Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Note the boat in the background - almost missed it because I stopped to take this pic!

emu encounters

<--Emu in main street of Denham

Admittedly, I'm not a big fan of emus. I have a memory from childhood going into the bush to show my Nana from England some wildlife and having the car surrounded by inquisitive emus as we tried to get out.

I haven't had anything to do with emus since then aside from seeing them at Healsville Sanctuary and keeping my distance! Until now.

The Monkey Mia emus, like the pelicans (will post on them later) are a bit jealous of the attention (and food) the dolphins get, so have no qualms harassing tourists as they are enjoying a rest on the lawn (and getting sunburned as I later found out).

Being city girls, it was quite a thrill to see them walking around the streets of Denham and the resort at M.M. But then they started to get a little too friendly!
Sandy trying to save her drink bottle (and self) from nosy emu

She must have jumped so high that she lost both her drink bottle and hat!
Now I've been spotted!
Turns out they eat the berries that fall off the palm tree we were reclining under. But I think they were also checking out if we had something better. Did give me a good chance to get some close ups despite the animal growling at me.

Then they decided we didn't have anything they wanted, and headed to the cafe.

Shell Beach

To the left is Shell Beach which is between Hamelin Pool and Monkey Mia. It is a huge stretch of, well, shell beach!

There are millions of these tiny shells. In places they have compacted into a limestone which has been quarried at Hamelin Pool and also a little at Shell Beach (hence the craters)

<-- Limestone quarry at Hamelin Pool

<--Close up of the rock
The stone was then used to construct some buildings in Denham

Hamelin Pool

This is Hamelin Pool. I have been wanting to visit this beautiful bay for years since hearing about it in first year Geology. It is extremely saline which provides the perfect environment for these:

No, they aren't turds! But stromatolites. They are mounds of bacteria which exist in only a few places. The salinity means they have no preditors (aside from us, hence the boardwalks)

They only grow a mm or so a year. Most are less than 30cm high, but they are still pretty old. Some have a red tinge which may have been caused by high iron content in the water at the time of formation. But they don't know.

The lines through the flat area of stromatolites are from wagons! When this area was settled the people had to walk and cart their wagons through the shallow bay. It just shows how fragile this eco system is - the impacts from 100 years ago can still be seen.


I don't know that anyone noticed, but I changed the picture on my blog. The original is here:

And this is what it has been replaced with: my first completed oil painting! Look familiar?


I could have spent all day looking at the gorges in Kalbarri NP, but for the flies. The constant buzz, worse than traffic, ruined the peace.

On arrival at Hamelin Pool I invested in a fly net. Not the best look, I admit, but boy was I thankful. I was so fed up of swatting and picking flies out from behind my sunnies!

Sandy resisted and put up with the flies for the whole trip. She was the only one at Hamelin without a net! I don't know how she did it. She did eat and inhale a few though...

Kalbarri Gorge

Kalbarri 1

I really hate blogger! It's going to take the rest of my life to upload these holiday pics!

Anyhow, these are from 2 of the look-outs in Kalbarri Coastal Park.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sad but true

Ok, so even my weather nut friends will think this is sad, but yes, I visit weather stations in my spare time! The white box has the thermometers in them (often automatic ones), and the cylinder is a rain gauge. Some sites have co-operative observers that read the instruments once or more per day.

Rottness Island: sited on a hill opposite the hill the lighthouse is on (not fun to ride up, I tell you!)

Cape Leeuwin - the most SW point of Australia, where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet (also near the lighthouse). Automatic rain gauge.

Manual rain gauge at Hamelin Pool and disused screen. The gauge is actually on top of a sand dune which I was surprised about because there are specific rules about siting these. Turns out that the old one was washed away in a flood last year, so they had to put the new one on higher ground!

Treasures of Northampton

Northampton - prob 60km north of Geraldton is famous (?) for it's National Trust classified buildings and the Hanging of the Quilts (sadly, not til October). Also has a coca-cola museum, strangely enough. And a really good op-shop which gets it's stock all the way from Perth ('not from Geraldton') and has a whole room of $1 stock (which is where we spent most of our visit to Northampton!)