While most tourists (especially those from Asia and Europe) delight in seeing native wildlife when traveling through South Gippsland, over the last 20 years or so, more of the Eastern Grey Kangaroo have been noticed on farmland and roadsides where the smaller wallabies once reigned supreme.
On our property in Foster, they didn’t bother us much as they easily bounded over the fences and really only stooped underneath them where wombats had previously left their dugouts. We occasionally spotted them grazing on short tufts of grass in the early morning or evenings, but if you want to see them in hoards, a trip to Wilsons Prom National Park will always net you the best pictures.
This one was seen near the small township of Meeniyan and seemed to be fairly accustomed to seeing the odd human or two.
This funny old duck belonged to some friends of mine who lived near Fish Creek.
Originally from France, they made several acres in South Gippsland their home almost 20 years ago and still kept many of their own traditions, like raising pidgeons, chickens, goats and ducks for food and milk, growing veges, making Camembert cheese and filling their own sausages. On the odd occasions they’d go away for an extended period of time, we really enjoyed looking after their animals while they were away.
In country areas, anything under 10 acres is considered a hobby farm, but to city folk, anything with a paddock, is a luxury ;-)
These gorgeous little ducklings belong to my neighbour. The mother duck didn’t want anything to do with the eggs, so they were promptly placed under a clucky silky hen…and what a great mother she is!
They grow quickly and won’t look as cute as this for much longer…
…there are many landowners in South Gippsland who raise farm animals and pets. Most do their best to keep artificial fertilizers and chemicals to a minimum. Some are certified organic and others use permaculture and other natural practises to sustain their animals and properties.
One of our highly respected local vetinarians has put forward a proposal that encourages more of a community involvement, with materials being recycled and composted for use on gardens and healthier, more natural fresh meat and other foods, prepared for pets.
Rainbows are incredibly special in the South Eastern parts of Australia.
They tend to be very brightly coloured and quite large.
Around the Franklin River area of South Gippsland, there seem to be more common sightings that at many other places.
We were even fortunate to see a triple rainbow one day…now I think that’s supposed to mean ‘good luck’, yet it wasn’t so lucky because I didn’t have a camera with me when I saw it.
Things have changes a lot these days. I take a digital camera with me where ever I go, including to restaurants and functions. So the next time that elusive triple rainbow comes my way, I’ll be ready for it!
Sheep and cattle graze happily together on lush green pastures on a farm near Walkerville in South Gippsland.
My French born neighbours were stunned when they first came to Australia and saw both animals in the same paddocks…in France, the better pasture is always reserved for the cows.
Many farmers in Victoria choose to graze different types of stock side-by-side, which adds to the diversity of the soil bound organisms and generally helps to improve soil nutrition.
Organic / Permaculture farmers tend to rotate different types of animals over the same ground in cycles…pigs help to dig up the soil…chooks scratch and pick up many of the bugs including slugs which can decimate vegetable crops…ducks are wonderfuls companions in an orchard as they clean up snails and add their own fertilizer to the base of the trees…sheep and goat manure is very gentle and can be put straight on to a vegetable garden… horse manure can be high in some nitrients but must be left to decompose for a while first…dried cow pats (clumps of manure) make wonderful seedling raising mix when crumbled into fine particles.
Farmed rabbits are also an excellent addition to the organic garden and the litter underneath their cages makes terrific mulch for any plants. We raised up to 30 at a time and ate one every week. The New Zealand White Rabbit being our preferred breed for eating. We did find that some of them had delightful natures and made lovely pets as well.