Sun Orchids & Black Cockatoo

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This is a Scented Sun Orchid.  We found many in the woods today.

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.12.32 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.12.24 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.12.08 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.11.53 PM I’m not really sure how to identify this species… no idea what it is.  Do you know?

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Going through all my photos and came across this one… From a trip we had last year down south in Margaret River.

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This is a “Bee fly” which I actually mistook for a hummingbird at first!  Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.13.52 PM

This is Mike’s photo!  I just love the colours and the cool calming effect it gives.

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.14.04 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.14.19 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.14.30 PM The shaded side of the road (left) was where we found the large number of sun orchids.

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.14.43 PM  Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.15.05 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.15.12 PM This little one is the “Shy Sun Orchid”  It was much smaller than the other specimen…but had a lovely pale pink hue.Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.15.21 PM

Horrors of all horror.  We saw this wasp find this massive (4 inch) spider in the bark of a tree.  It paralysed it, waited for it to fall down and then drug it by it’s face across many feet to it’s den (hopefully!).  I was horrified that a spider that big was just in the crack of the tree we were sitting next to.  One minute he was on top of his game, and the next….being drug to a horrible fate.Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.15.27 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.15.40 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.15.50 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.15.58 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 7.16.05 PM

This morning we got up really early, and drove into the Perth hills for a bit of a wander.  Mike suggested we try looking at the place we went to a few weeks ago to see if there were anymore orchids.  There were so many out today!  They were small dainty, large and vibrant.  Some were as tall as my waist…

Oddly they pop up in clusters at random, and then are sparse for miles.  They really are extraordinary.

Mike hands down took the best shot today, I really enjoyed watching him take images and helping search out some new flowers for him to take photos of.  It was so nice to see him getting excited and interested about the flowers too.

On the drive back we both exclaimed we weren’t ready to head to the city when we noticed a conservation sign.  It was for black cockatoo particularly.  We swiftly stopped in, and signed up for the next tour.  We found out quickly that this place only opens at random several times a year and we were lucky to have gotten in!  The birds…were beautiful.  They breed and release them in large numbers in the surrounding region.  It was a relief to see Carnaby, Red Tailed black cockatoo and white tails all being well looked after.

Unfortunately, but fortunately for us we were able to experience a few of the tame birds up close…they would fly down on us at random and perch on our shoulders awaiting an almond treat.  We were advised to take our earrings out, and take our rings off…as they can be very cheeky and will crush your jewellery rather easily.

Seeing the colours and their eyes up close was quite thrilling.

Such a good time.

Note – Today I started archiving some photos…and my computer said it needed to update my image library  of 130k images. I gasped in horror when I saw the figure.  In 2.5 years I’ve amassed a ridiculous number of photos.  Redonculous!


Tiny Beeeautiful

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After work this evening, I walked over to Queens Gardens and took some photos.  I was on the look out for jumping spiders, but sadly did not spot any.  I did manage to spot some other beautiful details.  Pollen, and the colour pigmentation of  the flowers has been of interest lately, and even though these plants are not native to Australia, I throughly enjoyed all the brilliant colours and textures.

It’s not every day you get saved by a monk…

Today Mike, his cousin Matt and I went for a drive into the hills to see what flowers and…mushrooms we could find.  We found loads of flowers and common mushrooms… Only one of us wasn’t happy with the lack of mushrooms on the forest floor.  In one last ditched effort we found a dirt track and took the step path downward toward a more shaded spot in the woods…

Sadly this resulted in getting our vehicle stuck (it’s a 4×4) so it should have handled the steepness but didn’t.  1.5 hours later…

I was flipping rocks as was Matt (to wedge under our tires) when Matt found this monster of a wolf spider.

A single man, dressed in an orange outfit came walking up and asked if we needed help.  We knew he was a monk, as we’d driven past a monastery near the dirt track.  (Note there is also a prison farm in the area!).

He said he could get a tractor and help get us out.  And by golly he did!

There were a few orchids out today, and some daintier flower varieties as well.  I was glad to join the “search” though my reasons were not for spotting mushrooms, however I did use them as an excuse to stop the car a few times ahahaha….

floating blobs of pink.

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What a beautiful bird…Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 11.27.13 AM

I take that previous statement back!!!

From top to bottom:  Spotted Jellyfish, Grey Kangaroo, Australian Raven, Darter, Straw-necked Ibis (Juvenile).

I took my camera to Heirisson Island this morning just before it started to rain.  I was hoping to catch the kangaroo in the soft glow of sunrise, and found myself photographing all sorts of creatures.  I crouched in the water and rain for an hour with majorly aching hips to get a decent photo of some pink jellyfish, and learned a few lessons about lighting underwater (utilising only the sun here).  I did wonder if having dozens of little floaters touching me was safe… luckily if any got too near I wafted them away with the end of my camera.

Well, I’m pretty cold now from being out in the rain all morning, so I’m putting on David Attenborough’s “Life in the Undergrowth” and cuddling up with a blanket, while simultaneously mowing down some soup.

Sunday Sounds:

Riptide – Vance Joy

Garden City Movement – Terracotta

ZHU – Faded

Noosa – Clocktower

Flume – On Top Feat. T. Shirt

Rottnest Island; A quokka’s paradise!

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Found you!  They are absolutely terrible at hide and seek, and fortunately for the quokka; the island is free of predators!Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 6.41.47 PM

Fear not, we only fed them leaves.

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I’ve been dying to get myself, Mike and my camera over to a very special place; where tiny little marsupials frolic by the thousands (10,000 to be exact).

The Quokka

A marsupial the size of a hare or domestic cat.  The females suckle their young in a pouch. Quokkas congregate under dense shrubs for shelter, and are less active during the day. They give birth in late summer, after a gestation period of twenty-seven days, and the young quokka remains in the pouch until August or September, and is then suckled for a further two months. The quokka reaches maturity at about one-and-a-half to two years of age, and lives to be ten years old. – Rottnest Island 

This morning Mike and I began our journey to see the adorable quokka’s on Rottnest Island.  At 7:30am we caught a ferry from Hilary’s 20 mins North of Perth.  After about 50 minutes of lurching West into the Indian Ocean we arrived.  The waves were rolling the whole way, which sprayed “ocean” all over the windows.  Sometimes you’d think a fish or octopus might splat on the window, with the volume of buckets of water that were chucked at us.

We packed a lunch of fruit and mozzarella/basil/tomato ciabatta sandwiches, some left over pizza and bought some cookies/canoli (gourmet right?) to kill our sweet teeth too.

We hopped onto the bus that routinely circles the island, which eventually led us to discover a few other animals that inhabit the quokka filled space.  Along the way Mike went for a snorkel, and I spent a fair bit of time with the quokka and other wildlife capturing their subtleties with my ageing and slowly dying camera (I’ve had it 7 years, and it’s going to quit on me soon!).

New Zealand Fur Seal colony was on the far western side of the island.  Some were swimming and others completely basking in the warm sunlight of morning.

King Skink (looks a bit like a snake) is lazy, and could be spotted at a number of locations.  They are about a foot long.

Pied Oystercatcher – Was spotted looking for it’s next meal at a beach just near the ferry docks in town.

Silvereye (Grey Backed) – Crazy, silly, lighting quick, drunk on fruit little birds.  They were adorable and numbered about 50 in one tree which was ripe with fruit.  They knock off the fresh leaves which the quokka come and feast on.

Rottnest Island is beautiful, and relaxing.  If you get the chance, you should definitely see it for yourself.  We had an awesome day!