Very few people would disagree with the idea that Meerkats are adorable. They are efficient little hunters of insects and spiders and very social creatures.
Whenever the Meerkats are digging about in search of food, one always keeps a watch-out for predators, whether snakes or other ground-dwelling threats, or eagles or hawks flying about looking for their meals.
When all the work is over, it’s time to chill out.
I think part of their appeal is the serious expression on their faces. At least, that how it looks to me. They could be laughing for all I know.
A couple of photos showing stages in a Komodo Dragon’s life:
The young dragon is a lean, quick predator. But as the lizards grow they become the biggest and heaviest in the world, and prey on pigs and deer and are known also to eat people if they get the chance.
They are named after the island of Komodo in Indonesia, though they can swim to other islands in the area.
There has been recent talk that they are also venomous. It was thought that the bacteria in their mouths were what slowed down prey after they had bitten them but new research suggests that there is actually a compound in their saliva which acts as a soporific. While their bite isn’t deadly, they can catch you up while you sleep it off.
‘Twas a public holiday on Monday and I hightailed it to Sydney Park. I haven’t been there much lately and I wanted to see how things were going, there. It was the middle of the day, so not the best light for photography, but anyhow I took my camera. And I’m glad that I did.
I hadn’t been down the little gully for some time, either; and because I’ve had wonderful bird and reptile experiences there in the past, I hoped to again. But any noticeable animal life seemed absent.
There was, however, a plant with enormous leaves which had grown very large in the time I’d not visited. It looked like some alien spawn amidst the conifers.
That is my hand there for comparison.
After walking around the plant for a while, I headed down to the wetlands.
Which weren’t looking all that wet, actually. It hasn’t rained much for a while and the catchments above the two ponds are being upgraded, so they are empty. The ponds have much less water than they’ve had for a while.
This has attracted unusual visitors, though. For one, a Black-winged Stilt which loves to poke around in sand and mud to look for food.
A Black-fronted Dotterel which feeds similarly. I have seen these before when the water was low; they are such timid creatures I could never get close enough to photograph them. Even this one was a mere dot, really, but my current camera has a longer zoom. In fact, all these birds would’ve escaped my camera without it.
And these two, which I believe to be Latham’s Snipes. It took a little bit of searching on Google images to find these. It was also hard to make them out as they blended in so well with their background.
But by far the best thing was the discovery that Eastern Long-necked Turtles lived in these ponds. They feed off of the small fish that also live there. I had never seen them before, but with the drop in water levels they were more exposed.
Two of them wanted to cross the small hill between the ponds to better water.
The first one I just guarded from dogs as it went its way. The second one (above) was more timid and I carried it across before letting it go. They headed for the viewing platform, particularly to the delight of a small girl and her baby brother.
Something of this may be seen on a video that I put together of the day.
I knew that the ponds would be drier than they have been, and I expected to see little of anything. So the day turned out rather well for me. The turtles especially were a joy, though after carrying one across…you know they’re rather smelly.
I’ve been out a little with my camera but not really seen or captured anything lately that really gives me satisfaction. I figured that I should just give myself a break and wait for the proper frame of mind to return when it will.
So I was hanging out in the backyard and all these little details were just standing out for me. I had my phone in my pocket, an S3, so not being really serious I started taking a few snaps.
And sometimes I think the camera on my phone takes better pictures than my actual camera.
Pesky creatures though they may be at times, flies can also be very pretty.
I had to chase this one around a little until it settled in one place. Probably talking to its friends now about the bloody paparazzi!
Anyway, I thought I’d try a rehabilitate this little creature in the eyes of the public, so we can all see how beautiful it also is. Plus they serve the necessary purpose of cleaning up our rubbish.
The simple things in life often bring me the greatest pleasure. A few drops of water on a leaf stand for the whole of life.
The fuchsia is here, the fuchsia is now. Now we know, let’s all take some time out to appreciate the present moment.
Of course the phone camera is limited to a fixed wide angle, but sometimes that angle is exactly what I want.
And sometimes, it is the small and close that I really want, not the large and impressive. Small pictures with a small camera of a small place.
Whilst I was fruitlessly trying to photograph flying dragonflies, this Ibis landed on the railing, quite close to me. I like that you can see such good detail in its head and beak. They always look as old as time.