Archives for posts with tag: Wildlife

Well… there are not literally wild rhinos on the loose in Sydney. What it’s really all about is Taronga Zoo creating the Taronga Wild! Rhino Trail. The trail has some 125 rhino statues uniquely painted by artists and sponsored by Australian business to help raise awareness of the critical plight facing rhinos through poaching and habitat loss. The rhinos are literally everywhere and are here till the end of April. In May they will be auctioning off the statues with the proceeds going towards Taronga’s rhino conservation programs. This is the sort of thing that you would expect in Melbourne, but fortunately we are seeing more and more of these urban art exhibitions. I think they are cool, and with phone camera in hand these are some of the statues that I captured.

In Darling Harbour…

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At Dawes Point…

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On King Street Wharf…

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Out the front of the NSW Government offices…

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At Pitt Street Mall…

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In the Rocks…

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They are everywhere, and they are colourfully cool.

This week’s travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack?’ is Birds. While I don’t go looking to photograph birds in flight, I found quite a few shots of birds in my travel photos. As usual, all the images link through to my larger photos on Flickr.

Starting in Australia up the NSW North Coast there is the Booti Booti National Park (just south of Forster). This kookaburra didn’t even budge an inch as I went to photograph him.

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Still in NSW but this time down on the South Coast is the beautiful seaside town of Kiama. The wildlife both in the water and the air is stunning. This pelican was stalking his prey in the water.

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Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. While the island has been developed for tourists, it is pretty clear that the wildlife rule the roost. This Australian parakeet was eyeing up my breakfast.

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Off to Japan and in the moat surrounding the Imperial Palace in Kyoto I spotted this white swan cruising alongside his mates, the carp. It rained a lot while we were there.

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Off to Helsinki, Finland, and there is a definite port town feel about this capital. There were several different types of birds flying around the docks and wharves, but it was this seagull that I got mid-flight that I liked the most.

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I have seen swans in many places that I have visited around the world. These ones were gently floating on the lake at Ellesmere in England’s midlands. Their duck brethren were not far behind either.

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Finally in Mexico along the Riviera Maya is the eco-tourist park of Xcaret. The park was established initially as a breeding ground for native fauna and flora, and their bird breeding program is yielding spectacular results. These two Mexican parrots were quite happily perched on their ledge observing us as we walked by.

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The flamingo breeding program was in full swing with nearly 100 birds about. This was the first time that I had ever seen a flamingo, and they are just as striking in real life as they are on documentaries.

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Thanks Ailsa, great theme for the final week of 2013.

With the city of Sydney shrouded in the smoke that was a by product of back burning, it was a strange warm day. But the Pok was itching to get out and go for a ride on his bike, so I decided to go for a walk with him and bring the camera in tow. Spring is very much in full bloom with Summer only one month away now. It is going to be a scorcher (hopefully) and the local fauna is putting on its annual show in the rev up for the beach months.

The urban landscape can’t hold back Mother Nature, this flower was definitely not planted.

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This bottle brush, while a native plant, was showing its wares at the park near the harbour. A tiny insect was playing the pollination dance.

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I don’t know the name of this one, but it looks a bit creepy with its blooming claw like petals.

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The eucalyptus tree bark was healthy and lush, a far cry from the dry tinderbox in the mountains and national parks surrounding the Sydney basin.

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Of course the Pok (AKA my son) wanted to pose for the camera while he was “mountain biking”.

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The Ocean Shield was docked again around our way, and it looked like it was taking on board specialist supplies.

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The Pok was pushing hard on the switchbacks to attain that KOM.

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One last flower for the road.

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Sydney is starting to kick for the best time of the year. Bring on the balmy beach weather I say.

I have posted a couple of times now of our many trips to Singapore, including the Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands art and decoration. These posts were predominantly about man made structures. Singapore is known worldwide as the Garden City, but for some reason it was not until my sixth trip to the country that I managed to visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens. The gardens also contain the National Orchid Garden and it is a surreal escape from the hustle and bustle of the city state’s downtown area. Given Singapore’s tropic location, it is always raining there. But the rain didn’t deter us from visiting the gardens, and it added a different dynamic to the surroundings. I really enjoyed the few hours we spent there, it was relaxing, even though we walked a lot! I was surprised at being allowed to get so close to some of the flowers and plants to shoot macro. There are also some garden sculptures throughout the gardens, but it is not over the top and compliments the gardens well.

Even on a cloudy, rainy day the gardens are alive with colour. Below are my favourite photos from our trip, and as usual the images link through to my larger photos on Flickr.

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I spent a good portion of my visit carrying the Pok in his “rucksack” while he was asleep. It is quite strange trying to operate a Digital SLR camera with a big weight hanging from your belly.

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It is quite easy to get to the gardens with a bus stop right next to the Southern end of the park and a metro station at the Northern end. There are also quite a few exhibitions on as well during the year. Timing your visit, if that is possible, to be around the time of the orchid blooms makes for a much better visit. If you want to know where the Botanic Gardens are, I have attached a link to the location on Google Maps below.

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