Resident (dormant) koala

All photos this page Katherine Sullivan.
We lie in bed looking at this tree every morning (OK, only for about 25 seconds: we have 4 yr old and 2 yr old children).   It's a Blakely's Gum: (Eucalyptus blakelyi: aka Forest red gum, Hill red gum), a type of local red gum adapted for the dry hills.  Some of the branches have dropped and we have counted more than 80 year-rings.  My guess is that the tree was here before white man.  We're surrounded by these trees, but only 500m down our driveway (at an altitude 70m lower), Red Stringy Barks dominate.

This tree has a couple of dropped branches with hollowed out cavities: I can't tell you how many different species of birds nest in the same hollows: galahs, green rumped parrots, magpies plus many more: each vacating when the young can fly, and another family moving straight in according to their breeding cycle.

When you look at a tree like this every morning, you become very aware of its intricate curves and shapes.  So when a goanna, almost perfectly camouflaged, climbs the 10m vertical trunk, you notice it.  That happens a lot on the warm weather.  I hope all the birds have hatched by now and are on the wing (not that I don't like the goannas).

So if you've read this far, either you have spotted the sleeping koala, or you're interested in finding it:  it's in the top right corner, so completely asleep that its legs are hanging from the branch.

   This is the same tree, hours later from slightly different angles.

The koala hasn't moved.

(Don't worry, it did move later.)


Popular Posts