Sunday 4 February 2024

 Wet wallabies

On a recent visit to Namadgi National Park in the ACT, I had to wait a bit until the rain stopped before I went for a walk in the forest. As I waited, I noticed something twitching in the grass, and there were several humps of wet grey fur in the grass.

The humps moved a little and a pair of ears flicked at a fly, then another pair of ears rose up out of the grass.

Eventually a head rose up below the ears and the eyes of a Red-Necked Wallaby fixed onto me - very casually. Clearly the wallaby wasn't perturbed and it seemed to not want to move. It had seen lots of humans in the carpark before, setting off on walks along the forest paths. There were several of wallabies, and they were all quite relaxed, sitting up to their ears in food. 

The rain didn't appear to bother them. It wasn't penetrating their thick woolly fur and the odd dribble down their nose was easily shaken off with a jerk of the head. Wet weather is good for colour satuation in photographs, so as soon as the rain stopped, or nearly stopped, I grabbed some shots to capture the richness of colour in their fur, and white-stripe along their cheeks that was emphasised by the light. 

It's good to stop and take alternative looks at wildlife, to see the detail and watch animals at peace. And while I was there I then noticed the colour of the bark on some nearby Snow Gums. The rain had soaked the bark, some dribbles were running down over the flakes of bark, and every tree trunk was individually colourful. A few hours later when I returned, the rain had long-stopped, the sun was out, the colours were flat on the wallabies' dry fur and the bark was a soft dull grey.

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