Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Return of the Wombat

Readers may recall that I photographed a Wombat in my front yard ten days ago.

Well, a few nights ago, while I was composing another Blog post, I heard a terrible rasping noise coming from under my house.

Having worked on the construction of my own house, I knew straight away that the noise could only be coming from something rubbing against the high-tensile metal rods which are known as "Tie Downs". They hold the house on the brick piers which in turn are sunk down to bedrock underneath my house. These rods are threaded, and the bolts which hold the house down (in high winds) are tensioned up to a point where they "ring" if you hit them with a spanner. This is the way that the engineers test the tightness of the bolts.

Having installed and tensioned these bolts myself, I know the sound they can make.

Well, the lower sections of these "Tie Downs" are curved up, like "fish-hooks" and obviously some large nocturnal animal was using this as a scratching post.

Who could it be? (as if you don't know already).
Here it was, outside the house by this stage,
calmly chewing on some nice, fresh and moist grass.
(It had been raining that night).

Click to enlarge the image, to see the grass in its mouth.

The Wombat stood still for a few moments, then moved off slowly, facing away from me. I walked over to see if I could get beside it, when suddenly it objected to my "interest" and grunted, and crashed off through the dense shrubbery in my garden. I have no idea how much damage it caused in terms of broken plants. "Spilled milk", I am afraid.


mick said...

Rather nice to think that a wombat finds your place perfectly safe - but I'm not sure I'd want to have to try to make the garden wombat safe!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
Good points, both of them.
The Wombat lives here - I am an interloper.
You cannot "train" Wombats. Fences are just a temporary inconvenience to them. Before I moved here to grow Peonies, I asked friends in Tasmania if they had any problems with Wombats digging up their Peonies, or eating the leaves.
No, was the answer, but I was told that if you leave a shovel on the ground outside overnight, a Wombat will "Poo" on the flat surface.
That's not a problem.
But it is interesting.
Certainly Wombats leave their marks on flat rocks and other objects.
I like them.

Flabmeister said...

Good morning Denis
I hope you got some moderate rain yesterday: between 4am Weds and 4am Thurs we scored 65mm!

To business! You are lucky it was just scratching itself. Our daughter, who lives in Captains Flat is disturbed by their wombats fornicating on their verandah!

Some friends nearby have tried to dissuade wombats from invading their vineyard. This is not so much for fear of the damage the wombles might do, but their tunnels through/under fences form superhighways for other more destructive species such as rabbits and parrots. As you say cyclone fences and barbed wire are a mere annoyance. Our friends ended up putting in a cattle-type electric fence which seemed to work.

Tyto Tony said...

As a lazy non-gardener I'm with wombats in pooh-poohing shovels. Up here, a nocturnal wombat would make a bulky change to hissing, pissing possums and snuffling bandicoots. ;-)

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Tony
You love talking dirty, don't you?
Wombats are far nicer than Possums which eat the flowers of long-awaited trees and shrubs.
And they live in your roof space, and pee up there, which dissolved the plaster eventually.
Wombats over Possums any time, for me.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin.
I cannot "out-do" your daughter's encounter with multiplying Wombats.
What a thought!
Drilling under fence poles I can attest to, but fortunately, my fences are entirely "notional" as I have no large stock animals to contain withing my property lines.
Hadn't thought of rabbits finding their way in, - as I have enough of them anyway.

Mark Young said...

You're in a great spot if you've got Womabats! I won't show this post to Mandy otherwise you'll have a crazed pregnant lady on your doorstep tomorrow wanting to pat the Wombat! ;)

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mark
Unfortunately, they're not all as tame as one on Country Practice years ago.
Give my regards to Mandy.
Sounds like she's "clucky".

Anni said...

I'm pretty sure the wombat things you're the intruder... On my walks down your street, I have often noticed wombat droppings neatly placed on top of stones by the roadside. A subtle message maybe ('I was here first!')?

Anni said...

Oh, and look how clearly you can see those impressive claws in your enlarged photo!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Anni
Yes, I always believe I am the intruder in the Wombat's territory.
My name may be on the "Title" in the Council Offices, but that's not as significant as the Wombat's regular markings.
Yes, good strong claws for digging.
Not for aggression.
Glad to have your comments, as a "local", to confirm my impression of who "owns" the bush here.

Miss Eagle said...

Denis, I have this vision of a wombat luxuriantly scratching his back or bottom under your house and going...aaah! That's better!

So thoughtful of you to have those hooked thingummyjigs there specially for the Muddlehead!

Blessings and bliss