No such thing as a simple life on my one acre in Tasmania with my two dogs.I try to grow food, wrangle chickens and the native and non native wildlife share the land I call home. Life with CPTSD and ADHD not been easy so I share about it all. Low income, a bit frugal, real life My Life.
Today a necessitiy to do some shopping for chook food and dog meat and bones. A few items for me. I loaded my two dogs into the car and noted battery was a bit flat as I have like many others been driving less due the increase in petrol prices (along with everything else almost). I am thankful it did turn over, ( I do own a battery charger just in case ) and after doing the shopping and having a lovely lunch at one of my favourite cafes in Huonville, DS Cafe where normally the dogs and I sit in the laneway. Today was gray and very cold I chose to sit inside by the fire. It would seem that my dogs waiting in the car, were not too happy at that. Having done all needed in town I needed to fill the car, in Huonvile price of petrol is $2.19 a Litre ($1.49US/1.25GBP/1.45euro/1.95CAD, for those in the USA a litre is almost 1/4 of a gallon making the price $8.80USD a gallon. I drove out of town filled up the car. as it was a 10cents a litre cheaper, but more to get the battery charged too win win. In the smaller town closer to where I live there is a wonderful couple of petrol stations that still serve you, and of course this makes the petrol more expensive. I do fill my car there if I have no need to go to Huonville. As I imagine the difference in price is lost by the 40+km return trip. However as a boost of my car battery was a necessity today and it has been quite a while since I have been for a real drive out of my local area(and I am only talking a 50km drive here lol) I went out to Crabtree, and found some new places I had not been before. A new campground on the side of the river. I also took the dogs for a walk along the beautiful riverside, my photos below share our day.
As I was driving back towards Huonville I was traveling slowly past the apple orchards and saw some movement: I found an area to turn around and came back to check what I had seen. These Cygnets are very early and relatively old as they are beginning to get their feathers. I was so thrilled to have noticed them and even more to have had my camera with me, even though I was a way away Mamma or Pappa Swan was not comfortable having photos of the babies being taken. Sensible swan, and rounded them up and wadled off throught the apple orchard.
Not many would have their trip to the shops end like this. Or have such gorgeous places so close to them to drive and enjoy the beauty. I am so very thankful to live in this beautiful valley on a very special island called Tasmania.
and there are lambs in the paddocks as I drive into town.
And across a road interestingly called Missing Link Rd there are these sheep.
My dog Busby barked at them as I stopped to take the photos. They each have a names the ram; one with glasses is Byron such a clever flock. Willie, Brian, Nettie, Nicole, Fenn. Talk about recycling. These wonderful creative sheep are made out of old gas cylinder bottles. I am so often awed by the creative and artisan people who live call the Huon Valley home. Who are genuinely themselves and do what makes them happy and in the process bring joy and delight to others. Add to this that there are many things in the area that can be viewed with no extra cost than the petrol.
I am thankful to have a car, to have enough money to fill it with petrol. I am thankful for the amazing artisians who make this beautiful valley home adding her or his uniqueness to our valley. I am thankful for the incredible place I l live. For being safe, clean air, and freedom to be myself, say what I think and most of all I am thankful that as I have got older and worked to accept and live with my mental illness/s I can be myself and let go of so many words that have been used and sometimes still are to limit me.
I have shared about myself and what my life has been like over the past few months living with CPTSD. It seems to me writing here assists me so much. Seeing my thoughts/activities/feelings in print help me see how far I have come in my life with this illness. Learning to live my life accepting how I move through each day no matter how and what is happening in my life and life around me. I am proud of myself that I keep moving forward no matter how minuscule it may be.
Lets look at what is happening in the garden. Here in the Southern Hemisphere we being our Spring Season very soon; the problem tends to be I along with many others feel the days lengthen and see the weeds growing all the new growth everywhere. I feel the urge to sow seeds. I have to hold myself back and wait wait.. which I have been doing, today I intend to plant a few in pots to germinate in side.
Lets go for a walk around my gardens in the last few days of the yearly Winter season.
I feel like I have done very little during winter, yet when I review the photos I have been doing small things. On top of this each day I walk around and pull weeds out of the paddock area. We have had a very wet few weeks very wet. This has made it more difficult to continue to clear around the fruit trees as the ground is too wet.
The joy of my garden and the hope that I will get seeds in and growing for my own vegetables and food. Rain and colder days are on the agenda for a few more days.
The chooks ahh the chooks sadly I have three roosters, and only five girls. Rupert has been amazing with the chicks but they have all grown up now and I have to attend to reducing the number of roosters, as they will be to much and to mean for the few girls I have. Sadly only one of the female chicks have survived to now. I also lost one of my original hens one of the brown girls. Penny I am not holding out any hope that she is nesting anywhere. My neighbours have also got new hens, and both my neighbour and I have noted that a Sea Eagle has been flying around everyday. This may be part of why my hens have disappeared along with one of the rooster chicks (perhaps not so bad one less for me to attend).
I have been taking my vitamin D as down here we have such low levels of sun over this time of year it is a necessity. It also helps with mood and lessening seasonal affective disorder. (SAD)
It is great to wake up each day, to see how beautiful my garden is looking. I am so thankful to have such a great area to create my space.
I am thankful to those of you who read my posts, blessings to You all. Tazzie
As an Australian I have never ever said G’day mate in my general life. Perhaps for a tourist or mucking about. G’day a form of hello in vernacular Australia. G’day, good day! G’day, gardening day…so as an Australian living in Tasmania in the southern most council region of Australia. I feel it fits my post today. A lot has been happening about my little acre. Last summer I was getting frustrated with blackberries wildly growing along one of my boundary fence lines. My plum trees seen in foreground of first photo below were becoming surrounded by shade and the black berries were heading towards them. A wonderful neighbour and his business partner gave me a quote which seemed huge originally and I needed to think about it. I ended up thinking about how my hazel nuts were impacted last summer too. It was a necessity for harvesting and survival of them. So I agreed. I am so incredibly happy with the result. Light streaming in, and whilst the plum trees are not going to give me plums this year I have hopes for next year. The hazelnuts are incredibly happy! Growing everyday.
The last two photgraphs from my vegetable garden shows the increasre in light and water that can be seen now. It may be an issue that wind will become a big issue now that the blackberries have gone. It will be interesting to see. For hazelnuts to pollinate it is done by the wind so for my trees this will enhance pollination.
The vegetable garden is looking different this year I have put in two new beds. Corrugated iron. I have been making soil for them over Autumn and winter. I have to plant a lot of vegetable seedlings this weekend. Tomatoes, chilies, capsicums(sweet peppers), zucchini, eggplant(aubergine), beans, pumpkins and a heap of others I can not recall at present ..oh cucumbers. My hope is that I will reap more than I did last year. lol. First row of photographs below.
Photos second row above are broad beans that are producing huge amounts and are delicous. The wind has been playing havoc with them as we have had very unusual spring wind coming from a southerly direction..I had not set the beans up for that direction. The last photo is of some of my garlic. I have not planted enough of them I realise, there is always next year. I am sure there will be a lot of local garlic available. In the background of the last photo is one of several foxgloves that self seed each year. This one in the last photo stands over 180cm/6ft.
The marigolds have flowered all year which has been terrific. The fruit trees are fruiting up beautiful peach, cherries sweet and morello, (my newly planted in a pot this winter) plums, apples. The jostaberries, red currants are loaded. Blue currants in the pots loaded, not as many on the two I planted into the ground.
I thought the double grafted (two variety) apple I had planted and am trying to espalier has one side that is loaded with leaves and a few apples. I thought that the other side had died. I was surprised and very happy to see leaves coming out this week. Other apples are doing well.
A busy weekend of planting seedlings and making structures to ensure things will have supports as required.
I am so hopeful for a good year of growing home grown vegetables, fruit and hazel nuts. I have been picking some asparagus, and lettuce, green onions, miners lettuce, I have been able to pick a couple of small cauliflowers. It is a learning curve always.
The wood chips I have been using in the vegetable garden are certainly holding moisture. Which is fantastic for summer. We have just had a 32dC/90dF already this week yet ten days ago the fire was lit. This is part of the reason I have yet to plant seedlings out. Old timers always say do not put tomatoes out until after show day, which is normally about the 17th November. A bit early but they need to go in.
I was up early and it was so lovely if windy, to see this sight.
I ventured into Cygnet, just to get groceries, and pick up library books. The weather is wild winds today (Friday02/10) and the weekend is heavy rain and cold. I do not mind this. Lots of books to look at and read with the wood fire going is something to look forward too.
Driving home from Cygnet I just happened to see this Wedge Tail eagle sitting in a paddock. It was a long way away, which is why I am so happy to have a telephoto lense. Of course I had to pull up on the side of the road. Hazard lights going, and hope the eagle hung around as I set up to shoot the camera.
As you can see it did. I was thrilled to notice it had a small (well from where I was it looked small) macropod; wallaby joey or paddymelon. A noisy ute drove up the hill and disturbed the eagle. Which is why it took off with its meal.
On arriving home I fed my dogs, and then went out in the wind to feed the chooks. No eggs today, I feel the wind has put them off. Though they have been out of the hen run most of the day as the gate blew down when I went into town. Busby did chase them but he did not hurt anyone and cam (eventually when I called him). I doubt there will be eggs in the morning either. Poor hens.
I put Busby in the house and went to see if I could see the white hen who headed for the neighbours when Busby decided to chase them. Instead I came across the critter below. Of course I had to race back inside to grab my camera. Wildlife does not just hang around for photo opportunities.
Hooray the resident echidna is back, and I hope it is feasting on the Jack Jumper ants that are nesting in my paddock. It was so busy digging and eating and I was upwind of it I was not noticed until Treacle walked by the echidna, who was not that worried about her presence. She just left it alone and came to me. The last photo shows what might appear to be a tail on the Echidna, it is not it is its rear feet. You can see its claws. Explanation follows
https://www.echidnawalkabout.com.au/how-echidnas-walk/So how do echidnas walk with legs pointing both ways? Like most animals, echidnas walk on the soles of their rearfeet. But the heel comes first, and the toes and claws follow. Why do echidnas back feet point backwards? This odd arrangement seems to give echidnas the ability to dig straight downwards. Like a drill.
I am very fortunate as I see so much about me, many others miss. I am mindful of not only my own place and space I occupy but all the life that shares my little acre, and surrounding area. I live simply and find so much joy, contentment and pleasure in the things that cost me nothing.
I hear people say, Yeah but you live in a lovely place. I grew up in a Sydney so I have not always, and even there I would see beauty everywhere and little magical bits of nature among the city streets. I used to travel to work on a train that went across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. Back when I worked 9-5 job. Nearly everyone around me commuting on the train, did not lift his or her head up from what ever they were looking at, to look at the beauty of Sydney Harbour, the incredible skill and workmanship of the bridge itself. The clouds in the sky. Every day I observed them for a moment as I then observed the incredible things outside the train window.
Put your phone down, learn to observe. See what others do not see. It really does not matter where you live. A bit of grass growing through cement… tells me nature will fight and is strong. Mother Earth is all about us and we do have to love her, observe her.
So my day was incredible.
I hope you all have pleasant weekends and are able to do something you enjoy what every your current situation is.
I am thankful for all the beauty that surrounds me. The native wildlife, the trees, flowers, insects. I am thankful that nature is strong enough that a weed or blade of grass can grow through cement or tarmac.
I may be sitting in side, with my wood fire going. I may be wearing a pure wool hand knitted jumper as I drink and compose this post. It is almlost 3pm here and the clouds have rolled in along with a wind. Not a gale at this point, it has been nice ot have a fairly wind free day today. Gales and rain were the past few.
I wandered about the garden and was mesmerised by how Spring is rollicking in with abandon. Every fruit tree is in bud or bloom. This brings me a lot of joy as I care for the fruit trees as in water them for only the first year they are put in the garden. After this they need to fend for them selves. I do add pot ash or sulpher potash and for some a little blood and bone.
above, Daphanne, small maple, caterpillar damage on nettles, plum tree in flower, peach tree, marigolds and rocket flowering, red currants, asparagus, violet, and bay tree.
This years new apricot tree, Huon Valley crab apple, fig,, lilac, this shrub is about to bloom in lovely blueish flowers, so happy my new plumis blooming as is the older one, my three types of apple tree that the cockatoos destroyed last year, has some leaves forming, yellow gage and green gage plums, red currant, hazel nuts, then cherry and two other trees not sure of in the chook run /orchard. Blue berries, with Jostaberries and second red currant bush behind.
Gooseberries are all doing well even with the chickens digging under them. My old cherry is flowering, and the new morello cherry in the pot on the deck is budding.
The air is full of birds singing to attract mates. I observe wattle birds flying in a courtship ritual. I have a wee forlorn pardelotte whose beautiful call in search of a mate seems to not being answered.
Their are lambs and calves everywhere about my place. It may be cold today but you cant hold Mother Earth back!
I live approximately at 43dSouth of the equator. The Huon Valley is the southern most council in Australia. Living in the 40dSouth region of the globe means I live in a very windy area. Especially around spring and summer. The west coast of Tasmania can get wind speeds of up to 200km/125mph and this can be relatively regular. I living more in the tip of the island sort of, and in a river valley with Bruny Island to the east at the end of the Huon River.
The Roaring Forties bring wild winds, wet weather and cold temperatures to Tasmania and southern Australia. The bane of sailors since Cook first circumnavigated Antarctica, these mighty winds influence everything from delicate native rainforest rodents to parrots and penguins. Heather Catchpole https://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2007/09/20/2038604.htm This is a really interesting article on the subject.
Tasmania, smack bang in the path of the roaring forties. Image: NASA (Source: NASA /https://www.abc.net.au/science/scribblygum/may2007/gallery.htm) Below.
I I hear you saying ok so what has this got to do with anything?
It has so much to do with my garden. The wind dries everything out so much and currently we are having minimum 8dC/40dF maximum 27dC/80dF with wind speeds of between 20kmph/ 12.4mph up to 42kmph/26mph then Tuesday the forecast is min 7dC/44.6dF to maximum 17dC/62.6 dF, thankfully the wind will be less and the maximum will be 20km for a short period.
We have had such high winds for the last few days and nights. So the garden is being knocked about badly. I was very grateful to receive some much needed rain the other night which has filled up my tanks by two rungs. The birds are so quiet and non are flying about I have not had to fill the bird baths, just give them a top up as the wind has been making waves on them and blown water out.
It makes it very hard to do anything outside. I managed to water, but this took a couple of tries as it is hard to water plants when most of the water is being blown away. Quite humourous actually, poor Miss Treacle was sitting under a shrub and I had no intention of wetting her, the wind had other thoughts. The soil and every Olle was dry this afternoon when I checked them! I had checked them yesterday morning as we had rain the night before, all were fine. Which saw me just water the deck plants yesterday. Today I watered everything again.
Below my grape plant and my first delicious sweet grapes. This is its first ever year it has actually produced grapes and I have eaten some.
Above the plants, herbs and vegetables in the pots on the deck are doing it a bit tough in the wind.
This is my Huonville Fanny crab apple and I hope to begin to pick it in the near future. Sadly the birds, and wallabies have eaten quite a few. Similar to the small apple in my paddock. I went down to pick the apples only to find the birds, possums or wallabies had beaten me to them.
Onions above I thought these were walking onions, but um they are not developing the tops so they must be normal onions. Another issue with the wind is so often the labels I put with seedlings is blow away or animals and birds knock them out.
The unknown ‘chilies’ are flowering, I doubt that I will get any fruit from these this year. These plants survived the winter and grew so fingers crossed they will survive this coming winter, and maybe next year I will get some fruit.
Above photo, the Three Sister Bed is perhaps the bed that is copping the worst off the wind. The beans nearly were destroyed. You can see the framework I have put in place to try and support the plant and post that have fallen. Thankfully they seem to be doing a great job. The beans are producing well. The corn is filling out, but one smaller piece has been opened by the wind. The corn plants have not produced as many cobs as I had hoped. I am not too disappointed as this is the first time I have ever successfully grown corn. The squash has three tiny butternut pumpkins on it. I did hand pollinate the two that are close together. The third one has been on the vine for quite a while now and is not developing. I was advised by a helpful reader that it happens when the female flower is not pollinated. It may be too late for the two hand pollinated pumpkins to develop much, I will just have to wait. All part and parcel of getting to know your garden, soil and plants.
The tomatoes both on the deck; photos above, with white netting and those growing in the garden bed, have all got quite a bit of healthy looking green fruit on them. I have been getting small red tomatoes, on average one or two a day. My fingers and hopes are high in getting many more ripe tomatoes. Our weather forecasters have been saying that Australia is going to have a warmer Autumn this year. I am being positive that I will have ripe tomatoes.
The capsicums/peppers in the asparagus bed are thriving. It is strange to realise that the ones that are in the tomato bed are so small in comparison. I transplanted them as they did not look happy in the asparagus bed. Hmm so glad I left one plant in their. The capsicums are about 9cm/3.5 in length and quite well formed as can be seen in the above photographs.
The two plants in the tomato bed are fruiting, sadly very small fruit. The plants never took off. This is not a happy bed. I may have over done it with minerals and trace elements.
I find being in the garden so good for my mental well being. It has been a difficult week in some ways for me. Spending time today in my garden and doing a couple of things outdoors in sunlight and physical exercise has been a tonic.
I am so thankful to have my garden, my beautiful home and the lovely if windy weather. I am very grateful that my veggie garden and fruit trees are all doing OK with the wind.
May your weekend be blessed and blessings to you all Tazzie
Today it is all about my dogs and dogs we meet along with their families. I have said before that my dogs are the reason I am still here.
In my darker periods of depression and anxiety they give me a reason to get up in the morning and to smile. They love me its that simple, and they need me. I need them. I love them and they love me.
They go with me everywhere, as long as it is not too hot for them to be in the car, or walking on the hot cement or tarmac. We have done so much together, and they bring me happiness and are there for me. Miss Treacle is sort of a service dog, not officially but some dogs and owners just have a connection. She seems to know when I am being triggered, and will come and sit on me if she can or as close to me as possible and try to make eye contact with me. Pressing her little body into mine. Really really trying. It helps me now, I realise what she is doing and when she is there it can help so much to stop things escalating.
This was taken at Lauderdale a north eastern suburb of Hobart a year ago and at a bakery up there. We sat outside with a coffee, and watched birds and the weather. Miss Treacle Busby and I and our older dog had gone on a drive. If you look to the right of the back of the photograph you will see dark cloud forming. That is the Mount Kunanyi (Mount Wellington) the large mountain that forms part of the divide between Huon Valley, to Kingston and Hobart. My home is basically directly south behind Miss Treacle.
I tell people all the time how sweet and gentle Busby is. He is younger here and we fostered kittens and puppies along with looking after friends dogs if they needed it.
Oh my what teeth you have Miss Treacle. Scary too. I’m just yawning know need to be concerned.
Busby is trying to tell me it is time to leave. He has no one paying him any attention. Coffee at a local bakery.
Miss Treacle just hopped up here on the seat next to the gentleman(who I know fortunately) when I went inside to order my coffee. She does prefer to be off the ground.
This is Busby and one of the kittens we fostered. He was so gentle with all of them, and loved them and they him.
Here you can see how good he is with them. The other dog in the background is my gorgeous Smithfield, who died age 12 two years ago.
Miss Treacle was also great with the kittens, though her patience did wear a bit thing a times and she would put them in their place. I guess that is the roll of older members of a family who are helping to raise the youngsters.
You find the most amazing beaches in Tasmania. This beach is a dog friendly one. This is Lauderdale Beach in Austum a few years ago you can see a storm coming.
Above, Taken near Cygnet. Two dogs very well behaved as they head to town.
The dog walking group I am a member of helped with the RSPCA Million Paws walk and this was one of the dogs who he and his owner participated.
Busby above getting a drink and checking the creek near the Cygnet Dog park out. Cooling his paws on a hot day.
We met these two lovely ladies at an off lead dog walking track at Corneilian Bay in Hobart. It is a favourite place when we go to Hobart. It is a great walking track up a hill and next to the cementry. It also has a spot for the dogs to play and chase as well as have a swim in the bay.
More dogs we met that morning and their humans.
My dogs and I were heading up a mountain near where we live as snow had fallen this was later in the day. It was the first time that Busby had been near snow. It was not deep. As it had fallen overnight and this was about 2pm. You can see how interested Miss Treacle and my older dog are.
Above they had a ball. I was worried for a short while that Busby might be feeling the cold. That is until he went for a swim in the lake that was to the left in the photo above. I decided if he was swimming in the freezing water he was OK.
This is our neighbours lovely springer spaniel saying hi to Busby. He has just turned 2 and he and Busby adore each other it is a bromance of the highest order. They miss each other and oh my when its been a few days without seeing each other it is sheer joy and love.
They love to play with each other and sometimes Miss Treacle will join in. Though at 12 1/2 the young boys can get a bit rough for her.
Fortunately there are safe and comforting arms to save her. Below.
I live out of town and you have a wonderful community of neighbours is a wonderful thing and you are fortunate that the communities in all the towns in the Huon Valley have a lovely community supporting each other in times of difficulties as we here experienced last year with fires. Unless you live in such places I do believe that it is extremely hard to imagine what it really means to the people who live there. I feel for the communities that have had fires wreck live buildings but know that for most the community will be what holds them together and what keeps many living in the areas and rebuilding home, business schools and their lives. It is hard not to write my blog and not write about what is happening to so many people on the mainland.
The problem with any disaster unless it impacts you, family, or friends, our lives go on. I look around and know that the only things that matter are my dogs and me. I worry about the animals, and plants. However I can not allow myself to remain at home and listen to the radio and watch the TV sharing the unprecedented horror. I have to look after myself. Or I will sink into that darker place of hopelessness and helplessness, where I held down in depression.
So I loaded up the dogs on this gorgeous blue sky day and we headed for the Cygnet Markets.
As mentioned in a previous post the town is being dressed up in preparation for the Cygnet Folk Festival next weekend. There seems to be a bit of a theme with the decorations this year. 2020 Vision Cygnet, View with Action Can Change the World.
The dogs and I wanted to share more of this lovely small town with its shady park in the middle of the main st. It has a single street of shops that runs for about three blocks.
Langoona is an Aboriginal word that means swift. ( Yet it is also used in the somali language for fight.)the interesting things you find out with the internet. Of course it would be swift.
The Cygnet Bakery wood fired sour dough breads several great varieties baked in a woodfire (the curved brick work is the over) also sells great croissants pastrys and doughnuts, salad rolls, pies sausage rolls, cakes. Coffee.
There are many lovely roses about the town. With the Catholic church having a beautiful rose garden.
More creative work on the 20/20 vision theme outside a old home now a small artisans workplace and sales area at Balfour house Main Rd Cygnet.
Photos below are of an old bank building in the hear of Cygnet which had a managers residence above it. It is now a clothing shop a cafe dog friendly with delightful garden, a weaver who grows her own alpacca wool works in a studio out the back and their is a luxury B an B. all make up the Cygnet Old Bank.
It is a welcoming place, that has grown and evolved as more and more people are choosing to move here.
So I shared that Echidnas are special mammals called monotremes. This and how the baby Echidnas (puggles) are hatched not born. In a previous post Why I love Echidnas.
A few more interesting facts about these incredible animals.
They do not have ears.
Echidna unlike humans have no ear flaps, as you can see in the photograph to the left. It has incredible hearing and it also uses eclectroreceptive, which helps to locate objects and food. The electoreceptors are in the Echidnas beak.
Echidnas tiny toothless mouths hold a long thin fast sticky tongue for feeding on ants, termites, and invertebrates.
Echidnas have good sense of smell, poor vision and can feel vibrations so small they can hear termites and ants moving in their nests and underground. All monotremes have electroreceptors, (to perceive natural electrical stimuli) and the short-beaked echidna, which lives in a drier environment, has no more than 400 located at the tip of its snout. (compared to 2000 in long beaked echidna and 40,000 in the Playtpus). Scientists/researchers believe these electroreceptors help to navigate and work out the environment and what is in it surroundings.
Echidnas can swim, and have been filmed in all sorts of locations swimming.
Echindas have a maximum speed of 2.3 kilometres/1.32miles per hour, and have a characteristic waddling gait. I can tell you they can move pretty quickly I have tried to take photos, and they have disappeared off into the bush before I am focused.
When echidnas are active, they spent most of the time digging and looking for food. Compared to many other animals, echidnas have longer activity times, presumably due to the time required to find their food of ants and termites; echidnas eat about 40,000 individual ants and termites a day.
Echidnas spend a similar amount of time foraging in both spring and summer, but during spring they move more slowly and are more likely to ramble, at a leisurely 1 kilometre per hour, from their rest sites to foraging areas. But in summer, they sprint at their top speed directly to and from feeding sites, presumably to minimise activity during hot weather.
“Echidnas are ecosystem engineers”
The considerable time that echidnas spend digging and the area over which they dig means that they act as important “bioturbators”. They turn over the soil which reduces compaction, improves soil mixing and water penetration, incorporates leaf litter and other organic matter into the soil, and reduces run-off and erosion.
They are solitary animals except for when the urge to mate arises. They are not monogamous and the female will mate with several males. The males will smell the female and any that are in the area will make their way to the female, forming a train.
Following her about until she stops, then the males will attempt to mate with her, pulling each other away from the reading I have done one male will win. Male Echindas have spurs on their hind legs. These secrete a milky substance and are used in the breeding season it has been discovered in 2013 by University of Sydney, to mark territory of the males. There is no clear understanding as to whether this marking of territory is as a deterrent for other males who might come near or onto this males territory. Or if the fluid is for letting the female know he is ready to hook up.
Echidnas are known to live in captivity for up to 50 years.
“Our Australian echidna at The Zoology Museum Cambridge UK, has a taxidermied echidna on display. To an Australian, the specimen in the museum doesn’t look right. Superficially, it looks like it’s been stuck in a wind tunnel, its spines are too sleek. Whereas if you watch a live echidna, they are round and waddle. But that’s not it. Upon closer inspection, the echidna is anatomically incorrect.- has feet which point in the wrong direction and consequently, rips across the ankles(see photograph on left). Echidnas were so unfamiliar to people in London that the taxidermist didn’t realise that their feet should point backwards. We won’t be correcting this mistake as it forms in Grant Museum of Zoology valuable evidence of the ways these animals were historically understood,” said Jack Ashby, Manager of the Grant Museum of Zoology, part of UCL Culture.
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