Life, with my dogs, living on one acre in Tasmania. Living on a low income, and with Complex PTSD. I write about all sorts of things. I called my Blog Echidna Home because I have echidnas that live here
We may feel under the weather. We all live under the weather. I am feeling a little under the weather, I have pulled a small muscle in my back. It is fine just needing some rest. So today I decided to share some photos of my life under the weather.
Above: Sunset over the Huon River
The above photo of the mountain range between the Huon Valley and Hobart. It is known as Sleeping Beauty. If you look at the photograph to the right you can see the mountain range.
You are never far from water when You live on an island.
The above photo is a night shot. A long exposure and the clouds effect is great. If you look just above the copyright you will see a line of bright blue in the water. This is called bioluminesence. Bioluminescence is light produced by a chemical reaction within a living organism.
Above: This was the only cloud in the sky this evening. Is it a single cloud? I am not sure what sort of cloud it is.
Above: Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Most of us who live in the Huon Valley Tasmania think it is at the end of the rainbow, in the magical land of OZ.
Above: now that is a lovely view
Above: Moon rise over the river. It was a still night, there was a potential aurora forecast I sat by the river shooting and waiting. I did not get the Aurora I did get this wonderful moon rise. The green glow is light haze from the acquaculture industry.
Above: Kingston Tasmania full moon rising Kingston is between Huon Valley, and Hobart.
Green grass in the afternoon looking towards Huonville. Tasmania
Above: Sunset if I painted this I do not think anyone would believe it was real. Totally unedited.
Above: Giant footsteps in the sky. Lenticular clouds. We do get some wonderful cloud formations here.
Above and below: Storm clouds with refraction ice crystals above Kettering Tasmania.
Photography is a very personal thing. I tend to not have any particular passion for one thing over the other. I just enjoy recording what I see.
So many beautiful videos abound full of movement incredible vistas from all over the world. For me they are stunning but often with music and talking, busy busy. I need less.
For me the art of photography is a lot about mindfulness. Being very present in the moment.
They are unedited. Just simple and taken as I go about my life. So many people are so busy with video cameras instead of stopping and looking being still in the moment. Savouring being present still and for me so often at peace.
I was sitting in a paddock watching the clouds skimming over the hills. They were moving fast. I was watching this cloud when I realised it was unusual in that it looked as if the top had been sliced horizontally off.
I find it quite lovely to sit out on my deck of an evening and night watching the sky and clouds. This was a stormy night and shows lightning behind the clouds, hitting the hills in the far distance. It makes me feel so small when I see and hear thunder and lightning storms. We do not normally get a lot of thunder and lightning storms where I live. Yet the last couple of years we have had more than ever in the time I have lived here.
Watching these particular clouds was fascinating. They really had the look of flying saucers, in 3D with the colours, and the way the shadows and light was hitting them. I immediately was taken to the song The Eve of War the song from War of the World.
The chances of anything coming from Mars Are a million to one, he said (ah, ah) The chances of anything coming from Mars Are a million to one, but still, they come. (Chorus from The Eve of the War)
Please note I am not talking about the horrendous movie from 2005 but the 1938 radio drama where Orson Welles then 23 had a play written by Howard Koch based on H.G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds. It was not great to begin with but with Welles revisions and input of others including the cast, it went on to cause purportedly major panic as people had believed it was real. The radio drama was broadcast with Welles Mercury Theatre on the Air the night before Halloween in 1938. If you are interested in learning more about his see the link below.
My last photograph is a lovely morning reflection on the Huon River. It is not often you have the water so still. The Huon River is a tidal river that meets up with sea water. So with a shifting tide, and usually at least a breeze, wind or birds, disturbing the stillness this was a lovely moment to catch.
For me it is a timely reminder that being aware of my surroundings and taking the time to really look at nature, and all about me is a good way to reflect on how fortunate I am. It keeps me realising that I am blessed, even on my really bad days.
I wanted to share these today reminding me about the things that really help me to live with my CPTSD. To move forward.
I wanted to say it amazes me how just writing about the things that impact my mental illness in an everyday way helps so much. I do not know if anyone else with CPTSD fixates on a thing, and it gets in to you, that you find it almost impossible to let it go. For me writing about my experience with benefits from the Government has let me let it go. Such a positive. It is all in hand I have an appointment with my social worker, and GP so all it under some control and I have asked for help. A massive thing for me. I feel good about it all and quite hopeful. Sigh.
Along with my writing I do find spending time at home and in my garden is the best thing for me. I am trying really hard to let go of all the mess, and delight in all the positives. I am doing well at this. Everything is on a list. Yet I can not have more that one list or I become overwhelmed.
This in itself is important. I have to have a list. It is on my fridge. I mean written on my fridge in a marker, a perfect white board. My psychologist has helped me note that when I am really overwhelmed I begin many many lists. So in simplifying only the major things, on one list. I will not forget any of them. There is no time line for completion and I do not get fixated, or overwhelmed. As my mantra these days is I am content with the discontent. Strange as it seems, but just saying this to myself is such a help.
As I wrote this I heard Busby barking in the paddock. I looked out and saw this,
At first I thought oh NO he has killed a small animal. Then as I moved down towards him I tell him to leave it, and then I see this. Yes in the second photo below the white on the echidnas back is where Busby has attempted to grab the echidna. Echidna 1 (thankfully ) Busby nil. It is so hard for Busby as he is a mixed breed dog. Staffie x,with ridgeback x with boxer. All breeds that make him protective and aware of things that do not live in our home. He was very gentle with foster kittens, and cats, along with other dogs and puppies I fostered. He was fine with some orphaned rabbit kittens, but not with those in their hutches..outside big ones. It is so hard with the genetics. He is improving as he comes away now.
Echidnas have no fixed address they are wanderers and will move around a pretty large area on the mainland in Southern Queensland the organisation Land For Wildlife says that a territory can be up to 50 Hectares/123.553acres though territories can cross.
They find each other using sense of smell.
Apparently our Tasmanian echidnas are bigger than mainland Australia Echidnas.
I have talked about how echidnas form a connection with a male, the following video shows you how Echidnas mate. It is a video from National Geographic, Youtube. https://youtu.be/frZGhk0i228
It is also delightful to actually see how these awesome animals get around. They are not slow moving all the time, and are great at climbing up and over things.
They weigh between 2 and 5 kgs/4.41lb- 11.02lbs. quite a range in size. They have lower body temperature than other mammals, 31-32dC / 87.8-89.6dF.
If disturbed, echidnas will usually lower the head, and with vigorous digging, sink rapidly into the ground leaving only the spines exposed. On hard surfaces they will curl into a ball — presenting defensive spines in every direction. They are also capable of wedging tightly into crevices or logs by extending their spines and limbs.
The echidna is adapted for very rapid digging, having short limbs and powerful claws. The claws on the hind feet are elongated and curve backwards; to enable cleaning and grooming between the spines. However, despite this, they are infested with what is said to be the world’s largest flea — Bradiopsylla echidnae, which is about 4 mm long. (https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au).
Whilst both the male platypus and echidna both have spurs on their hind feet the echidnas is not functioning and is blunt unlike the platypus which has a sharp spur with functioning venom glands.
The diet of echidnas is largely made up of ants and termites, although, they will eat other invertebrates especially grubs, larvae and worms. The strong forepaws are used to open up the ant or termite nest and the echidna then probes the nest with its sensitive snout. Any insects in the nest are caught on the echidnas rapidly moving 15 cm tongue which is covered with a layer of sticky mucous, hence the name Tachyglossus meaning ‘fast tongue’. The jaws are narrow and have no teeth so food is crushed between hard pads which lie in the roof of the mouth and on the back of the tongue. Large grubs are squashed and the contents licked up. Echidnas eat a lot of soil and ant-nest material when feeding, and this makes up the bulk of droppings.
I do hope the echidna is eating all the jack jumper ants at my place. I have actually unearthed a few nests of ants in recent weeks, so kind of me to help them find food. In the process I have been bitten by two jack jumpers and they hurt so bad, and inflame and ache for days. One of the hidden joys of gardening. So I am very happy to have them about.
The echidna in Tasmania is common and widespread. They are less affected by the clearing of land as much as many other native animals as they can live anywhere that there is a supply of ants. Despite their covering of spines they do have natural predators such as eagles and Tasmanian devils which even eat the spines. They were a favourite food of Aboriginal people and early white settlers although they are now wholly protected by law.
Cockatoos or Cockys/Cockies (coll) are intelligent, cheeky, loud, destructive to trees (some folk feel) and so funny to watch at times, they have a very funny walk. They are a bit similar to humans who have a preferred hand; they have a preferred’ footness’, but it seems from research most are more left footed. Adaptable birds they survive in both cities and the bush. They dine on berries, nuts, seeds and roots.
My Poppy(grandfather) had a pet Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita). It had a large cage but only went in it to eat or when it was a bit nervous, say if my cousins bought their dog over with them. He was called Cocky and my Poppy had taught him to speak. He could say all the usual “Hello Cocky” and “who is a pretty bird”. He would scream “feed me, feed me” when anyone was near by with food. He loved a scratch on his head, and would say oh “darl give us a scratch”. My Pop used to ask my Grandma for a scratch of his back every evening in this manner. As I said he was never in his cage and his wings were not clipped. My Poppy did not do that with any of his birds.
Poppy had been a rabbiter as a job in the bush, and my Dad and his four siblings and their Mum (Grandma) all lived in a tent. Summer and winter. They were very poor. My Pop just was wild about Australian native animals and birds, he loved the bush . He taught me so much.
Back to Cocky he would sit about on the furniture, and go outside whenever Pop did. Cocky would go flying and return home, he would not be gone long usually he would get frightened by other birds.
My Pop had found him when he was a chick. Most likely fell out of the nest in a hollow in the tree. My Pop could not climb trees he had scurvy when he was little. You could drive a bus through his legs. He also knew that a cat would get the chick pretty quick in the area he found it. If he had left the chick on the ground. No parent was in sight nor squawking about the chick. So he took him home and hand rared him. Cocky adored Pop.
The black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus) about here love the pine cones. You can see sap all over this ones beak. It is not uncommon for people to park their cars under pine trees to keep them cool and have pine cones that the cockys are finished with drop onto the car, damaging them or smashing the windscreen. Both birds have an amazing scrreeeech I have thought it was someone hurt.
They are stunning looking in flight.
Cockatoos live a similar life span to humans, and when my Poppy had to go into a nursing home my Uncle adopted Cocky, and would take him in to visit Poppy. (Cocky would sit in the front seat of the car and jump on the arm rest and look out the window on the trip. When they got to the Nursing home he would cry out “Poppy where here, Poppy where here” ( Which is what all his grandchildren used to call out when any of us visited them at home), until he found Pop. He would fly to him, sit on his shoulder rubbing his head on Poppys cheek and give him gentle little pecks like kisses. He loved my Uncle and learnt some more words that I will not share.