So for your viewing pleasure I present 10 great Australians.
Gum Trees - This is a Lemon Scented Gum which resides right outside my kitchen window. It was a six foot sapling when I built my house 20 years ago. It's now a 100 foot giant that drops it's leaves all year round and actually smells like lemons.
These are the 'alarms' of the gardens. Grey Miner birds, not to be confused by their noxious Indian cousins who are attempting to run them outta Dodge! They have a multitude of calls - protection, fear, aerial threat, ground threat and just damned annoying for the hell of it squawks.
Australian Magpies . .father and son . .he chased the youngling off last spring not long after I took this shot but the youngster was loathe to leave and hung around pathetically squeaking. I have three distinct families and the youngster has returned with a wife of his own and is inhabiting the bottom right corner of the front garden. Their song is a gorgeous loud 'chortle', melodic and discernable. They're known for being very territorial and aggressive but ours don't seem to feel too threatened so there's no need to put an ice cream tub on your head with eyes drawn on the back of it . . unlike the one down the road that is very interested in the Van Gogh effect and lopping off your ear!
The pretty boy of the back yard. A Rainbow Lorikeet succours sumptuous nectar from a native Robyn Gordon outside Adam's bedroom Window. Unlike their melodically beautiful plumage, they squawk. LOUD and in bunches. Very aggressive, chase off the more shy King Parrots (hence no photo here of the Royal Family) but man are they pretty . . .
Fruit bats . .I stole this rather well lit and I suspect photoshopped picture of a possibly stuffed fruit bat (maybe it's just a little tired). I haven't mastered the art of night photography without flash or light so have been unable to capture the squeaky brawlers who love, love, love the bamboo that runs along our northern fenceline. I rarely see them but they can be heard . . late . .at night . . just about bed time! You don't want to park your car underneath where they eat . .they have sticky poo!
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo . .much prized as cage birds these are NATIVE to Australia and found nowhere else in the world, a little known fact! They too are the pirates of the sky, hang around in bunches of 50 or more and are incredibly noisy in the early morning. Occasionally a tame escapee will be among the mob and sit on your shoulder . . .When they're startled, that little yellow peak becomes a multi pronged comb making them very handsome indeed . . .God must have a birdwash because they're immaculately white.
Bearded Dragon . . these are getting fewer and further between as suburbia encroaches so we were lucky to have several this summer. They freeze when a predator comes near and refuse to move so are wonderful photographic subjects. The Miner birds alert to their presence but they stay put. I was bitten by one once offering it a little piece of mince. You can pick them up but they're very, very prickly.
This beautiful boy lives under a gap in the concrete below the pool. He sheds every spring and looks spectacular. I know it's the same lizard because he has a bird wound on his tail where he was aggressively pecked by a magpie or a Kookaburra . . .had one in the shower once and Adam rescued it with a cylindrical post pack! They're big, slow and very amenable with a lovely blue tongue.
White Winged Chuff . . the 'bikers' of the back yard. They hang around in gangs of 12 or more, steal each other's babies in a sheltering wing display and turn over the garden like chickens. They're the size of a Bantam Hen with a peculiar whistling song and when they get cranky they pop those red eyes. Click on him and you'll see!
Brush Tailed Possum . . now these guys are just the ants pants. They're so pretty. They scrap now and then but if you catch them with a flashlight they freeze and you can have a really, really good look. If you're diligent enough they are tamable and are very partial to left over veggie peels and fruit . . if you're lucky . .you'll see mum with a baby in the pouch . . .
There . .I spared you Funnel Webs, Trapdoor Spiders, Redbacks, Huntsmen and Christmas Beetles . . . but be warned, there will be a post on 'ugly' Australians and it won't be for the squeemish.