When I think of cactus, this type usually comes to mind. It’s like the ones you see in the desert.
Now look at these thorny barrel cacti I found at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Who would have thought they grew in such amazing shapes?
This snake cactus gave me the creeps – I kept imagining it was about to wrap itself around me. I felt very uncomfortable.
Then I noticed this fellow. He wasn’t looking comfortable either.
I wonder if he sat on a prickle!
Judging by the labels on the outside of these containers, the contents might be a little unusual and you would be forgiven for thinking that New Zealanders make some very strange choices when it comes to food.
But have a look inside and you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.
Don’t judge these containers by their covers!
Strange things have been happening in Kuirau Park in the centre of Rotorua.
First I saw this sign.
What’s so dangerous about thermals?
I wear my thermal underwear all the time in winter!
Then I noticed steam rising from the water of this lake.
The water looked so inviting, like a giant hot tub. It was crystal clear but it smelled quite strange.
Next I came across these bubbling pools of mud.
I’ve heard of people having mud baths in Rotorua, but I hope it wasn’t here.
It was like the earth was about to boil over.
Then I remembered: Rotorua sits on top of an ancient volcano.
I hope it doesn’t blow its top any time soon.
I met a giant this week at Mammoth Cave, in the Margaret River region of Western Australia.
Zygomaturus trilobus is just one of the Megafauna who lived in this place long ago.
I wouldn’t like to run into him on a dark night though.
My trusty Pocket Oxford Dictionary defines the meaning of the word ‘remarkable’ as exceptional or worth noting.
From the outside, The Remarkable Sweet Shop in Arrowtown didn’t look all that exceptional, but once inside I was overwhelmed by the amazing selection of sweet treats.
There was fudge, in flavours from passionfruit to hokey pokey – fabulous.
I couldn’t decide which chocolate-coated creation I liked best.
And the lollies! I was simply lost for words.
In the end I needed help to make a choice, because I just couldn’t carry one of everything.
Believe me, I tried!
One of my favourite places in Brisbane is the boardwalk along the river from Southbank to the Queensland Museum and Art Gallery precinct. Every time I go there I see some of the local wildlife.
Have you ever seen a spoon-snake? This one was in the garden near the Queensland Art Gallery Café. While spoon-snakes are extremely rare and elusive, they are also quite tame.
I didn’t go close enough to this lizard to find out if he was tame. He looked very fierce and I didn’t want to interrupt him while he was perfecting his camouflage skills.
My favourite creature is this giant silver cicada. He lives on Melbourne Street between the Museum and the Performing Arts Centre. His wings glisten like rainbows and he sings beautifully.
The most unusual creature I’ve seen in Brisbane was this…
well, I’m not entirely sure what he was.
Does anyone know?
Meet my new friend Lulu!
She’s a Great Dane and when I say great I mean great.
Her owner decided she should keep a tight hold on me just in case Lulu felt peckish. One snap of those mighty jaws and one small beaver would be gone in a flash.
It’s a dog’s life.
At Noosa National Park there is a great walking track which follows the coast up the cliffs to the lookout. Along the way is a stand of eucalypt trees where there are some furry inhabitants. When I arrived there were several people peering upwards, but I couldn’t see anything at first. Like everyone else I kept looking and it was only when he moved that we finally saw him:
What’s in the tree?
Can you spot him?
All I can see
is a koala’s bottom.
He’s quiet and sleepy,
perched up high.
I’d like to see more
of this small furry guy.
He’s handsome and loveable,
and cute as can be.
I know who!
But when I sat between these birds I felt right at home.
We seemed to have lots in common.
When is an owl not an owl?
When it’s a tawny frogmouth of course!
Tawny frogmouths are native to Australia. They are related to owls and can be found right around the country. During the day, tawny frogmouths like to use their excellent camouflage skills by sitting perfectly still and pretending to be a branch of a tree. They are much more active at night, when they hunt for nocturnal insects and small creatures like worms and snails.
I hope this one doesn’t invite me to dinner!