An Australian Adventure With Joey...
By: Pat L
In the fall of 2011 my husband and I were on a two-month home exchange in Perth, Western Australia, something we have been doing all over the world for 21 years.
We decided to take a road trip south of Perth through the scenic Margaret River country, a lush landscape dotted with more than 100 wineries. We continued on to Point Leeuwin, with its spectacular coastline. This is Australia's most southwesterly point, where the Indian and Southern oceans meet.
Along the way, we explored Jewel and Mammoth caves, both huge and magnificent. We drove through forests of ancient karri and tingle trees, some soaring to 246 feet. Despite the remoteness of the region, it has become a mecca for artists of all persuasions--glass blowers, photographers, jewelers, painters, metal crafters, and, particularly, those who create fine furniture from beautiful wood.
The township of Denmark was next on our route along the South Coast Highway. On the way, I spotted a sign for the Pentland Alpaca Stud and Animal Farm. Being an animal lover, I insisted we stop and look around. This small farm and wildlife park not only had alpacas but galahs (colorful birds), kangaroos, koalas, camels, a huge North American bison, emus, llamas, an Asian water buffalo, deer, pigs, goats and more. It appeared to be a happy, healthy home for these diverse animals.
It was shortly before closing and began to rain heavily. There were only four of us left in the farm/wildlife park and, as we were leaving, a woman who worked in the gift shop asked if I would like to feed a joey, a baby kangaroo. Of course I would! She brought out a 9-month-old joey in a blue cloth bag, a simulation of a pouch. I sat down, and she put the joey in my arms. The warmed bottle of milk was surprisingly small, with a very long, thin nipple. The sweet little joey emptied the bottle in no time, then looked up at me, as though studying her new, strange "mom." She seemed quite content to just be held, and, for my part, it was one of the highlights of the trip.
USA - Florida
Cozy lake cottage in the heart of north Florida. Lake Fanny is a spring fed, sand-bottom, crystal clear lake just outside the town of Hawthorne, FL. The lake is great for swimming, playing, fishing & simply gazing upon. We have a canoe, stand-up paddle board and kayak for water fun. There is a nice sandy beach area next to the dock and there are two fire pits for story-telling, s'more-making and guitar picking.
The house has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and an open-concept kitchen and living room. There are 3 full-size beds in the house, as well as a pull-out sofa bed in the living room. There is a great front porch that expands the width of the house and overlooks the lake. There is also a screened-in back porch lovely for reading and listening to the rain on the tin roof. There is a gas grill and charcoal grill for cooking out, and even an outdoor shower if you enjoy getting clean au-natural.