Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ze Outback

Update: Some more pics, including the painted dragon.

We headed out on Friday afternoon to the great Outback. It became night and the frogs came out as we drove down the dusty highways and gravel roads.
A barn owl swooped down in front of the car, and we chased it down the dirt road. It paced us for a few hundred metres, and came to rest in a willow. We were terribly lost, but managed to find a pullout to camp on. It was a nice night; we didn't put on our rain flies.
We awoke in a land of many parrots, and fake desert watermelons.

Typical roads in western New South Wales.

This is the most immaculate nest I've ever seen.
The rain created impromptu lakes for the Blue Bonnets to drink from and bathe in.

We got all genius and flipped over some corrugated tin to find a cool Gecko and a painted dragon (update coming - not on my camera).
Australia even has Rainbow Roaches!

Stalking the giant Emu, I found millions of meteorites! Others were not so interested in my modest little stones. I suppose after all every spec on earth was at one time a meteorite.
It rained hard that night. So... we played word games in the car. The next morning the car didn't start, with the engine immobilizer going off (loud alarm). I started cutting wires and stuff, in a panic. The previous day we had been stalking birds in the bush when we heard something, and surrounded it. It turned out to be two guys who were also stalking birds. Andrew made instant friends by rattling off a few bird names, and we passed on.
And our cell phones were out of range. I got through to emergency once but I hesitated when they said "Police, Ambulance or Fire?" and the computer hung up on me for not saying anything. We were about 5km from the road, and our food supplies were running out. We could have held out for a couple days max. Andrew decided to walk out to the road. Anthousa, Karin and I stayed behind. We were hopeful. I kept trying to fix the car, but every time I would try something new the alarm would go off again, which was really fucking distressing.
Anyways Andrew showed up about 1/2 hour later riding on the hood of the two guys we were stalking in the bush. They gave us a jump and we were off. That's all it took.
The Shingleback! Necrotising bacterial bite.
We found some wild Emu among a flock of sheep by the side of the road.
Kangaroos hopped away single-file back into the dry bushlands.

Then we found some domestic Emus, which were much less regal than the wild ones we saw so far away.

As the trip came to an end, we decided to get a little trailer in a campground instead of staying out again. It was well worth the sleep, and it was getting really cold out at night. We meandered home through the sandstone foothills of the Great Dividing Range and got home safe and sound, just by sundown.

Work has been good, and I'm coming home in June for a bridge conference expo. I'll be home for my birthday this year - I'll have a "party" this year.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tuesdays Off

We got a new camera for land pictures. Its got a 20x optical zoom, which is pretty sweet for just about anything. We arrived home a day early from the Snowies (don't ask...) and so we just had a nice day about town. We went to Centennial Park and tested it out.

Wow this is easy.

Flower shots!

Bird shots! Some people see the world in black and white.

The flying foxes are raucous. Karin coined the term "bat rape," which describes the general noise of the colonies well. Also, these black cockatoos are so big we call them "hawkatoos."

A mouse chewed a chunk out of our mouse. We found it in the soil bag on the porch. I hate to say it, but my first instinct was just to stomp it out. It was cute, we compromised, and I carried the bag away and let it go in the golf course. I really would have regretted killing it. Even though it is invasive.

I got in for an arvo (afternoon) dive at La Perouse; it was dark and cloudy above and below.

Although grainy, this image captures the colour of the reef at the outer tip of Bare Island well. It just looks fun, doesn't it?