We are back in Perth.
My late-afternoon walk through the little green space here (the Ron Carroll reserve), was rewarded with a sighting of a black-faced cuckooshrike. (They are actually a fairly common sight in Australian cities).
Our time is running short here at the resort by Geographe Bay.
There is a nice walk & bike track that runs along the beach. For me, it’s hard to just walk, though, and not stop and investigate the sounds and glimpses of the exotic birds in the bushes.
Here’s a little black and white bird that is a long-time favorite here in Perth: the willy wagtail. They are very active (and wag their tails, of course), and voracious insect eaters – said to be able to consume their own body weight in insects in a day. The wagtails were known to the Noongar Aboriginal people as chitty chitty, because of their trademark chattering sound.
Man! I was spending way too much time scrolling through my Twitter feed today. Trump’s ‘I’m a tariff man’ tweet inflicted heavy losses on the stock market. And it’s official: Seattle is getting a new NHL (National Hockey League) franchise team.
But the tweet of the day for me, was of this cute echidna puggle, born in Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. They are very unusual mammals: the young hatch out of a leathery egg in their mother’s pouch, and stay there for 45 to 55 days.
These little birds like to hop around in my backyard sometimes, looking for fallen seeds.
This morning, one was finally ready to pose for his close-up. (It’s time to get a 500 mm telephoto lens, if I’m going to be serious about shooting pictures of little birdies like these!).
It took a little searching to find it online, but now I know: it’s a dark-eyed junco.
It was sunny today, but we only got up to 52°F/ 11°C.
The sunlight we got, was gone by 4.41 pm – the time the sun now sets in the Pacific Northwest. Yikes. (On Saturday night, across the United States, we set our clocks back from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time*).
*California voters approved Prop. 7 on Tuesday, a proposal to permanently stay on Daylight Saving Time. The measure still requires a two-thirds vote from the California legislature and a change in federal law before it can take effect, though.
This is the time of year for some mushrooms to sprout in urban gardens here in the Pacific Northwest, and I discovered a new type under my laurel fence this year. Maybe they’ve been coming out every year, and I just haven’t noticed before!
I don’t have a Halloween pumpkin on my porch – but found a crow sitting there today (on the post by steps to my front door).
I like Mr Crow’s sharp, inquisitive look, checking me out, as I was snapping his picture.
I made my way down to the Amazon biospheres today to catch a glimpse of Morticia*, the name given to the giant corpse flower that is blooming there. (Report by local TV station King5 here).
I had to be content to just check the flower out from the sidewalk. It was too late to book a time slot (all were taken), and I don’t have a friend employed by Amazon that could take me in as a guest! Aw.
*I suspect this is a reference to Morticia Addams, a fictional character from The Addams Family television and film series. A memorable quote (Morticia to her husband): ‘Don’t torture yourself Gomez, that’s my job.’
I love this picture of an octopus, the ‘chameleon of the seafloor’. The skin of an octopus is like that of a pointillistic work of art: it has millions of chromatophores (cells with pigments). Octopuses have yellow, orange, reds, browns or even black pigments, and can camouflage itself against its background when an enemy approaches. There is a complex connection between its brain, its nervous system, and the nerve cells that control the color of its skin.
There was a beautiful ‘60 Minutes‘ segment on TV tonight, about wildlife photographer Joel Sartore’s quest to photograph all the creatures in zoos, for the National Geographic Photo Ark project (natgeophotoark.org).
The project’s goal is to increase awareness of Earth’s biodiversity and the efforts by zoos to save threatened species. He has visited 40 countries and has completed intimate portraits of more than 8,485 species so far.
.. and I thought this ghoulish picture below of Wahlberg’s epauletted* fruit bat is quite fitting to help us prepare. I found it in a Mother Jones article. (Quite a mouthful, the creature’s name! .. and the bat in the picture below has a mouth full of fruit, explaining its puffy cheeks).
*An epaulet is an adornment consisting of an ornamental cloth pad worn on the shoulder, much as some military uniforms have. I guess the bat has something that looks like an epaulet on its shoulder.