Thursday, August 28, 2008
I thought the noise of the possums and wallabies would quiet down as the winter went on and feed was easier to find. But they still seem to be lurking around in the suburban gardens when I take the dog out for a late-night walk.
Even on a dark night you can tell the difference. If it’s a possum, they wait till you’ve crossed to the other side of the road, then they start making bad-tempered coughing sounds at you. But if you go past somebody’s garden and you hear that characteristic boing-boing sound retreating into the darkness, it’ll be a wallaby.
Sometimes they even come out in the daylight -- the picture was taken just across the road from my sister's front door.
They first started moving into the suburbs last summer when the drought caused a shortage of feed. I knew that wallabies liked flowers -- a friend of a friend has special permission to keep a wallaby in his backyard and it loves a rose as a special treat. But I hadn’t expected them to move into the gardens in my sister’s street.
One of her neighbours showed me the whitewashed front wall of his garden and you could plainly see the marks of the wallabies’ feet where they’d tried to scale the wall. He’s given up trying to grow anything in his backyard because they sneak down the hill at night and eat everything in sight.
And yet my sister, who would love to have a few wallabies going through her paddock, never sees them on her side of the road. Either they don’t like crossing the road or they won’t go through the poultry and horses that populate the property.
What will happen in the Spring? We’ll just have to wait and see.