I keep going on about the drought, but it really is the most visible thing out here these days. Most of my wildlife encounters these last few months have been of roadkill, of animals moving across country to find food and water and being hit by vehicles, and other animals going for the roadkill and getting hit in turn. I haven’t wanted to photograph those for my blog. I’m sure if I looked hard enough I could find something alive to show you, but everywhere I turn all I see is dust. We had a nice little rainstorm about a week ago, but it won’t mean much unless there’s follow-up this season.
And on that depressing note, here are some photos I took around the region this month, which show just how stark it is out here.
Emu in woodland, Darlington Point. No grass or groundcover.
It’s still a world of dryness and dust out here, so I decided to head for Fivebough Wetlands in Leeton, on the basis that there’s generally some water there, and therefore the place might be a bit livelier than certain other localities.
Summer in Australia is always extreme, and in recent years has only become more so. This month in eastern Australia alone the weather has been as follows:
Queensland – huge rainfalls causing massive flooding, followed by a cyclone.
New South Wales – flash flooding in some areas while the state as a whole remains in drought, coastal areas copping the fringes of the above-mentioned cyclone.
Tasmania – Widespread bushfires, followed by snow.
And that’s not even all of eastern Australia, much less the whole country.
Meanwhile, here in the Riverina, February has been a series of massive dust-storms, as strong late-summer winds have ripped through areas that haven’t seen rain in a year or more, and are currently completely devoid of grass or other groundcover. Several bad traffic accidents have occurred as a result.
My apologies for the lack of October blog post, it’s been hard to find much to blog about recently, with natural areas across the region being not really at their best, given the current drought conditions.
Today’s post will be a selection of photos I took while driving around my patch during October and November; a mixture of incidental wildlife sightings and snapshots of the drought-affected landscape.
In roughly chronological order, I present to you:
A Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata) sunning itself in a driveway near Narrandera. I saw at least three of these within a two week period in various locations, which is more than I am accustomed to seeing over such a short period of time. Either I was lucky, or they’re yet another species that’s venturing closer to roads and human-inhabited spaces looking for water and food this season.
For September’s Field Trip I headed to The Rock Nature Reserve with a friend of mine, and two of her kids. They had never been there, and I’d only been once before, when I visited a couple of years ago with my dad. The last time I was there we only made it about two-thirds of the way up, so my friend and I were determined to make it all the way up the hillside this time, kids and all.