Every day at White Stone Farm there is something new to discover. Whether it’s an old garden bed, complete with fruit trees buried under monstrous weeds and years of neglect, or a new type of raptor soaring overhead, or a new animal that shares the property with us, there is always a little surprise and a daily discovery.
On this day it was the latter, a bundle of fluff in the garden. One with a nocturnal nature, that you don’t often get to see and likely I would never have realised that we share our home and land with such a delicate creature.
The Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps), a gorgeous little marsupial closely related to the possum family. Except that this little guy can glide – up to 60 metres! With a membrane of skin and fur stretching from wrist to ankle (known as the patagium), this 120gm marsupial can glide from tree to tree. In an open, scattered Red Gum woodland that constitutes half of White Stone Farm, this would indeed be helpful to get around and stay off the ground where cats and foxes might be lurking.
Now that we know they are here, we can take steps to plant the foods that Sugar Gliders like – Acacia trees, flowering Eucalypts, nectar and heavy pollen producing shrubs. With a high demand for hollows in our ancient Red Gum trees, we’ll also put up some nest boxes to assist the crowded housing situation. A cosy home for our new cute friends.
In return these little guys will eat insects, pollinate flowers and play an important part in the nocturnal ecosystem. And most of all, provide us with entertainment – if we manage to catch a glimpse of them gliding through the air here at White Stone Farm!