Thursday, 16 October 2008

Holiday (ii) - A walk in Kuitpo Forest

When my son and his family were emigrating to Australia they made the decision that their dog should go with them. He was then about 8 years old and they had chosen him from a rescue centre when he was about a year old. He was part of the family and they wouldn't leave him behind. In fact Moss was actually the first of them to arrive in Australia, having travelled on a separate flight, direct to Melbourne where he was to be quarantined for 30 days. On release from quarantine he was in wonderful condition but with no bark, obviously having to keep up with the other dogs in the kennels, but that soon returned once he was back with the family.

Whenever I visit them I usually go for some walks with my son and his dog and sometimes we go to Kuitpo Forest which is not too far from where they live.

We did just such a walk one evening while I was there this time. Moss likes to run on a little way ahead, soon catching us up if our route should take a different direction from the one he is moving in. Sometimes we see nothing on our walks, sometimes rabbits, maybe a kangaroo or two. That evening as we rounded into another path, a little way ahead of us were 7 or 8 kangaroos, right in the middle of the path. We slowed our pace and called to Moss to come to heel, which he eventually did and my son slipped the lead onto him. He doesn't usually chase after them now, but S wasn't taking any chances. Anyhow the kangaroos had spotted us and soon jumped out of our sight into the trees. A little further on we saw another but it soon disappeared also. In all the times I have been in that forest I have never seen so many together and so close. A little later on the walk S thought he heard something moving and we stopped still to listen. I heard nothing but S spotted an echidna, trundling its merry way through the undergrowth, oblivious of our presence. We left him to it.

I always feel privileged when I see animals in their natural habitat and was thrilled, though slightly irritated with myself as it was one of the few occasions that I hadn't bothered to carry my camera!

So, for anyone who is not sure what an echidna looks like, here is a photograph of one I took at Cleland Park.

Apparently their young are called "puggles" - how sweet!

And here a photo of kangaroos taken on a walk through the same forest but on a previous holiday. Apologies for the quality of the image.

I really enjoy having these walks with my son, I think we both look forward to them - Moss definitely does!

Below is a photograph I took on one of our first walks in the forest.

It is one of my favourites although I have very mixed feelings whenever I look at it.



cheshire wife said...

A very different experience from a walk in a forest in the UK.

Pam said...

How bizzare to see kangaroos on your walk. Being from England, we all consider it a privilege to see a hedghog don't we? Even now, after nine years in the states, I still jump up and down with excitement when I see a raccoon in my garden!!!
I enjoyed hearing of your walk with your son & his dog, Moss.

Maggie May said...

Very different from our walks. The little creature looks like our hedgehog, without the long nose.
Lovely to share your walk with you. Enjoyed that.

rosiero said...

Never heard of an echidna before now, but it does look very much like our hedgehog. I thought kangeroos could be quite dangerous, especially if they box and kick, but from what you say, they prefer to run away from humans.

Gill - That British Woman said...

great story and lovely photos. I clicked on them to expand them and got a lot more detail, lovely.

Gill in Canada

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

CW - yes very different, more exciting!

Pam - I love to see the kangaroos in the wild. Didn't see any koalas this trip though.

Maggie - yes very similar to hedgehog but quite a bit larger.

Rosiero - haven't a clue what we would do if they started bounding towards us, but son is quite cautious, I'm sure he'd know what to do!!

Thanks Gill - glad you enjoyed.

A x

Jay said...

Wow - an experience, to be sure!

I'd be nervous if I had my dogs with me and saw kangaroos - I think they go in for disembowelling of enemies.

I like the echidna though!