Saturday, February 11, 2006

Wildlife Encounters

I saw my first kangaroos in the wild!!!
You can imagine that I could hardly contain my excitement but I did manage to stifle my squeals and not scare the marsupials away. The best part is that they are only a ten minute walk from our apartment. We live just down the road from a nature park called Black Mountain and after dinner last night we went out for walk. Apparently dusk is a good time for kangaroo spotting and we managed to see six. We figure we saw two males, two females and two babies. It was so exciting. The biggest one was probably a good five feet tall and not 20 feet away. I think the variety that we'll see around here is the eastern grey kangaroo. Here's a photo...


Eastern Grey Kangaroo

To continue the theme of wildlife encounters...
On the day our friend Chris left to return to Melbourne, we were driving around doing some errands in the morning. Chris very calmly says, "Brian, do you have that bottle that you were using to catch flys?" and as we look over at him in the drivers seat, a giant hairy spider crawls out from the visor over his head and scurries across the ceiling over my head in the backseat. Now, I'm not one to be afraid of creepy crawlies but here spiders and ants sure make me jump. Needless to say, we all freaked out a little and pulled over, opened all the windows and the hatch and let the little guy find his own way out. Here's what we've determined it to be...


Huntsman (Holconia immanis) 1.8 inches average body length (not including legs!)

And I have to mention the birds. We have so many different and unusual kinds right in our yard. That's one great thing about Canberra...as it's surrounded by bush, we get some pretty cool critters as neighbors.

All in all a delightful week! Cheers...

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