I’ve been staying with moms friends Karen and Cliff, and let me just say that they give all Australians a terrific name. They have been so friendly and have gone out of their way to show me things and take me places, it’s been terrific and I’ve had a lot of fun! They have a couple of daughters, though I’ve only met one of them yet. Alissa is 10 and she’s such a great kid, very entertaining and dramatic and always singing and dancing. Come to think of it, she reminds me a little of Stacy when she was that age! They also have 3 dogs which are really sweet and lovable.
So, I’ve been staying about an hour outside of Melbourne since Sunday. We had a barbeque on Sunday with a few other Aussies (and a South African!) and it was delish, meats, potato salads, the works. But you don’t want to hear about the food I’m sure, so I’ll tell you about the deadly creatures I’ve seen.
First… I’ve seen quite a few redback spiders… I learned that they like to hang around metal things so pretty much all you have to do is look underneath a metal lawn chair or look in the corner of a metal shed and you’ll see one. Here is a pic of a small one…
we saw a bigger one underneath the lawn chair but I didn’t get the picture of that one. There are also the egg sacs of these spiders everywhere… I mean EVERYWHERE. To emphasize on how dangerous these guys are... one of these spiders bit Cliff some years back, and he was in the hospital for three days. A big ones bite can kill a man in hours (if he doesn’t seek medical attention) So they are bad little buggers. And they are EVERYWHERE here! Neat huh?
Next… I’ve seen tons of wild kangaroos, fairly close up! They remind me a bit of deer… in that they run in front of cars and they stare at you the same way deer do, and they are attracted to your headlights… people in Australia don’t hit deer on the road, they hit kangaroos. Usually kangaroos have one dominant male that is very large, up to 7 feet tall, and when you get too close it will stand up straight and stare you down… while all the other kangaroos run off. It will run off too when all of its pack are safe, but if you are too much of a threat to them, they can be dangerous. They could give you quite a kick with their powerful legs if they are cornered… yes, even kangaroos can be deadly!
Now, for the birds… I’ve seen TONS of beautiful birds… the most amazing to see in the wild have been the cockatoos and the galah (rose breasted cockatoo) How cool to see birds in the wild that before I’ve only seen in pet stores! And the birds... well, they are deadly to bugs I suppose. And I'm sure most of us have seen 'The Birds' :)
They’ve also taken me around the bush to see the stunning views… it is just gorgeous around here. It’s been incredibly hot and dry, but it has been beautiful.
I’ve done a few more things that I want to talk about, including visiting the public school and seeing a crystal warehouse, but I’ll save that for my next blog.