The Cutta Cutta caves limestone caves may not the most colourful but are an amazing insight to the forming of the artesian springs in the Northern Territory.
In the wet season this cave and others like it act as funnels collecting the monsoonal rains to flow through the limestone and into the artesian basin.
The water heats up and flows out at thermal springs at Mataranka and Katherine.
The sunset over the Katherine with the bats taking off into the night ( look closely at the photo just above)
The birdlife is abundant but at Edith Falls there was something special.
This Great Bower Bird singing his full repertoire of songs. (The Great Bower Birds are amazing at mimicking sounds which they include in the songs. Other birds calls, engines starting, towels fluttering are all included.)
His singing was successful as he seduced this female into his carefully constructed Bower.
An amazing collection of fossils, gemstones, petrified and fossilised wood and minerals of all types.
Georgetown also has samples the distinctive Queensland outback buildings.
Croydon was very successful gold mining centre so successful special train line built from the port town of Normanton. Now jokingly called the train from nowhere to nowhere the Gulflander is a tourist ride.
Croydon’s Historic Precinct contains a number of official building from the height of the 1870s gold rush.
The road to Einasleigh and Forsayth are off the main Savannah Way so include some unsealed roads till Georgetown.
The travelling is beautiful
Through savannah woodlands,
Across river causeways, where the rivers roaring floods in the tropical wet season is reduced to a feeble flow.
But still hold water in lagoons full of water lillies and birds.
And one can see a magpie goose on the wing
On the way to Croydon the Steinbock clocked over 22,000km since I purchased it in January this year. It’s been a crazy 6 months of travel.
Next the landscape changes again. The Gulf Country – the Gulf of Carpentaria. The rivers are big estuaries full of big salt water crocodiles. Normanton, on the croc infested Norman River is my next stop.
A 33 hectare urban forest created in the 1970’s from an old bluestone quarry
What a wonderful vision of the then Local Government Council to create this haven in what was then a very industrial suburb devoid of open space.
Only about 12 kilometres from the centre of Melbourne
The fate of the quarry was sealed when the digging hit an underground spring and the lake was formed.
Over the the four months of the Melbourne lockdown I have walked the trails of this urban forest.
Seen the changes as winter turned to spring and now as summer approaches.
The trees in blossom
The resident black swans with their cignets
The flock of Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos that came for winter and went back bush in the Spring. Unlike us terrestrial animals free to fly to and fro as they please.
The bird life by the lake is vibrant wattle birds, butcher birds all too quick for amateur wildlife photographer like me
But this little blue wren wasn’t shy and struck the perfect pose.
The hard bluestone walls that surround the lake loom large and bare the cracks from the many explosions that were used to extract the bluestone.
Those cracks now form handholds for climbers to practice their skills.
And in the rock faces there is the subtle marks of human presence
Mosaics of the birds in the park
And as the days got longer and warmer and summer is only an month or so away
The Blue Tongue Lizards come out to bask in the sun.
Walking in Newport Lakes and cycling on the Williamstown bay trail (posts here, here and here.) have made me appreciate my local space very much. How lucky I am to have access to these elements of nature in a big city.
After for months of lockdown in the City of Melbourne the restrictions that have kept Melbournians separate from the rural areas of the State will be lifted in a few days.
The Mighty Breva will roam again across the local countryside, on the coastal roads and over the windy mountain passes.
But before I sign off my local explorations
A pelican in flight a couple of evenings back down at the Koroit Creek estuary.
The Ostrich the largest bird in the world (followed by the Cassowary and Emu found in my home Australia)wanders the plains grassy planes of Africa including the Masai mara.
A flightless bird it sometimes crosses path with the Secretarybird
While a flighted bird it spends most of its time on the ground hunting. Unfortunately this unique bird is disappearing and is listed as vulnerable. The Secretarybird gets its name from the spikey head quills that are, I’m told, likened to the pencils that secretaries used to place behind their ear.
The Secretarybird has a featherless face and predators beak like a vulture.
The vultures featherless head and long featherless neck though is specially designed for this carrion eater.
But is was the colourful birds this I were one of the highlights of the Masai mara for me.
The Oxpecker is the Rhino’s best mate. The bright eyed warning siren for the sleeping short sighted rhino. The Oxpecker keeps an eye out for the rhino’s predators as it feeds on the parasites in the Rhino’s hard hide.
The muddy shores of the lake is also a welcome home fpt Water Buffalo
In the forests surrounding the lake the are baboons;
and cute little Deseys.
Lake Nakura is about 160km WNW of Nairobi.
This visit was over 15 years ago and from what I have read the park has been enlarged. It certainly a place that stays in one’s mind.