Day: July 10, 2018

629. Sunday 8th July 2018. Wetlands, Kangaroos and night time photography…

Monday 2nd July

Our good friends from Port MacQuarie, Tony and Dawn, arrived today. They are towing their caravan and have just started what will be their epic round Australia voyage of adventure, discovery and self suffiency. We had a wonderful lunch where Tony and Dawn tried to persuade us to buy a motorhome  (again) and join them. While Donnis, on an emotional level, is ready to go, I on a logical level considered all the implications. I would love to continue our travels but several factors tell me NO!

We are staying home- unless of course we win the Lotto over the weekend.

Wednesday 4th July

Not much happening today but I am working on features on my Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ-200 camera. I have been inspired by the photographs on Facebook pages where I am a member. I belong to Australian Outback Photography, Australian Landscape Photography, Picture a Day and Amateur Photography Group. The last two groups are USA based. Digital cameras can take time lapse photos, particularly night time scenes. Tonight, when it was a bit cool I went to our own village park, on Biggera Creek, to experiment.

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High rise units at Lands End on Biggera Creek taken with just a 1/4 second exposure.

Using a tripod to reduce camera shake I took a simple night photo and several rapid fire photos as well as several rapid fire which the camera stitches together to form one composite photo. Finally I set the camera on Night Scene which takes an 8 second exposure. The difference in  results is astounding.

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Same photo with an 8 second exposure.

Thursday 5th July

This afternoon we visited Coomababah Lakeland Conservation Area. This is an area of more than 1200 hectares of wetland, eucalypt forest, salt marsh and mangrove habitat.  These are important coastal wetlands and migratory water bird habitat. The Conservation Area is home to 274 species of animals, with seven species listed as ‘vulnerable’ or ‘near threatened’, including the koala, powerful owl and grey-headed flying fox, along with 24 internationally protected migratory bird species. Of course there is a resident Kangaroo and Wallaby population and that is what we initially came to see.

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Just a small portion of the Kangaroos and Wallabies feeding on late afternoon grass. Groups like this are known as a “mob”.

This magical parcel of land is owned by Gold Coast City Council and is maintained by them although there are no facilities – no toilets, no water and no benches on which to sit and enjoy what is on offer. Mixed in with this natural conservation area is a private airfield, a waste water treatment plant, a bushland nursery, The Pound and an Op Shop. Strangely these do not detract from the conservation area as immediately you enter the trees none of those buildings can be seen. Small aircraft,

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A restored WWI Bi-Plane taxis on the private runway.

including helicopters take off and land all day and none of the birdlife or the Roos seem bothered by it.

We saw people, mostly Asian visitors, wandering amongst the Kangaroos.

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Mother and Joey
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Both can feed off the grass at the same time.

I will add a note of caution here. These are wild animals, used to humans to be sure but still wild animals. They are not tamed in any way and are unpredictable. There are some big buck roos protecting their territory and Does. Getting too close may trigger aggression. These big bucks and I do mean BIG are fighters. They have some very sharp claws in their hands and even bigger claws on their toes which they use in fights. Clearly, many visitors do not read the warning signs.

Today was only a short exploratory walk and we did not see any Koalas but they live high in the trees and sleep most of the day.

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The walk passes through several stands of paperbark (Melaleuca) They can stand wet swampy conditions and are home to a variety of land and marine based creatures. When they flower in Spring the aroma is quite strong. Sweet but pleasant. Bees and bats love the flowering and fruiting trees. I like them too as the bark is generally soft and pliable and has a skin -like “live” feel to it.

We wondered why having lived here three years, in fact almost four years, we did not know this gem existed only about 2 Klms from our home. A fellow driver during the Commonwealth Games told me about the area. Speaking with other locals it was clear many did not know it existed either. However overseas visitors seem to know about it.

Friday 6th July

Today we took friends Marilyn and Barry for a walk through the park. We saw two big bucks having a fight in the middle of the mob.

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Kangaroos shaping up for a fight over???
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They are slapping each other using their front paws.
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Notice this roo is using both front toes in the fight. His body is totally off the ground but supported by his huge tail. The Doe in the foreground appears heavily pregnant and could also be carrying a Joey.

This highlights why it ius not a good idea to approach too closely.

Unfortunately we started our walk a bit late believing we might reach Coombabah Lake and be able to take some sunset photos. We forgot the gates are closed at 6pm so abandoned the rest of the walk.

Saturday 7th July

While I played bowls after lunch Donnis rode the bicycle to Coomababah Lakeland Conservation Area and explored another of the many paths around the area.

We did not win the lotto tonight.


Sunday 8th July.

Can you believe we again went to Coombabah Lakeland today. This time we entered from the western entrance where the pound is located. Donnis loves dogs so we went to the pound. The dogs are well cared for and exercised regularly but their kennels are isolated from each other and are all concrete. It just seems a little stark and clinical but is also easy to clean. Dogs are a bit thoughtless with their bowel and urinary habits so the kennels need to be washed out each day.

Cats on the other hand do their business in litter bins. All nice and tidy and easy to clean. They also live in 5 star luxury hotel units with lots of toys and climbing posts and shelves high off the ground and nice carpets to lay around on. They also have time out garden villas shared with another feline also on holidays as well as private rooms for some time alone. Dogs bark and growl and jump around threateningly protecting what they think is theirs. Cats strut around their kingdom knowing their servants…humans…will protect their domain.

Overall we were impressed with the dedication shown by staff and care volunteers.

After dragging Donnis from the pound we went on the boardwalk through mangroves to a bird hide on Coombabah Lake. Today was not much good for birdlife and at low tide I expected to see lots of crabs. Today they were elsewhere.

WE then drove to the Eastern entrance and enjoyed the Kangaroo Trail again.

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This is a big buck. When stands up and leans back on his tail he is well over 2 metres tall. Enlarge the photo to see the huge centre toe on his foot. It is a dangerous weapon as are the sharp claws on his hands.

Tonight I drove behind the Gold Coast Art Gallery on the bank of the Nerang River to experiment with time exposure night scenes of Surfers Paradise.

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Surfers Paradise including Q1 Building and taken on an 8 second exposure.
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Q1 Building. 8 second exposure

I thought I had chosen the time well. There was no breeze, it is Sunday night so I did not expect any boats to stir up the water. I expected a perfect still water to reflect the lights as a mirror image. I forgot about the tide which sort of ruffled the mirror image a little. Nonetheless I am pleased with the result.

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Eight second time exposure of Surfers Paradise. Note the slight ruffling of the waters surface and detracting from what might have been a prefect mirror image.
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Same image but only a quarter second exposure.