Maggie‘s stick said, “I wonder if… you will see a baby animal.”
It is summer in Tasmania, and the animals that were born in the spring are growing up. One of the things I had hoped to see was a young marsupial, like a wallaby or pademelon, hopping in or out of its mother’s pouch. So far, I haven’t been lucky enough to see that, but I have seen young birds with their parents, sometimes begging them for food. I’ve also seen baby moths and butterflies (caterpillars) and baby frogs (tadpoles).
It is very, very dry here in Tasmania now, and lack of rain makes it hard for some animals to find enough food and water to take care of themselves and their babies. For amphibians like frogs, which need water to live in as they go from being a swimming tadpole with gills to a hopping adult with lungs, it is extra hard. This tree frog has found a great spot inside a plastic sleeve around a young tree that Peter waters regularly.
I’ve been checking on one of the ponds here regularly since I arrived. On my first day, I saw tadpoles swimming around. The water level was low and it was very warm, but they seemed to be surviving. Today, I went back to the pond and found that, without rain to refill it, the water had evaporated and it was now mostly mud with a few tiny puddles of water. The tadpoles were becoming froglets. They still had some tail left, but now had hind legs and were breathing air, and could move from one puddle to another.
From a tree nearby, a young brown falcon was watching them. The young frogs were well camouflaged and quickly buried themselves deep in the mud when a shadow passed overhead.
I hope these babies get some rain soon!