Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Traveling To Australia -- Vicariously

Last summer, Richard went to Australia. He is a research scientist and every five years his professional society meets with an international society. Last year they met in Brisbane. The trip over there took almost twenty-four hours, total travel time! He had to fly to Los Angeles (from Atlanta) then fly from L.A. to Brisbane. That last leg took 13 hours. If I'd had to sit on a plane for 13 hours, I'd have been so stove up I wouldn't have been able to walk off the plane. So I'm happy to take trips like that vicariously through pictures. When he got back and got rested up and sorted out his pictures, we sat down at the computer for a slide show. I have some of his pictures to share with you.

This is a view of the Brisbane River, which apparently runs right through the city.

Here's an emu, getting up close and personal. Richard went to a zoo where you can interact with the less dangerous animals. The others are behind fencing.

This is a cassowary. Richard said these birds are not only dangerous, but BIG. This one he estimated to be about five or six feet tall. Richard is six feet tall, so he was just about eyeball-to-eyeball with this fellow.

This is breadfruit, something you don't see in South Georgia.

Here's a dingo, behind fencing. Richard says they're not all white like this one. They're pretty dogs, though, aren't they?

This is what you've been waiting for, isn't it? That lump of fur on her stomach is actually her baby. All together now, aw-w-w-w, isn't it cute? Richard got to pet one of these critters. He was warned not to pet its head, which is apparently a sign of agression. Not one to mess with Mother Nature, Richard petted the koala's back.

These are kookaburras. They are 11 to 17 inches long and are a type of kingfisher. Their name sounds a lot like their call. There is also the laughing kookaburra, whose call sounds like raucous human laughter.

This is a strangler fig. Birds deposit seeds in the upper branches of a host tree, then the seeds germinate and send roots down the tree and eventually the roots strangle the host. Rude guest, if you ask me.

Here they are, the quintessential Australian symbol, just hanging out at the zoo. Richard was able to be in the enclosure with these guys, and you can see they're accustomed to humans gawking at them and taking their picture.

Richard had a blast in Australia, and he said the food was good too. He didn't get to eat any of the native critters, which may be for the best, since I've shown you two (emus and 'roos) that are on menus in some Australian restaurants. He did rent a car and take in some scenery outside Brisbane. He said driving on the left side of the road was a bit of a challenge at first, but he survived and came home in one piece.

I hope you enjoyed looking at this brief, if vicarious, tour of Brisbane.


Bridget said...

Very nice! I hope the dingo didn't steal anyone's baby while Richard was there (sorry, I had to say it...).

It just absolutely kills me how kangaroos lounge - for some reason, I just don't expect them to be in that position!

Theresa said...

Hey, I was gonna say something about the dingo eating MY baby, but Bridget beat me to it. So instead, let me just say that perhaps you need to cook up some emu for supper this weekend, and then blog about it.

Marie said...

Well, you can't buy emu at Wal-Mart.


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