Wednesday, July 25, 2012

You Can't See Me!

Personally I thought he was terribly obvious, but I probably should've taken the picture standing aways from the tank, so everything else was visible as well. In any case, I bet you can spot the fish who is absolutely positive that he's invisible.

"Seriously. I'm completely undetectable. Right?"

Having said that, I know where the mouth is, but I'm not sure where his eyes are. I thought I knew and then I swear something else blinked instead.
It was sorta creepy on many levels.

Sorry this is so short, but it's late here and I have to get up at the crack of dawn tomorrow for a course induction. Which sounds like a horrible medical procedure, but is in fact an introduction to the course I'm taking for my B.A. and yes, I am shaking in my rubber booties. Basically tomorrow I get to find out if I made a horrible mistake or not. :D
Go Me!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

... Mostly fuzzy

So, there may have been a bit of a lie there at the end of my last post. It's mostly fuzzy right? As tattered as it is and all... It is still sorta fuzzy, with 6 little insect legs, big multifaceted eyes and some antenna. I'd say it's pretty too, but we're not in a good season for butterflies down here, considering that it's winter. Poor thing...

Ah well. *sighs* Anyway, I did see a name for this, but managed to totally forget it in the two weeks since I was there. Several small panic episodes after looking at course outlines have pretty much erased any type of knowledge I might have had concerning things I actually care about, with extreme prejudice. There are several small tombstones standing in the spaces where I used to have knowledge and I'm sure that brain cells come to mourn the destroyed hole upon which the knowledge once grew. My brain is really becoming a very messy place.

Eh... apologies. Sometimes my mind likes to hike some some lovely morose trails without me. Anyway, here we have a Koala. Probably one of the most recognized marsupials on the planet. They're cute and fuzzy, and everyone wants to hold one. And then they do hold one... and find that the fur is quite coarse. Soon after this, the human discovers that Koalas have claws, which are very sharp and good for gripping trees. Not so good for gripping people, because people bleed. Next, while trying to figuring out how to tell the keeper they don't want to hold the Koala anymore, they discover that Koalas don't smell very good. ... and in my friend's case, Koalas aren't very particular about where they go to the bathroom. Yes, I love Koalas... from a distance with a telephoto lens. I was pleased to see these Koalas from a distance, and there was a large pane of glass between us. Thrilling. Apologies to those whose image of Koalas I've just ruthlessly crushed. For future reference, I tell it like it is, not like everyone wants to hear it. Thank heavens I'm not a fortune teller, I'd have that job for a week and then I'd be known as the crazy bag woman who lives in the untidy clutter junk at the end of the alley. Not because I was bad at my job, but because I was 'honest'.

Next up, on the fuzzy tour, was a Wombat. I'm not going to tell you much about him, because he wasn't doing anything except pacing relentlessly along a small section of the wall. My guess is, that his inside bedtime enclosure has a secret entrance hidden in the fake rock face, and he was desperate to get into it. He/she was not in a good mood, then again, I don't know wombats that well, so it could've been just fine. I've been around animals all my life though, and to me, he looked very stressed, but I don't know why. It was daytime, and they tend to do most of their activities during the night, so it could've been as simple as that. As for holding, being around or touching a wombat, I know nothing, so those of you who love these good sized critters are safe from my tendency to rip away rose colored spectacles. Until, that is, I end up being around them, and I'll let you know if they're something you may want to avoid for one reason or another.

This is a Rock Wallaby... I think. Some of the pictures on the information boards didn't match what was in the enclosure, so I am making a wild stab in the dark here. This was one that didn't look like it's placard. Going on that assumption these little guys are really timid, and really endangered due to habitat destruction, and other much more annoying reasons such as guns and the invasive species that were introduced along with them. Mostly I'm referring to dogs... Pets they might be, but they still have that niggling persistent need to go rip something to shreds when they see something small and furry running/hopping away from them. With smaller species of Roos and Wallabys, cats can be worse. ... I should just be saying,"And this little guy was so cute! Look at him sitting up there on the rock sunning himself like mad. He must really have it easy."

In the largest enclosure (that you can actually walk in to some degree) you have the James Bond of Roos. All he needs here is a martini and he's set. This is a Red Kangaroo, and yes, I can tell you without any doubt whatsoever that it is a 'he'. There is a photo of him standing up, but if I published that one, I'd have to put a warning at the top of the post. Something like,"Parents please cover your children's eyes when you get to the section about the Red Kangaroo, as they have absolutely no shame." And they don't. Anyway, it's a boy!! I decided to just show the one where he's leaning in the sand, in the sun, getting ready to lay down some line from a bad movie. I'm not sure what that line might be, but I'm sure it would be bad. I wasn't able to get a shot of him with his eyes open, but I assure you, he looked like some sleazy pick up artist from an 80s film.

At the nature place, where all these pictures were taken, they have a nocturnal area for all the creatures that you'd never normally see during the day. This for instance is something you probably haven't seen before. Yes, it's a god awful picture, but be thankful my camera got him at all. May I introduce you to the Bilby. He's very cute (yes, I actually used the word seriously) and he's very hard to capture on film, as he moves really fast. Those of you who have seen Jack Rabbits? They move that fast. Anyway, I caught him eating under a bush. Everyone else was distracted with the billions (exaggeration) of hopping native mouse type critters. There were a lot in there with the Bilby, and yes, they were cute too, but they moved faster than the Bilby, so all the pictures looked like white blurs. I could've submitted them to a UFO place as photographic evidence of extra-terrestrial life. Which might be true, as I'm not sure they weren't levitating over the sand.

Unfortunately, I don't really have anymore pictures of the fuzzy kind, so you'll have to make do with feathers and scales. Like this little fellow below. This is what Bearded Dragons looked like before humans got a hold of them and started breeding for color traits. They're still one of the most amiable little lizards I've ever met, and one of the most curious.

I couldn't tell you why his jaw fell open when I went to snap a photo. But it did. I don't think I had anything to do with it though. A lizard below him puffed up, and I suspect that this is a threat pose to let the other one know he's not leaving his perfectly lovely spot near the heating lights at the top of the enclosure. Not without a knock down, drag out fight that is.

Next time I'll have to show you scales and feathers. :) It won't be as bad as all that.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Since I was there...

Sorry about the underlining. Blogger is pitching a fit. Actually it could just be my fault. I was messing with the HTML, and I don't know the language as well as I should.

... *sighs* now it's normal again....

Going from previous posts from long ago, you may have guessed that I really like aquariums, so whenever I get a chance to go to one, I go. Since I was in Sydney, I figured I might as well go to the Sydney Aquarium, and see what was new. There was a lot that they had changed, or removed, but some of the favorites were there, like the Platypus (which I couldn't get a picture of because there were too many people standing in the way) and the big underwater exhibits that you can walk through. Those I've been through before, and I didn't go early like I should have, which means I would've been stuck in a tube with a bunch of other people.

Sadly, I have had my fill of people. When I say that, I don't mean I hate them. I just mean that I can no longer set aside their bad manners, rudeness, letting their children do everything the giant signs tell them not to... etc. Its nothing personal... but it makes my skin crawl to be in a room with more than 20 people. Lots of you are now shaking your heads and making 'tut tut' noises and thinking I should just let it roll off my back. You need to have some sort of emotional shielding for that and mine are quite gone.

Fish on the other hand are another matter. They stay in their aquariums, and
swim back and forth, occasionally chasing one another, and then forget why they were chasing the other fish. IF they even do any chasing at all. Its relaxing to watch them. So I found myself down at the Sydney Aquarium (um, prices have gone up... a LOT) walking through and attempting to snap shots of fish and other critters I thought were interesting. You may or may not find them interesting.

This little guy... alright, so he wasn't all that small, but it wasn't huge either, is a Leopard Shark. At least that's what the label on the tank said it was. There was a Leopard Ray in here too, but he was hiding in a dark corner, and I didn't want to use the camera's flash on him. Plus it's posted everywhere they you aren't supposed to use flashes in the aquarium. A lot of these fish are light sensitive. Anyway, I liked the Leopard Shark mostly because he didn't look like a shark, and then there was the cute little smile he had most of the time. I've seen that same look on rays before, in fact one of the cutest things I've ever seen was someone feeding a ray at the pet store I use when I'm at home. They actually feed their fish. Shocking, I know. This was the first little smile I'd seen on a shark that didn't inspire fear. Not on my part, but on the rest of the masses, generally there is either the urge to run, or the much more masculine approach,"What the HELL is that?!" "I have no idea, but let's kill it!" Inspiring, no?

I should also say that females are usually no better when it comes to smaller creatures of the
unlovable variety... insects for one tend to meet their end via a shoe, or some other heavy unyielding object. Speaking for myself, unless it is actually inflicting harm on my person, I haven't got a problem with it, and generally speaking, the only reason something that small is doing me harm, is because I did something to it first. This of course leaves out mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and other similar natured creatures. Those get no sympathy from me, and will meet a swift end, and its usually not death by shoe. I tend to be a bit more vicious. However most females would have a difficult time smashing this... I couldn't find the tag for this, but I'm guessing it's a rather large cousin of the common spider, except this is MUCH larger. This thing was the size of a Basset Hound, and probably weighed more, given all it's armor. It's probably some type of Lobster, but I'm guessing.

Lets see if I can leave you with something cute to think about, but it will probably still have too many limbs for most people's taste. And no, I don't know what it's called, but it's probably a small shrimp or crab, but I'm leaning towards crab, even with all the little whiskers.

Although, I have to say upon closer inspection, that might very well be a large shrimp. Or not. I wish it hadn't been so crowded the day I went, but school was out, and everyone was on vacation to guess where? I will try and get the names of the ones I missed, but don't hold your breath. Anyway, that's as cute as I'll get for today. Next time around I promise that the critters will have fur or feathers... possibly scales, but they may not be cute.