Australia

From Pineapples To Cuddling Koalas and Kangaroos..

Today started off with the decision that pineapples.. on a dress.. kinda rock.

20130218-162410.jpg But not being the overly girly type.. thoughts moved swiftly to packing a small lunch of boiled eggs, sticks of celery and nectarines and getting up to Caversham Wildlife Park early enough to dodge the inevitable tourists and kids!

20130218-162757.jpg Turns out that early o’clock is also breakfast o’clock for most if the animals… And coupled with it still being relatively cool (in Australia summer terms that is) the animals were all up and at em!

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20130218-235314.jpg …well kind of! These guys were still super dozy!

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20130219-090023.jpg The ostrich was a cheeky one.. And I wasn’t convinced that he wouldn’t try and peck us through the fence if we got too close! Have you ever seen an ostrich’s feet close up by the way? That is one big toe!

20130219-090310.jpg I like cows

20130219-090349.jpg .. And check out this lil guy.. Isn’t he adorable! His hair do is rather fantastic, he he!

20130219-090510.jpg Follow the paw prints to find…

20130219-090919.jpg Kangaroos! They were so tame and REALLY liked the food pellets!

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20130219-091317.jpg They liked the food so much they’d try and wrap their paws round your arm so you wouldn’t go away! There was a particularly cuddly little joey too.. Who was more like a little dog, who I wanted to put in my pocket and take home!

20130219-093318.jpg A huge orb spider later.. Spot of lunch and time to hit the road..

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20130219-093447.jpg Caversham Wildlife Park is fab.. Would totally recommend it to anyone visiting WA. It is set amongst the most stunning plants and trees and has well cared for.. Awesome birds and animals. The keepers are super friendly and informative too. My favourite animals? Not sure.. But the dingos, parrots, koalas (who are not bears, he he), kangaroos and wombats rate pretty high up there! I have more photos too.. But on my other camera.. I’ll get them sorted soon. Got an awesome shot of the wombat and a particularly chilled out bandicoot..

Time For A Cheeky Rascal!

20130216-192538.jpg So I was standing on the floating pontoon moored just off of Coogee Beach just keeping my balance and no more in the rough sea… Big toe gushing with blood and jellyfish stings whipped across both legs.. Not the most successful trip to the beach ever! All I had wanted was a little swim in the sea to finally kill my hangover (hangovers in 35 degree heat not so pleasing as it goes!).

So as we stood bouncing about in the sea we took note of just how many of these very stingy jellyfish there were floating about in the water, where we knew we were going to have to jump! They look so pretty and graceful too.. But boy do they hurt! Neither of us mentioned the blood pouring out of my toe but we both knew that the other was also contemplating just how many shark attacks there have been in recent months/ past year or so!

Plucking up the courage… And plotting a path (we hoped) amongst the pretty sting bombs we went for it and dived back in the warm, salty water! A faster swim to shore was never done before..

We stopped off on the way home for a small beverage.. Celebratory or to calm the wounds? Regardless… This passionfruit cider (with a healthy amount of ice) sure is hitting the spot!

And no.. There was no peeing on the jellyfish stings!! 😉

A Quokka Tried To Wipe Me Out!

20130213-104308.jpg Quokkas.. Cute little furballs that resemble something between a large mouse and chinchilla. Living on their paradise island of Rottnest they are bigged up to be easy going, laid back, dozy and tame. Keeping the masses entertained with their furry cuteness. Well people.. Don’t be fooled. They are actually sitting there in the shade of the Eucalyptus trees plotting your demise.

20130214-125657.jpg So yeah, here I was cycling around the island after a lovely little snorkel with some blue crabs and sting rays, just minding my own and enjoying the scenery, when this stealth Quokka, with moves of a dopey ninja, strolled out into the road right in front of me, looked at me as I tried to avoid it.. Bike tyres screeching.. And kept in my path! That crazy little critter, if it had thumbs and fingers, I swear (and I did a bit of that too) would have most certainly made some kind of rude gesture to me as he continued off back under the trees. Little Quokka….!!!!

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Just What Is It About Trees?

20130211-221416.jpg I just have this thing about trees. I don’t know what it is? I just find them fascinating, intriguing and inspirational.

20130211-221614.jpg Maybe it is their ever changing shapes? The twists and often impossible curves of their branches and trunks?

20130211-221752.jpg And from country to country.. Wow.. How do those shapes just keep getting wilder and more crazy? I love how nature can play with a concept such as a tree and create just so many.. So much.. So fabulous!

20130211-222036.jpg From short and stumpy to tall and gracious.. Green and lush to dry and burnt. They all have that ‘tree thing’.

20130211-222423.jpg If ever feeling a bit uninspired a good tree will always spark something, maybe a drawing? A photo? Or just a ponder? I often ponder about what might be living in the tree.. Birds? Insects? People in tree houses? Or in some moods I can imagine elves and pixies and fairies and other such creatures.. I think this comes from my love of Arthur Rackham’s illustrations (which also inspired many of my tattoos).

20130211-222910.jpg I chuckled the other day as I cycled beneath some trees stuffed full of white squabbling parrots/ gallahs settling down to roost for the night! The whole tree just came alive! Reminded me of some of Quentin Blake’s parrot drawings.. They make me smile too!

20130211-223250.jpg Anyway.. This little lot are a few of the weird and wonderful trees that I have encountered over the last few days, whilst exploring Australia.. I wonder what they will inspire?

20130211-223724.jpg Maybe some more drawings like this one, which has gone on to become the cover of a book..

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It’s Early And This Girl Can’t Sleep. So…

I decided to take off on my bike for an early morning cycle round the river.

20130210-113426.jpg The sun had already been up a while but hadn’t had the chance to crank the heat up yet.. Perfect timing for a wee cycle! It’s due to be about 40 degrees today (into the 100s) and delightfully scorchio!

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20130210-113829.jpg I headed to the shore first with some fruit and water I had packed and sat at the tumble down pier to have a bite to eat before my cycle run. Such an awesome way to start the day.

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20130210-114253.jpg I seriously love this place! So beautiful. I love that all the sunshine makes you want to leap out of bed, be outside and get involved.

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20130210-114534.jpg I am gonna be gutted when I have to go home again (not that I don’t love home, I do.. but right now it is just so terribly cold and February) So I plan to enjoy every second I am here!

What Is It About Cockroaches?

I have travelled through many countries, past many creatures, critters and bugs but nothing EVER prepares me for a roach! I was less phased by a Red Back Spider last year! We even went bull ant and snake hunting in the bush cos I was disappointed to have encountered none! But nothing touches these greasy looking.. Durty little.. Beefed up.. thunderbird-Esque.. I’ll just stride out in front of you from under the bed in which you were hoping to rest peacefully in.. Horrid big/little bugs!

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This dude.. Skilfully captured and off outside thank you very much!! *big shudder… Euch*!

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Hey there Mr and Mrs Cockroach… The door to our house is officially closed! *little extra involuntary shudder at the thought of any more invaders.. I swear they watch me when I sleep!*