Frapps offered to give us a whirlwind tour of the central upland area of Tasmania. We figured this was a great way to get oriented, so we headed out. We had been zipping along on our car tour for a while, with ample comment and things to look at, when all of a sudden Frapps slammed on the breaks, pulled over, jumped out of the car, and scooped up an echidna.
Dona had seen them before, but I hadn't. Basically, they're a porcupine. This was a little one, and I'd seen how Frapps rolled his hands when he went to pick it up so he could avoid the quills poking into his hands. Nicely done. The echidna curled up into a ball, then peed over its head. Frapps, being a well-read biologist interested in animal behavior, had anticipated the event and ducked to the side. He handed the echidna over to Dona, who also manaaged to not get poked.
Echidnas do the porcupine thing when scared -- they ball up and stick their quills out, tucking their face underneath.
|Echidna||Cute little bugger, isn't s/he?||Echidna in defense mode|
|Frapps and Echidna||Dona and Echidna|
We visited a huge eucalyptus tree. Some of the eucalyptus species are massive like the American redwoods. Eucalyptus are one of the tallest, stoutest, and largest trees in the world. Four of the nine tallest trees are eucalypts in Tasmania, and they are contenders in the Stoutest (circumference) and Largest (total volume) classes as well. I didn't write down which species this is; there are several different ones which get big like this.
One of the places we visited was Liffey Falls, a state park and wonderful place to chill out. While checking out the falls we saw black cockatoos, superb fairy wrens, and pink robins.
|Liffey Falls||Liffey Falls|
|Black Cockatoo||Superb Fairy Wren (female)||Golden Whistler|
For some reason we stopped by this bridge on our way home. It's obviously been around a while, but I can't remember why we stopped to look at it. It obviously made a big impression...
Then we headed off for a three day excursion to Maria Island.