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.
Everything happens in April. This is just a fact of my life somehow. But! I promised I would try to go somewhere in April, and so I managed to just squeak in a late-day visit to Narrandera Common yesterday, after the annual koala count had ended.
I usually attend the koala count, but was unable to this year, but I figured I could head out there in the afternoon and at least find the beribboned trees the counters had located koalas in. In about a 2 hour period I managed to find three. The rest must have been cunningly hidden, or at least away from the trails I was following. I did speak to a local person who had participated in the count, who said they’d found a total of 29 koalas across the whole count area, so I guess I just needed to look harder for the marked trees.
While I was making my way around, looking for trees sporting ribbons and koalas, I took a few pictures of other things I saw, and just as the light was going I stopped to take some pics of a small group of kangaroos, and was super excited to see a wallaby nearby. Said wallaby was then kind enough to stay put, nearby and plainly visible, while I tried to take some photos in the fading light.
So here are my photos from my little trip to Narrandera Common yesterday:
I have been so busy this month that I nearly didn’t manage a field visit, but with today being the last day of the month, the weather being nice, and my having no hugely urgent work that desperately needed to be done today, I decided to take a day off and go for a walk/drive out bush somewhere.
I further decided that ‘somewhere’ would be MIA1 – a former state forest reserve that is now part of the Murrumbidgee Valley National Park, and is located between Narrandera and Leeton. MIA1 is one of the sadly numerous reserves in the Riverina that I have spent my life driving past, but never actually visiting. I fixed that today.
Today was the Annual Koala Count in Narrandera. I have been every year for the last several years, except when it’s been called off because of rain or flooding, and as I did last year, I decided the Count could be April’s official field visit.
Last week I needed to visit Cowra for a day, so I took the opportunity to stop into Conimbla National Park for a while before heading home. Cowra is outside of the area identified as ‘Riverina’ on the map on my About page, but it’s within the federal electoral division of Riverina, so I decided that was good enough to count as a Riverina site.
Conimbla National Park is very pretty, prepare yourself for lots of general scenery shots. Also pictures of bark; I’m intrigued by the variety of colours and textures of bark, and there was a lot of very artistic bark on display in the portion of the Park I visited.