Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Day at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

"Hey, guess which one of those groups of people over there are German tourists."

We call this giving Canadians a bad name!  (The boys have their own style.)

We were at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, atop the kangaroo meadow, and Damon couldn't resist asking.

I looked over the group.  There, that group of four adults with two small children between them, the brand-new signature back-packs and rain gear and carrying their own lunch.  Damn can I pick a stereotype.   Nope.  (Although it did turn out that they hailed somewhere from eastern Europe.) 

I looked again.  Aha!  The young couple in the starched blue jeans, the latest photography gear (although put to shame by the Asian tourists who came by the busloads later!), and again, the crisp rain gear, new hiking boots.  Everything just a little bit too perfect.

Yup.  That was them.

Only true Aussies can be this cold when it is 15 C out!

"They're smiling though."  I said to Damon.

"Yeah," said Damon.  "There's another guy with a German accent entertaining a bunch of Australian girls too."

"Must be Swiss"  I replied.  (I was right!)

Too bad the only kids who would pose for me JUSt reach the 'Toilets'  sign!
Later I ran into the cute, young Germans again.  Because they were cute.  They were just so darn happy to be here.  Glowing and smiling, they came running over to the koala enclosure I was standing in front of.  And addressed eachother in English.  "Look at that one!  Look at him!  Did you see THAT?  HE'S MOVING!"

I smiled at them.  "Pretty amazing when they actually move. isnt' it?"

"First one we've seen move all day." they answered.  "And look" - cameras going click-click-click - "THERE HE GOES AGAIN!"

I lef them to their joy.  After all the koala hadn't even left his tree branch.  Just opened his eyes an moved a few limbs a couple of times.

And I'd already run out of battery filming shot after shot of other almost inanimate koalas earlier in the day. 

"Seventeen shots of the exact same pose." says Damon.

C'MON!  Can't have too many shots of this!

Yeah, but they are just so INCREDIBLE to behold.  Even if they aren't moving.  How many shots of the kids do we need anyway?  And unlike the koalas, they move too fast for me to focus.

So that that's really the way you tell a tourist from a bona-fide Aussie at the zoo.  The Aussies are hurrying by looking for something a bit more exciting - like the sheep shearing demonstration or the birds of prey falconry show.  The rest of us are staring in wonder at creatures that will contine to not move, not even open their eyes in fact, for 22 hours out of every day.

But a dog who can walk on sheep is worth photographing.
Um.  I think we have these in the US too boys!
Aussies also like the venomous creatures demonstrations - snakes and lizards and stuff.  Koalas don't kill you if you step on one.  And they actually move fast enough once out of the trees to get out of your way so you DON'T step on one.

Largest eagle in Australia.  Cool.  But I worked with Bald Eagles in Alaska, so I'm a little spoiled.

Sure, the crocs are cool.  The images of kangaroos spread across vast plains.  (All we've seen is really sleepy kangaroos, about on par with the koala for energy levels.  Do those things REALLY hop?!)

But the wombat won't show more than his butt during the daytime.  Keepers actually laugh when you ask about the echidna.  "I've seen him twice - and I've been here three years." said one.  "You do know that they're noctural, don't you?!"

You get laughed at for taking pictures of the local pests - those flocks of cockatoos, lorikeets and gallahs, that hang about.

Local pests. The rainbow lorikeets.

Ah heck.  They keep the tourists happy!
Not only did this guy talk, he spoke with an Aussie accent.  We found that as immensely amusing as the Aussies found us for speaking with hum so long.
Bu Aussies ARE proud of their koalas. 

Um boys.  We have dirt at home.  You're missing the lorikeets.

Just not excited enough to actually stop and take pictures of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment