The local wallaby population has been gradually increasing and this morning we had the chance to shoo a few out. First we open the driveway gate then position ourselves so we head them in the direction of the gate. We managed to get four of seven out. I feel like a shepherd or I guess walherd. Tim was waving the Australian flag like a matador. Here’s a flame robin outside the sunroom.
The other night, possums were fighting over the barbecue. Tim shooed them away and closed it up and the next day asked me if I had scrubbed it clean. I hadn’t. They did. Maybe they should stay. I could invite them into the house to clean.
The sun came out and there was a fair wind, all the visiting boats we can see have left. Time to do laundry. I can’t convey how good these sheets smell!
They splashed around so much, we had to refill the bath.
There has been some weird bird activity. There were two groups of Cape Barren geese but we think one group has been banished away from the house and down to Garden Cove. We saw them there a couple of days ago when we walked to the cove. They wouldn’t move off the path in front of us. They just kept goose stepping faster and faster. Before they left, one goose would run after the others with wings spread but wouldn’t actually fly. They occasionally stray back and quickly get shooed away.
We were sitting in our favorite room, the sunroom, which is enclosed in glass on the side of the house when we both saw a hawk chasing a goose in mid-air. The hawk is one-quarter the size of the goose.
View from the sunroom, above. The caretaker’s house with the sunroom, below.
The Sydney Hobart race continues although the larger boats have finished. So far 17 of the 88 boats dropped out and the weather has eased. We hope that some boats stop by and visit on their way from Tasmania back to Sydney.
No new boats in the harbor. Just the birds. High winds and rain for the next couple of days. Tim has been clearing trails and I have been planning and getting the garden ready – and checking the beer and spinning up some beautiful yarn. Two sailors who have been anchored on the other side of the pass stopped by today. They needed a weather report and concluded they would be enjoying the anchorage here for a few more days. It’s hard for me to imagine sailing in a place where you can’t communicate with anyone else – even to get a weather report. We will get to act as a relay this summer.
I am using my Kindle a lot. I have over 100 books on it and also use it to store my recipes and knitting patterns. I didn’t bring any cookbooks or knitting books and have been doing just fine. When I find recipe or knitting project, I download it to my computer and transfer it to the Kindle. I wrote out the important recipes in my journal just in case, but today, I succeeded at a batch of bagels. I think I have got the hang of it now.
And if the skies stay cloudy and the solar array doesn’t do its job, then at least I have a trusty night light – for a few days.
From the lighthouse hill, overlooking the compound to the right, and Erith Island.
Tim had opened up the lighthouse to air it out and since it takes about 40 minutes to walk there, I went back and closed it up later in the day. My first trip there was so windy, I didn’t go out on the cat walk for fear of being blown away. This time was nicer and although Tim warned me about a gigantic spider on the door, I went outside and enjoyed the view and was spider free. Then I visited a memorial to a plane crash, which occurred here in the 1940’s, when four Royal Australian Air Force men were killed. There’s a memorial and still some wreckage strewn about.
I saw a couple of the beautiful fire tails and of course a wallaby and two rabbits and a dragon.
We are learning the communication gear. Internet is unreliable. There’s no predicting when it will be available. No worries though. Amazingly, we have a radio phone, which works just like a home phone, except first an operator or something is automatically dialed before you dial the number you want to reach. Today we sent a fax to the office. I feel like Command Central. Even the VHF radio is spotty. We haven’t been able to hear weather reports but I think we have all the scheduled times and channels sorted out. We heard it today. We also just heard a ship report its position to the Coast Guard and told them they would be out of communication range later tonight, when strong winds and/or gale are predicted and will check in with Deal Island…that’s me!!
Fire breathing dragon along the southern coast.
How strange. We sit on the sun porch and watch wallabies hopping by, looking in at us. We still can’t get used to it. There are Cape Barren geese roaming around the compound, with bright pink legs and green above their beak. I’ve seen skinks, Inside and when I thought I saw a mouse in the living room, it was actually a baby skink—where are its parents??
Many of the birds have bright red coloring. There are beautiful firetails (that’s their name and its accurate), flame robins and even the goldfinches have red heads. We can hear the call of a fan tail cuckoo but haven’t seen it. At night, there are all sorts of noises.
Last night we went down to the beach to see the fairy penguins. No pictures because it happens in the dark. We waited and strained our eyes at dusk.
I think the faint hills in the background are Wilson’s Promontory in Victoria.
It was worth the wait. After dark, they came up the hills in droves and walked up the road to their burrows. At one point we saw a mob of 30 or so, taking their time and waddling along. What a treat.
I’ve been knitting a little and was looking for a place to store my yarn and fleece the other day. I had stored some in a drawer and opened the adjacent drawer. Lo and behold, a knitter before me had used the same drawers and left some yarn and a pattern book of baby clothes. Once again, knitting keeps me connected.
We hiked to the summit of Strzelecki Mountain yesterday. You will have to take my word for it because I took a camera whose cable link is already packed and unavailable. So I will post those pictures out of context. Here’s the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife trail guide.
Strzelecki National Park
Our view was to the west until we circled around the back of the mountain. Plus we could watch our car slowly disappear as we ascended from the trail head. Elevation gain, 726 m over 3 km to the summit. I almost resisted making the final ascent because the views were already spectacular where I was, but I made it. Along the way, we saw a blue tongue lizard and heard lots of birds. We didn’t see any snakes, which is fine with me.
After the hike, we visited Trouser point and the beautiful, half moon beaches with lichen covered rocks. The rock formations were extensive and flat, which made a nice shelf along the water.
We are awakened here by the song of the laughing kookaburra. A pair of superb fairy wrens peck on the window when we are drinking our coffee. Black swans are an uncommon, common site for us. Blue winged parrots fly by our window. The Australian magpies are all over the roads eating carrion and have a haunting, throaty call. There is a flock of turkeys behind the cabin which get their panties in a bunch when cars go by.
Our backyard turkeys
We’ve also seen a flock of Cape Barren geese during our travels around the island. They have a distinctive green bump “cere” on their beaks.
Cape Barren Geese