Thursday, 26 February 2015

With just a hint on a rainbow

It would be honest to say that the weather at Cradle Mountain in Tasmania was not as good as we had hoped for - although it did mean we were justified in lighting a fire in the afternoon each day!

On the morning of our last day there I went back up to Dove Lake to see if there were any pictures to be had.  While the wind was not the coldest I have ever felt, it was the coldest I have felt in years!  In some places it was hard to stand up.

And then, for about two minutes there was sunshine - and this faint rainbow popped out.  I tried like hell to make the rainbow pop as much in the picture as I could - but I was losing touch with my fingers by this - just after I took this shot it started snowing - and remember this is summer!

As with many of my pictures, it looks much bigger larger!

You can find more skies from around the world at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Wild Bird Wednesday 137 - Noisy Miner.

Back to a more conventional WBW this week!

This bird is a Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala) and while its a rather splendid looking bird it presence is not always welcome.

The scientific name refers to both the birds large nostrils and its back head - both of which can be seen in these pictures.

What the picture does not show is that this bird is both colonial and aggressive, meaning that if a colony does become established in an area it can be very bad news for other species.  This species is also had home in a range of habitats - including ones that have become somewhat degraded.  All in all this leads to as species that can 'take over' isolated patches of habitat to the exclusion of other species.  This is especially a problem in the fragmented habits we often find in urban or urban fringe areas.

All this is a bit of a shame really, as it is a rather splendid looking bird!

Now its your turn - and remember that all kinds, styles and levels of technique are welcome here - and I would encourage people to visit as many of the links as possible!

Last weeks WBW was the most populus (in terms of links) for a while - so feel free to invite as many birders as possible.

Monday, 23 February 2015

A view from a hill.

This is the view from the top of Mt. Amos, on of the peaks of The Hazards in Freycinet.  If you want to see what the peak looks like from sea-level, its the flat looking peak in the middle of these pictures.

The walk to the top of Mt. Amos takes about two and a bit hours - and in some places its steep enough to warrant putting your hand on the rock now and then.  Needless to say, the kids loved it.

The view from the top is a classic - and its not a bad place for lunch!

The bay is called Wineglass Bay - and it's a bit of an icon really.   I know its all psychological, but any food you eat in a place like this seems to taste so much better than usual!

And yes, the sky really was that colour!  Summer in Australia - you need to see it to believe it sometimes!

More shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.  SM

Sunday, 22 February 2015


I find this image rather sad.

It's a detail from a section of a preserved skin of a Tasmanian Tiger, also known as a Thylacine.  This animal was (not tense) a marsupial, like a kangaroo, that looked a bit like a wolf with stripes.  It went about on all fours and was last seen in the wild in the 1930s in Tasmania.

It was basically hunted to extinction because of its (alleged) predation on sheep.  Such stories are both familiar and saddening.

What is even more saddening is that the 1930s seem so recent, and yet we still lost this animal.  Who knows, perhaps it lingered on for a few more years, and maybe that last thylacine was still out there when I was born.  Maybe.

Some people believe they are still out there, in the wilds of Tasmania, scarce, secret and private.

Do I think they are still there?  No.

But a little hope never does any harm.

You can find more macro shots at Macro Monday 2 and I Heart Macro.