Michael Sullivan Online


Week 40: Mike's Day at the Nature Reserve

CANBERRA AUSTRALIA - 5 February 2001 - On Friday, Mike, Dave, Steve, Stacey, and Stacey's friend from Canada, Jill, shot some pool and had a few drinks after work. Once these activities had run their course, Mike Steve, Stacey and Jill went out to dinner at local Vietnamese resturant. They had a great meal and enjoyed some great local wine. On Saturday after the junior baseball game (Mike's team won easily again), the four of them got together again and headed out to the local nature reserve, Tidbinbilla. They drove around a bit, then went into the koala enclosure, where they got good looks at a bunch of wildlife. It started well when they saw a young koala sleeping in a short tree just off the trail. As they continued up the trail, Mike saw an echidna waddling around. The echidna wasn't too scared of the group as long as they weren't too loud. Eventually, it got a bit spooked and hid his head in a log. The people took this as a sign and moved on. After they found a koala high in a tree, they turned around and walked passed the echidna who was eating ants from a dead tree. The group must have watched for about 10 minutes as the echidna seemed to play peek-a-boo with them. They followed another path that led them to a pretty incredible sight: a big koala sleeping at ground level. Koalas are known for spending almost all their life in the tree tops of Eucaplytus trees and for this one to be at eye-level was pretty amazing. There wasn't much that could top this, so they moved to the kangaroo enclosure for a bird feeding. Upon entering this area, they saw a group of black cuckatoos with their yellow undersides. The feeding itself attracted a lot of sulfur-crested cuckatoos but there were a few magpies as well. As they walked through the enclosure, they saw lots of kangaroos of different types. From there, they headed back to the information centre for a platypus tour. The ranger introduced the platypus with a stuffed one and explained that they're shy but relatively common. At the first stop on the walk, there was one platypus in the pond swimming around for a bit; however, he spent most of his time on the far side and once he swam where he could be seen, he disappeared. On walking to the next dam, the group saw a very poisonous red-bellied black snake cross the walking path. Mike wasn't able to get more than a glimpse of the snake as he was towards the back of the tour group. In general, snakes in Australia are very poisonous but are very shy and will only attack as a last resort. Unfortunately, the group didn't encounter any other platypuses. All in all, the day was a big success and they capped it off with a bit of pizza and beer.

On Sunday, Mike had baseball. The B-grade team won a close one and Mike got a couple hits. The A-grade team also won, but Mike didn't play.

Here ends Mike's fortieth week in Australia.

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