Powderbark farm is named for the many huge Powderbark Wandoo eucalypts on the property. The property is 55 undulating acres with a winter creek, a tributary of the Boyanning stream, and many large Powderbark Wandoo and Marri eucalypts. The pasture is rich, even when dry in summer. Some areas of the farm are being revegetated with native trees as part of the Talbot Brook Landcare projects. There is also a young 200 tree olive grove and a small new sandalwood plantation, and the farm is surrounded by sheep grazing, wheat cropping land and native bush. Our fruit trees include a range of citrus, figs, pomegranates, passion fruit, plums, peaches, nectarines, cape gooseberries, strawberries, olives, apples and pears.
Native birds which breed here and inhabit the farm area and adjacent bush include the smallest ones, the bright blue splendid wrens and both red chested and red capped robins, thornbills, honeyeaters, fantails, willy wagtails, quails, crested doves, mistletoe birds and magpie larks and larger ones such as kookooburras, crows, owls, egrets, native ducks and geese, hawks, magpies and occasionally a soaring wedge-tailed eagle.
However, the most spectacular and entertaining birds are the parrots and galahs: we always have 28 parrots (they are green and yellow ring-necked parrots and their call says “twenty-eight, twenty-eight”) and pink and grey galahs but sometimes black cockatoos, red-capped parrakeets and white corellas visit us.
Kangaroos and echidnas are occasional visitors from the bush over the road, but we have breeding colonies of the exquisite rare nocturnal pygmy possums in our flowering shrubs. Photographs of these have won Emily many awards in photography competitions.
The most commonly seen reptiles around the house are the smaller skinks and the larger bob-tailed goannas and racehorse goannas. Our bob-tailed goannas (also known as ‘blue tongue lizards”) enjoy eating strawberries, grapes and tomatoes when offered, and are very tame.
Very occasionally we see snakes, and we know they are here, they are just very shy. Dugites breed in out granite outcrop at the bottom of the farm, and we once found a carpet python neatly coiled up inside a tyre were were using for landscaping. As a kitten, Tigger was found one evening sitting and staring at a tree which is odd, since she’s usually either IN the tree or bouncing en route towards a tree! What she had found was a 2+ meter python that was climbing (slithering?) up the tree trunk.
We have a variety of native frogs that call the farm home. The distinctive ‘Motorbike’ frogs and the Western Banjo frogs tend to mainly live and breed in our ponds around the house, and we have recently noticed a few different types of tiny Froglets around the dam area too. During the breeding season, tadpoling is a favourite activity for children visiting the farm. Our tadpoles are always in demand for school science activities and we are happy to provide tadpoles to those who would like them- just contact us.