I fear that in my new life out here I will do a lot of killing on the roads. As in everything in nature there are patterns, and I need to make a calendar of what to look out for whilst driving, and when. There was so much going on back in summer – the car radiator would inhale swarms of butterflies at high speed, after rain I would see little frogs bouncing in the headlights before I drove over them. Snakes and lizards enjoying hot roads were carved up.
Now that it’s cold there is less activity, but dusk and dawn bring particular risks with a lot of kangaroos dining at the edges. And bunnies seem to party (and expire) roadside all night whatever the weather. I get a bit down about all this death and my part in it, but it is the way of things on country roads and I must a) toughen up b) be vigilant. I hit a huge grandaddy of a kangaroo last week at low speed and it bounced off, stopping and gaping back at me. A horrible moment, both of us in shock. And two nights ago I did everything you’re not supposed to on a wet road, hit the brakes in avoidance and came to an eventual screeching sideways stop. The last thing you’re meant to do is follow natural instinct and swerve to avoid hitting the beast.
I have heard a few people talking about a contraption called Roo Shoo. It emits a high frequency noise that supposedly discourages kangaroos from coming near your vehicle. I got on a 4WD forum (and wasted some time following unintelligible conversations about 33 inch muddies, front mount intercoolers and arb air compressors) and it seems the general consensus is that these kinds of devices don’t do much.
Bull bars are very worthwhile however and I considered them mandatory when I was searching for a vehicle. When I wrote about my car buying trials I neglected to mention that I bought the ute that broke down twice during the test drive (after a battery change it runs perfectly.) I knew I would love my ute but I didn’t know how much.
Here we are picking up stone off the property for use in the building
here we are encouraging responsible family activities (Dan a bit bummed the car was parked at the time)
here we are feeling sorry for ourselves
And while we’re comparing things:
If I’m smiling here, it’s because I’m warm, not because I think it’s clever to steal from a dog. My dear neighbour Gerhard bought me this jacket at the Castlemaine Swap Meet (an event I am determined not to miss next year) for the next dog I have. It’s a fantastic garment – oilskin outer, sheepskin lining – and I’ve been wearing it for a bit of extra back warmth. I’ll have to give it up soon to a muttley, but not yet. Not yet!