Port Macquarie in New South Wales, Australia, is home to the Grey Headed Flying Foxes and some Black Flying Foxes, often referred to as Megabats, with a population that fluctuates between 30,000 to 200,000. I never get sick of photographing them!
The first phrase is a commonly used cliche in Australia and I’m not sure of its origins, although I suspect it was coined by someone who liked alliteration and didn’t like bats. The second is commonly used in the United States to denote being extremely upset. The origin coming from an allusion to insanity (bats in your belfry, and because of their sensitivity to sound, only church belfys would be inhabited by bats if the bells were no longer rung, and lots of bats mean lots of batshit)
On our Kooloonbung walk we hear and smell the bats (grey headed flying foxes) before we see them. They roost in the branches of the casuarinas, 4 to 8 metres up. However this morning many of them chose a different spot along the path and were very low down. They are noisy creatures, usually screeching and chattering but our presence caused a…
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Black and white or colour? The decision about which format I use is usually easy. If colour doesn’t add to the storyline, then I don’t use it. A black and white image on the other hand, needs to have a strong emotional or graphic element to it. Before I press the shutter, every photo has to have an inherent truth to it, and the choice of format usually happens automatically.
I have never really been a nature photographer, actually I don’t even like to classify myself as any ‘kind’ of photographer. I just take photos of the world around me, wherever I am at the time. When I am not travelling, I live in a small coastal town in Australia. It’s very easy to go for long walks here and not see another person, but I do encounter a lot of wildlife in the natural environment, so that is what I take photos of. Every photo I make receives the same attention, whether it is a sentient being, an object or a landscape. In the end, it’s all part of the same reality.
During medieval times (the end of the fifth century until the end of the fifteenth century) this phrase was written on maps to signify dangerous or unexplored territories, imitating earlier maps which had illustrations of dragons and sea serpents.
The waters around my part of the world are relatively well known to whale watchers, surfers, fisherfolk and the like, so the chances of spotting a dragon are slim, unless you are looking for Australian ones. Although rare to see in the surf, the Eastern Water Dragons (Intellegama lesuerii) live in the rainforest, parks and waterways along the coastland.
They often adopt statuesque poses but when they run, the little ones are a comical sight, as their heads and tails come up, making them look like the letter U on legs. Pictured is an adult dragon on the Kooloonbung walking trail..