Well, I haven't seen a snake in some time on our walks. There has been enough water from the plentiful rain this year to keep them away from the lake where I take the dogs regularly. However, the last two weeks have been relatively dry. With that, the snakes are obviously heading to the lake for water. Today while walking, my youngest boy Astro who is 11 months old, pointed at something. Normally, when he does this it will be a bird and he will flush it into the air. However, this time he kept moving forwards and back again sniffing at something. So I decided to go over and take a look. I very nonchalantly walked over to where Astro was to see what he was interested in. Well bugger me if it wasn't a fat Red Bellied Black Snake!!!! By the time I saw it, the toe of my shoe was maybe six inches from it. So if it had wanted to strike, it certainly had the range. More worrying was Astro had his nose about the same distance from it. Thankfully, my recall and leave it training worked and both Astro and Zsa Zsa walked away. I then made them sit and stay when i had them far enough from it and went back to take this pic for you all to enjoy, or not, depending on how you feel about snakes. To be honest, if it wasn't illegal to kill them and our gun laws were not so strict, I would have had a shot off from the 410 and hung it on the fence for the crows like we used to be able to when I was a kid. But, not these days unfortunately. I really don't like snakes and our Australian ones can be highly venomous.
Just a short view of Astro and Zsa Zsa looking for Quail. Unfortunately, the Quail have started to move on and they are finding less and less of them. But, now there are some other tiny grassland birds who have taken up residence and they are chasing them now too. This is an area 1 kilometre from my home. It is a wetlands surrounded by grasslands, so we have everything from Ducks, Geese and Pelicans to Quail and other small grassland birds. The dogs just love it! (Thankfully, they haven't managed to nab one yet.
Just some more pics of our weekend away camping in Kirth Kiln State Forest. The final pic of Zsa Zsa and Ozkar sleeping in the car might hint at how much energy they expended over the weekend. Zsa Zsa who is on the left, fell asleep in that position and Ozkar on the right is half on the floor and half on the seat. Neither moved in the 100klm trip home. I think the duck hunters shot guns going off all night may have disturbed their sleep also adding to the tiredness. I wish I could take them up there every day.
This is the Kirth Kiln State park which we have just spent three days and two wonderful nights camping. We got to find, point and then chase all the birds, kangaroos, wombats and Deer we could find. Poor Ozkar being so prey focussed, ended up with cuts and abrasions in his little nose and eyelids. But we don't think we have ever seen the three of us happier. The last pic is all three of us trying to be the winner in the stick retrieving competition. I won!!! My Name's Astro and I am the biggest, but also the youngest at 11 months.
This is perhaps a better view if our cute little Echidna. Here is a link which tells you a little more about them. Despite there appearance, they are a very gentle little animal. http://www.australianfauna.com/echidna.php
The dogs found this little creature very interesting, all be it a little prickly!! For those living outside of Australia, this is our version of an Ant eater. It is called an Echidna. When frightened or threatened, they dig themselves into the ground and let the spines protect them. I have tried to dig one out, but they really do get a strong grip on Terra Firma. Unlike a porcupine however, there spines don't embed themselves into their predators, it merely makes it next to impossible to penetrate. A very cute and gentle creature and yet another of the many unusual animals we have here in Australia.
Early springtime, a chilly morning along one of our favourite winter tracks. There are lots of wonderful smells for the dogs to take in. They particularly like finding the areas where the Kangaroos have slept. They also particularly like eating the Kangaroo poo too. Thankfully a watchful eye and a strong "Leave it" response avoids it mostly. Lots of rabbits live in this part also, so they are often off chasing a rabbit. Never successful, but fun for them none the less. We have to avoid this track in the warmer months as Tiger snakes find it a nice place to hang out. Our Tiger snakes are not the friendliest creatures god put on the earth, so best we just avoid them. We often bump into the occasional Echidna as well.
After our efforts in this years cricket series, I thought we might do some training just in case. Astro would be a brilliant fielder for the opposing team. It would take them half an hour to get the ball back off him. We'd score a lot of runs in 30 minutes.
I wouldn't have believed it, unless I had seen it for myself. Astro is a right little fisherdog!! I watched him intrigued by something in the water at the edge of the lake. By the time I got close enough to see, he had landed this fish and brought it to me to proudly show what an old salty he is!!!