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  • Writer's pictureLiz Charpleix

Gardening in the Bush

I don’t employ a human gardener. Instead I leave the house paddock to be tended by the local wildlife. The pademelons and Bennett’s wallabies keep the grass short, and as I brushcut away the clumps of tough flaxes and reeds, the wallaby lawn is gradually spreading to replace them. I don’t water, I don’t mow and the lawn has prickles in it, but none of my visitors mind.

Here is one of the locals who helps to turn over my soil on a regular basis:

I’m sure it hasn’t been the same echidna every time, given that I’ve lived here for nearly 14 years. I’m not sure where it lives when it’s not balooping around my paddock, snuffling out delicious worms and bugs. I’m not sure if it’s male or female. But I see it every so often, troddling along, checking for tasties in my soil.

I’m told that Tasmanian echidnas have more fur on their bodies than mainland ones. This photo shows the luxuriant thick fur which plumps out between the animal’s spines, reaching right down the animal’s forehead.

Now, eyes back to the computer. There’s tax to be worked on indoors while the outdoor worker is going about its business.

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