Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Critters

I haven't posted for a while and I apologise for that, I have been busy putting all of my energy and spare time into my book. I still need to get out and about in the real world though because I can't finish it without the photographs that I need.
I have been out on a few short local trips just to keep me sane, some of the photos from which are attached below.
A Murray's Skink, common in suitable rainforest habitat which unfortunately is not very common at all in South East Queensland.
A magnificent female Southern Angle Headed Dragon. Another species totally reliant on dwindling sub tropical rainforest pockets.

A couple of Eastern Crevice Skinks, the first resplendent in his breeding finery.

A Southern Spotted Velvet gecko, one of our most beautiful geckos and one that I am privileged enough to have as a co-habitant of my own home. This guy was hiding behind a towel in my bathroom this morning.

An Eastern Ranges Rock Skink.
Photos of four different Stoney Creek frogs. A pretty amazing array of variation for a single species all photographed within a few hundred metres of one another. The smaller yellowish frogs are male and the larger brown frogs are female.

This Yellow Faced Whip Snake was by far the most exciting animal that I have had the pleasure of photographing in the past few weeks. It was picked up on a snake call by a mate of mine and is very special. I have never in my fifty odd years of looking at and loving reptiles and amphibians seen one of these without the black stripe on the snout and black and lighter comma shaped markings around the eye. The greenish dorsal colouration is not that unusual but the blue tinge around the edge of the belly is pretty cool. Nice critter.

A by product of searching for reptiles is finding and photographing some magnificent scenery and also some pretty trippy creatures that aren't necessarily the target species. This King Cricket will never win a prize in natures beauty contest but is certainly very interesting and definitely worth a look.
Well that's it for another year, they go way too quick these days.
Compliments of the season to all and have a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year.
See you next year.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Rain glorious rain, and a hot photographic session on the Sunshine Coast.

These guys were absolutely everywhere. Eastern Water Dragons in a bewildering range of colours and sizes.

The turtles were pretty accommodating as well. Maquarie Turtles.

And a moss covered Kreftt's Turtle.
A dream come true. A reddish Brown Common Death Adder.

A very large Eastern Bearded Dragon.
Would you believe a Coastal Taipan. Unbelievable! The photo clearly highlights the keeled scales typical of this species.
I went too far that time didn't I? Alright you got me. All of these pics were taken on the Sunshine Coast no bull, however there is a small catch. I forgot to mention that I might have popped into Australia Zoo at Beerwah on Saturday and well you know I just couldn't help myself. I would really love to be able to say that Taipans and Death Adders are common on the Coast but unfortunately that's not the case. I remember a story from an old time coast resident, the great Mr Stan Tutt who once told me that a Death Adder had made its way into his families Kenilworth kitchen when he was young and that whilst the family ate the dog brought the danger that was lying under the table to their attention. All those sets of probably bare feet  especially in the children's case within striking distance and no one was viciously attacked and bitten says something for the snake I believe. Despite the stories and myths surrounding snakes and their despicable actions and attitude towards us human beings, never once in nearly fifty years of studying and spending time with these creatures have I encountered anything that would correlate any of these stories. In fact I have many stories of my own that clearly indicate that even when directly threatened a snake will seek to disappear rather than confront a person. It's such a terrible shame that the reverse scenario isn't true also.
Please enjoy some of the other critters showcased at the zoo.
I did volunteer work there about ten years ago and I remember really looking forward to cleaning the Rhinoceros Iguanas enclosure. One in particular was a real character. Wonder if it's the same one?
The layout of the zoo has changed dramatically in ten years - good job everyone.

Two species of Dragon that you wouldn't normally see sharing the same perch.
I can't take a decent bird picture for the life of me, even captive birds won't co-operate.

You lookin at me?

It's a sad state of affairs when we can't even ensure that the future of magnificent creatures like the Rhino's and the Sumatran Tiger is safe. What chance do the less impressive critters have?

The Aldabran (?spelling?) Tortoises were another of my favourites all those years ago as was Harriet the Galapagos Tortoise who unfortunately passed away a few years back. I fondly remember being lucky enough to be able to share some quality time with her and shedding a tear when I heard of her passing.
Check out the amazing patterning of the shell.

 If anyone tries to tell you that Eastern Brown Snakes won't climb, don't believe them.


I splurged and purchased an annual pass so you may have to put up with a few more photos from the zoo down the track. Hopefully though I will be able to bring some more photos of critters in their natural habitat to the table in the meantime.