Tropical Territory – new blog, new images

My Territory blog posts have been fairly popular and I’ve been intrigued by some of the 365 days of photography series. Michelle Goodrun from The Turning of Generations has started a new blog called Shutterbug Generations which inspired me to open a new blog for my photos of life and scenes around the Top End. It will be separate from this blog so people can choose to follow or not.

I’ve called it Tropical Territory and it will be photos with only a short caption (if any) on each. Mostly they’ll be photos I’ve taken on that day or the day before but if for some reason that comes unstuck I may sneak in some older ones I’ve taken. I’ll tweet my posts but won’t humbug people on Google+ with them. We’ll see how it goes. (You can see how focused I’ve been so far this year. But to be fair I’ve edited some 40 pages of my draft family history).

Beauty & the Beast, united in death

Beauty and the Beast: the night heron and the cane toad.

I think this image speak volumes of the march of the cane toad into the Northern Territory (apart from all those shades of brown).  We stopped to look at some brolgas near a waterway on our drive home from down south, and happened to see this tableau.

It may not be the case, but it looked to me like the night heron had possibly pecked at the toad, killing it, only to die itself from the toad’s poison. It certainly reminds us that the cane toad migration is in full force and has a substantial impact on the native wildlife. This is the first year we’ve had them on our suburban block. Call in Toadbusters and the toad traps.

For those unfamiliar with cane toads, some bright spark brought them in the 1930s to combat the cane beatle which was affecting crops. Like so many introduced species it then went crazy and has had a terrible effect on native animals. Unfortunately there’s also a native frog in the Top End which at a casual glance looks similar to a cane toad -those we don’t want to destroy!

BTW I am not a bird expert so if my bird identification is incorrect please leave a comment and set me straight.

On the road again: Territory colours

This week we were driving the nearly 4000kms to get back to Darwin from Canberra. Yesterday as we drove through 1000kms of Territory bush I was moved by the many colours and images. I’m no poet but here are my thoughts in vaguely poetry form rather than prose.

Territory Colours

Dawn breaks deep red against the lightening sky

The horizon so vast in an encompassing ocean of green

White-trunked gums with leaves of lime

In a sea of shrubs fringed with red grevillea

And trimmed with a bright blue sky

Buttes of ochre-red dot-painted with grey-green spinifex

A parade of turkey bush fresh-flowered in purple

Laced with yellow from grevillea, kapok and wattle

Cycads waving their new-grown umbrellas and

New grass tufts vivid-green against the fire-burnt ground

Contrast the shimmering purple seed heads of older grass

Lime, shamrock, white, purple, blue, red, green and yellow

Home again to the colours of the Territory bush.