Late in the afternoon, I decided cooking dinner could wait for half an hour while I went for a walk. As I walked, I practiced deep breathing and tried to clear my mind of all of the ‘mental clutter’ built up during the day. These walks are becoming my way of stilling my mind. I’m doing an online writing course, and we’ve been discussing these kinds of techniques. So I walked and breathed deeply. For once I wasn’t hunched over looking for native flowers, nor was I looking under the bracken for traces of an echidna. I was just walking and looking into the middle distance…. and there, perched in a low eucalypt fork was a koala looking straight back at me.
The sight of the koala made me stop in my tracks. I didn’t have a camera with me, so I wanted to take in as many details as I could.
Slowly, I made my way past the tree, trying not to disturb it, and then I almost ran back to the house to grab the camera, knowing that koalas usually stay put unless they have a good reason to move. Sure enough, when I got back (with Richard in tow) it was still sitting where I had left it.
The setting sun lights the koala from one side, allowing the varied browns and greys in its fur to show clearly. You can also see the front paw, with two toes going in the opposing direction to the other three. This gives the koala a good grip when climbing.
I’ve seen a few documentaries of late, exploring the fate of koalas in Victoria, and in Australia. They are threatened in the wild due to habitat destruction. It feels like a real privilege to have one on our property. I’m not sure if it is just passing through, or whether it has our property as part of its usual territory. Reading up on their habits, I see that koalas have a home range somewhere between 1.5 and 2 hectares, so as I found it near our back fence, my guess is that it probably ranges between our place and our neighbour’s property, which also has bushland.
Needless to say, from now on I will be looking into the treetops more frequently as I do my daily walk.
Enjoy the photos.