The Yookeroo

I’ve been looking for something and you’re not about to find out what it is. For the sake of this blog and to not let the cat out of the hat so to speak, I’ll use a prescription from the good Doctor S and call this elusive something a yookeroo. The yookeroo doesn’t hide under rocks, it doesn’t bury itself in mud, nor does it slither through tall grass. People have lived with it in their backyard for years having never seen it; no one is even sure how many there are. What is certain is that upon photographing a yookeroo I will be more excited than Cindy Lou Who receiving three dozen roast beasts.

Yes, seeing a yookeroo will be exciting, however even more thrilling is the pursuit. What fun would it be if every time someone went looking for something they found what they were looking for right away? I’m not talking about the tiny choking hazard at the bottom of the Terry the tiger box – think big.  Imagine if ol’Chris Columbus found India instead of America as intended. What if the Bush administration went looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and actually found them?


It’s the journey that makes the destination. What’s encountered and endured along the way makes reaching the goal all the more fulfilling. One noteworthy encounter along the way is the trillium. Never heard of a trillium? It’s not another Doctor Seuss tonic. It’s somewhat of special flower, partly because it’s one of three plants protected by law in BC, and partly because it’s somewhat rare to find. Why protect a flower? Well the trillium takes close to fifteen years to blossom! There are two varieties in BC, the white flowering Trillium ovatum and the pink flowering Trillium hibbersonii – either of which would make a perfect snack for the mysterious yookeroo.


Another day and another interesting find, or at least three quarters of a find, a headless band-tailed pigeon (Patagioenas monilis). While travelling along the dusty gravel forest service road, what must have been an adult peregrine falcon took off from the side of the road and left it’s catch behind. To give credit where it’s due, these three quarter pigeon photos were taken by Papa Fish.

While scrambling up a ravine wall covered with chest high stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) and the always-perfect handhold, devil’s club (Oplopanax horridus), a male pacific tailed frog popped out. As males really have a ‘tail’, he provides a good comparison to last month’s photographed female. Alas, I was without the usual piece of white vinyl and had to improvise, so his portrait may look a tad different.



This pursuit to photograph a yookeroo has lead to an area I’ve never been before, an isolated wilderness shrinking by the month. This wilderness is by no means pristine, around every corner is another cleared swath of land littered with giant stumps and a few planted seedlings scattered throughout. Surprisingly there’s a chance that removing the forest canopy benefits the yookeroos. Without a canopy the sun-drenched undergrowth flourishes, providing a massive salad bar for the yookeroo.

Having successfully located a few yookeroo ‘homes’, the next the step is the Starsky and Hutch stake out. This isn’t going to be a donut munching all-nighter, instead it’s likely going to be silently, invisibly, and somehow odorously waiting patiently until the yookeroo decides to make an appearance.

– For the few of you who know the yookeroo’s true identity, try and hold it in.


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