Hello to the Animals in my Garden

I am sitting in my small secluded back garden, the air around me is redolent with the perfume of roses, the trees and shrubs sway in a light breeze. I am watching the tiny silvereye birds joyfully playing in a terracotta bird-bath which I had just filled with freshwater. It stands between two rose bushes, which give a protective cover and an escape route from marauding cats or bossy larger birds. The birds are like small children at the seaside, jumping in and out of the shallow water. This is repeated many times.

I speak to them softly, “Go on my pretties, enjoy yourselves.”

As long as I don’t move they continue to bathe and drink the water. The sun catches their shiny olive-green backs and wings as the drops of water sparkle on them.

Another day, same place, I heard a rustle from the dry leaves that had fallen from the magnolia tree, my most prized garden plant. I sat still, listening intently, leaning forward to try to see what animal was disturbing the leaf litter. A glistening scaly head, beautifully patterned in amazing geometric precision, appeared. “A snake,” I thought, getting ready to jump on the garden seat.

I couldn’t take my eyes away from the beautiful creature. I sat very still as it crunched and crackled its way through the dried leaves. About sixteen inches were visible now. A sigh of relief escaped me when a small leg and foot appeared. It was a wonderful blue-tongued lizard! The biggest I have ever seen.

“You are welcome to my garden,” I said, “and to the snails as well.”

The most frequent four-footed visitor to my garden is a small wallaby. She is a female because she was pregnant last year. and now she is quite slim, although I never did see a joey. She’s a quiet little thing, she stands and listens to me as I speak in a gentle even tone. She will sit and listen, unmoving, as I talk to her about the weather, or pruning the roses. I haven’t got a dog, so its nice to have this uncritical, quiet little companion. She sits about ten feet away from me but if I make a sudden move she turns and quickly hides in the shrubbery. But still she comes back again and again. She poos a bit but I don’t care. I like her tranquil company and she loves my garden. I think she likes me too!

Bev