It is now almost eleven years since we first observed koalas in one of the trees on our 1.6 ha block at Waterview Heights. When we first came to live out there in 1973 there were only three trees on the block.
Our extensive planting of native trees and shrubs over the years is now being rewarded by a highly consistent presence of koalas.
The first thing that my wife Magda does every morning is to do what she calls “my koala walk”. Round the block she goes, observing, as best she can, the presence or otherwise of what she calls “our little furry friend”.
Magda makes a record of her observations and gives a written monthly report to the Environment Centre. In June this year she observed the presence of a koala on 26 days out of 30.
There have been many highlights.
On one morning while we were having breakfast Magda took some plates to the sink. She looked out the adjacent window and there was a mother koala with her joey on her back walking slowly past. The koalas continued their journey to a nearby tree which was climbed and used as home for the remaining daylight hours.
Sometimes Magda’s observations will be blessed by the presence of two koalas in the one morning. Usually there is quite a distance between them, but on one occasion while photographing one, I was fortunate to observe a second in a distant location but in a tree that formed a backdrop to the first. It has been the only occasion when I have been able to capture two of the iconic creatures in the one picture.
And recently, early in the morning when the sun was still low in the sky, we found a koala in such a position that when you observed him/her from one particular position, a golden glow formed a beautiful edge right round our sleepy furry friend.
One evening as the light was dimming, I decided to try a flashlight. The resulting picture showed the koala highlighted by two bright sparkling eyes. On this occasion the koala was certainly not curled up deep in sleep.
And there have been a number of people who, never having observed a koala in the wild, have visited our little forest and had their lives enriched by these iconic creatures.
At night we have never observed the koala movement but their daytime locations indicate how extensive these wanderings have been. Our hope is that these night time movements will continue safely into the future bringing a blessing to the natural environment.