Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wildlife on Wednesday - Unexpected and Unknown Guests

On our property we certainly see quite a few of the unwanted guests like snakes:

These horrid creatures pop up everywhere in the garden ... they're also quite at home on our verandah ... and occasionally inside our house!  

But over the years we've been living out here in amongst the bushland, we've also had a number of unexpected guests ... and I'm referring to the wildlife variety, not those cousins that turned up from down south!!  Although ... they might just fit the category!  Anyway I digress ... I've managed to catch photos of some of the strange creatures that have wandered through our property and I thought I'd share them with you.

Now, keep in mind that we live on three acres surrounded on two sides by bushland ... and the only way into our property is down a long driveway wedged in between two other properties that sit closer to the street ... also remember that we live in a rural suburb far from the city itself.

One of the first unexpected visitors were the snails!  I had never in my life seen a real snail ... not as a child living in a small country town on the coastline nor as an adult living in our city's suburbs!  It wasn't until the first 'wet' season out here in the bush that I spotted snails! ... and they breed them big out here!

They have never caused any damage whatsoever in my garden ... so I'm quite happy for them to stay.  There was, however, one unexpected guest that I certainly did not want around!
Cute and cuddly?  No folks ... this was the Guinea Pig from hell!  He munched his way through my Greenhouse Garden in a matter of days ....
... see that bare patch in front of the cute little creature munching away on my Happy Plant ... yes that was a patch of thick, lush vegetation before this marauding muncher got to work!  This creature decimated the entire area in a matter of days.  Of course, while he was busy gorging himself we attempted to find his owner.

We tramped the street ... and that is no mean feat.  Our street is bordered by large properties ... mostly around three or more acres large ... and it's a long tramp between neighbours.  Our neighbours also tend to have very large, mean and cranky dogs patrolling their fence lines ... and while you might stand at the front gate and yell ... because so many of the houses are actually set back from the road a considerable way, you can't always be heard.  So after our good-hearted but unsuccessful efforts at finding this horror's home, I'm afraid to say his demise was rather sad and undignified.

Another little horror ... and an unknown guest this time .... is this thing ... a centipede perhaps?
I came across it out in the courtyard.  It was huge with nasty claw feet and those wicked claw things at it's end!   I gave it a wide, wide berth.

Then there was this sight on our stairway when I got home from work one day.
Now we have had chickens ... and ducks ... but absolutely no turkeys!!!  We had no idea where it came from ... and we had no chance of capturing it either as it was a speedy little demon!  We thought about doing a doorknock down our street ... but, as I've said before, it's a long walk between properties out here and the reception received from the neighbourhood dogs is not always that friendly!!!  Anyway eventually he wandered into our next door neighbour's yard and was looked after very well ... until Christmas!!!  No more needs to be said.

We often see paper wasps around our place ... their nests are a common sight ...
 ... but this particular nest was something I had never seen before!  It reminded me of the sugary fairy floss on a stick that we used to get at the Show!  I never did find out what sort of winged creature had built it.

Now, finally, this was one of our strangest visitors.  Upon arrival home from work late one afternoon, I spied this creature on our back verandah.  I thought at the time it must be some sort of skink ... as it had lost it's tail.  Skinks drop their tail when they feel threatened ... and that's exactly what it seemed had happened to this amazing creature.
I hurried inside to get my camera and just got this shot before it took off into the cupboard and hid.  I never did get to see it come out from the cupboard ... and I've never seen it since.


  1. What unique creatures you have about your place! The guy without the tail made me a little squeamish! Such an interesting post!

    Here in my neck of the woods, we sometimes have guinea pigs for indoor pets. Having one nibble his way through my garden would not please me!

    Nice stopping by to meet you :)
    Kindly, ldh

  2. Oh my goodness...We just have lots of rabbits and deer and perhaps an occasional snakes though. Sometimes a possum or raccoon. But I have to say that HUGE snail sure is a wonder! Cathy

  3. Interesting array of creepy crawlies. The snake would freak me out.
    Sydney - City and Suburbs

  4. You do see a lot of wildlife Bernie! The snake is the scary one. Glad you could get such nice shots of them before they slithered, flew of ran away!

  5. What an interesting assortment. Poor Guinea Pig, I thought while I was reading that they're weren't native to your parts! As for the Turkey, looks like it was likely a she, as for the size, her snood is quite small. I so understand the spread out neighbor thing. Much the same here, with similarly cranky pooches too! Your paper wasp nests are beautiful, as is the unknown mystery nest. We have some skinks here on our property, the Skilton's skink. Smaller than yours I think. The only one I've convinced to allow me to photograph thus far was sans tail too. They have beautiful bright cobalt blue tails here, but here there seems to be a lack of skinks with tails willing to ham it up for my camera. I'll keep trying. Yours looks like a sizable fellow!

  6. Wow..
    The most visitors that gets to my garden are the occasional butterflies, bees and rarely birds but yours seemed like a great outdoor there.
    I guess whoever managed to get that turkey would had a feast for christmas! (lol)

  7. I am SO happy I found your blogs. My husband and I look at each and every picture and read all you write. For years we said we were going to visit Australia, but the trip would be too much for me with my back. We have opted for Costa Rica and when looking at your photographs we are reminded of the flowers, trees, and animals we have seen on our visits. This was a most fascinating post. We learned a lot and enjoyed every minute of it.

    Genie @

  8. LDH ... Glad to have you drop by. It's fascinating how skinks can just drop their tails ... it does look rather odd though.

    Grandmak ... I have to agree with you. That snail was huge ... and it left a long long trail all over the verandah walls!!!

    JBar ... I'm not a big fan of snakes either. Even though I see them fairly regularly, I still jump every time!

    Lotusleaf ... I was lucky with this collection of unexpected visitors. They hung around long enough for me to get my camera out.

    Curbstone ... thanks for the information about the turkey. I've learnt something new ... snood! The skink was rather large ... I think it was a type of water skink which is strange because our creek only every runs after a decent 'wet' season!

    James ... yes we do get to see some wonderful wildlife here ... I'm not particularly enthusiastic about some of them however! Yes, you're right ... our next door neighbours had a turkey feast for their Christmas ... I never did check whether it was good eating or not!!

    Genie ... so glad you've enjoyed your visit to my blog. It's lovely that you found so much pleasure in looking at the photos and reading the stories ... it's great to know people do enjoy the posts. Thanks for dropping by and make sure you come again.

  9. Haha the guinea pig is so cute, which makes it even evil! Yuck, hate centipedes but the paper wasps are interesting. Love the turkey too!

  10. I would never have thought a guinea pig could eat so much! I had them as pets when I was a kid but we didn't let them loose in the garden. I guess it's a good thing. You see a lot of interesting creatures around your garden.

  11. Hi Bernie, I'm glad I found this blog, through another garden blogger. (I love your music, by the way, very relaxing as I read). You certainly have an interesting selection of wildlife around you. We live in a new development in Texas and with the recession, there hasn't been much building, so we have wild lots on either side of us, which offer us a large variety of birds and wildlife too. It's going to be a sad day when they clear the lots either side of us.

  12. Bernie I never realised that you might not have snails down in your part of the world - I've plenty here I can share with you but please don't offer me that snake in return. Your paper wasp nests look incredible and so does that other one - its like sponge mixture before its cooked in the oven. :) Rosie

  13. Thanks again Aaron for your visit and your comments. Yes you're right ... that cute little guinea pig was a monster!

    Kathleen ... I've never ever had a guinea pig as a pet so maybe they are cute and cuddly when confined, but they're not so agreeable when they are let loose and can't be easily caught!

    Jayne ... that's one thing I love about being out here. We do get so many interesting creatures ... some I've never seen before as I said ... and there's just so many of them. I'm not sure how I'll go if I have to move back into the city.

    Rosie ... no, snails are not common at all in my part of the world ... maybe it just gets too hot for them. It was such a surprise to find them out here in the foothills. I'm not sure I need any more though ... I rather like just the few I see after the heavy rainy season.

  14. What an interesting varieties of animals and critters that visit your garden. Snakes and centipedes make my skin crawl though and to me they are unwelcome guests.

  15. Bernie, I'm all for wildlife....OUTSIDE. The inside stuff just doesn't fly with me! I was also a bit surprised to see the guinea pig...thought they must live in the wild there, but then you mentioned it had an owner (or used to, anyway). Now, the turkey makes me smile because I sincerely love birds of any sort. And turkeys are so beautiful, if you get over the initial shock and look closer. Finally, that skink thing is quite large, don't you think? I love lizards until they get big...I'm not fond of iguanas, bearded dragons, and the such. They're too close to dinosaurs for my comfort.

  16. I enjoyed this post, Bernie! Like you I have some snails, but they are carniverous and (I assume) actually help get rid of pests. Over the years I've been careful about bringing in the horrid herbiverous snails on new plants - so far I've succeeded. I've seen a London UK garden where there were literally hundreds per square meter. I don't know how anything actually grew there!


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