A Shower of Rain, Koala and Glorious Stars

A brief respite in the summer heat and a few drops of rain raised spirits and gave the whole environment a chance to draw breath.

There is nothing like the smell of summer rain in the Australian bush. It is a heady smell of freshness and eucalyptus unique to the Australian bush, hard to describe but it raises the spirits and the whole environment seems to heave a collective sigh of relief. Although we only had some brief showers the light rain refreshed everything, humans, plants and animals alike.

We had a visit from one of our local male Koalas. His territory overlaps our place here and he is a regular visitor. Koalas can be very hard to see and find which is surprising given their size. But tucked in against a tree trunk or when they get up in the canopy they are so hard to spot. It is nice to be able to show him being so active, during the day they tend to just sit, especially in the heat of summer. At different times of the year they feed on different trees. Over the last few months I have noted they were feeding on Messmate stringybark, Eucalyptus obliqua. The Manna Gums, Eucalyptus viminalis have just started putting on new growth and so I guess he is after the fresh green foliage so this likely accounts for the shift in diet. I enjoy seeing and noting changes like this as it gives you a understanding of how all the environment is connected together, a sum of lots and lots of smaller parts and actions.

This male was nice and close to the house so was spotted as he moved about, otherwise finding a Koala is a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack, too many trees and very few animals. As far as I can tell the population here, while small, is pretty stable and sustainable. If you live in the Central Victoria there is an active monitoring project where you can log a Koala sighting and I encourage you all to do so. Macedon Ranges Koala Project It is a great way of monitoring our populations and participating in citizen science and the sight contains a wealth of local Koala information.

Finally to the stars. We had a run of clear nights here and I needed no excuse to timelapse our wonderful night skies. Each shot essentially runs for an entire night so while time consuming the results I think are spectacular. The Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds are spectacular at the moment and make it worthwhile going outside and just looking up once the sun sets on clear nights. Our altitude here, 600m (just under 2000ft) means we are often get clearer skies and great views of the stars. So enjoy our night skies of January. Until next week.

4 Replies to “A Shower of Rain, Koala and Glorious Stars”

    1. Lots of good region specific Koala information for people on the Macedon Ranges Koala Project page as well as the ability to log sightings. He is a nice boy and very relaxed, gets about the place quite a bit, you will see him for a day or so then he moves on. It is interesting to see that he has changed over from feeding on Messmate to Manna Gum in the last two weeks too. Of course I hope to catch up with him again and we can all see what else he gets up to next time. Thanks for the comment.

  1. The stars in the Australian sky are simply amazing! We are lucky to see just a few stars in the sky on clear nights here in Los Angeles. To see the wonder of those stars everyday would be an awesome thing.

    1. Hi Joanne, We are so lucky here in Australia, once you get away from the major cities our starry skies on a clear night are truly amazing. I will be doing more night stars as the year goes on so you can see the changes with the seasons too. So keep watching.

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