Penguins and Peninsulas

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March 21st 2011
Published: March 21st 2011
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The rolling hills surrounding Adelaide are not fertile rainforests but are teeming with life none the less. The ecology here is deep and diverse but the closer we look and the more people teach us we realize it requires an entirely different perspective to understand nature here. I can only guess at how strange it must have felt to be dropped here as the first unlucky colonisers. Whereas in Canada the forests tend to be large and dense and impressive here life exists and flourishes at much different scales and levels. half the lakes near us are dry half the year yet still considered lakes which coming from the water-rich canadian shield is a mindboggler. One of the girls we are staying with is working and schooling in the propagation of native plants and has a terrific wealth of knowledge about australian flora and fauna. I am very used to being able to identify the nature that surrounds me and the stars above so feel quite silly here not even realising the basics of eucalyptus trees (which are as prevalent as say maples).

For this past weekends super moon we drove out to the nearby hills to a friends country property to escape light pollution and view Luna more clearly. On the whole i would say the moon looked the same only brighter but the party was still great and Kegan whose house we visited has a dreamy country setup. As he showed us around the grounds i remarked to Jenna about how greatly i missed farming and just being around plants and animals daily. She of course shares this feeling but we have many years ahead to be on the land and up at early hours. The property was lush with eucalyptus and pine trees with a large and varied garden growing nuts, fruits, and veggies galore. When we left after the party we were given some eggs which was a treat of treats for how much more awesome they are in every way compared to commercial eggs.

Before the super moon party we went for a mini road trip around the peninsula due south of Adelaide to give the car a good run and see if any problems arise as well to test out sleeping in the car and other such technicalities of a road trip. On the whole it was wonderful as every time we have traveled by car it has been with a timeline and destination that was not our own so really this was our first REAL road trip where we could stop at nice lookouts and just take cute dirt side roads for the heck of it all. The car handled hills and highways very well and sleeping out on side roads we were not bothered by anyone or told to move by police (we saw none actually).

We drove to the tip of the Fleurieu peninsula and then to Victor Harbour to view semi-wild fairy penguins at Granite Island. The little guys were cute and charming as ever and all were sick or injured in some way and being nursed back to health. The wild penguins on Granite Is. numbered over 1500 ten years ago but now only 154 are there. The hopes are the semi wild fairies will aid in repopulating the species as they are greatly endangered and continued drunken hooliganry by the locals threatens their growth. Three penguins were even stolen recently by looters who broke into the penguin centre at night. I don't know what you do with a hangover from hell and three penguins but i imagine nothing nice happened to the poor little guys. We delighted in seeing the fairy penguins and hope the best for their uncertain future.

While strolling the island we saw many cormorants, a few terns and even a seal hopping in the break waters. The wild life here is so varied and accessible- it is a nature lovers paradise. Camping out we were actualy chilly at night which was a treat as we had blankets to keep us warm. The subtle comfort in having a cold face and warm torso is inalienably reminiscent of winter nights at home and we slept well. On the whole once we get a fluid change in the car tomorrow and have our bank PIN numbers we are set to hit the long road for a real road trip. Limbo for now but adventure and more animal sightings soon!

For the record there is no nuclear power plants in Australia and the prevailing winds near Japan do not come anywhere near us... just so y'all know! Cheers and best wishes all!

Love Brian and Jenna


21st March 2011

Car Trips
Sounds as if you are having fun even if you are losing your memory. Just for the record, I've still not seen any Coltsfoot up or in bloom in spite of the fact that they could be up and blooming by this time of year. Perhaps they heard the forecast for snow on Wednesday? Oh well, the Red-wing Blackbirds, Song Sparrows, Robins, and American Woodcocks are all back and singing as well as the Spring Peepers. Won't be long and we will complain about the heat instead of the cold.

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