Archives

21 A Birds’ Eye View

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Lake Maraboon, Emerald

The sweet blossoms of a gum tree provide a tasty feast for a pair of rainbow lorikeets.

They’re so engrossed in feeding our presence doesn’t bother them.

From their perch high up in the tree, they have a great view of Lake Maraboon and Fairbairn Dam.

17 Ready for Night

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Hoods Lagoon, Clermont

As night falls, birds begin roosting in the trees around Hoods Lagoon.

sulphur crested cockatoos

kookaburra

Australasian darter

11 Watching and Waiting

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Broken River, Eungella National Park

We’re hoping to see a platypus at Broken River, but there’s no guarantee. The man beside us has been to the viewing platform every afternoon for a week with no success.

Late in the afternoon a small group of people has gathered on the tree-lined riverbank. The setting sun casts deep shadows over the water; the conditions are perfect for platypus spotting. All we need is a co-operative platypus.

A saw-shelled turtle rests on a submerged log while several others coast along with the current. More than once we mistake a submerged turtle for a platypus.

We all heed this advice – waiting quietly, talking in whispers and watching for tell-tale signs.

Suddenly we do see ripples and bubbles and there is a platypus.

As quickly as he surfaces he turns and dives again, disappearing into the murky water. But he’s in a playful mood and reappears time and time again.

We stand for a long time watching the platypus as he searches for his afternoon meal. It’s such a privilege to see this elusive animal in the wild.

We feel elated, but we’re not as excited as the man who’s been waiting all week. He’s ecstatic!

10 A Flash of Yellow

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Broken River, Eungella National Park

As we wander along the boardwalk at Broken River, a flash of yellow in the trees up ahead catches our attention.

It’s an Eastern Yellow Robin. At first it’s shy and hides in the foliage.

We stop and wait quietly until the robin comes closer.

Eventually it’s brave enough to fly down to the path and our patience is rewarded when it’s joined by a friend. They hop along the boards in front of us before flying away into the trees once more.

7 Life Support

I’m joining Becky in her July Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B.  The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word tree. Look for #treesquare. Come with me on a Central Queensland road trip starring trees and the beautiful landscapes of my home state.

Finch Hatton Gorge

Rawson’s Creek tumbles down from the mountains surrounding Finch Hatton Gorge, rushing over volcanic boulders on its way to the valley. While the water sustains life in the subtropical rainforest, trees also provide sustenance for other plants and animals.

Giant strangler figs with massive buttress root systems shelter new saplings from the blazing midday sun. Vines use tall straight tree trunks for support.

Insects thrive in the foliage. Some are easily seen, while others leave evidence of their activities.

Even fallen trees give life, as other plants and animals feed on their decaying trunks.

This stump is all that remains of a long gone tree but, with its cloak of thick green moss, it’s a thing of beauty.

27 After Dark

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

Postcards from America

Evening was already closing in by the time we arrived at San Francisco’s Pier 39.

At the end of the pier, the sculpture Open Heart mirrored the luminous colours of the sunset. 

Even though it was almost night, we could still see the California sea lions who live around the West Marina. They had already gathered on the docks, their glossy pelts shining in the fading light.

The sky darkened and the sea lions began to settle but we were reluctant to leave and stood watching until they were no longer visible.

By the time we were ready to move on the sky was dark. The pier wasn’t dark though, with 1,800 glowing LED lights illuminating the San Francisco Carousel. 

After starting with beautiful artwork, our evening ended the same way. Across the water more LEDs, an installation of 25,000 called The Bay Lights, lit up the Bay Bridge, all the way from San Francisco to Oakland. 

22 Squirrels in the Garden!

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

Postcards from America

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the Japanese Tea Garden – and happy to pose for photos! 

6 Shhh! Don’t Wake the Babies!

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

We were up bright and early to see this raft of sea otters in Morro Bay Harbor.

The mothers and babies were gathered together in the sheltered waterway, seemingly oblivious to the spectators on the dock. Sea otters have no blubber and rely on their thick fur to stay warm. It may have been a cool and cloudy morning, but they floated serenely on their backs like sunbathers, hoping to soak up any heat from the sun. 

2 Where Monarchs Gather

As part of Becky’s April Bright Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B, I’ve opened the archives to January 2020 to share our 19 day trip to USA. Join me on a pictorial travelogue of the best and brightest of our pre-pandemic adventures in California and Nevada! The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word bright. Look for #brightsquare.

From November to February, thousands of orange Monarch butterflies gather in a sheltered grove at Pismo Beach on the Central California coast. They’ve travelled up to 2,000 miles, from as far north as Canada, to see out the winter.

We watched for ages as the brightly coloured butterflies clustered in the tall eucalypts and Monterey cypress trees, only leaving to feed on nectar from nearby flowering plants. 

Where There is Water

Camping at Carnarvon Gorge, October 2020

The main track at Carnarvon Gorge is 9.7 kilometres one way. With several sets of steps, many creek crossings and some gradual inclines, the track is classed as Grade 3/4 and is suitable for bushwalkers with some experience. Nine side tracks off the main track lead to the scenic wonders of the gorge. The walk to the Moss Garden begins 2.8 kilometres from the Visitor Centre.

Its location in central Queensland means Carnarvon Gorge is surrounded by a landscape often severely affected by drought. Inside the gorge, where water is abundant, it’s a different matter. And where there is water there is life, especially in the Moss Garden.

Hidden away in the depths of Violet Gorge, the Moss Garden is reached by a 650 metre walking track off the main track.

Like all the walks in Carnarvon Gorge, there are creek crossings and steps to negotiate. The bright green foliage of fan palms and tree ferns spreads out on either side of the track – it’s noticeably cooler in the shade.

Further into the gorge the open forest is replaced by remnant rainforest. Lianas loop from tree to tree and the roots of strangler figs take hold wherever they can. 

The track rises steeply away from the creek and the gorge narrows until the sandstone walls on either side almost touch. 

A boardwalk replaces the sandy path for the last few metres. Even though the sound of running water is ever present in most of the park, here it dominates. Water tumbles over a small waterfall, filling a round pool before flowing away down the creek. More water drips constantly from the sandstone walls of the canyon. It comes from a natural spring high above and filters through the sandstone. 

The permanent supply of slowly filtered water supports a micro climate of mosses and ferns which cover the stone like a thick green carpet. 

Dozens of dragonflies add jewel colours to the green of the Moss Garden. They skim across the surface of the waterhole and up over the mossy rocks, stopping for just a few seconds before taking off again. 

Where there is water, there’s always life. 

Joining Jo for Monday Walks