Fires out west create an apocalyptic sky over Newtown.
Posts Tagged ‘smallfox
Tags: animals, Australian, birds, Black-fronted Dotterels, Black-winged Stilts, Eastern Long-necked Turtles, Flickr, giant leaves, Latham's Snipes, leaves, native, New South Wales, Paul Todd, plants, reptiles, smallfox, St Peters, Sydney, Sydney Park, turtles, water, wildlife
‘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.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The busiest day of the year was December 2nd with 108 views. The most popular post that day was Wildlife Photography – Pleasure and Peril.
‘Twas the first day of summer and on a hot and humid night I heard something outside, knocking about on the shed over the back fence. And lo, I saw that it was a possum, a brush-tailed possum (the commonest kind in Australia) which are common throughout urban centres here, being highly adaptable in their diet. It was the first time since we’d moved here that I had seen one.
I called my wife who was delighted to see the little cutie, and she brought it a banana, threw pieces to it. I was afraid that I might scare it off with the flash of my camera but it didn’t seem perturbed at all.
It was so unperturbed that it eventually came down onto the table by the fence and happily accepted more banana. It even allowed us to stroke it while it ate. I could see that it was a young male, probably not that long away from it’s mother’s side.
When I first moved to Sydney from Perth, I lived in Kings Cross. I was very surprised when I saw a possum on the balcony and it was very happy to accept offers of food. It was the local matriarch and while I was there she had two babies. The second one became very accustomed to me and while it’s mother sat on my lap to eat, the baby would sit on my shoulder. And I have had many occasions in the past to feed possums in parks at night.
Being that hot and humid night, as I have said, I wasn’t wearing a t-shirt or shirt. The possum was very accepting of my presence and I brought the camera closer and closer for photos. On it’s second banana, as I squatted close to it, it took an interest in my camera and grabbed hold of it. These animals are strong tree climbers, with strong muscles and sharp, grappling claws. But I was stronger and managed to wrestle my camera back, unharmed. They also have powerful, jumping back legs and I was totally unprepared for it to leap on me (too see what I was about, I guess) and it’s claws dug deep into my arm to hold on. As I tried to shake it off, it tried to stay on. But human flesh is not as tough as a tree trunk and it’s grip loosened. He ran away, climbing over the fence and into another yard.
So when you see people photographing lions in the Serengeti, Leopard Seals in the Antarctic or Grizzly Bears in North America, remember this: they say most accidents happen in the home. This may include maulings by cute, furry marsupials.
Actually, the scratches don’t hurt so much, but the tetanus shot I had at the hospital feels like someone punched me really hard in the arm.
The little bugger 😀