Monday, November 26, 2007

Platypi Spotting.

The NaNo site, which is always slow & notoriously unreliable, is doing such horrible things to my word count that I am too sick to deal with that I have abandoned it to its own quirkiness for my blog, which I am reasonably certain of not crashing again.

The one thing Sian, Ditz & I were really keen on spotting while we were away was a platypus in the wild. See picci ~ not one of ours.

Now for my non Aussie friends Springbrook sits in the hinterland of the N.S.W/Queensland border & is sub~tropical rainforest, amongst other things. It is also Yowie country ~ & no we are not talking sheep here. Think Bunyip. Think Big Foot. It is rugged terrain & after the little bit of rain we've had the waterfalls were all rather spectacular.

We camped near Purling Brook Falls, & I do mean camped. No trailers, campervans, caravans, just a little 3 man tent, a tarp & a gas burner. I do have pics of the camp site; I just have to get Ditz to do the downloading.

About a 5 minute walk from the camp site is the Purling Brook Falls & for the 3 days we were there we walked the circuit in the late evening. Sian was desperate to see a platypus & felt the Lord had said *wait*. I'd already been on Ditz's case because you see nothing if you make noise & sitting quietly with a pair of binoculars admiring the scenery is not Ditz's idea of fun! Sian did see something the first day but wasn't quite sure what. I picked a place further along the river & spent a frustrating hour watching big black shadows & enormous ripples but unable to determine exactly what I was looking at. This is, apparently, typical of seeing platypi. They are extraordinarily hard to spot even when you know exactly what you are looking for. On balance I think we did see platypi at two different locations. Plus I delighted Sian by pointing out the burrow ~ well I'm pretty certain it was the burrow.

These animals are notoriously shy & most people never see one. They feed at dawn & dusk, the best times for platypi spotting, which was why we were sharing space with the mosquitoes & gnats & foregoing cooking dinner while it was still light.

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