I am excited to announce the release of my new Australia collection. This is a collection of jewellery featuring some of the amazing Australian flora and fauna. I hope to be adding more designs to this collection soon, but at the moment the collection includes the kangaroo, koala, platypus, echidna, wombat, emu, fairy penguin (or little penguin), sulphur-crested cockatoo and eucalyptus.
In making this collection I was constantly reminded of my childhood and of how much I miss Australia. I grew up in country Victoria, and most of that time we either lived in very small towns or out of town. I am lucky to have experienced so much of the amazing Australian wildlife.
I thought that in this post I would share with you some of my experiences with some of the animals/plants featured in this collection.
When I was a teenager we lived in a house just across the road from a small creek where a family of platypus lived. When we happened to be at the creek while they were swimming around, we used to sit on the bank watching these gorgeous creatures. Sometimes, we would only catch a quick glimpse, but at other times we would watch the platypus playing for 15 minutes or more. Usually we would only see one platypus at a time, but occasionaly we would see two or even three.
Koalas love to hide in their trees. Much of their day is spent sleeping high up in the branches, and because they spend so much time sitting still, they tend to be hard to spot. Even if someone has spotted a koala and is trying to point it out to you they can be almost impossible to spot!
I have seen koalas in the wild on many different occasions, but there is one experience that has really stuck with me. We were with a group of a number of families, and we were in a place where koalas were known to be living. After 10 minutes or so without seeing any koalas, I was starting to get bored and disappointed. It looked like we were wasting our time staring up at a bunch of trees that didn’t have any koalas.
Then someone finally spotted a koala and we all crowded around trying to see where they were pointing. After that, the group spotted many koalas, maybe 15 or so that day. They seemed to be everywhere, and there were even koalas sitting in the trees that we thought we had already thoroughly searched.
Wombat and echidna
The only time I can remember seeing wombats and echidnas in the wild was when we visited Kangaroo Island when I was around 15. My dad almost ran over a poor echidna, but luckily he missed it. We also saw a wombat while we were driving around. I love how wombats and echidnas waddle around – they’re both so cute! Wombats are also surprisingly fast when they want to be (but apparently not when they’re crossing the road – we saw a few dead ones at the side of the road).
Fairy penguin (or little penguin)
As my mum pointed out to me, the fairy penguin is now called the little penguin in Australia. Apparently the word ‘fairy’ is no longer politically correct! However, when I was a child they were always called fairy penguins.
I’ve seen fairy penguins in the wild many times, including visiting the penguin parade on Philip Island, the penguin colony at St Kilda pier (in Melbourne) and also when we visited Kangaroo Island. The penguins have such an adorable waddle on land.
The house we lived in when I was a teenager had a gigantic walnut tree in the back yard. My dad loves walnuts (I hate them!), so he loved having this tree at home. However, the local flock of cockatoos also loved Dad’s walnut tree. They would land on the tree en-masse and make an enormous racket whilst picking walnuts and eating the green flesh that encloses the hard walnut shell. Even though the tree was huge and produced more walnuts than Dad knew what to do with, he was still so protective of his walnuts. He used to yell at the cockatoos from the bedroom window trying to scare them away from his tree.