W : welcome …

welcome to the land of the mist spiders

 

Autumn:

some early morning mist shrouds the forest in a thick silver grey blanket of moisture. Slung between branches and grasses are hundreds of webs, some as small as my hand, others bigger than a dinner plate and some shaped like baskets. Dewdrops hang poised on the gossamer threads and flash rainbows when caught in a sunbeam. A swamp wallaby sits under the wild cherry tree, having a bit of a scratch. A tiny head pops out from the pouch and looks around. Mother wallaby leans over and deftly clips a blade of grass to chew. Baby leans further out and clumsily sprawls onto the ground. It jumps up, leaps on Mum tumbles off has a scratch, ears twitch, a nibble then dives head first back into it‘s warm pocket.

Winter:

days shorten and darken, very few hours of sunlight reach thru the tall canopy of gums. Under cold moonlight the wombat moves unhurriedly thru the bush pausing often to listen scratch think and munch on grass.  A superb blue wren flies into the house each day and gathers rent from the bench tops while upstairs in the roof a diamond python sleeps.  The dead trees of the forest supply us with firewood which becomes our focus, a meditation of wood gathering, chopping, splitting and stacking. Beside the fire we dream warmly and stories are told.

 

Spring:

from the kitchen window we watch two red belly black snakes dance in the garden. They raise their sleek bodies up off the ground and exerting great force twine around and around each other pushing and swaying until one gives way. Quick as a flash they chase each other across the yard before rising up again going head to head. This is a male ritual of spring procreation. Over by the pond near the lemon tree a female is basking in sunshine. One of the males has to get his head higher than the other to become the winner, the alpha male. Much later John working in the shed notices the vanquished slink away thru the hedge. The winner glides sensuously over to the pond and curls up near the female where they loiter with intent well into the evening. The next day we discover them as coiled loops of black and red gently vibrating. Unlike the mating habits of the rooster and the hen this continues for hours.

Summer:

an echidna with a back full of quivering spikes shuffling along on tiny feet stops and sticks its pointy nose deep into the earth and slurps up the ants. Goanna wearing its tough leathery coat and long sharp claws has responded to the heat and cruises the forest hunting old deaths and getting scolded by kingfisher and kookaburra.  We discover a tortoise laying eggs in a hole in the middle of our track, why there we wonder?  Kingston helps place a barricade around the spot but we never see them hatch out. The white headed pigeon flies in thirsty after its long flight south, perches on the edge of the tank beside the verandah and takes a long deep drink. Another migrant the channel-billed cuckoo an outrider of the storm fronts moving down from up north turns up with a wild screech and looks for a nest to place its egg in. Wattlebirds arrive and immediately start bossing the eastern spine bill, the new holland honeyeater and the lewins.

welcome to the forest

of the faerie embassy

where the mist spiders live…

 

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this is chewed ears , he is the father of the little mob that hang about the house. here he is in a patch of  stinging nettle which he eats. truly .two theories on the chewed ears are a result of ticks on the ears or a bit of scrapping though we have only ever seen them play fighting each other so more likely ticks….

 

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7 thoughts on “W : welcome …

  1. A wondrous delight to read Sandra thank you! Amazing to watch those red belly black snakes entwined around each other and courting in Spring … and to observe the actions of the winner and vanquished! Thank you for these seasons in your neck of the woods.

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