Friday, 15 June 2007

On the right track

There's an interesting article in the latest Growing Australian, the newsletter of the Australian Plants Society–Victoria. Phil Hempel of the Yarra Yarra Group has written about the kangaroos in his paddock, about how he has managed to live with the kangaroos and plant trees as well. The penny dropped for him when noticed that the damage done to his new trees and the guards seemed to follow a pattern. The kangaroos had set tracks for entering, leaving and crossing the paddock and Phil had inadvertently planted across the tracks. Now he has planted accordingly and is a lot happier with the results.
It reminded me of the tracks that I follow when I go wandering through our bush block at Homerton. In places the bracken is above my head and it's hard work bashing my way through. So I just find a roo track. I do wonder though – if the kangaroos using these tracks are stopping to graze now and again, am I missing out on seeing orchids and fungi? And because I'm really petrified about leeches I wonder if they too stick to the tracks because they know a roo will be along at some stage!
It also reminded me of the time we killed an echidna. When we first bought our property in the '70s we used to set rabbit traps along one of the side fences, just like I did when I was a kid growing up not far away. We set the traps at rabbit tracks under the wire fence and had some success. We haven't done it since the morning we went round the traps and found an echidna caught by his long beak. He too had been using the 'rabbit' track to get through the fence.

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