Thursday, November 26, 2009


The show must go on! Life must go on! We are moving on!
It's no secret what a horrid year this has been but we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get back to it.

So here we are again at the start of another bushfire season for Victoria - hubby has already been to several small fires and is bracing for another tough season.

Myself, I am readying myself for my last child to begin kinder next year, and my first child to begin high school. Middle child remains at primary school. What a range of emotions and hormones in this house at the moment!!! Poor hubby!

I love my children to bits and I love to be with them and I love their company. I love school holidays and I love when they have days off. I even secretly like it when they are too sick to go school. I know - I'm a weirdo!
I used to (still do sometimes) do drive bys of the school at lunchtime just to see if I could see them in the playground.

Most mums I know are gleefully rubbing their hands together at the school gate and happily waving their children off to school in anticipation of many hours to themselves. Me? Not so. I am so sad at losing my little right hand man. Who am I going to talk to? Who will I feed? Who will I comfort? Who will I play with? Who will I laugh and cry with?

Problem solved.

Meet Penny.

Approx 4 months old (515gms)

Before I had children I used to do this.
I had always shared stories with my children about the joys and rewards of raising orphaned and injured wildlife and we had always spoken about doing it again - together.
Approx 5 Months old (700gms)

About 2 months ago we were on our way to spend a couple of days in the big smoke of Melbourne. We had travelled about ten minutes down the road when we came across a large Wombat in the middle of the road. She had been hit by a car or truck and she was dead, but inside her pouch was a very cold and sad baby wombat (a joey).

We continued on our way as I frantically warmed the baby as best I could (at times like this I am grateful for big boobs!) Oh snigger if you wish - but it is the quickest way to warm them up!

We called in to the wildlife shelter that I have volunteered for on and off over the years and left this little girl with them so we could continue our few days in Melbourne.

I couldn't get this little girl out of my head. Neither could the kids. So we discussed the possibilties as a family and decided that she was a sign that we needed to take up wildlife care and rescue again. Together. Poor hubby!

So we picked her up on the way home and dusted off all the old equipment and pouches and bottles and got right to it!

Three weeks later --------

Meet Bob!
Approx 3 months old (295 gms)

So here we are now with two baby wombats who fulfil my need to feed and nurture and love at all times.

I am so in love!!

Life is good and it's getting better!

Cheers from here!
Align Center

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monarch caterpillar to Monarch butterfly - how it all happens!

If you ever get to witness this - it will be one of the most incredible things you have seen.

The Monarch butterfly, after mating, lays pin prick size eggs on the underside of the leaves of a swan plant. The eggs hatch and a very tiny caterpillar emerges. (this one is about 1cm)

(this one is about 3cm long)
It proceeds to eat and eat and eat through the leaves.

They shed their skin a few times as they grow and grow and grow.

Finally when you think that they couldn't possibly get any bigger, they attach themselves to a leaf or a stem and begin the process of becoming a pupa.

They don't spin a cocoon. Their skin actually splits and their insides transform to this shape and colour right before your eyes. It is amazing.

After about two weeks, the pupa becomes very dark and you can actually begin to see the stripes and colour of the almost butterfly.

When it emerges it's wings are all crumpled and it actually pumps it's body to get the fluid moving into it's wings as they expand as you watch.

Within an hour they are fully pumped up and they begin to flap their wings slowly up and down and walk around on the leaves.

Here is the boy from yesterday.

This one is a girl. Can you 'spot' the difference now?

Within 24 hours they are ready to fly, and unless you want to chase them all over the house, it is time to release them into the garden.

We released ours on to a Budlia which is a great source of nectar for them.

They will mate and lay their eggs on to the swan plant - and so it begins again.

There ends our lesson for today - pop quiz tomorrow!

Cheers from here!