Sunday, 13 March 2011

Since the early caveman in his fur took a trip to Gretna Green

liberty monument
, gellért-hegy, budapest, hungary
Originally uploaded by SBishop

THE other day I had a bit of a spring clean of my computer, knowing I had a few old photos to sort through. To my shock the unsorted photos went back several years, covering several family events, holidays and all sorts of shenanigans. Because of this I aim, over the next few weeks, to add many of these photos to my Flickr account, this blog and/or Facebook or Picasa, depending on suitability, so that relevant photos can be seen by you lot - family and friends and, selectively, the wider Internet. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Western Australia VI: Thing! THINGTHINGTHING! Thud.

HALF way back to Perth, between two distant towns a day's drive apart, is a lonely junction. Taking you away from the north-south coastal highway, the adjoining road heads west for a few hours into a landscape of red earth, hypersaline shimmering waters, sweeping bays and hundreds of acres of thriving biodiversity. This is the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, the area encompassing two north-westerly projecting, long and narrow peninsulas, creating two immense coves that harbour all manner of surprises: salt mines; sand bars; more tiger sharks than anywhere else in the world; beaches made of billions of only one kind of tiny shell; shell quarries; 4,000 km2 of sea grass; dolphins, turtles and 10,000 dugongs and, in a far recess of one of the bays, a population of living fossils — the towers of stromatolites, ancient microbe populations responsible for our oxygen-rich atmosphere. On land the earth is coated in low-lying shrub vegetation, hiding among it threatened species covering the diverse animal kingdom. Signs warn drivers of the ground-dwelling Mallee fowl, for example, a vulnerable species that builds giant self-insulating nests, coated in sand layers of up to 1 metre in depth and heated by organic decay, in which they bury their eggs.