492. Sunday 15th May 2016. A quiet week coupled with a parking fine and Animals round off the week…

Sunday 15th May

It has been a quiet week for us. Not boring but we have been busy with medical and dental appointments. We did not visit new locations.

For example on Monday our friend Graham helped us put up awnings on two back bedroom windows and the back door. Graham scored the awning parts from a neighbour. We took them apart and painted all the metal. Graham also scored some near new awning canvas which were all slightly wider but Donnis cut and sewed them to size while Graham and I started on fixing the frames etc to the walls.

On Tuesday I saw the dentist who put in a temporary filling and booked me in for a crown to be fitted. Meanwhile Donnis and Graham finished the awnings. While at the dentist I got a $117 fine for parking illegally.

Sob!

On Wednesday I got the results of my little op last week. It is a cancer – squamous carcinoma – the doc offered to cut it all out right there right then. It will be just a couple of sutures he said. Well okey dokey let’s do it. A few minutes later I can feel blood running down my face and filling my ear. Afterwards I looked in the mirror and found not a couple of sutures…there are six. It must have been a big cancer. He sent the stuff he cut out to the lab to check that he got it all.

Sooo…

Instead of visiting somewhere new I think it is time we caught up with a few photos which have not been shown on the blog before. This week we will look at animals.

First up let’s look at a Polar Bear. Naturally we did not see this guy in the wild as they live in the Artic circle and even the Inuit Indians do not see them on a daily basis. We saw this fellow at Sea World on the Gold Coast. Nice and cuddly, friendly looking as he appears, make no mistake you would not last more than a minute in a cage with him. This bear lives in a large rocky enclosure with glass walls around his pools and viewing platforms above the entire enclosure. He has lots of toys and I was fascinated by his antics. He still had food left over from his previous feeding so he stuffed whatever it was in a crevice in the rocks below the waterline. Every so often he would stop what he was doing and go back to see the food was still where he put it.

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Polar Bear at Sea World Gold Coast, Qld.

If you ever get a chance to visit Sea World I can recommend it. I found the animals more interesting than the rides.

I found this delightful butterfly on a bush in a small garden created by a local aboriginal group. The garden contained lots of native plants found in the area as well as some samples of native craft. The garden is located in the small but amazingly civic minded town of Morven, Queensland on the Warrego Highway midway between Mitchell and Charleville, about 700 Klms west of Brisbane. Morven has several public gardens with most plants identified. The visiting butterfly was obviously not identified. I still cannot identify it. Morven has a free overnight campsite right in town beside the highway. Longer stays at the football field costs a gold coin donation. Power, hot showers and toilets included.

032 butterfly found in aboriginal nature walk
Unknown butterfly, Morven, Qld.

The Australian Ring Necked Parrot inhabits dry desert regions. We found this parrot in the dry scrub country near the gemfields of Lightning Ridge. We have been to The Ridge several times and always enjoyed the visit. In fact Donnis worked here for three months a couple of years ago. Finding this parrot was during our first visit and the Subaru Imprezza was put to good use driving through all the back roads and tracks leading to disused mine shafts. It was on one of these back roads we found the parrot.

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Australian Ring Neck Parrot, Lightning Ridge.

Once again we were discovering back road out back of Bourke, NSW. There is an Aussie say when a place is a long way from anywhere we say it is “out the  back of Bourke”. In this case we were way out back on one of those red sand tracks and beginning to feel lost. We had not seen another car for two hours. This emu, like all emu’s know how to blend in with their surroundings.  After another half hour battling deeper and deeper sand tracks we found a sign, pointing to Bourke but no indication of how far away it was. We saw lots of Emu that day, some even running along the track beside us but by then all we wanted to see was a sealed road and sign to take us back to Bourke.

034 emu
Emu, Back of Bourke, NSW.

Just about anywhere on lonely coastal stretches in Queensland you can see the Brahminy Kite. They just seem to drift along in air currents, not using much effort at all. They are a big bird and mainly live on fish but will take other small animals as well. This specimen was sighted at a boat ramp at Bucasia on the Eimeo Creek Qld.

035 brahminy kite in casuarina tree
Brahminy Kite Eimeo Creek Bucasia Beach, Qld.

These Oyster Catchers can be seen just about anywhere along the coast of Qld, NSW and Victoria. They feed in the mud flats and sandbars at low tide. Oyster Catchers seems like a strange name as oyster would not be that hard to catch as they do not move once they cement themselves to rocks or tree branches or whatever. The birds are very shy and move away from humans quickly. This specimen was seen at remote Moore Park Beach about midway between Bundaberg and the town of 1770.

036 furtive and nervous oyster catcher
Oyster Catcher Moore Park Beach, Qld.

You can find Welcome Swallows just about anywhere. They spend most of their daytime life on the wing. Flying around looking for food…flies, moths, butterflies etc. They usually like to nest somewhere near water so they can collect mud to make their nests – often under houses, eaves or in open horse sheds up under the rafters. They rarely hold still  long enough to be the subject of a photo. We saw this pair, in October 2011 on a fencing wire at Finch Hatton, a small rural town about 60 Klms west of Mackay.

037 welcome swallow
Welcome Swallows Finch Hatton. Qld.

In May 2009 we were camped in our Toyota Coaster Motorhome at a free campsite at Moulting Lagoon on Coles Bay at Freycinet Bay, Tasmania. One evening we heard lots of loud honking across the bay. In the morning we were surprised to see hundreds of Black Swan had arrived overnight. These large birds feed on vegetation and it was a pleasure to see them bob for grass or weeds under the water, their bums stuck up in the air.

038 black swan
Black Swans Moulting Lagoon, Coles Bay, Freycinet Peninsular,Tasmania.

We were walking along a bush track in the Springwood National Park in the Great Dividing Range just a few Klms west of the Gold Coast. Some people just ahead of us let out a squeal and all jumped to one side of the track and clustered themselves together. (German ladies backpacking Australia) They were frightened by a black snake. Black snakes are deadly but being the silly inquisitive person I am, stepped forward for a closer look at this fatter than usual black snake. To my relief it was a large black skink quite plentiful in this park and not really afraid of squealing tourists who were so scared they wanted to turn back. They live on fungi, fallen fruits, invertebrates and are also known as a Land Mullet.

039 black skink
Black Skink at Springwood National Park, Gold Coast Qld.

Finally one of everyone’s favourite birds, the Pelican.

A funny bird the Pelican

His beak holds more than his belly can.

This group waddled around on a little beach beside a fishing boat ramp. The local fishermen clean and fillet their catch here and feed the scraps to these well fed guys at Metung Beach, Lakes Entrance, Victoria. We were driving our Toyota Coaster Motorhome on our slow way back to Airlie Beach from Tasmania in May 2009 when we stopped here for lunch.

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Pelicans at Lakes Entrance, Vic.
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