after 3 years in Australia, I am continually fascinated with the wildlife that greets me night and day. Sometimes that wildlife is also my own domestic animals and the interaction between the two worlds makes life very interesting.
Two nights ago I was lying in bed browsing new and interesting articles and connecting with friends through facebook. I lay there and suddenly a loud buzzing startled me and there was a great deal of commotion in my bedside lantern. A flying winged creature dropped down and hung from the lampshade and I quickly took a photo! Hmm. Haven’t see that one before. Then it dropped down to the bedside table and didn’t move again. Bug suicide! Tragic but true! Within minutes, another buzzing and humming caught my attention and a tiny green bug walked behind my head and sat there reading over my shoulder perhaps. I took his photo too. I got sleepy and turned off the light. The buzzing continued as I drifted off to sleep.
It was 430am and wide awake I was, so I had a walk around the house, pet the cats and then lay down next to Sarah who was sleeping quietly as dawn lulled me back to sleep. It wasn’t for long though because soon the chickens were clucking loudly. I assumed they wanted out and as Sarah stirred, I asked her to go and let them out of the coop for their free-ranging day. It was earlier than their usual 6am wake up call but so be it, she let them out. Normally this leads to a quiet time in bed slowly waking to the day and the sounds of lorikeets and parrots and kookaburras rising and creating a crescendo of lyrical bird symphony. It is my favorite alarm clock. Not today though. Today was different and our eldest chicken, “Cotton Top”, clucked to her hearts content very loudly and incessantly! I thought it was early to be laying an egg but attributed it to that and attempted to fall back asleep. She continued to cluck loudly as did her mate “Bobby”. Sarah again rose to go investigate and I stroked Angel (the cat) whilst she did. “Mum,” she called, “Midnight just came in from outside! No wonder the chickens are so loud!” Midnight is my other cat and neither of them are allowed outside so it was quite puzzling to find him out and quite a surprise to my frightened chickens! They were all huddled by their coop but no worse for wear. We went on a house search to find the open window and discovered the escape route in the lounge and closed it tightly. Naughty kitty! All was well and he slinked under the desk most likely even more frightened than the chickens as they are no longer tiny but bigger than him.
It was not the first time Midnight has had an experience with a bird in this house or out and I surmise it won’t be his last. Since we moved into this beautiful house in Buderim, Queensland, nestled next to the bush, he has had quite a few interesting encounters. I attempt to do what is right and not let him out day or night. This is what is best for the eco-system in which we live in. I respect this and know that since cats are not native, it is my responsibility to keep wildlife safe by doing the right thing. After all, we don’t want Australia to mean “Cats and Cane Toads.” (more of this later) However, my plan is not full proof and occasionally, wildlife finds it ‘s way to us indoors and it creates quite a stir!
A few months ago, we had a pale headed rosella show up in our bedroom. We were just coming home from a theatre rehearsal and there he was perched boldly above my cats in the bedroom. He created quite a ruckus attmpting to fly out a closed window so we caught him and had him checked at the wildlife hospital and no harm done, he was released into the bush behind us. He now watches us from the trees. Not too long after this, a King Parrot showed up indoors and flew around and around while the cats sat below mesmerised. Josh did some interesting acrobatics to try and get him down from the rafters and then we were able to coax him out an open window in the loft. Beautiful and majestic he flew out and the cats sat stunned for some time before they realised he was gone!
Another interesting wake up call came the day that we encountered a snake in the pantry. Again it was “Midnight” who had him cornered and quite defensive as he struck rapidly at anything that moved before him. Unsure of his venomous nature because he was a juvenile, I called on a snake expert who informed us at 530am that he was just a juvenile tree snake. I was able to get the privelege of his release and hopefully he is growing big in the bush behind us.
Spiders are no stranger either but these I leave to my brave Rachel to catch. If I have to, I do but after nearly 50 years of arachnaphobia, it is not my strength to be the resccuer of these fascinating and necessary creepy crawlies that we live with.
I respect them all and know they all have a place in this “wild” tropical paradise we live in. My hope is that through respect and care, many generations will get to continue to experience the priveleges that I do, living in this ever crowded and diminishing wild world.
My kids value this as well and there is room for nature and humanity to live in balance. If I can cope with those massive spiders, then can’t we all do our part to appreciate and value the wild world we live in and stop the planet’s destruction? It may take some creativity but what better than that, a creative community to live in harmony with the wildness that is a very important part of it’s heritage.
My wild wake up call this morning was “Cookie” the dog, but that in itself is another story.