Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Not Like Home

One of many features that make Australia special is its fauna and fauna. Each time I've visited, it's what captures my interest because it's dramatically different than what we see in Iowa.

If you're the least bit interested in Australia, and you've never read Bill Bryson's book In a Sunburned Country - Bill's a native of Des Moines, Iowa, by the way - you simply must take the time to read it. In addition to being humorous (I laughed all the way through this book), it's an excellent inside look at the natural beauty and creatures in this part of the world.
I'd love to be able to capture on camera all the birds I've seen - ibis, kookaburra, cockatoos, to name a few- but I've had to settle for a not-too-clear picture of this five inch long Fairy Wren. It's such a distinctive-looking bird with it's long blue tail standing nearly perpendicular to its body.
This wren was amongst the grasses along The Gap, a gorgeous ocean-viewing place in Watson's Bay. Sadly, the area has been stigmatized due to the number of suicides that have occurred along the cliff walk. Fences, lights and security cameras have been installed in attempts to prevent people from doing just that. It was the lovely Di B. who took me to see this spectacular view. She's alongside the anchor from the ship Dunbar, that smashed on these rocks in 1857, and left only one survivor.
At Di's house, these gorgeous Bird of Paradise were happily blooming in her garden, along the nature rock sea wall.
And can you guess what this tree is? I'd never seen one. It's a pawpaw tree, and those fruit, when they're ripe, are edible!
At the local produce stand we bought this odd-looking fruit. Then we had to do an Internet search to learn the name of it! It's a kiwano. It's also known as a horned melon. Most often it's used as a decorative fruit. To give you a perspective on its size, it's next to a yellow pepper.

Interesting, isn't it? Sorta pretty. The peel is edible too.
We read that the fruit is good sprinkled with either salt or sugar, but truthfully, I was completely put off by the slimy texture in my mouth.

More new to see in Australia.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Linda, you are having just the BEST time! What a beautfiful home you stayed in with your friends too... very special and fab water views.
    How much longer are you here?
    love Cheryl x

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