2017 Byron Bay Hinterland:
Another year at Wombat Hollow. After an exhausting journey, during which, as always we discuss the possibility of selling up and moving to somewhere a little easier on the jet- lag. It literally takes a week to get over that 24 hour flight. Anyway, we arrived to the usual week of sleeping, waking, re-arranging, washing, cleaning, looking for tools etc.
The hens obligingly helped us through this by laying three fresh eggs a day. We were one guinea fowl down, which really upset me as I love the little beauties and since we have had them we haven’t seen one snake.
I tell a lie…the python was curled around a verandah post the morning after our arrival. But he is too big to be hassled by the Guineas and too slow to eat one, so I can only assume we have a fox or a bird of prey visiting. The large Goanna will eat the hen’s eggs if we don’t collect them early enough but shows no interest in the birds themselves. Anyway after a good week of complaining and moaning about tenants absconding/breaking various utensils and tools, we settled into our usual habits. The Fishmonger placed his old garden chair down by the creek for his dusk vigils. He likes to take a glass of Chablis and his binoculars and sit watching the Platypus playing in the water. This year there were a whole family of Platypi. The Fishmonger was naturally overjoyed.
The Koala, lately considerably bereft of eucalyptus, due to a cyclone felling the largest tree on the property, has taken to eating camphor leaves, of which there is a vast supply. He looks on mournfully and is fairly unimpressed by the human activities and come evening his rutting rituals send us racing for the torch to see if he has found his soulmate.
The possums… Ah! Now there’s a thing. All bush properties have a possom plague. By law one is not allowed to move them further tan 100 meters, so if, like ours, they occupy the attic of your home and have been happy there for the best part of 25 years, 100 meters is not going to fool a possum into losing his bearings and setting up home in a tree. Our possums seem to squeeze themselves down a very narrow cavity, in the sitting room wall. At 8om sharp each evening, they wake up and hurl themselves off the roof, hopefully avoiding the toxic Cane toads whose numbers were actually diminished this year. During the day the possums sleep, scratch, yawn, dream, and talk in their sleep. Last year the scratching got so intense and sounded so near, I removed a large painting from behind the daybed, to discover a furry arse sticking out of the wall. This has happened before on the bathroom ceiling. No amount of poking at it made the slightest difference. We actually don’t mind very much that they are there, but they pee so and pong a bit. So barbed wire has to be placed again down the cavity in the hope they will finally get the message and find another home.