How beautiful Australia’s Eastern Water Skinks are, with their gorgeous, coppery colouring. My associate Editor Des has made friends with the family that live in our stone walling and under our old cement terrace, here at Blackheath in the Blue Mountains. There are actually two branches of the same family, one in residence at either end of the terrace. They emerge in the morning sun to ‘power up’ on solar energy. They are normally very shy, but are now so used to our presence that we have to be careful not to step on them. Of course when startled they can disappear in a flash.
As the sun disappears in late afternoon they find a warm rock to bask on. Editor Des sits quietly as young Stan Skink takes up a favourite spot.
A mossy stump is sometimes chosen as an alternative to a rock;
These sweet creatures are part of the whole eco-system of a garden. They eat slugs and snails and other plant munching pests. And, sad as it is, they can in turn become a meal for butcherbirds, currawongs and kookaburras. Fortunately we don’t get these larger birds around our terrace, so they are fairly safe. By the way, they grow to about 28cm.
A SKINK CONFINEMENT LOOMS….
JANUARY 31 – It has been raining for days and Des has missed his playmates. But when the sun finally came out, so did the skinks. And oh the excitement when it turned out that the matriarch was heavily pregnant!
A skink produces as many as eight or nine live young. Co-incidentally, Editor Des had just found a dollar under the stairs and suggested he could buy a baby to keep.
I must say Mrs Skink wasn’t that impressed and I explained to Des that his proposition was rather dubious in a moral sense. I think he understood. 😎
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE WATER SKINK FROM THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM, CLICK HERE.
And click again for more on THE WONDER OF NATURE. 💚