Monkey Gully Road is a unique place in North-East Victoria and has been a source of inspiration for me for many years.
Sitting out on the verandah one evening, after a day of roof repairs and gutter cleaning, we witness an amazing procession straight out of the drover’s dream. As the gumtrees slowly darken against an orange sky we enjoy the sounds of kookaburras calling out their last laugh, the brief flurry of tiny bats passing overhead and the quarrels of blue wrens putting their children to bed.
Just as the sun dips below the horizon, we notice three little figures scrambling up one of the gumtrees. They climb up and up onto a high limb and then pause. There is a lift of wind from across the gully, the sky fades to purple and suddenly, like performers in a grand finale just before the curtain falls, a squirrel glider takes a great leap from one blackened tree to the next. Another soon follows and then another. With each leap the tiny marsupials make a great distance but lose height so that they have to climb again as high as possible up the landing tree before taking the next leap.
The following night the same ritual is repeated as each member of the bush community takes their turn as before.
All this happens with great precision, timing and purpose. There is no director or set designer, no stage prompt or producer. But these small creatures, by throwing themselves such distances, create a truly amazing and unexpected spectacle in their nightly journey.
From my work in enabling research there is always a leap required in thought, perseverance and tenacity to achieve new insights; there is always the challenge of not achieving as much as you hoped on the first try and having to make the effort to climb and leap again; there is always that feeling of bridging an impossible gap. So whether the ‘monkeys’ in the name Monkey Gully were misnamed koalas or these small gliders, I certainly have them to thank for the idea of Monkey Gully Research.
Watch this .. keep watching..