Dingoes and Other Visitors

Image35

Every now and then the dingoes would put in an appearance at our camp, which bothered me if I was caught away from the caravan or any place I could duck into (like the cab of a vehicle) – generally they are wary of humans, but hunger will drive them to be more daring and people have been attacked by dingoes, after all when you are looking at wild animals, the laws of nature apply in full force (largely, eat or be eaten) – nature is not a peaceful place, despite what it seems on the surface and despite what we have been encouraged to believe via television and animal-loving movies. Those blinkers get whipped off pretty fast when you are out there and isolated.

I don’t have any pictures of dingoes, unfortunately, so you’ll get some other pictures to decorate this story. :D

Image54

Here is a monitor lizard climbing the screen we had around our patio we build just off our hole-in-the-ground living room. I still don’t know how he did it.

What amazed me about the dingoes was their silence. You get a pack of dogs running around suburbia and they generally make a lot of noise. A dingo pack on the move is silent. A few days after we had moved onto the block, and were still based at the top of the hill, I was working in the caravan when Cumulus, our cat, sat bolt upright and stared avidly out of the window. His gaze was so intense, it drew me to look outside, wondering what he saw.

I have no idea what triggered him to notice them, but the entire pack of dingoes in full run came up along the road, they passed by our driveway and kept going, on the hunt. Their silence was intimidating. So was their size. Had it not been for the cat, I would not have noticed them at all. The whole feeling said “deadly”.

Image55

Here’s Greg getting wet while trying to cook in the rain. The ladder there is supporting the makeshift roof.

We rarely bumped into dingoes nose-to-nose, and I never did get a picture. I did challenge one when I was caught outside one morning, alone as usual. I don’t know where the rest of the pack was, but this one stood and stared at me, and I tried the “Go on, get out of it,” trick, trying to send it on its way, but it just stood there, weighing me up as though I was some kind of fascinating kangaroo. Instinct told me that I couldn’t afford to back away, I certainly couldn’t afford to run. I had to show aggression (or I’d look like an easy meal), so I snatched a stick up off the ground and walked straight at it. It turned and trotted off, paused and looked back, then trotted off again, not the least bit put out.

Image33closeup1

Here’s a paw print I found at the edge of our dam (which was right at the edge of our campsite), so we knew they came through and quite close. The picture might not show up very well, but that is a single print, not two. The toes are at the top, with a gap between them and the base of the foot. My hands are there to give an indication of size. That is one big paw belonging to one big dingo!

I learned very quickly to pay attention to my instincts. There were times when I was far from camp, either monitoring wild fires, burn-offs, or down by the creek making mud bricks, and suddenly would have a sense of something wrong or something close – just a sense of danger. I always listened to that inner voice and got out quickly, which may have been me being jumpy, or it may have the exact right thing to do. I wasn’t going to hang around and find out.

I was always very aware how quickly something could go wrong and how awkward that could be for me when I was alone for 14 hours a day.

Image17

At the top right hand of the hill in the picture above, you can see the curve of our main driveway, the hill top where we began and where the water tanks went. The road in the foreground is a continuation of that and behind the camera is where the camp was (and where the water pipe I dug that trench for led to).

We had a rifle, obtained because we’d been warned how dangerous it was out in the wilderness – particularly in wild-boar country, which is where we were. And I can tell you now there is NOTHING more scary than pulling up at a Police Station and pulling a rifle out. We had to register it with the police, but I really expected to get jumped walking in with a bloody gun.

Anyhow, the point is, the gun stayed in the caravan, nice and safe, and I never carried the thing. It was never my intention to shoot anything.

Well, that’s it for another day. Tomorrow – termites.

Have a great day, everyone. :)

Cheers!

Allyson

13 thoughts on “Dingoes and Other Visitors

  1. Yuna

    Allyson,
    that’s scary, so scary, water monitoring lizard? i hate it the most of all reptile because i see it almost everyday and it always success scares me..i always scream out loud first than shivering all over my body.
    and the one on the picture is really big, the paw print proved it. i just saw it too two days ago, almost as big as the one you got and i still shiver when i remember it.

    Reply
    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      I didn’t mind the monitor lizards because they were quite docile. The snakes were much bigger (and the pythons preyed on the lizards). The paw print in the mud was a dingo print (Australia’s wild dog).

      The thing to remember with snakes and lizards is that they don’t want to meet you, either. If they have a way out they will take it, so if you don’t attack them and don’t stand on them (that’s the tricky bit because sometimes they are hard to see), they won’t hurt you. :)

      Reply
      1. Yuna

        Oopsss, i got it wrong, i thought it was monitor lizard -_-“!.

        Allyson,
        i think you are really brave and cool in handling those things. as for me, i don’t see what its character anymore, how it reacts, how to handle it, and the others, as long as i found it reptile with that kind of skin and feature i’ll scream out load and then shivering until i get a hold of my self. that’s really bad of me. my mom had been searched the way how to heal that fear of mine but failed :'(

        Anyway, nice information about it :D

        Reply
        1. A.D. Everard Post author

          Yuna, we all have fears and sometimes very good reason for them. It is nothing to feel bad about. I knew someone once who was terrified of butterflies. It’s not something anyone can help, although we’d all like our fears to go away. We react the way we do out of instinct – and if that keeps us safe, well, that’s what it’s about, so fears are important, too.

          Cheers! :)

          Reply
  2. Uzoma

    Geez! Is that a snake lizard in the second pic? On a second thought I think not considering its size.

    Yes, I was going to ask if you guys had to use a gun at some point. Good thing you had one — registered. I can’t imagine going into close-quarter combat with big wild animals.

    Those boars, did you happen to take a pic of any?

    Reply
    1. A.D. Everard Post author

      The lizard was a monitor lizard. They can grow quite large, but don’t seem to mind people. :)

      No – I never got a single photo of the wild boar. Did see them a few times, fortunately from a car each time. Those were the creatures I was most worries about because they will attack.

      The tricky thing about the gun was that I never carried it with me. I was usually out doing something (like making mud bricks, or digging holes), so the rifle was in the way. Crazy, I know. I knew what would happen. If I eve came nose-to-snout with a wild boar, I’d probably end up safely up a tree, and that gun would be safe and sound back at the caravan.

      We used the gun once. Someone, somewhere close, was shooting. We were new on the land, so we fired a round to let them know there were other people in the area.

      We never shot an animal. Never killed one for food or for any reason. We bought our meat in the shops.

      Cheers to you. :)

      Reply
      1. Uzoma

        Hmm. You guys really respected the wildlife around you, then. I know of some people, who would’ve killed for meat.

        Hey, did you mention climbing up a tree if attacked? That means you are a good climber.

        Reply
        1. A.D. Everard Post author

          Yes, we never saw the need to kill.

          A good climber? I used to be – when I was 14. I reckon had something turned up, I could have learned real fast to climb well again. :D

          Reply

Share your views?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s