Sunday, April 25, 2010

Animals of Australia

Being an island Continent, Australia evolved many unique forms of wildlife. Naturally we were naturally eager to try to find them. Some of them found us instead. We have been Down Under for 4 weeks now, and this is a sampling of what we have found so far.
· Roos, Roos, and MORE ROOS! They are everywhere, as long as you stray off the beaten track, as we tend to do. If you take the major motorways the likelihood of running into this symbol of Australia, (both figuratively a and literally), is not very high. But out in the quieter stretches of roads they can be seen in great numbers at dawn and dusk. The locals think of them as pests;
· The Koala; very hard to spot in the trees;
The Wallaby; a smaller version of the Kangaroo.
· The Wombat. It is much bigger than we thought; sort of like a big beaver without the tail;
· Pink Parrots; they are everywhere as well; if you want to get up early each morning, live in an area that they do.
· Pelicans; they are quite amusing to watch as they go about their business of catching fish;
· Possums; we had two of these little fellows in our backyard at Byron Bay, but they quickly scrambled up a tree when we became interested in them;
· the Kookaburra; a noisy bird that loves to hang around the BBQ in case there is a spare morsel of meat to be had;
· the Ibis; a strange bird that inhabits both the city and the country;
· the Aussi equivalent of the hedgehog, only bigger; the Enchenida;
· the crocodiles of Dundee;
· A Wild Turkey;
· Bluebottle Dolphins;
· and many other animals, whom we do not recognize.

Aussie Oddities
· a BBQ stand on the beach at Hervey Bay; they are supplied free of charge by the town, and are complete with a shelter built overhead as protection from the rain and the intense sun. Not only that, the gas is piped in, free of charge! The Aussies love their BBQs!;

· A sign that tells it like it is. Pedestrians do not have the right-of-way and the motorists are quite aggressive in enforcing their rights. At Manly Beach I walked into a crosswalk with the nearest car over a half block away. The disgruntled driver had to stop, but was shaking her head at me in disgust!;

· We are not sure of the purpose of the blue metal attachment on the park bench, but it appears to be a mini-table on which to place your drink.


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