Margaret Hodge

I was amazed by a close-up view of a kangaroo going through his yoga sequence on a moonlit terrace.

Late one night, snuggled indoors against the frosty air, I was watching the stars wheel across a crispy clear sky. A beautiful full moon cast light and shadows across the garden. The only sound was frogs calling.

This young man roo is a frequent visitor. (Photo: Margaret Hodge)

A dark shape appeared close in my periphery. Just outside the window on the terrace crouched a man roo. He was familiar, his fur darker than the other local kangaroos. He has visited our place sometimes over the past couple of years, we’ve seen him grow big and strong, solo so far.

A few days earlier I had seen him from the kitchen window in the bright afternoon sunshine. He checked out the cold barbeque, looked, sniffed, stood over it as if about to raise the lid and flip a snag! Then he moved closer to me and had a good look at the pot plants below the window. He stood up. His head was about a metre from me but we were separated by the glass and I was obscured in relative darkness. His eyelashes were golden in sunshine. I reached for my phone for a pic, but he moved away before I could capture him. After grazing on the lawn for a while he went on his way.

In the moonlight, he faced the full-length window, maybe seeing his reflection close in the darkened window glass.

He crouched for a while as if preparing for Bakasana or crow pose: feet flat, knees either side of his trunk, front paws on the paving, his nose almost touching the glass. Then he smoothly stood to his full height, heels on the ground, front limbs down, eyes looking towards the top window frame: Tadasana, the mountain. Breathed out, stood a moment.

“Look,” I said quietly. “A man roo is visiting close to the window.”

The roo bowed forward into Bakasana preparation, paused for a few breaths then stood again into Tadasana, filling the window.

“Oh!” from Tim. “He’s taller than me!” Yes.

Bakasana preparation again, it was so like yoga!

Next, he went up through Tadasana to hold a pose that I have never before encountered. It was a standing pose that was part back-bend. Standing taller than before, his chin up, gaze towards the roof above him, trunk angled strongly back with his heels off the ground, toes barely touching the floor, balanced on his tail. I had seen fighting roos do this movement for a split second before kicking out with their feet. I was glad he didn’t kick out and break the window.

Instead, he held the pose for a few breaths, stretching his spine and keeping his balance. A fighting roo asana! He then curled forward again into Bakasana preparation. And repeated four more times: up through Tadasana into Fightingrooasana, held still for a few big breaths, nose nearly touching the roof, calm. Then forward into Bakasana preparation to rest.

He finished with a longer rest time. After a glance each side, he moved slowly and silently across the terrace out into the moonlit garden.


Margaret Hodge is a Daylesford resident and keen observer of nature.