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:

son-of-albert_dsc2509-copy-2
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.’

son-of-albert-copy-3-_dsc2518-copy-4
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.

dsc_0015
AN ECHIDNA.
dsc_0011
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.

dsc_0070-copy2-12
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.

dromadery-dsc_0110-copy-7-print
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.

dsc_0091-3-printed-copy
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

FIVE PHOTOS – FIVE STORIES- DAY FIVE- BROKEN HILL

THE SIGN SAYS IT ALL.
THE SIGN SAYS IT ALL.
YOURS TRULY
YOURS TRULY ON THE WAY TO MEET THE BOYS

Broken Hill is a significant mining town in the far west of New South Wales. As the sign so rightly points out, visitors to this magic town are welcome.

It’s not just the town of Broken Hill that attracts tourists. The surrounding communities do too, for example Silvereton, where the original Mad Max movie was filmed and Tibooburra, the most isolated and far western town in New South Wales, tucked away right in the corner of three states, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland.

We don’t visit Tibooburra when we are on the bikes as the many many miles of dirt road out to the village is totally unsuitable to our road bikes. There are two great pubs there though, the Family and the Tibooburra Hotel. Well worth a visit, that’s for sure.

For many years now a group of us have made a biannual ride to Broken Hill. From my place, if I ride directly to The Hill it’s shade over 2200 kms or roughly around 1,300 miles return. Of course, once we all get going we rarely take the shortest route so sometimes we travel over twice those distances.

Not everyone in ‘Big Al’s Mob’ ride Harleys so there’s always a bit of competition in the performance stakes.  Most of the bike out perform my Harley in every respect except two, presence and comfort. As you get on a bit, presence is vital for the ego and comfort is vital for the bum and the back.

‘Big Al’s Mob’ is made up of mature age riders and those of us who have never raced bikes in competition are in the minority. It seems to me that the older we riders get, the faster we were!

Big Al’s rides to the Hill are organised to give the most fun and these days the rides are by invitation only. Fortunately for me, I’m stolen the OK list.

Our visit to The Hill included a number of must dos.

Firstly the Broken Hill Musicians Club. Great beer, great food, great entertainment and only a short walk from our favourite motel in town.

Secondly, The Day Dream Mine, on the way to Silverton.

Thirdly, Silverton itself and one of the Mad Max movie locations.

Forthly, the Sculptures just out of The Hill.

Fifthly, generally having fun at the end of each day’s ride.

As this is the last of the five by fives for me, I thought enough of the words and a few more images from our trips to The Hill.  The images aren’t in chronological or significance order. I just selected them at random to give you a taste of the fun we have.

THE MOB ON ONE OF THE EARLY RIDES TO 'THE HILL'
THE MOB ON ONE OF THE EARLY RIDES TO ‘THE HILL’
A MORE SELECT GROUP OF AL'S BOYS
A MORE SELECT GROUP OF AL’S BOYS

Big Al is in the photograph but values his anonymity

MORE OF THE BOYS PLUS ONE RING IN.
MORE OF THE BOYS PLUS ONE RING IN. GUESS WHICH ONE.
BROTHER BRIAN AND HIS HONDA VALKEDRIE NEAR THE DY DREAM MINE.
BROTHER BRIAN AND HIS HONDA VALKEDRIE NEAR THE DAY DREAM MINE.
THREE BROS AT THE SCULPTURES JUST ON SUN SET.
THREE BROS AT THE SCULPTURES JUST ON SUN SET.
BROTHER BRIAN, YOURS TRUELY AND MR HARLEY.
BROTHER BRIAN, YOURS TRUELY( nearest the road) AND MR HARLEY.
THREE AMIGOS WITH MY HARLEY AT A MAD MAX SITE NEAR SILVERTON..
THREE AMIGOS WITH MY HARLEY AT A MAD MAX SITE NEAR SILVERTON..
A SKETCH ARTIST AT WORK
A SKETCH ARTIST AT WORK

While we were having coffee at a small town en route to The Hill I noticed this bloke staring at us and using a note pad. As we went to leave, he surprised me by introducing himself and giving me the following sketch of our little band.

THE FOUR BROS SKETCH
THE FOUR BROS SKETCH

I framed it when I got home and it now hangs proudly here in my office. The other three amigos only got duplicate copies.

THREE BROS AND A YOUNG LADY.
THREE BROS AND A YOUNG LADY.

The young lady is named Laurie. She is an identity on Radio 2BH Broken Hill. We have got to know her over the years and now when she knows we are on our way, she plays’ The Boys Are Back in Town’ on her program and broadcasts a nice welcoming promo for our visit.

THREE OF US WITH THE HILL'S GENERAL TERRAIN AS A BACKGROUND.
THREE OF US WITH THE HILL’S GENERAL TERRAIN AS A BACKGROUND.
YOURS TRULY AND LOUIE POSING FOR THE CAMERA NEAR SILVERTON..
YOURS TRULY AND LOUIE POSEING FOR THE CAMERA NEAR SILVERTON..p
ANOTHER ANONYMOUS POSE WITH A FELLOW BRO.
ANOTHER ANONYMOUS POSE WITH A FELLOW BRO AT THE SCULPTURES.
DUST STORM AT THE HILL
DUST STORM AT THE HILL TAKEN FROM THE MINER’S MEMORIAL
THE MINERS MEMORIAL IN BROKEN HILL DURING A DUST STORM
THE MINERS MEMORIAL IN BROKEN HILL DURING A DUST STORM
ARE WE THERE YET? NEAR THE DAY DREAM MINE.
ARE WE THERE YET? NEAR THE DAY DREAM MINE.
AT THE SILVERTON PUB
AT THE SILVERTON PUB
FIVE BROS AND A RING IN NEAR BROKEN HILL.
FIVE BROS AND A RING IN NEAR BROKEN HILL.

One final image, just for a bit of self promotion and exhibiting my egotistical approach:

THAT'S ME, FRONT ROW ON THE RIGHT AS YOU LOOK AT IT.
THAT’S ME, FRONT ROW ON THE RIGHT AS YOU LOOK AT IT.

What a hoot this 5×5 has been. Now it’s all done and dusted I’m sorry to have to let go of the reigns and hand over.

I’ve asked Greg Long to take up the job and I hope he can spare the time. Greg is a fascinating bloke who possesses great computer skills and is an artist to boot. I’m looking forward to seeing more of his images and great writing. Fingers crossed.

Hoo roo and thanks for reading and looking for the last five days.