Monday, 12 October 2015

Not botanical at all.

We spent a rather relaxed morning this weekend wandering about the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.

While it's a great place to see plants (what a revelation!) it also has some other 'wilder' wildlife.  And the ones we had come to see were the Short-finned Eels that live in one of the ponds.  The gardens were built on wetlands associated with the Yarra - that's Melbourne's river - and the eels never moved out as the exotic plants moved in.

These eels can grow to more than a meter in length - although I don't think this one was a little bit shorter than that.  They may not be everybody's idea looking fish - but they are more than a little different!

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Through a Silver Gulls Wings

Not all skies are blue.  Some are grey.  And some are seem through Silver.

You can find more shots of the sky at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 167 - New Holland Honeyeater

This is a bird I have been trying to get some pictures of for a long while - it's not that its rare, it's just that I don't seem to see them up close very often.  The garden in the house at Apollo Bay had a resident pair of these birds (as far as I could tell) and while they were still a bit nervous, I did get some shots by waiting (and waiting) on the verhadna overlooking the garden until the birds started to ignore me.

New Holland Honeyeaters are a smart little bird about 18 cm long.  I tend to associate them with places close to the coast, but in reality they can be found further inland.  That being said, their distribution does hug the south coast of the country.

Unless you happen to live in the Australian region - i.e. Australia, NZ, New Guinea or a few small Pacific Islands (specific Pacifics I suppose!) you will not see many Honeyeaters as they are restricted to this area.

They don't really eat honey, but do eat nectar and other sweet fluids produced by plants.  Because this diet is very low in protein, many of the Honeyeaters will also eat insect.

So, enough of this - I give you Phyidonyris novaehollandiae - the New Holland Honeyeater.

Now its your turn - and once more, I would invite you to tell fellow bloggers you know who may be interested in such things about the wonder that is WBW!  So, off you go!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Across the river and into the trees

The Otways are both a range of hills and an area of cool, termperate rainforest.  Apollo Bay, where we stayed in the school holidays is one of the larger settlements on the coast of the Otways.

Given that the area supports rains forest is hardly surprising that it get a decent amount of rain - and where you have rain and hills, you get waterfalls.

This waterfall is called Hopetoun Falls and it is only a short - but steep - walk to the base of the falls from the carpark.  The whole area is wonderfully cool and green.

 In many ways that Otways are similar to the forests of the Pacific Northwest of the USA - and there is another American connection just down the road for these falls.

In the 1930 a number of plantations of Californian Redwoods were planted in the Otways - and some of been left more or less undisturbed since then.  Many of them have reached a height of 60 m and some people think that given time (and a bit of luck) they may one day be has tall as the trees in their native lands. Now that would be a sight to see.

I have converted one of the images into black and white. In the final image you can see the 'ghosts' of people moving between the trees - this is what happens when you use a 2 second exposure.  I have to say it was pretty dark under those trees.

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM