Thursday, December 23, 2010

Death after Sex

Can you imagine making love for six hours?  I don't mean half an hour of exertion and then a two hour sleep and then go again, I mean six hours of the actual act?  Well this little guy can, and he might even manage it several times!  However at the end of the two-week mating season every single male is dead!
This is a brown antechinus (ant-e-ky-nos).  He is an Australian marsupial, in other words the female has a pouch which carries the young, and he is carnivorous.   You may recall me writing about the phascogale, another carnivorous marsupial from the same family. 

I found this one, and six other members of its family in one of my sheds.  I'd heard the telltale rustlings and thought a rat might be the culprit.  I set my live catch rat trap, (I catch things alive in case they are the good guys that can then be released) and the trap didn't go off.  That's because an antechinus isn't interested in pumpkin seeds and peanut butter (much more effective for rats than cheese!).  This little carnivorous chappy lives on beetles, spiders, cockroaches and those other insects we'd prefer not to have crawling around us.  He'd be a perfect guest if he could only be toilet trained!

Sadly, because he is about mouse size, he is often killed before people realise he's a good guy.  I've now removed the cardboard and paper they thought would be great to nest in and so hopefully they've found a good spot back out in my scrubby bush.  There are many different types of antechinus living in Australia and I find them one of the cutest and most fascinating.  Amazing to think that this little fellow has the stamina for a six hour sex act and that all males are dead at the end of the two weeks, leaving the females to raise their young until the whole cycle begins again next breeding season, (August/September).  Some women might think this a perfect world!

Let me also take this opportunity to wish you all happy holidays!  I'm also taking a blogging break as I've taken on a three month role in the NSW Elections and so go full time from January 4th and I fear blogging may have to take a back seat again.  In the meantime check out some of my other posts, all listed by category under the header photograph.  Under Extras you'll find items such as the "Rules for being Human" and the "Lost Generation Palindrome".  In Environment you can read about two-headed fish, natural deficit disorder and saving money. If cooking is your thing try Recipes and the delights of healthy chocolate or mango ice cream.  Under Wild Life find all the links to Merrilyn, the eastern grey kangaroo and her family.  See the video of her latest joey, see "Big Boy" and read his story.  There are also fighting snakes, tawny frogmouths and many other wonders of the Australian bush and finally under Writing you can see how many of the BBC's Top 100 books you've read, or consider whether you might take on the challenge of novel writing in 2011.

Thank you to all those who've joined in my blogging journey in 2010.  Special thanks to those who've taken the time to leave a comment, you are much appreciated and I wish each and every one of you a fabulous 2011 - happy writing, reading and living!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Joey Video

Just love Christmas - don't you?  Here's my favourite Christmas ornament. Could be Merrilyn and Alexander quite easily!  I've been playing with my camera and trying for video footage of him.  It isn't easy as kangaroo joeys spend a good deal of time with their heads in the pouch when they first start emerging.  This gives them a sense of security, but doesn't always make for good footage.  So here's an early Christmas gift for you all, a short video of Alexander, Merrilyn's 7th joey out of the pouch.  Be patient.  The best is towards the end, but it's only a couple of minutes all up.  Listen to the sound of my bush in the early morning and watch Merrilyn warily watching me to ensure her joey is safe.

Alexander goes for a run

Enjoy and here's the latest still shot if videos are not for you. He is growing fast!

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Award Time

Denise over at L' Aussie Writing just gave me an award!  Many thanks Denise - you are too kind!  The award was all about being Fair Dinkum' Yes that's a link if you aren't sure what being fair dinkum' is, but suffice to say it's an Australian term for someone who is genuine, honest, true to their word.  I am honoured Denise, many thanks.

I really enjoy blog awards as they give me a list of new blogs to go and visit and I always find a gem and so I'm passing this award on to three bloggers I always very much enjoy and who visit here regularly, encouraging me to continue.  I think they are fair dinkum' gems and I hope you visit each one of them and say "g'day".

My L'Aussie Fair Dinkum' Awards go to:

Firstly, Deb Shucka from Catbird Scout. If you want to read glorious descriptions that resonate in your heart, please visit Deb's blog.  Deb's area is memoir writing and many of her postings are about the delights of her world and her adventures with faithful dog Toby. It's a blog to bring you peace and joy.  As honest and genuine as you can find.

The second is a blog of an entirely different flavour.  Visit Jayne of Our Great Southern Land for Australian history and general quirky madness eg two of her most recent postings are entitled "OMG I added WHAT to the Chrissy pudd???" and "Has bited mah nailz, I can bitz yur, yez?" respectively. Jayne's a fair dinkum' Aussie battler!

The third is Yaya of Whispering Pines.  Yaya blogs about her family and you'll delight at their antics.  Yaya is renown for putting on celebrations that cannot be topped - check out the Hallowe'en Parties if you don't believe me.

That's it.  I know it's the silly season and time is short so just four blogs for you to check out (Yes don't forget L'Aussie Writing - a prolific Australian writer and fellow Nano Winner who started this award.)

Blog winners there's nothing for you to do except bask in the glory, oh and pass it on if you would like to.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How many of the BBCs Top 100 have you read?

Bloggers love to write.  They also love to read.  I am sharing this list with you as I was inspired by a fellow blogger and 2010 National Novel Writing Month Winner, Denise from L'Aussie Writing.  It really appealed to me as an exercise in seeing which of these books, considered classics, that I have read and I love Denise's suggestion that we also include which of these books we'll read in 2011.

Having read Denise's post I did a little research and apparently this was all started in 2003 by the BBC.  In April 2003 they asked people in Britain which were their favourite books and in August 2004 they published this list, which is in the order of people's favourites.  You can see all the results of the BBC Big Read here.  Apparently the BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. It's an amazing list and I struggled to recall some as I knew I'd seen them as movies, so if in doubt I didn't mark them.  Pillars of the Earth would be my favourite, though I've had Lord of The Rings on my bookshelf for years and in 2011 it will be read!

So the challenge is: how many have you read?  Please join in, accept the challenge, then pass it on.
• Copy this list.
Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety.
Italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read only an excerpt.
• Tag other book nerds.
Denise suggests we underline those books we plan to read in 2011.

Here's my contribution:

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams