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1) A river system somewhere in Western Australia (from an aeroplane, so I’m not sure where exactly). I love the intricate network of filaments.
2) Wildflowers from various National Parks. They can be stunning sometimes.
3) Sundew – a sticky carnivorous plant. About one inch in diameter.
4) A cheetah from Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo. It has very orange eyes.
5) Snow leopard from Billabong Wildlife Park, Port Macquarie; lion from Mogo Zoo; tiger from a Sunshine Coast zoo; lioness from Westerrn Plains Zoo. It was cool seeing an active snow leopard, since the one at Taronga Zoo is always sleeping.
6) Cassowary from a zoo in Cairns (video of another cassowary); bats in Centennial Park, Sydney; a wandering peacock at Hunter Valley Zoo, Cessnock. The bats are very noisy.
7) Feeding a king parrot, rainbow lorikeet, gang gang cockatoo and a pair of rosellas. Gang gangs make a very cute sound.
8) A mangrove crab on the Governor Phillip walk, Sydney; patterns made by crabs near Cairns; some crabs on the bank of Mooney Mooney creek. It was very cool getting so close to the first crab.
9) Crocodile at Toronga Zoo; dugong eating lettuce at Sydney Aquarium (video); cuttlefish in a tank at the Australian Museum; another crocodile at Billabong Wildlife Park. I have a soft spot for cuttlefish after meeting this one – they seem very intelligent, even though they only live for two years.
10) Various bugs encountered while bushwalking around Sydney. The middle one is a leaf insect; it has leaf-like veins along its body.
11) Cicada near Mooney Mooney Creek; well-camouflaged cricket at the end of McDirtys track, Dangar Falls; hungry caterpillar eating geraniums on a balcony; grasshopper in a Brisbane garden. Large groups of cicadas can be deafening – I tried recording some on my phone once, and it maxed out the input levels.
12) A baby elephant (Luk Chi) and some zebras at Taronga Zoo, a young giraffe at a zoo on the Sunshine Coast and a cheetah at Western Plains Zoo. I’m not sure what the cheetah is thinking.
13) Tree kangaroo at Taronga Zoo (video of another one); a tiger cooling off at Symbio Zoo (video); a tiger and cub playing at the National Zoo; a snow leopard at Billabong Wildlife Park. At one point the mother tiger kind of sat on the cub, but it escaped again after a while.
14) A small cave near Pindar Cave, Brisbane Water National Park (top left and bottom right); rocks at Bungonia National Park (top right x 2); a cave near Mackerel Beach, Ku-ring-gai Chase NP (bottom left). There’s something I love about that first cave; it’s “unspoiled,” I guess.
15) Rock formations in the Jenolan Caves. I have no idea how the first one was formed; it looks like a walled city.
16) Bees collecting pollen. The bottom middle photo is of a hive inside a log. The smell of wild honey was beautiful.
17) A butterfly at Wild Life Sydney Zoo; a wary ant on a bush track; a beetle on a rock at Crosslands Reserve; an interesting moth; a similar beetle near Mount Wondabyne, Brisbane Water NP. Apparently I was bitten on the toe by a bull ant when I was little, but I don’t remember it.
18) A water dragon in Berowra Valley National Park; lace monitor at Featherdale Wildlife Park; copper tailed skink and other lizards around Sydney. A curious skink once watched me for a while, then slowly approached me and stood on my foot. Obviously not afraid of humans!
19) More lizards from around Sydney. The bottom two and the middle left are water dragons. Top right is a lace monitor (a type of goanna) climbing an angophora. Sharp claws!
20) The left two are diamond pythons (the top one tried to bite me , but they are not poisonous). The python at the top right is just yawning (National Zoo, Canberra). Bottom right is a red-bellied black snake, behind glass at Taronga Zoo (I’ve seen some in the wild, but they always run away).
21) All but the top right photo are of the same frog, in a church yard in England. The top right frog is from the garden – it had been raining hard, and he was hopping around near the fence. They really are slimy.
22) Various waterfalls: Berowra Valley near Hornsby; the Cascades, New England National Park (top right and bottom left); America Bay track in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. New England National Park is a spectacular place – though the Cascades track can be very slippery.
23) A waterfall in Kanagra-Boyd National Park; Flaggy Creek Gorge, Victoria; a crossing near Fishponds, Berowra Valley; the top of a waterfall in Mooney Mooney Creek. Looking down from a waterfall is always fun.
24) Koalas at the Australian Reptile Park (video), a reasonably friendly kangaroo in the Snowy Mountains, a super-friendly wombat at Hunter Valley Zoo and a member of an emu farm.
25) Kangaroo with a joey at Featherdale Wildlife Park, a wild rock wallaby at Dangar Falls, an echidna crossing a bush track in Murramarang National Park and a tasmanian devil at Hunter Valley Zoo. The echidna kept stopping to listen and smell the air (video).
26) Donkey Mountain in the Gardens of Stone National Park, the Breadknife and Mount Exmouth in Warrumbungle NP, and a pagoda in Dunns Swamp, Wollemi NP. The one kilometre walk to the top of Donkey Mountain took over an hour (no track and loose rocks), but the final view was amazing.
27) Galston Gorge, Berowara Valley NP; New England NP; by the road in the Snowy Mountains; the track to Flaggy Creek Gorge, Victoria. I love natural places with no sign of civilisation (though I would miss civilisation if I couldn’t return to it afterwards).
28) Deep Creek, Garigal National Park; Emerald Pool, Popran NP; mangroves along the Magazine Track near Bantry Bay; mangroves near Killara, Sydney. I don’t tend to swim in rivers and pools, but Emerald Pool looks tempting!
29) The Bungaroo Track near St Ives, Sydney; Flaggy Creek Gorge, Victoria; a river in Cairns; Calna Creek, Berowra Valley NP. Flaggy Creek was a wonderful discovery, but it is a hard walk getting there.
30) A sea turtle at Green Island (near Cairns) and some coral. It was such a thrill getting to see that turtle; here is a video of it surfacing for air and diving again.
31) Beach photos, including a jellyfish (and some limpets? Not sure if that is what they are called).
32) Yabbies. The first one walked backwards waving its claw until it fell in the creek. The top right one was in the Blue Mountains, the bottom left one was at Taronga Zoo and the other two were in Berowra Valley NP. Here’s a video of one walking along underwater.
33) Rippling water ... The bottom right photo is from Maianbar, a beautiful place to wade in the shallows.
34) Sunsets; I love the different colours. Bottom left is on the Lyrebird Track, near Roseville Bridge.
35) Some more sky pictures. The left photo was a couple of minutes before a hail storm in Roseville. The middle right one was a sunrise at New England National Park, overlooking the valley. Obviously I have a thing for sunsets (and sunrises, if I am awake).
36) Top left is a golden lion tamarin at Mogo Zoo; bottom left is a cotton-top tamarin from Symbio Zoo. The ones on the right are pygmy marmosets from Mogo Zoo and the National Zoo in Canberra (video). One of my favourite monkeys / apes are Siamangs, but I have no good photos of them.
37) A red panda relaxing at Billabong Wildlife Park; a possum (outside the cage) at Taronga Zoo; a surprising creature on the Riverside Walk near Roseville; and a red panda at Taronga Zoo.
38) Some bush plants. The bottom middle one is a scribbly gum. Lots of Australian plants protect themselves with spikes like the top right one; it also has long leaves with sharp edges (“razor grass”).
39) Australian wildflowers. Top right is a banksia; middle left is a waratah. Not many Australian flowers have strong scents, but banksias can smell a bit like honey, and wattle can be nice too. After rain there is a lovely combination of scents in the bush, though.
40) Some fungi. I don’t have a taste for mushrooms, but they look interesting.
41) There are so many different types of fungi. I think the middle left one looks like a loaf of bread.
42) A bird that let me get very close in New England National Park, a kite from Feathdale Wildlife Park, an eagle from Symbio Zoo and a cormorant on Broulee Island. While I was in the Warrumbungles, a pair of eagles came and hovered near me for a while, but my camera died! I’m still grateful for the experience, though.
43) Owls from a sanctuary in England, plus a tawny frogmouth from Featherdale Wildlife Park on the bottom left. I have memories of tawny frogmouths from my childhood; they can look just like a tree branch sometimes.
44) Pink and purple sunsets.
45) Golden sunsets.
46) Ducklings at Macquarie University (where I worked for a while), a relaxed meerkat and some otters at the National Zoo in Canberra, plus an English badger. We watched the badgers from inside a “hide” with a glass wall.
47) English animals: wild ponies (horses?), a miniature goat, a duckling and an Exmoor slug. We don’t have black slugs in Australia, just spotty black-and-grey leopard slugs.
48) Various creepy crawlies. The top middle photo is a praying mantis; top right is a jumping spider; bottom middle is a millipede. Spiders freak me out a little bit, but if I find a hunstman (a big hairy spider) inside the house I’ll still catch it and throw it outside rather than killing it.
49) Dragonflies. Their wings are very detailed, and they come in lots of colours.
50) Purple and orange makes an awesome sunset. Sunsets make me stand and stare for a while.
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