Karijini Kritters

Some of my best friends went on a canoe trip in the United States once and one of the party was a geologist.  The guys reported back to me that they were stopping at every rock outcrop and formation to allow the geologist a chance to marvel at this rock and that.  By the end of the trip the guys had learned quite a lot about geology.

In much the same way, traveling with Andrea, I noticed, observed and learned a lot more about animals than I would have if I were traveling alone.  She would get so excited whenever she saw an animal and the energy was contagious; I suppose the energy rubbed off on me and it probably will stick.  I seem to be noticing animals and not just noticing them, now I seem to observe them also.

We saw this curious raven (above) at the entrance to Hamersley Gorge.  He was making some raven calls and eventually another came over and they sparred for spots in the tree before this fellow claimed dominance and drove off his rival.  When I went under the tree to catch his photo he didn’t seem alarmed by my presence and let me photograph for a while.

Just above the circular pool near the walking path Andrea noticed this camouflaged lizard basking in the sun near the walking trail.  I probably wouldn’t have even noticed him and I wonder how many tourists walk past without ever seeing him.  His camouflage is perfect and laying in plain sight he is able  hide from birds and other predators.

Outside of the Dales Recreation Area, we saw a falcon hunting from a tree.  I parked the Wicked camper van and got out to take a photo.  As I stood shooting photos of this falcon, another falcon came and landed.  We were trying to determine of the two were a pair or rivals – I’m not an experienced bird watcher and I can’t really tell male from female falcons.  But the two seemed to be squabbling over the top branch; two buddies or a quarreling husband and wife?

We’re not sure but these two birds are probably Australian Hobby (Little Falcon) or possibly Brown Falcons.

We never did see the termites that created these huge mounds, maybe they were hibernating?  But geez, look at the size of these mounds?  The termites make them large enough so that during the hot summer months they stay quite cool inside.  The kid in me wanted to break one open to look inside but of course, that wouldn’t be a good idea.  I enjoyed their bright red color and massive size without disturbing them.  But they sure are big, aren’t they?


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