A visit to Blackbutt Reserve

by Alissa

Back when Ace was in Newcastle by himself, he posted a lot of beautiful beach and bird photos and happy scenes from around town. He still does. At one point, I promised in fairness to show you the seedy and unsightly side of Newcastle, and I’ve been trying to take those photos, I really have, but today we went to Blackbutt Reserve. The park is probably Octavia’s favourite place to go in Newcastle–we’ve been there every few weeks for the playground, the animal exhibits, the breakfast barbecue that started our love affair with the bacon egg roll. The playground is good fun, the animal exhibits are top-notch, but what takes my breath away are the trees:

This one.

This one in particular. 

ferns

more ferns

more trees

The wombats are snoozing in their burrow. The rock wallabies are hiding. But we are gazing at the woods.

The wombats are snoozing in their burrow. The rock wallabies are hiding in their cave. But we are gazing at the eucalyptus trees. So tall. So airy.

Headed through the woods to visit the bat colony.

Headed through the forest to visit the bat colony–a first for me, as well as our first Canadian visitor. But we’ve had such good luck not getting bit by snakes or spiders so far, that it seemed worth it to venture deeper into the woods.

more woods

 

They stretched and flapped continuously to keep themselves cool. Big swoopy wing sounds.

They chattered amongst themselves like middle-schoolers, and stretched and flapped continuously to keep themselves cool. (Big swoopy wing sounds!)

A few of the flying foxes/fruit bats we trekked through the forest to see.

A few of the flying foxes/fruit bats we trekked through the forest to see.

After gawking at the bats for a while, we decided to beat a retreat to escape the mosquitos. Just around the corner, blocking our path back to civilization/the parking lot/the Euro Cafe was this guy:

And here is the lizard that scuttled onto the path in front of us as we retreated from the bat colony. After I took this shot, it moved into that patch of sunshine and just sat there.

The lace monitor lizard (we were good little students back at the animal exhibit and confidently i.d.ed this one) that scuttled onto the path in front of us as we retreated from the bat colony. 

After I took this shot, it moved into that patch of sunshine and just sat there for what felt like 10 minutes, but was probably two, while we deliberated on what might happen if we tried to get around it. Ace picked up a big stick and held it. I picked up a small stick and tossed it nearish the lizard. O told it in no uncertain terms to “Go Away!” It remained unmoved by any of our gestures. Eventually it swaggered away from the middle of the path and we scooted past.

It was amazing. Come see for yourselves.

yet more trees

 

 

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