I didn’t want to use an image of a zebra for this final post so have decided to choose images of an animal and plant that I enjoy looking at ‘zee’ best.
The first is a wombatseen at a school camp I attended out in the bush area of Tasmania. Wombats are known for having square shaped poop. Read this article to find out how scientists have been researching this fact.
The second is a Tasmanian Devil. He looks very different to Taz from Disney fame, but he does act in a similar way, running around in circles and snarling. If camping in the bush in Tasmania, they make awful sounds during the night. I take a soft toy Tassie Devil when I travel and he had his own blog at one stage.
The third is the Tasmanian waratahwhich looks very different to the New South Wales waratah. The NSW species is very densely packed florets compared to the Tassie version. I took this image while driving on the west coast of Tasmania. You can also find yellow versions of the Tasmanian waratah.
While staying with friends when they lived in Arizona, I did a lot of driving near their house. I often found these Yucca species. In some respects they look like the grass trees mentioned in the letter X post yesterday, but they are naturally found in the Americas.
Yabbies and crayfish
In Tasmania we have a freshwater burrowing crayfish which is endemic to our state. But many of our crayfish species are being threatened by the mainland yabby which has been introduced into Tasmania. What is the difference between yabbies and crays? Thanks to my friend Sue Waters for sharing her yabby image on Flickr.
There are many species of wattle tree in Australia. This image is probably Acacia dealbata or Silver Wattle. Many acacias look similar and often the leaves or phyllodes are how you can differentiate between species. The Golden Wattle is the national floral emblem of Australia.
These birds are often seen in creeks near where they enter the sea or in ponds and dams on local properties. They are also called egrets.
Another tough letter for animals and plants so I am using the word ‘very’ in the photos.
While in Cincinnati on one of my trips to USA to attend an education and technology conference, I went to the zoo and saw some great animals. One of them, the giraffe, was very tall. The Botanical Garden is also part of the zoo area.
Whenever I go to the USA, I hire a car in Los Angeles and head off driving, often to no specific place but I knew I wanted to visit a place where there are ‘very big’ trees. Luckily, I hired a small car. There are other places where you can drive through these big trees. Note Davo the Tasmanian devil is sitting on the bonnet of the car.
It was hard to find an animal and plant starting with this letter so I have decided to use the word ‘unusual’ for this post.
A couple of animals that look unusual are the platypus and the weedy sea dragon that you can see at Beauty Point attractions, Platypus House and Seahorse World. Better photos of a platypus can be seen at the link above.
An unusual plant is the Potato orchid. My dad has these growing down the driveway at his house. Sorry one of the photos is a bit blurry.
From the first image you can see why it is called a potato orchid.
This photo was taken in 2021 when I was travelling from Darwin to Broome on a bus tour with fellow Tasmanians. This flower, when squashed, is used by aboriginals as an insect repellent. It was found at an information area on our way to Kakadu in the Northern Territory.
When visiting Kangaroo Island, our tour took in Seal Bay. This included a guided tour explaining about the endangered sea lion colony. There were also colonies of New Zealand fur seals on the island.
In Tasmania we have a pink species of Stylidium but I also took a photo of a yellow plant in Western Australia. These plants are also called trigger plants. When an insect lands on the flower, the male and female reproductive organs which are fused together, snaps forward quickly.
A common visitor to my garden is an Eastern Rosella. They have to compete for the bird bath with the noisy miners, galahs and butcher birds which are often there as well. Remember to check the bird calls from the links I include in each post.
My father was an avid bushwalker and always had his camera with him. But with age, he no longer bushwalks but enjoys looking back at the photos he has taken on his walks. He often writes about his trips in the Hobart Walking Club magazine and has written many recommendations for life members.
He has taken lots of photos of plants seen around the Tasmanian mountains and the following is a Richea dracophylla found in the Mt Field area.
I visited Rottnest Island off the coast of Western Australia many years ago, but never got a photo of the little animal called a quokka, so I searched Flickr for a creative commons license image that I could use.
My last trip away was to the Flinders Ranges and we passed through a little town called Copley. It was here that many members of the bus tour bought some quandong sauce from the local bakery. This image is from Garry and Sharon Wilson, our bus tour organizers.
Whilst on a trip to South Australia we visited the zoo in Adelaide. We checked out the panda display. Davo (my Tasmanian Devil toy which travels with me) loved the panda image on my coffee.
I live near the sea in Tasmania and you often find pigface growing near the sand dunes. It is a succulent, but has no spikes or prickles like other similar plants. It puts down roots and holds dunes together. Most parts of the plant are edible at various times of the year.
At Beauty Point you have the Platypus House and also the Seahorse World, where you can also see an octopus.
Old Botanic Gardens
Here in my home state of Tasmania, we have the second oldest Botanic Gardens in Australia. In 1816, Royal Botanic Gardens was developed in Sydney and two years later, the Botanic Gardens were started on the Domain in Hobart Town.
This image is from a French Expedition to Hobart in 1837-1840 and is held in the Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office – Allport Library