Solbit Sees Strange Wildlife in Australia

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Dear Nicalai,

What are the two animals that cannot walk backward? I’ll give  you a hint:  both are in Australia, where we are now!  Give up?  Read on and I’ll give you the answer later.

Nona and Papa spoke in hushed whispers.  I thought, “What’s this about?”  Don’t you always wonder what your mom and dad are up to when you catch them whispering?  Right.  I knew something was up, and they didn’t want me to know.

I yelled from my zippered purse pocket, “Hey, I hear you whispering.  Get me out of here, and tell me what’s the secret.”

Nona pulled me out of her purse.  Papa said, “OK, Solbit, you caught us.”  I said, “Ah, ha!”  Nona replied, “Yes, Solbit, we were only trying not to wake you while we planned a trip with our friends, Gretchen and Phil, to see some strange animals. We didn’t want you to worry that these strange animals might eat you.”

“Yikes! Eat me! No way I’m going with you to see strange animals that might eat me,” I told them.  Then Nona and Papa laughed. “We’re just kidding, but we do have a trip planned for you.  We wanted to surprise you though, but you’ve caught us.”  “Hey, what are we going to see?” I asked.

Of course they told me, but I’m just going to show you what we saw at East Coast Natureworld with our friends on the island of Tasmania.  Are you ready to see some unusual animals?  Here goes!  First I’m going to show you an Emu.

DSC03730 emu

How about that!  An Emu is a flightless, big bird.  Now I’m going to show you this Emu’s friend; it followed this Emu everywhere.  Here’s a wombat.

DSC03729 Emu&Wombat

This wombat was friendly and asked Papa to please scratch his nose, and Papa did.

DSC03735 PetWombat

Well, we were in Tasmania, and, when in Tasmania, you must see a Tasmanian devil.

East Coast Natureworld East Coast Natureworld - Tasmanian devil

We saw this one having lunch on a piece of wallaby.  What’s a wallaby?  It looks like a small kangaroo. Here’s a picture of one.

DSC03654 wallaby

OK?  It’s sad that they eat wallabies, but we can’t pretend it doesn’t happen.  Oh, here’s the answer to the question, “What two animals cannot walk backward?”  Emu and Kangaroo.  That’s why they’re on the Coat of Arms of Australia, because they can only go forward!

Now, when we left Tasmania last week, I figured we’d seen it all, when it comes to strange animals, but, no, I have one more strange animal to tell you about.  Our AirBnB host, Scott, took us for a walk in the bush (Australian for woods or forest) this afternoon.  Here I am entering the bush.

DSC04237 SonSign

Nona, Papa, and I thought we were just going for a regular walk.  We got deeper into the bush near Wolli Creek.  That’s when Nona said, “I think I hear a lot of birds.  No, not birds, must be a bunch of frogs.”  Just then Scott brought us around a corner, and we had a clear look at the gum trees.  A bunch of stuff hung from the branches, and that stuff was making the noises.  I asked Scott, “Hey, what are all those black and red bags hanging from the trees?”

DSC04223 TreeBags

He smiled and said, “Surprise! These are Gray Headed Flying Foxes the largest bats in Australia; you might call them fruit bats.  In fact, they look a bit like Batman, don’t you think?”

Wolli Creek - Grey-headed flying fox colony

Actually, I do. Real cute.

Wolli Creek - Grey-headed flying fox colony

When we got home, Nona googled these bats or flying foxes that live here in Sydney.  A website said that in 2012 a count of the bats was done, and they numbered more than 20,000 here.  Wow! These bats are big! They like to eat flowers and nectar, so I’m safe here. As they say in Australia, “No worries.”  See ya, mates.

I’m your friend.



April 2014

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.


  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

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