Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wild-ish Life on the Tablelands

Here are just a some of the delightful wild life we encountered on the tablelands. All the photos are my own so you can tell how close we got to them.
The shy pademelons - not a type of fruit but a nocturnal marsupial a bit less than knee high.

The elusive, also nocturnal, sugar glider. Another marsupial about the size of a small rat, but oh, so much cuter. They have a flap of fur covered skin that stretches between their front and back limbs so that they can leap from tree to tree like a paraglider.
From orb weaver
The golden orb weaver spider. This one would be about the size of a saucer from toe to toe. Their joints are fitted with bright yellow, red or orange knee-pads. If I wasn't an arachnophobe, I might think she was very good looking as spiders go. I use the motto, "Look up and live" when I'm bushwalking because these spiders love to spin their huge webs across paths just above head height and sometimes, not quite above head height. They are not highly poisonous but who wants to get close to one anyway?
The avocado-stealing rifle bird. It's not a great photo, but I didn't want to scare him away and I was trying to get that spectacular glossy plumage. You should see them when they fan out their wings and fluff their feathers to attract a mate. I think it was worth sacrificing one of my precious avocados to even get a bad photo of him.

Last, but not least, I became very attached to this little guy. Very! I had been marvelling that, in spite of all the rain and puddles, we hadn't had any leeches. Not a single one. Then I leaned down to scratch an itch on my shin and sat up with this little fellow attached to my finger. Being the nature loving conservationist that I am, I admired him before giving him to Mr Sunshine who squashed him flat, creating a little bloody patch on the veranda of the tea house where we were relaxing at the time.

Next post might be about the interesting fungi. . . I know, you can hardly wait. Right?


  1. hmm... I've got fungi in my yard that I was considering blogging about...

    When I pulled my Gardening Australia magazine out of the letter box yesterday, it had some sort of wormy thing attached, which I thought appropriate.

  2. That leech was a bit more than I needed to see.

    Of all the times we have been to the Tablelands, we have never seen a sugar glider, let alone that close (or is that with telephoto lens)?

  3. Dragon saw rifle birds on tv today. He was very impressed with their "happy dance". I told him they were just like in your photo but I don't think he believed me.

  4. Oi, sou o Clausewitz e gostaria de convidar você para visitar meu blog e conhecer alguma coisa do Brasil. Abração


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Mr. Sunshine & Grannysaurus

Mr. Sunshine & Grannysaurus


About Me

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Townsville, Queensland, Australia
I have worked as a Biology lab assistant, Pathology lab assistant, geochem lab assistant, land tenure researcher, hospital and prison chaplain, parish care coordinator and part owner of a small business. I have studied some science (no degrees) and have a theology and a chaplaincy certificate. I still love science of all types and enjoy studying theology. Science and theology belong together. At present I am a work-at-home Grannysaurus.

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