Happy Vegemites Outside

I stripped one apple tree of its squat green produce after a rat munched one fruit. It’s the best crop I’ve had from this tree in ten years. Thinned the Pink Lady’s crop next, as I’d neglected to earlier. Another couple of months and they’ll be sweet.

The peaches are all for the fruit bats this year – my payment for the pleasure I derive in their very existence. The cat and I watch from the front door or the other side of the living room glass. I sit in silence, in the dark, waiting for the flap, flap, flap, crash. The squabbling. Their silhouettes.

The other day I told a friend that Summer had remained Praying Mantis free, a sad state of affairs. Then barely 30 minutes later I encountered one inside, striding in slow motion across an art portfolio. I approached slowly, not wanting to frighten, and gently relocated it to a shrub of the same green hue beside the letterbox. There it immediately, meticulously cleaned each leg and its face, as if to say that removing my beastly human smell was top priority. Still cleaning when I returned with the camera.

And today my companion and I walked to the river. I was drawn by the rich scent of hemlock, fennel and eucalyptus, heavy in the humid air. As we navigated the winding path, my pal made a startled noise and pointed to a blue tongue lizard, motionless in the grass. We squatted to take a closer look. I’d only ever seen dead ones in this area, and live snakes, so I was thrilled. And then a few steps further was a pregnant lizard. Her colouring was more brown than the steely grey of her friend. We couldn’t recall whether they laid eggs or gave birth to live young, so made a mental note to look it up later. (Live young.)

Icing on the proverbial was finding a tiny mushroom of a species that’s on the Fungimap list. Day. Complete.

12 thoughts on “Happy Vegemites Outside”

  1. Ahhhh…I needed this. Its been raining for days. My bulbs are starting to come up and yet its chilly. Thanks for the walk in the sunshine.
    And my brother liked the praying mantis. Always carried them around and told interesting facts.


  2. It is so nice to read this. I live in Canada and the air is frigid outside today. It is easy to forget on a cold winter morning that the sun shines and life is blooming on the other side of the world. You help me remember that this, too, shall pass and before long I will be admiring little miracles of nature and enjoying the warmth of the sun.


  3. I saw a cicada today, a rare sight these days in my city. He had a damaged wing, so I lifted him onto a tree. His chances aren’t great I guess, but I was shocked just to see a live one. They used to be everywhere when I was a kid.
    I’m sure the mantis appreciates your helping hand, and I’m sure the fruit bats do as well. They need all the food they can get this year.


    1. Hey, I’ve not seen a cicada in years! Good on you for helping it. My youngest sister used to give a nightly cicada report and recite all their colourful names. I think I’ve heard a few, lately. Hmm, now you’ve really got me thinking. Thanks Scrunch. 🙂


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