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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Native Frogs of Highfields Falls

30th January 2016

NATIVE FROGS & NOCTURNAL WILDLIFE OF HIGHFIELDS FALLS

We decided to go for a night walk through Highfields Falls after some recent rain to see how many native frog species were out and about. The falls had changed quite significantly since our last visit, with recent earthworks being performed to widen tracks, presumably for vehicle access, so it was extremely muddy as gravel hadn't yet been added to the tracks, anyway the frogs were happy with plenty to be seen and heard, predominantly Great Barred Frogs.  We saw quite a few Common Brushtail Possums, birds sleeping in trees and a few water spiders.  We were pleasantly surprised not to see any cane toads!

B & J
 
Great Barred Frog at Highfields Falls 30th January 2016

Scarlet-sided Pobblebonk Frog with the remains of his last meal hanging out of his mouth at Highfields Falls, 30th January 2016

Female Stoney Creek Frog at Highfields Falls, 30th January 2016

Male Stoney Creek Frog at Highfields Falls, 30th January 2016 (iphone photo)

Ornate Burrowing Frog at highfields Falls, 30th January 2016

"Not Happy Jan"  I was taking a photo of this beautiful Great Barred Frog when an ant crawled over it's face, it sat patiently, but un-impressed. 

Gorgeous Common Brushtail Possum in a tree at Highfields Falls 30th January 2016,  

Common Brushtail Possum, Highfields Falls, 30th January 2016


Giant Water Spider (Megadolomedes australianus) at Highfields Falls, 30th January 2016

Water Spider (Dolomedes sp) at Highfields Falls (iphone photo)



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Australia Day at Muntapa Tunnel

26th January 2016

MUNTAPA TUNNEL

Australia Day 2016 was spent exploring the Muntapa Tunnel - the Longest man-made railway tunnel in the southern hemisphere (287m long). Completed in 1912, and now home to thousands of tiny Bent-wing Bats. This tunnel was hand-dug through the great-dividing range and only took 13 months to complete - an amazing feat! The men worked while their wives and children camped onsite, in the middle of nowhere. A small school was even erected for the time. What hard work that would have been - they made them tough then!

Fantastic place to visit and worth the drive.  The grounds have plenty of interpretive signage,history, fauna & flora & shaded picnic areas and toilet facilities.

Photos by Judi & Kiri



Muntapa Tunnel photographed by K Gray

Bent-wing Bats flying around in the centre of the Muntapa Tunnel, 260116

One of the bats was on it's own, away from the others... I wondered if it was unwell, as this seemed like strange behaviour.


Muntapa Tunnel

The 'ceiling' of the Muntapa Tunnel
Muntapa Tunnel (Photo by K. Gray)


Beautiful Butterfly at Muntapa, by K. Gray



Haden Lookout - Must Stop Spot

26th January 2016

HADEN LOOKOUT

Haden Lookout is always a must-stop-spot when driving through this scenic country region in rural South-East Queensland.  On a clear day, the views across the Great-Dividing Range are extensive and showcase a different perspective of our area, than the usual lookouts over the escarpment.  The lookout has two shaded picnic tables so you can stop and rest and enjoy a bite to eat while taking int he view. We stopped by the lookout on Australia Day and spent some time taking in the picturesque scenery and observing wrens and finches in the grasslands. 

I would love to see some photos taken by someone experienced at photographing landscapes from this location, as I am sure they could be quite impressive.  

You can find the Haden Lookout on the Haden-Maclagan Road, just west of the picturesque township of Haden.

J, B, C & K.

View from Haden Lookout, Haden, Qld. 26/01/16

View from Haden Lookout, Haden, Qld. 26/01/16

Picnic tables with a spectacular view from Haden Lookout, Haden, Qld. 26/01/16

Bottle Tree at  Haden Lookout, Haden, Qld. 26/01/16

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Beautiful Bottle Trees of Evergreen

26th January 2016

These beautiful old Bottle Trees made for stunning scenery in an area aptly named "Evergreen" in South-East Queensland.

Bottle trees of Evergreen

Bottle tree at Evergreen

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A walk down Klein Creek, Highfields


22nd January 2016

KLEIN CREEK - WILLIAMS PARK - HIGHFIELDS

It has been a while since we have done the walk along Klein Creek in Williams Park at Highfields (just north of Toowoomba).  This beautiful wildlife corridor is a life-line for many native wildlife species in the Highfields area and is the last connecting section of native bushland to the north. Butterflies, Dragonflies and Birdlife are prolific, and the scenery of beautiful tree ferns and gum trees is very picturesque. There wasn't much water during this visit and it was only trickling under the old timber footbridge.  The creek gets wider towards Reis Road bridge, but as it wasn't running very much, this section was a little stagnant, but home to plenty of Eastern Water Dragons and birds.

We removed an abandoned or forgotten Opera House Trap from the creek, which looked like it had been there for some time.  These traps are often forgotten, and then can cause drowning potential for native animals such as Platypus.  Legislation was changed in February 2015 to restrict use of Opera House traps east of the Great Dividing Range, which includes the Toowoomba and Highfields area. More info and map here:  https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/fisheries/consultations-and-legislation/legislation/upcoming-legislation-changes

I note that while weeds seem to grown when nothing else native does in periods of drought, it was disappointing to see so much residential garden wasted dumped into the park at the Mavis Court entrance.  This area was particularly infested with environmental weeds and household plants, that will have grown from garden cuttings and waste. 

Williams Park can be entered from three entrances, being Cecil Street, Mavis Court and Reis Road near the bridge (note there isn't anywhere to park at the Reis Rd entrance).

J, C & K

Klein Creek, Williams Park, Highfields. Qld.


Female Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly
Male Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly

Pedestrian Footbridge crossing Klein Creek, Highfields

Just one of the many enormous Gum Trees on the Klein Creek Bank

Eastern Yellow Robin - Williams Park, Highfields 22/01/16
Pale-headed Rosellas on Klein Creek
Red-browed Finch at Williams Park, Highfields

Common Bronzewing - not the best photo, but I had to add it to show it's beautiful bronze colours in the sun.

White-faced Heron on a log in Klein Creek, Highfields

White-faced Heron in Klein Creek - note also the large head of an Eastern Water Dragon to the left of the log in the foreground (bottom right of photo)

Beautiful Tree Ferns along Klein Creek

Baby Eastern Water Dragon on Klein Creek, Highfields

Male Fiery Skimmer Dragonfly (Orthetrum villosovittatum)
Female Fiery Skimmer (i.d. thanks to Deane Lewis)
  
Klein Creek - taken from the footbridge crossing.

Beautiful remnant bushland along the edges of Klein Creek, Highfields.

Pretty sure these are a weed - Wild Raspberries - but still beautiful all the same!

Removing an old Opera House Trap from Klein Creek, Highfields 23/01/16

Mavis Court Entrance to Klein Creek and Williams Park - unfortunately this section contains a high amount of environmental weeds and it appears that locals have been dumping their garden waste into the bushland, creating a terrible mess and further weed invasion.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Picnic Point Waterfall Toowoomba

08th January 2016

PICNIC POINT WATERFALL, TOOWOOMBA

So this year I am trying to learn how to take better photos, and photographing Waterfalls, is somewhat of a challenge. This is my best shot (I think) from a practice session today. This waterfall is a man-made one and the water is coloured with a blue/green dye, hence the coloured tinge. The waterfall was the closest one to home that I could think of that was a decent size to practice photographing. Picnic Point Waterfall area is a really beautiful spot, with established gardens surrounding the waterfall.

J.G.

Picnic Point Waterfall Toowoomba (08/01/16)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Sculptures of the Hugh Sawrey Walkway Kogan

01st January 2016

HISTORICAL SCULPTURES IN KOGAN, WESTERN DOWNS, QUEENSLAND

Kogan is a tiny town found 54kms north west of Dalby in the Western Downs Region of Rural Queensland, on Kogan Creek. These photos are taken at the Hugh Sawrey Walkway in Kogan Park.

Hugh Sawrey was a popular Australian Impressionist Artist, who's family resided on Kogan Creek. His work featured the Queensland "outback" and his subjects reflected country workers.  The "Man who Steadies the Lead" sculpture is a tribute to Hugh Sawrey and is located at the very front of the Hugh Sawrey Walkway in Kogan Park.  "Bush Friendship" is a life size bronze Sculpture of artist Hugh Sawrey & Kogan Publican Darkie Dwyer, who formed a strong friendship after the Second World War. The bronze sculpture shows them playing cards.

There were other sculptures and plenty of history depicted in interpretive signage throughout the walkway park at Kogan. the park included a playground, sitting areas and shady trees for a good rest-stop.  The town consists of a Memorial Hall, Hotel and a small shop located in a transportable building, local homes and the Hugh Sawrey Walkway Park.

Unfortunately due to the long drought in Western Queensland, Kogan Creek was without water when we visited on New Year's Day, one could tell however, that it would be quite a picturesque spot to stop when the creek was full.

J G

 
"The Man Who Steadies the Lead", a Dion Cross Sculpture on the Hugh Sawrey Walkway, Kogan, Queensland

"The Man Who Steadies the Lead", a Dion Cross Sculpture on the Hugh Sawrey Walkway, Kogan, Queensland
Aboriginal Art at the Hugh Sawrey Walkway, Kogan, Queensland.

"Bush Friendship" Life Size Bronze Sculpture of artist Hugh Sawrey & Kogan Publican Darkie Dwyer

Some of the historical signage at Hugh Sawrey Walkway, Kogan

Historical signage about the pioneer families of the Kogan area, at the Hugh Sawrey Walkway, Kogan. 
A little more about the friendship depicted in the Bush Friendship Sculpture here:  http://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/friendship-formed-in-kogan-pub-captured-canvas/1968040/