Stranger Things

Host: Kilcowera Station

Written by Toni Sherwin, Station Owner

Kilcowera is a working cattle station that offers accommodation, camping and guided tours.

I have been trying to recollect some of the strange items of interest that I have seen since I have lived in the bush, here at Kilcowera. Here are a few of them…

Fish magically appearing in isolated waterholes even though those water holes had been dry for years and were not connected to any permanent water.

Yabbies and crabs swimming down the road during floods.

Shield Shrimp or Triops australiensis and clam shrimps magically appearing in claypans after suitable rains.

Triops australiensis.

The back leg of a kangaroo half buried in the dirt in the middle of a paddock and only bird tracks around it. Bear in mind we don’t have a wild dog problem, so it was probably a fox that killed the roo. Still, little fox, big roo.

The gorgeous little Crucifix Toads survive buried in the ground for the longest time and dig their way out after sufficient rain.  We had a nine year drought earlier this century and those little frogs survived for that long buried in the ground. When they come out they bob around like iridescent little yellow marbles and ping pong balls.

Crucifix Frog.

Not to mention the many different frogs that just appear after suitable rain, they must all live deep in the ground only to surface when the time is right. The night time chorus when they are all out and about is glorious!

The neatly gutted bearded dragon lizard lying in the middle of the road, it was totally intact except its underside tummy was eaten.

Seen in the middle of the road, the big white ant eggs all out around the meat ants nest at 4 am, on a very hot night.

Hundreds of bees all clinging to the tree trunk just outside of the hole in the tree which was the entrance to their hive. It was very, very hot.

Wild bees.

Snakes with ticks on them.

One extraordinary night I swear I saw the southern lights from my verandah.

Another night there was a light just bobbing around in the distance for about half an hour, then it just disappeared.

Sometimes when there is humidity around and the possibility of rain, we can smell the pungent odour of the Gidgee trees, but apart from about 4 trees on our place the nearest Gidgee is about 60 km away.


During and after rain the enormous Bogong moths come up out of the ground leaving their cocoons sticking out of the holes. They fly around all night and seem to be gone the next morning. Dead.

One day we flew home from Cunnamulla and were putting our plane back in the hangar when out of the blue 2 blokes just appeared out of the bush chatting to each other like it was the most normal thing in the world. This was way back, before we started having visitors to the place.

Roley, a little Border Collie that we had was pulled out of his kennel and pulled right out of his collar and mauled by a wild dog one night. He survived.

When I first came to live out here we had a diesel generator and it was not uncommon on winter mornings for the diesel to freeze in the tank and so we could not start the generator til about lunchtime. This was when we learned that you could actually buy a winter mix and a summer mix of diesel!

Another interesting thing – there used to be all these flagons filled with water lying around under bushes all over the place.  Everywhere! I learned these were strategically placed to quench the thirst of the musterers who rode horses back then and could not carry much water with them. Someone had to drink all that Muscat in the first place though! No wonder they wanted a drink of water the next day!

And lastly, not long after we were married Greg had to go to town one day for something. There he was in his old holey, filthy, sweat stained Akubra, torn T Shirt, short stubbie shorts, hairy legs and Redwing boots halfway to his knees asking if I would like to go to town with him. Oh and a 3 day growth on his face.  I was horrified!  He looked dreadful and there was no way I was going anywhere with him looking like that. I had been a city girl you see!