1. pedantik says

    Better than an inordinate fondness for beetles; but far inferior to a fondness for cephalopods.

  2. eric says

    Ahhh the eucalyptus. Australia’s answer to the question: how could we make trees into an even bigger fire hazard?

  3. marypoppins says

    Tell her to keep up the good work. I am in the planning stages for my trip to Australia.
    Mary P

  4. F says

    Australia, Australia, Australia, we love you, amen.

    Here is more selected Australia from Michael Welland’s recent trip there:
    Little fellah bums
    Fire in the sand
    The latter is quite botanical, while the former may cause disappointment by containing no bums at all.

  5. Stacy says

    @eric #3 — eric, that’s not a eucalyptus. Apparently it’s a myall, which (had to look it up) is an acacia.

  6. madscientist says

    Melbourne doesn’t have much of the interesting wildlife aside from snakes. You have to go elsewhere for the venomous spiders, killer conchs, and tourist-eating crocodiles (they seem to prefer the Germans). Then of course there are the biblical creatures like the dropbears. Australia’s so damned big though – where do you go? Sweltering Darwin, the Ross Ice Shelf (see it while it lasts!), Rat’s Nest Island (the alleged rats are such adorable creatures). For the bible lovers, not too far from Melbourne you’ve got the 1211 apostles (better known to bacon lovers as ‘The Piggies’).

  7. lcaution says

    Geez, that must be a 30 hour flight for you? (I’ve been to New Zealand and would love to return but not until we have a very supersonic jet which, unfortunately, is unlikely to happen in my lifetime.)

  8. John Morales says

    The first European explorers were somewhat bemused that trees shed their bark but kept their leaves.

    (Also, black swans)

  9. mandrellian says

    Come back any time – you’d probably dig the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. It’s a grand hunting ground for ancient fossils (esp the pre-Cambrian Ediacaran period – named in fact after the Ediacara hills near where the first lil buggers were found by bloody legend Reg Sprigg). Like any arid area it can hit 50 Celsius during the day and drop to freezing overnight. It’s also, like, chockers with rugged beauty, animals with big feet, obligatory venomous things and huge, lazy crows which have this way of looking at you sideways and croaking which makes you think they’re just waiting for you to die of thirst so they can eat your sweet, juicy eyeballs.

    It’s basically my favourite place in the world.

  10. feralcrj says

    there is something astonishing about the silhouette of gum trees and the other distinctive flora in oz. i miss MN desperately, especially the winters and the woods, but this remains the chance of a lifetime to be here, not to mention the fact i love an aussie.

    thing is, for the folks here, it’s just another day, just a tree, just the bush…

    what it is, like everywhere, uniquely amazing!
    south western australia is one of the major biodiversity hot spots in the world, and i plan on doing what i can to help maintain that.

    i’ll raise a glass of white or a lovely fortified to you and Mrs PZM. be well!