Tuesday, 14 June 2011

I'm not procrastinating ....

... I'm observing the wildlife.

Red has a couple of favourite spots in the garden. On chilly mornings he warms up in a sunny patch on the rainforest edge. In the afternoons, he lies up in the dappled shade of azalea and bottlebrush outside the living room. I can see him from my desk.

Like many other marsupials, pademelons have syndactylous hind feet. The second and third toes are almost completely fused, only the nails remaining separate. These form a comb for grooming. After a good scratch, a paddie cleans up by nibbling on its nails. Because the animals are crawling with fleas, ticks, louse-flies and leeches (I can confirm the presence of all those ectoparasites), they probably get a good protein hit that way. They are certainly very enthusiastic scratchers and nibblers.

Sometimes the paddies have a disagreement. Their clumps of fur are prized by the grey fantails, who use them to line their nests. Fantail chicks must have the cosiest homes. No wonder they never want to leave.