Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Flower Time Again
Guess what? It has actually been warm for a couple of days. Maybe our cold, wet winter has started to go away. Canberra celebrates the start of Spring with a flower festival, Floriade. You can see pictures from previous years Floriades if you use the search tool. Since Monday was warm, the Oldies took me to see what this year's show was like. Well, I think it is a lot smaller than last year, but still very pretty. The acres of flowers look great and there are lots of places for a small bear to hide and scare insects; have you spotted me in the pot of yellow flowers? (click on the image for a larger size). There were two special things. In one of the ponds there is a gigantic rubber duck! I wanted to swim out and meet him, but you know what Mum thinks about me getting wet, so Dad took me down to the edge of the pond for a close look. The real surprise was a mother Brush-tail Possum feeding her joey in a tree by the path. Normally possums don't come out until night, but this one was not bothered by the daylight or the hordes of people taking photos. It is a bit hard to see the baby in the photo; it is cuddled up alongside the mother, giving her a smooch. We watched the baby being feed, cleaned and put back to sleep clinging onto the mother possum's back. That's something that you don't get to see everyday.
Labels: animals, Canberra, gardens
Thursday, September 19, 2013
At the Canberra zoo there is an area where you can walk in among some of the animals. Not the bitey ones of course, just cute and gentle ones like these swamp wallabies. You can find these little guys all along the eastern and south-eastern coast and ranges of Australia. I think they are the prettiest type of wallaby. They grow to about 75cm and eat just about any sort of plant, including some that are poisonous to most animals. They prefer grazing on shrubs rather than grass. The one on the right is a mother and has a little joey in her pouch. The joey was peeping out when we first noticed him. He came right out of the pouch, but quickly dived back in before Mum could photograph him. Most of the wallabies were just lazing in the sunshine, not at all bothered by people walking through. If you want to get close to critters like these, visit our zoo.
Labels: animals, Canberra, zoo
Playing Around At Poacher's Pantry
Last Sunday was Aunty Enid's birthday. We took her out for lunch at a ressetorront (I just can't spell restaurant) in the country, called "Poacher's Pantry". It is about 45 minutes north of where we live, at the speed Mum drives, and is an old farmhouse which has been turned into a posh eatery. They specialise in all sorts of smoked and preserved meats. You can try just about any critter that isn't on the protected list. The thing that I like is that there is a big area of lawn and garden with interesting old machinery and artwork. Just the thing to keep a small bear occupied while the Oldies natter. Here are my 3 favourites. The best is an old steam traction engine that is being restored. Dad can actually remember almost 70 years ago when engines like this would trundle onto his granddad's farm and power all sorts of farm machinery. He remembers it well because he was always in trouble for getting too near the big flat belt that went around the big wheel on the side of the engine and around the drive shaft of the farm things. This engine has a rope fence around it, so I could only get as close as the top of the fence. I aim to visit again when it is repaired and running. I love steam engines. The artwork is a different matter. Most of it is solid enough for a small bear to climb all over. I really like the pear made out of old horse shoes. And when you feel like a rest there is a pond with goldfish where you can just sit and watch the fish. Poacher's is a great place for an unhurried lunch on a sunny Sunday.
Labels: Canberra, climbing, family
Monday, September 09, 2013
Canberra, Great Aircraft, Great City
Dad & I have just finished that big job of dusting, repairing and shelving 1300+ model aircraft. It is amazing how many small bits get broken, eaten or otherwise lost when models are left sitting for years. Anyhow, it is done and they are all stored on view, behind clear plastic sheeting. I found 2 models there that I really liked, because they are of an aircraft named after the city I live in. They are models of the English Electric Canberra and the US version, the B-57. If you look carefully at the middle picture you will see some obvious changes that the Americans made when they produced their licence-built version (that's the black model). It mainly shows in the area of the cockpit canopy and nose. The other model is the Australian version; yes, we built them in Melbourne. The model is of a Canberra that I have seen flying at the Temora Aviation Museum. You can see the real 'plane in the top and bottom pictures. I have been allowed to see into the cockpit of the real one, but not to run around in there. The other aeroplane in the bottom picture is a De Havilland Vampire, and yes, we have models of several versions of that as well. I love aeroplanes and it's great building models of ones that I've seen. It's also very special to have an aircraft named after the city you live in. There have many ships named after Australian cities, but not many 'planes.
Our next big job is getting ready for our next big trip. Dad is the Enrichment Speaker on "Celebrity Millenium", sailing from Hawaii to Sydney in November, talking Astronomy of course.
Labels: aircraft, Canberra, models, Temora
Friday, September 06, 2013
Nothing Mere About Meerkats
Probably my favouritest animals of all are meerkats.They are really cute. I love the way that they always have one on guard while the rest of the group are busy finding food or just enjoying themselves. You will always find the guard sitting up on the highest thing around, with his head swivelling around to watch everything in the area and above it. Their enclosure at Canberra Zoo has large glass sides so that it is easy to watch them, and for them to watch us. I sat down at one of these windows and within seconds several of the group had spotted me. They all ran over to check me out. I guess they wondered what sort of critter I am. It looks like the one in the photo is asking the Oldies "What is this strange thing, and why have you brought it here?" He tapped on the glass a few times to see if I would move, then wandered off to do other meerkat things.
Remember, to see bigger images, just click on the photo.
Labels: animals, Canberra, zoo
Monday, September 02, 2013
Bears, Oh My!
Yesterday was the first nice, warm, sunny day we have had for ages. It was also Fathers' Day. What do you do with your Dad on Fathers' Day? Well, I took mine to the zoo. The fact that I wanted to see some of my favourite critters had nothing to do with it :) The first thing you need when you go to the zoo is a map. The Canberra Zoo is being upgraded and things have moved and much improved since we were there last, so Dad and I planned our path for the afternoon. First stop, naturally enough, was the BEARS! The big European Brown Bear was cooling off in his pool. He looked really happy and I pointed out to Mum that bears really do swim. She was completely unmoved in her determination to keep me dry; I guess I will never be allowed to swim. The Malaysian Sun Bears were making the most of the warmth. One of them was exercising on the logs in the sun. The other one was stretched out on another log, fast asleep. That looked like a good idea so I took a short snooze on Dad's arm, Son Bear imitating Sun Bear. The zoo bears now have great enclosures to live in and they are well looked after, but I reckon small bears with Oldies like mine have the best possible life.
Labels: animals, Canberra, zoo