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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Had a heart stopping moment!

A very early start! So much to see and do and only a day to do it in so we were on the road a little after 8am. First stop, a lookout at Piccaninny Mountain, another 1 km hike there and back

On the way a sudden movement in the scrub and a Kangaroo appeared. Not sure who was more startled, it or us.

Next stop was Siverband Falls, near to Halls Gap.

Another 1.5 km return walk and after a very dull and dismal start to the day the sun put in an appearance warming the morning nicely.

We then drove to Halls Cap. As we arrived we could hear this noise that got louder and louder so much so that it became ear piercing. We found out what it was after visiting the information centre. Cicadas in their millions! All having emerged after a 10 year underground existence. They only come out when breeding conditions are right and this was a good year for them. Took this video so you can hear the noise they made. Hope it works.

Newly emerged Nymph. Nymphs climb the nearest available tree, and begin to shed their nymph exoskeleton.

The locals have to put up with it but as for the children, it does disrupt the school day.  Thankfully the Cicadas shut up at night and are only around for two to three weeks.

Having had lunch we headed off to for more lookouts before heading for Mackenzie falls.

Boroka lookout

Reeds lookout

Walking to the Balconies

The Balconies.

And the Balcony lookout.

Loads of steps down to the falls

The final stop of the day was to the Aboriginal cave paintings at Manja. Driving down a 10km dirt track throwing up clouds of dust, I was driving and going slow when suddenly out from the scrub came a kangaroo! Slamming the anchors on I only just missed. Reckon there wasn't a hair breath in it! Talk about heart attack city!!! The trek to the shelter was another trial. The track was narrow and full of hidden dangers....like snakes. By making as much noise as possible we hoped to keep them away. Many a rustle was heard in the undergrowth but we kept up a good pace. After 1.5km we reached the cave, Very disappointed to see fencing all around it but understandable as vandals had destroyed part of it back in the 80's.

Rock formation on the way up

Emu and Kangaroo prints.

Hand prints made by spraying red ochre from their mouths

This is red ochre scratched onto the rocks in the form of stick men

More marks

Then on the way back another Roo. This time Ian was driving and we saw it in plenty of time but the thing still insisted on jumping put in front of us.

There... on the right. Can you see it?

And seen on our walks,

Orange legged swift spider. A fast moving spider capable of climbing glass easily, mostly in woodland, extending also to coastal scrub and inland arid areas, throughout Australia including Tasmania. Bite, Mild local pain, redness, swelling

Opened a comments box at the shelter and nearly had a second heart attack. Could be a huntsman spider. As you can see it was pretty big!

Bull Ant. This taken from WiKi. As one of the largest of ant species, adult individuals have been observed to be as long as 15 mm to 30 mm in body length. The head and thorax are typically coloured red-brown; the rear half of the abdomen is black and the mandibles brown-yellow. Adults characteristically possess the long, powerful serrated mandibles and a venom laced sting capable of causing severe pain for a couple of days. Unlike most other ant species, red bull ants lack the ability of chemical senses; however, this is compensated by their extremely keen vision, with which they can spot and respond to intruders two metres away.

From WiKI . Family tiphiidae The blue ant (Diamma bicolor, also known as the blue-ant or bluebottle) is, despite its name and its appearance, not an ant at all, but rather a species of large solitary parasitic wasp sometimes known as a flower wasp


nb Chuffed said...

Is the huntsman spider the one that causes car accidents? It sits dozing quietly behind the sun visor, then you are driving calmly along and you think ooh, that sun's a bit bright ...... and it drops in your lap!
Excellent posts, really interesting!

Anonymous said...

Yep, that's a huntsman! And, you've heard the sound of an Australian summer. We missed the cicadas when we were in England.

Halfie said...

Unfortunately I couldn't hear the cicadas as clicking on your video I got "address invalid".

Kelvin and Rachael said...

Hope you went into Halls Gap inthe late afternoon, so many kangaroos grazing, worth seeing.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Halfie, I have reposted that video so hopefully this time you can see it.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Kevin and Rachael, No we only stayed for a lunch break. The noise was enough to send us running!

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