Wow - I have the most viewed blog! Thank you to everyone who taken the time to view my pointless blogs. I've been quiet lately with the writing however I hope to post something soon after the next play on the beach.
Went out to rescue an echidna yesterday afternoon.......
To those of you not familiar with an echidna....just think of a small bolder, covered in spines with grappling hooks drilled into the ground......now try lift it up.....!
40 minute drive from home, mostly sealed bended roads, then 8 km down a dirt road to Bend of Islands, Victoria to find a extremely large lump on a gravel driveway. The women's husband was backing out in his car, heard a "thud" then a scrapping sound, underneath is the echidna, on its back, wedged between the gravel and the underside of the car, so carefully he drives the car forwards to get her back on her feet...to cut a long story short, she eventually crawls out, plonks herself on the driveway (again) and bunkers down. Hours go by and she's not moved....thats when I arrive. I had to dig her out.....get her wrapped up so I could turn her over to check for any injuries (fortunately the car was cold, otherwise she could have burned her feet and snout) I get her down the vets who remove about seven of the largest ticks I have ever seen on an animals, (which wasn't the easiest task in the check) She's given the all clear and I drive her back to release her....she must have farted in the car....my god I almost died!
On the way back, I see a cow in calf, I couldn't stop as captured animals can quickly form a deadly condition called Capture Myopathy and I needed to get her back. With her successfully released (she knew where to go, straight under the water tanks) I drove back to witness a beautiful new-born calf stand for the first time.
All up, it was a good day for all creatures great and small....
So on the 27th, I was tracking a storm in Dallas via the TVN Weather website. Via the website, they have live storm chasers, with live stream footage so for people like me, who can't suddenly jump on a plane to tornado alley in the US, can chase from the comfort of my home. The super cell formed at first, a rope tornado which over the space of a few minutes, grew in size to form what they call a "Stovepipe" tornado.
Here are a few screen captures of the morning (Boxing Day night in the US) as the funnel grew in size. Unfortunately the funnel then moved on to populated areas and took the lives of some people who could not find shelter in time, or in a lot of cases, the shelter failed them.
Then, my friends over at "Basehunters" produce, what I think is their best footage of a twister so far. Even though this particular storm caused sadness to so many people, its hard not to watch and think to yourself, just how beautiful mother nature.
So John @jhn.holgate promoted me to write a comment on the cloud formations I've seen whilst in Australia.
I am an avid weather watcher, once writing the reports for the Facebook group "Victorian Storm Chaser", however at the time, it was taking up all my evenings to submit daily reports for the week ahead.
The most freakish formation of clouds I have seen to date is the Undulatus Asperatus. They are like "bubbles" in the clouds and are angry and dark, but rarely produce any storms.
This one formed over Doncaster East, Victoria one morning back in January 2013. I remember it created such a inflow of wind (sucking up into the clouds). It was like War of the Worlds and the kids with me at the time, were freaked out, as were the adults. Alas no storm was formed.
The next time I saw one form, wasn't as angry as the Doncaster East formation, but again I remember the wind whipping through the base of Mt Dandenong, Victoria
There are so many different types of clouds, these are my favourite, followed by Cumulonimbus Clouds - the good storm anvil clouds which produce thunder storms. Australian weather is so different to the weather back home, yet even back home, they get cloud formations which you wouldn't see often here, like the early morning "mackerel skies" and even the weather phenomenon "Thunder Snow" which just makes you think "how" Seen this twice in my life and its is pretty amazing.
Anyway I just thought I'd share with you this, whilst we wait to get out and fly some kites, and race some karts.
A successful release for one very lucky Eastern Grey Kangaroo today. Found himself in the back garden of a property in Croydon North. (I wouldn't call it even semi rural so this poor boy was well and truly displaced)
Anyway managed to get someone to dart him - and I transported him to a more suitable area. Four hours later, I call the darter as it was taking too long. Turns out he gave the poor fella the amount for a 50kg roo, he was about half that size. He was even snoring in the back of the car on the way up. Anyway so glad it wasn't a stinker of a day here today, I stayed on with him until he could balance himself and get himself up into the bush land.
A happy ending for him and a very happy ending for me as 90% of the kangaroo cases I have attended to, haven't been happy endings so to end the new year with this buddy going back into the wild restores my enthusiasm in rescuing and sends a positive message that it is all worth it in the end.
Learned a lot of lessons today, was told that if you do a rescue in which you don't learn something new, then its probably best to more on and do something different. I certainly have a lot to learn.
1:- Pack a chair
2:- Pack a good book
3:- Pack food and drink
4:- Pack sun screen
So was on my way up to Seville today via Wandin North to a friends house for the annual Christmas lunch only to have a rude grass fire prevent me from my roasted potatoes and roast lamb! Thought it was damn rude.
All jokes aside, it was a little too close to home - my friends home more precisely. It had seperated their family for the briefest of time, but nonetheless a scary experience for us all and all on high alert. Hoping that the fire plans they have in place are really effective. They raise a question - where do we go when we can't get out? So a quick message off to CFA headquarters to educate us.
Then came all the animal rescues in at the shelter for heat stressed Roos, possums, birds and lizards.
What a crazy day with its ups and downs. Managed to get through this evening to Seville as the roads were all reopened and the fire contained. Got teary eyed when I drove past a house which had of been under threat and they had hung out a sign "Thk U CFA"
If that acknowledgment feels the same as the people who praise me for the work I do with animals, then I hope a lot of the crews fighting that fire saw it.
**Request from Mezza**
Please spare a thought for the animals and birds in this heat. A shallow dish of water in the shade with a few sticks in it means the little fellas who are literally "dying for a drink" can get the relief they so desperately need in this weather. The sticks are so the babies - if they fall in, can get themselves out again. It's unfortunate when people put out a bucket of water, thinking that they've done the right thing, only to find a ringtail joey or the like has drowned over night as it couldn't climb out.
Please though, do not do this if you have an outside pet who can get to the water (in this heat, treat them to a day inside)
Thanks for listening and keep safe in the heat my fellow Australians.
So, my biggest bird rescue goes out to one very displaced pelican in Wonga Park. The poor girl was found very dazed in the back paddock of a house up there. Sitting in the sun all day until I arrived, I managed to get her up the slope and into the goats water trough where she sat quite happily until help arrived.
She looked as though she had received a hit on the head at some point, but showed signed of encouragement when she decided that it was "chase time" Ask Doug what its like to have your arm down a pelican's throat!
So help arrives in the form of a fellow rescuer who starts asking me questions, such as "What do you know about pelicans" and wasn't quick enough to say that "His beak can hold more than his belly can" So I just said that its wise to "keep out the way of its beak". Anyway, capturing actually wasn't too bad, not a good sign though. And I make the trip up to Healesville Sanctuary, where I am pounced all by all the vet staff as its quite an unusual case.
Unfortunately, the poor thing passed away a few nights later but what an experience that was!
Have a Raven in at the moment - my god, don't they smell! Anyway this one has concussion so it in for hopefully a couple of days and can re-join its family group mid week. Fingers crossed!
Anyway, Mez signing out.
So during my day (between shifts) I help out a friend who rehabilitates Australian Wildlife back into the wild. Here are just a few since February this year who have made a full recovery and are on the way to be released again. Good Luck Kiddies!
Charlotte - an Eastern Grey Kangaroo. She has successfully be released and is living a wild life.
Abby - the Wombat. She was born with an undeveloped palette and when she was bottle fed (as her Mum was killed in a road accident) she would stop breathing. She is currently still at the shelter, with her mate Luke, getting over a case of mange.
Luca and Sienna - eastern grey's. They are at their soft release shelter, where they will stay for about a month, before the pen doors are opened and they can venture out into the wild.
Luca and Sienna - Sienna had the tip of her tail removed because when her Mum was killed, she fractured the tip and it was just a dead weight. This does not prevent her from bounding around and will live a very normal life.
The cutest of the group, WInta and Stevie. 4 month old wombat joeys. They have a long way to go before they can be released. None the less though, in good care.
Introducing my two favourite night-time visitors, Sophie and Joey. Sophie's been visiting since 2008 and had Joey around Christmas 2012. Since then, Joey has had three young of her own. These two in particular, stayed on to be regular visitors, even (and I know some of you will apposed) they will come to their names.
About 5 months ago, the house next door was pulled down and Joey lost her den (Sophie was happy to hang out in the shed) So as soon as we knew when the house was going, Doug and I made up four boxes for the garden, which are happily being used.
Anyway, here are some photos back from when Joey was young. Enjoy