CRITTERS THAT MAY CROSS YOUR PATH IN THE LAND DOWN UNDER.

Here in the Land Down Under we have some magnificent and interesting native animals, birds and reptiles. We also have some imported species including, brumbies( wild horses), camels/dromedaries, foxes, rabbits, hares, sparrows and pigeons to named but a few.

If you live outside the large metropolitan areas or out in the country there is always the probability that some of the animals and reptiles will come to visit, including snakes. Snakes are definitely not welcome in our backyard. Of course snakes of all descriptions are protected species  so in snake country, where we live, professional snake catchers are, during summer, in popular demand.  I kid you not.

Here are some of the visitors we welcome in our back yard:

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A NICE BLUE TONGUE LIZARD.

We’ve named this little bloke ‘Son of Albert.’ He lives in the shed which he shares with my Harley and Landrover. He slips in and out under the roller door as the summer days cool off and in winter hibernates under the concrete slab.

Over forty  years ago, when we lived in a Sydney Suburb, a Blue Tongue set up residence under our back verandah. We called the goanna ‘Albert.’ Blue Tongues have inhabited our backyards ever since. Since they all look alike, when we think a newcomer has moved in it immediately becomes ‘Son of Albert.’

I was working on the bike when I saw this particular ‘Son of Albert’ for the first time. The remnants of a meal was protruding from his jaws so I popped inside and returned with the camera. You can see from the image why they are known as ‘Blue Tongues.’

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SON OF ALBERT WITH A SNACK.

They have readily adapted to the presence of humans, hence my chance to get this closeup.

Then on another day, an Echidna waddled across the yard and began to dig in near the side fence. We refer to them as Spiny Anteaters because ants are their favoured snack. Again, the camera was close at hand and I managed this shot of it’s cute little snout and face.

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AN ECHIDNA.
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A CLOSE UP OF THE ECHIDNA’S PROTECTIVE QUILLS.

Echidnas are very shy and certainly are not an aggressive mammal. At the first sign of trouble they use their strong claws to dig a hole into which they gradually disappear. Fascinating to watch.

Further away from home and out in the real country is where you will find the larger reptiles like the Perentie.

The Perenti is the largest Australian Monitor Lizard and they can grow up to  2.5 metres in length and weigh anything up to 15 kilos. They are common in the desert inland areas of Australia and enjoy carrion. They are great climbers and when disturbed can swiftly climb the nearest tree or up large boulders.

Here is a shot of one that crossed our path on the edge of the Simpson Desert in the Northern Territory.

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ABOUT THREE FEET LONG THIS PERENTI BLENDED WELL WITH ITS’ SURROUNDINGS.

A few hundred miles later on we spotted this camel wandering along beside the track. It’s popularly believed that there are more wild camels in Australia than anywhere else in the world.

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ARE WE THERE YET.

On our way home we stopped off near Silverton in North West New South Wales to photograph some great examples of a plant known as Sturt’s Desert Pea.

There, sitting on a rock taking in the sun was a fine example of a Frill Necked Lizard. When they are agitated they inflate a ruff of bristles around the neck to make themselves look more aggressive and dangerous. This bloke was at peace with the world and totally ignored our presence.

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NOTE THE EYE. NOT MISSING A THING.

We really enjoy sighting our wildlife and it’s a great excuse to venture off the beaten track.

Hoo roo for now

SOME LIGHT RELIEF FOR HE WHO MUST BE OBEYED AT CASA CREAKINGBONES

Some light relief is on the cards for me tonight. Why? I’m off to judge the images at my local camera club. The title of tonight’s competition, ‘A walk in nature’. Our little club interprets this as anything that moves, grows, or did at one time or another.

There are two categories, prints or digital projections.

Although I’m tonight’s judge, I’m going to throw in three prints of my own. Of course I won’t be allocating any awards ( Distinctions for great images and Credits for images not quite up to the great standard) to my own work but it gives the ‘mob’ an opportunity to vent their spleen by giving my images a total rubbish if they feel so  inclined.

Just between us, I don’t take my best work along when I’m the judge. A simple tactic I picked up years ago. That way the ‘mob’ can say what they dislike about my images  and they are probably right and I can agree with their criticism in all honesty. Makers them feel good.

Here are the three I’m going to take along tonight:

This is an Australian Eastern Blue Tongue lizard, the largest member of the Skink family. They are likeable, harmless reptiles and are always welcome in our garden where they devour as many slugs, snails and other unwanted guests they can find. We saw our first one in the garden about 40 years ago and called him ‘Albert’. Now we call every blue tongue that comes and stays,’ Son of Albert’.

‘Son of Albert’ hung around in my garage a couple of weeks just long enough for me to whack the 105 Micro on the camera and grab this image. You can see why they are called blue tongues.

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BLUE TONGUE LIZARD

Second on my list is this common pigeon, one of many that flock to our yard when we feed the native birds. I used a 600mm lens to capture this blighter as it glided down from power lines some distance away.

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COMMON PIGEON

My third offering for tonight is this image of an Australian Perentie Goanna, the largest member of the monitor lizards found in the  Land of Oz. They can run at great speed, climb trees with ease and grow up to about 2,5 metres long. They run from humans but when they feel threatened can give a quite nasty bite and scratch with their sharp claws.  This one is a juvenile out hunting for food. For some reason the image the image appears here to be quite blurry whilst the original isn’t. I’m sure you will get a good idea anyway of how they look  in the wild.

I grabbed this image with a 50mm f1.4 lens.

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I’m really looking forward to some fun tonight, there should be about 50-60 prints and a similar number of projected images to judge. Some of the members will be disappointed that they didn’t get an award but I’ll make sure that my comments are all positive and encouraging.

Well that’s it for me, off to the meeting in a few minutes to enjoy pre judging coffee, bickies( cookies for some of you) and a beer or two after it’s all over.

Hoo roo.