Where the Wild Things Are

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Golden Orb Spider

Have you ever pondered just what constitutes a garden?

Certainly more than the plants that grow in it or the humble gardener who attends them. For me, a garden is a collaborative, synergistic affair, a symphony of countless interactive organisms, from birds, bugs, frogs and fish to the micro-organisms that live in the soil, without which there would be no growing.

Sometimes I pine for the myriad bird life that filled my old garden; for the bandicoots with their little jeweled scats, the cheeky water dragons, land mullets, carpet pythons, possums, and even, in the early days, the odd escapee wallaby from the adjoining Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. After a weekend of deluge one year, the crocodile enclosure there was compromised so it’s entirely possible that I may have had a croc in my pool. Well, that may be stretching the imagination just a little, but hey – isn’t that the wild wonder of imaginees?

But back to my present garden, equally filled with life, mostly wild, simply on a different scale.

To begin, the garden space appeared to be lifeless apart from a phantom cat that crept in to sleep among the cushions on my steamer chair overnight. I never actually saw it but after a forensic examination and a clever elimination process, I deduced the animal hair left behind was – not human, not canine – but feline.

If there were spiders or soil dwellers they weren’t apparent. The transformation of a space into what became my garden was accompanied by armies of ants and a squadron of mosquitoes, the latter, relentless and lusting for blood  – mine!

Over the following two years I determined to create an environment inducive to life. Together with the tireless soil building worms, spiders appeared (often in my hair), along with bugs and other insect life; some good, some unwelcome, but undoubtedly all having a contribution to make. Now little skinks abound and green tree frogs are elusive residents after my efforts to raise a batch of tadpoles last summer. They declare a noisy presence when it rains.

There are birds too, like Noisy Minors and Indian Minors; the latter probably keeping more desirable species away. Parrots, Lorikeets, Black Cockatoos, Corellas, Brahminy Kites, Kurrawongs, Pelicans and other sea birds fill the airspace above me but find nothing to entice them in. Still, I am grateful to hear their cries and see their familiar shapes in the skies above. My dad always said you need to recognise the bird life in your area to really feel at home.

Then there are the introduced species like the gold fish in my pond – a constant confirmation of the Pavlov effect. They see my shadow and expect food; reminding me of family. For once I’m glad I don’t throw a ‘heron slim’ shadow. Equally exotic are  rare static bees, apis iocus: refer to pictures and time-distant, school Latin.

Perhaps most exotic and wildest of all is the gardener – me! The only part of my identity for which I can claim such exoticism.

What lives in your garden?

The garden residents

The garden residents

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Apus Iocus

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Common Wasp Moth

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16 responses to “Where the Wild Things Are

  1. I love your ponderings Robyn and thanks to our mutual friend, Ann, for linking me in! In our outer-east suburban garden in Victoria we are currently experiencing a ladybird population explosion which is most welcome as the roses bud up. And a joyful discovery of a frog on Friday evening. We hope he stays and invites his family to join him!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Robyn! How lovely to have you visit – and with such kind comments. Ann is a dear friend and we share much in common, not the least, gardening, so its nice to have a another gardening friend on board. : ) I envy you your roses AND the lady bugs. I’ve had no luck with roses so far.
      Love the frog visitor to your garden. I hope he invites his family too. There’s so much life in a garden if we take time to notice don’t you think?
      Thanks for visiting!

      Like

  2. So much life in such a small space. Green tree frogs I’m told are a sign of a healthy ecosystem. So lovely that you have them in your garden Robyn. We enjoy them in ours too – seldom seen but often heard.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely! I can just imagine you with your deer stalker hat and magnifying glass determining the nature of the night visitor. Well done super sleuth!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. ZuZu would be so happy with all the bugs in your lively garden. she would certainly have a very full belly. I am starting to put my garden to sleep with cleaning and raking and mulching for the long cold winter. But there are still some signs of life with the mums and the gourds and the pumpkins. I’ll do a post of seasonal photos soon to show a bit of our New England Fall. thanks, Robyn. Lovely, enjoyable post, as usual…Clare

    Liked by 1 person

    • Such a contrast in seasons Clare. I haven’t been to New England but have read about the area – very beautiful. I would love to see more photos. Please tell Zuzu she would be welcome to visit anytime – she may even solve the mystery of my phantom cat; offer some friendly feline advice on how I might connect?

      Liked by 1 person

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