Welcome to Australia
Here, one of the many, many anthills we encountered, this one in Lichtfield National Park. Just across the road, another species of ant builds its 2 meter high 'hills' more like rectangular tombstones, very narrow in the N-S axis to gain maximum sun. We're still up north here--only about 13 degrees south latitude. For a northern hemisphere equivalent, think Panama.
Kangaroo Island is a wonderful place for wildlife and secluded beaches. Even in 2005...It's located off the southern coast, about 36 degrees south latitude--quite a bit cooler than up north. No anthills. Instead, seals, penguins, roos, wallabys, she-e-e-e-p!, and too many koalas. Ah, another conservation conundrum.
On the mainland, koalas are rare to endangered. Some time ago, something like 12 koalas were re-released back onto Kangaroo. Now, the eucalyptus forest there is being slowy decimated by teeming hordes of hungry koalas, and culling programs have met with little public acceptance. Either we move or kill koalas, or the forest will be eaten. What to do? Thay say relocating is too expensive, but maybe somehow the public will come to value the their gum forests AND the koala too much to give up either. Relocation would ceratinly be the best option. Don't tell this guy, though--he's pretty happy where he is.
Super Blast Furnace Hot. Flies landing on your face, getting behind your sunglasses. A storm brewing. No wind. No water--it's so dry your lips crack. You think about the people who tried their hand at ranching here back in the 1870's. For a short while a few were sucessful, but they ran so many sheep that they ultimately beat the life out of this country. Their hardscrablle scots-irish ghosts still haunt these windswept ruins. A wealth of Aboriginal sites endure--caves of multi-century occupation hang high on canyon walls, tool fragments litter valley floors.
|Grand Canyon | Australia | India
|Sea Kayaking NZ and Fiji
| New Zealand South Island
| Northern Laos
| Welcome to Australia