A lot of illustrations from our little festive break

Over the festive period, Hazel and I had a little holiday north of Brisbane around the Bundaberg region.  We stayed in a beautiful little cottage on a sugar plantation.  On our first evening we were visited by two very cute little green tree frogs.  They were sat on the outside window ledge, and whenever a nice juicy bug landed on the window’s fly screen they snatched it quick!

A cute Green Tree Frog




G’day Green Tree Frog!

They weren’t they only amphibian visitors, we saw plenty of cane toads too, doing what they were actually brought into Queensland to do – gobble up all the cane beetles.
  
Cane Toad

The farm we stayed on had some chickens which were fun to watch and they produced some very tasty eggs!  Our cottage even had a little fish pond which was nice to feed the fish in it every day!  Then out in the open we saw dragons bathing in the sun!

Chicken silhouette



Pond life – flowering lilly pad and little goldfish



Sun bathing dragon!



On day trips we went to Bundaberg Botanic Gardens where we saw freshwater turtles popping their heads up out of the water to say hello, and also saw one sunbathing on rocks along with a Pied Cormorant and a dragonfly.

Freshwater turtle head
Life on the Rocks – sunbathing turtle, Pied Cormorant and a dragonfly
We visited a wildlife park where I was reacquainted with my kangaroo friends, and with regular visits to beaches I drew a seagull!
Munching kangaroo
Paddling seagull
One day, Hazel surprised me by booking us into a scooter tour around a town called 1770.  We each had our own scooter, which were made up to look like Harley’s and in a mass convoy we followed the staff.  It made me laugh as we were provided with helmets and jackets to look like a tough biker gang, yet our scooters sounded like we were riding lawnmowers!!  As we initially learnt how to ride the bikes around the carpark, they played the tune “Born to be Wild” – very amusing, and I thought it was the perfect theme tune for our cheeky little possum that regularly visits us – so I imagined him on his own motorbike. 

‘Born to be Wild’ – Possum on a motorbike
The main highlight of our trip was to visit the beach of ‘Mon Repos’.  This beach is famous for being the mainland breeding spot for the endangered loggerhead turtles, and right now is the season for the females coming ashore to lay their eggs.  This is one of the top things to do on my life’s to do list so I was very ecstatic, especially to see it on my 30th birthday!  We arrived at the Visitor Centre at 7.30pm, along with the other 300 odd people, and they split us into 5 groups, we were in group 4.  Rangers and researchers were patrolling the beach looking for turtles and when one was spotted a group could go down to watch, so we had to wait until the fourth turtle came ashore – that was 11pm!  So excitedly, we (and the other 50 people in our group) huddled around the turtle.  I felt quite sorry for her as at this intimate moment in her life when she would just like some peace to do her thing, she gets swarmed by onlookers!
Turtle coming ashore
It was fascinating how flexible their back flippers were in digging out the hole in the sand, into which they lay around 150 eggs!  Sometimes the turtles lay the eggs below the high tide mark, and so the researchers on the beach move the eggs to a higher place in the beach in order to do all they can to ensure survival of the species.  Being large clutches of eggs, they asked us ‘spectators’ to help in moving the eggs.  That was a very privileged and rewarding experience to hold and move the eggs to their new location!
In that evening we were also privileged to watch 2 more turtles laying, and by 1am we had left the beach.  Wow, what a birthday night out!!
I also learnt that night that the turtles reach maturity at the age of 30, so it seemed a very fitting moment in my life to watch them on this birthday!


Edward the Turtle!

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