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Published: August 23rd 2015
Freezing the balls off a Brass Monkey
At Last, today was the first day the snow and ice had sufficiently receded to allow us in to the National Park park, we
We were up at our usual lazy time and got down to breakfast at about 9.00 we both had a hearty breakfast, it's buffet style and excellently done, they have a very good coffee machine which makes it nice and easy and good coffee.
After breakfast we formulate a plan, we head back to towards the car, we are already prepared to go straight out and we had decided to try to get to Dove lake today if the Parks people had opened the road, on the way we find a wombat near the fire hydrant, it is just having a waddle about and also having its breakfast, as soon as you deploy the camera, it always attracts other people, we talk to a few of them who also came over to watch the wombat who really isn't interested in our presence at all. I was very lucky with this wombat it walked right towards me then straight past me, so it allowed us to get some
more good shots, like we don't have a few hundred already.
Once we are all wombatted out we finally get to the car, we need to drive up to the visitors centre to see if the road is open to two wheel drive vehicles, when we get there the park rangers inform us that the road is now fully open.
We are delighted at we had spent $60.00 bucks on a parks pass to allow us entry in to the National Park and because of the weather conditions we have not yet, used it.
At the Rangers station car park we decided that our first stop should be looking for wildlife up at Ronnie creek, where we had our Eastern Spotted Quoll experience some years earlier, the Quoll is a very shy creature and we were very lucky to see one.
Wombat spotting is easy as there is still a lot of snow on the ground and you only really have to tune your eyes in to see them and it's just the case of pick one and see how close you can get before they walk away, usually if you are really quiet and step
slowly and silently you can get to about three feet away.
The wombat have very poor eye sight, but a very keen sense of smell and good hearing, if we are out looking for wildlife we make sure we do not wear deodorant or perfume as it just gives the game away.
They are the most adorable creatures, just like miniature bears, about three and a half feet long and about one and a half tall and weighing in at about 35 kilos they are a marsupial which means that the young when it is born has a very short journey from the birth canal to the pouch where it will stay for the first eight months of life then will come and go to and from the pouch until it is about a year and a half old, this is when the mum has had enough and ejects the young wombat so it start to look after itself, we are lucky enough to see mother and infant on a few occasions, which we are thrilled about.
Make no bones about it, you need to put that cute cuddly image at the back of your mind these
guys if threatened can do you some serious damage, the commander wombat, (bare nosed wombat) has a reputation for being aggressive, so we are always on our guard.
It's still really cold and eventually your feet go numb as we are carefully walking on the button grass that is still covered with snow, it is a magical scene.
We walk over the Kate's cottage, named after the father of Cradle Mountain, Gustav Weindorfer, who he named the cottage after his wife Kate.
We walk in virgin snow and are delighted about the amount of animal prints that have been made, you can virtually see the paths wombats have taken, then as we get in to the grounds of the cottage there are tracks leading to various dens under the cottage.
Apparently wombats never defecate in their own burrows and here is an interesting fact, Wombat poo is square, their digestive system is very efficient and it takes two two weeks to work through their internal digestive system, and the reason it's square is so it doesn't roll away as it's a marker for the wombat of the territory they roam in, they always poo high as
well not usually directly on the ground but slightly raised on a mound or such like, I guess to give their matter more of an impact for other wombats.
Kate's cottage looked fantastic, we would really like to roll out a swag on a warm summers evening but we don't know if you can, it's pretty run down, but there are bunk beds inside that indicate perhaps the walkers who do the overland track my use this cottage. There are a few places to sleep under the stars in this national park, maybe one day we will get to do the Overland track to Lake St Clair.
From Ronnie Creek we get back in the car and drive down to Dove Lake, we take a walk to the old boat shed, the paths and board walks here are still very treacherous and we are really careful as we make our way down the formed tracks.
The Lake is frozen this morning, we are not sure if it was completely frozen, but certainly in this section it is, there are interesting patterns in the ice. We also see an interesting bird bobbing around the bushes, it is black
with a beautiful pink breast, we don't know what it is, and wasn't quick enough to get a photo.
The afternoon is really cold, it would freeze the balls of a brass monkey (let me tell you where that saying comes from at the end of this blog) and no it's not rude.
It's is a pleasure to get back in the car and put the heater on, we drive back to our chalet and I run a hot bath, whilst Andy sits in front of the fire and does some blog work, soon I am wallowing in the spa with the jets on and it bubbling like crazy what bliss.
Our plan for the evening as crazy as it is is go back out to Ronnie creek just as it gets dark we have a night vision monocle with infra red so we want to go and see what other wildlife we can annoy, and as most if our favourite creatures are nocturnal, you need to just get out and about to try and see them.
We had a leisurely few hours back in our chalet, then it was time to go back out, two
pairs of socks, scarf, gloves boots and all the necessary bits plus a cup of coffee to go and we were on our way.
There were only two cars coming out of the National Park when we went in so it was going to be nice and quiet, we hung around where we had our wombat interactions earlier and sure enough they were all their still grazing away under the stars.A
Andy got his night vision thingy out and it worked fairly well, you could easily see the features of the wildlife without disturbing them to much, they were just happy to graze and as long as you didn't get in their way and stopped them eating they were happy.
We had about an hour out in the freezing night air then decided to call it quits and drove back for some dinner in the tavern. It is the time of night that a lot of wildlife is around so I drove nice and carefully back through the park as I did not want to run anything over, it seemed mostly that Pademelons and perhaps Bettongs were around more than anything else. It would be bad form
to run over the wildlife in a National Park, although not impossible.
The service in the Tavern is very good and we didn't have to wait for too long for our evening meal to arrive. They seem to know us by now, it sounds unusual for people to stay for more than a few days.
Again we had a blog to publish, so we had to down load our photo's and complete the wordy section of the blog then go for an upload, we are still amazed just how long each blog takes.
Once that was all done, there was no point in hanging around the tavern when we had a perfectly good warm chalet to head back to so, we drove back up the hill, we both read for a while and just drifted off to sleep it had been a busy day.
My apologies, but I will give you the answer to what (Freezing the Balls off a Brass Monkey) next time, I just want to publish thus and go to bed so I will let you know.
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