Don't be alarmed by the headlines below: Sydney is a totally safe place to visit!
As it happens, when we sometimes get our act together, like cleaning up the
harbour, somewhat lessening pollution, or as it may be, also causing serious
problems to our environment by continuing to warm up our planet by still putting
profits ahead of the future of our children, changes happen, for better or worse,
in terms of fauna and flora behaviour.
So while we have made some progress in terms of having whales increasingly
visiting our beautiful, cleaner Sydney Harbour during their migration, the
persistent drought in Australia has also made some species move from their
traditional habitat to more urban areas in search of food. Here are a couple of
recent examples in our neighbourhood:
However, this post is about our beloved Eastern Water Dragon that we were
lucky to cohabit with in our garden for a few years.
Eastern Water Dragons (Physignathus lesueurii) have always been here: some
say they actually go back twenty million years. They often became semi-tame in
the suburbs, since they don't have many enemies, besides cars and perhaps
dogs. Our companion (let's call him Oscar - he was a male, because of his red
chest during the mating season) came inside a couple of times, often had his
morning banana hand-fed, and generally enjoyed our company undisturbed. He
loved lazing in the sun (they're cold-blooded, so need the sun to store energy for
the night). In fact, sometimes I caught him keeping warm in the pool at night.
It was always such a thrill to see Oscar after his winter hibernation, showing up in
the garden again after a few months of sleeping, looking very thin, but otherwise
behaving as if nothing had happened, asking for his breakfast.
Ben and George, the pugs, were totally as ease with Oscar, which was so good.
During the last times we saw him, there was also a dragon youngster in the
garden. They didn't seem to interact much, so I'm not sure if they were
'together'. Eventually they both disappeared, and haven't returned.
Hope you enjoy the family photos of Oscar:
Boy, am I scared, 2002
Lambda print, 88 x 88 cm, edition of 5