I love spending my time in the bush. It doesn't matter what I'm doing before or after, or even more tired I am, I'm always keen for a walk through the bush. On this particular night, the night of my floor party, I fancied going for a walk on my way back to my dormitory. Yes, the floor party started an hour ago, but who even shows up on time to these things?
After a significant detour, only seeing a gecko Gehyra dubia, I decide to follow the creek back through campus to my Hall.
I notice a set of bright white eyes, reflecting my light beam back, and my heart starts to pick up the tempo. Upon closer inspection, I find it's a common bushtailed possum Trichosurus vulpecula. Gosh these guys are adorable! I approach this one so closely I can even see his breathing increase with nervousness as I near. As a car passes on the road behind us, he decides this chance is a great excuse to bound away up a tree.
My creek walk turns to go under a building, and right before the building, I see a whopper of a python, thermo-regulating to digest a small meal on the bare bank of the creek. What a beautiful creature! She has no concern of my presence here, so I snap a few up close photos and take a few measurements before heading off to my dormitory.
Encounters with a these 2.3m long pythons, or sneaking in close to possums are what I particularly relish. Times like these give me a feeling of natural belonging and a connection to fundamental instincts that are so scarce in this day and age. And as I sit with my "poker face" on, sipping on my water, I watch the games of beer pong at the floor party; I am utterly confused about the whole ecology of the "college party ecosystem."