Over another Hump

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nature Walk

It's cooler now and tourists are travelling through seeking warmer climes.

I'm looking after my son's two dogs while he is property sitting further south. I haven't had them alone before and I'm not sure how they are in traffic so decide to walk down a newly graded back road near the billabong.

I scoot down the dusty path, dwarfed by four dogs on makeshift leads. They pull in all directions, each wants to claim the new territory, or follow a different scent. They plait the leads into unmanagable braids then proceed to leg rope meek-mannered Face.

Face, a mistreated refugee, sees the buck kangaroo first. It stands in a clump of gums, watches us and scratches his belly. A willy-wagtail flaps around his face, no doubt after mosquitoes. It seems to be a symbiotic relationship because I've seen this partnership before.

The dogs halt and, true to their different personalities, respond. Bandit, my other refugee from the pound, wants to be friends, Bella is bossy, wants him away from her territory, Tut just stands her ground and stares him down. Face wants to go home.

Red soil fades to dirty gray. The dust is softer here and tracks record some interesting travellers. I stop and examine a particular set of prints; long tail marks and dainty, birdlike feet attest to where a goanna or very large lizard had sunned. Nearby a large snake track, the width of my hand, weaves accross the road. Probably a diamond headed python or a king brown.

The grass is shoulder high so I pull the dogs in closer, they all want to follow the track and are annoyed that I won't allow it. Apart from the snake there is evidence of feral pigs around and that is definately something I don't want to confront, though Tut and Bella would love a chase.

Overhead the sun is warming the day and corellas claim the raintrees from the apostle birds. They croon as they harvest the dried seeds from big silver beans. It is a wonderful, soothing sound. So different from their usual harsh screech. I sit and enjoy them, ignoring the impatient dogs for a moment.

Then shake myself back to the moment, “Okay, guys. Time to head home.”


  • What a trip you had...trying to keep all these very different dogs with such different personalities together as you walked them through the beauty of country that you expressed.

    Love, Rhi

    By Blogger Rhiannon, at 11:55 PM  

  • Thanks for reading Rhiannon. Yes, they are a handful but all are wonderful loving animals. I've tried to comment on your blog but it doesn't seem to want me.

    By Blogger Frances Mackay, at 9:20 PM  

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