2019 has been a challenging year for me, as it has too many of my friends. 2020 started off well on my personal account and there’s plenty of good signs for an exciting travelling year to come. My stolen IPad and diary showed up a few days ago and were returned unharmed. Not everyone has been so lucky though.
As a well-travelled Australian Permanent Resident, or for anyone, it is hard to describe the devastation going on in this ‘Great Southern Land’.
For about 4 months, huge firewalls have been, and still are, towering through Australian Bush, communities and farmland, leaving a trail of destruction and death behind.
It feels like a reoccurring nightmare watching news coverage on tragic events unfolded on a daily basis.
This would be the world largest firewall ever recorded. Starting on the northeast coast of Queensland, the fires spread sporadically south through New South Wales, over to Victoria in the south-east, went through Australia’s driest state South Australia and has now reached Western Australia.
This giant loop of destruction had devastating effects on humans, but more importantly on flora and fauna. It’s the innocent that paid the ultimate price; The innocent that lived with fires for Millenia. Substantial fires are still burning in each state mentioned.
Airplanes are still bombing water on fires, hoping for the best.
Red-faced politicians already blame each other, pointing their fingers to anyone else but the mirror.
Some even went on holidays, leaving fellow Australians in dire straits.
Most are still scratching their heads on how it came to this. We all have seen those surreal real-life TV coverages and images that circled the cyber world.
It deeply saddens me, knowing that these conditions may prevail for another few months till March or April. Bushfires are a natural occurrence in Australia, which ultimately regenerates life. However, human impact on Mother Nature undoubtedly played the leading role in this ecological disaster. This is happening on a worldwide scale. When will we ever learn that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It’s basic physics, Newton’s Law. What comes around goes around, Mother Nature will not tolerate our reckless behaviour towards flora and fauna. She proves it with dramatic and drastic actions. It is those helpless animals that I care about most. Animals, we all can and should learn from.
With all those sad images in my mind, I needed some positive inspiration. And I found it.
I was once again lucky on my photographic adventure along the riverbanks of the ‘Richmond River’. Just outside of Woodburn in northern New South Wales, I came across a koala colony. I know right? Not one, but 5 Koalas!
The blue skies added depth in field and colours, calm winds added just enough floral movement.
The thick eucalyptus trees blocked the setting sun if I wanted too. These majestic trees stood tall, only a few meters away from me. This is prime koala habitat in ideal photographic conditions. Little did I know then what unforgettable spectacle was to unfold.
These koalas were astonishingly active. The entertainment award goes to these two, a mother and her larger offspring.
The younger one is easier recognised on his arty nose print, which outlines a koala head.
She was hungry for some nutritious milk.
Mom wasn’t too impressed with that idea and tried adequately to discourage the almost grown youngster.
Try some of those tasty eucalyptus leaves. Junior appeared persistent.
Mom gave in a few times but quickly moved away.
It was a battle at times and hilarious to watch.
But she always lends a hand.
And was up for a cuddle. This procedure was repeated a few times, giving me a perfect opportunity to capture this behaviour on film.
I certainly believe that they were watching the sunset at times of rest.
Before checking up on my activities.
Another Koala was sitting in a large branch rather comfortably. It appeared a bit anxious and kept a very close eye on my movements. Was it even growing stags?
Some aerobics loosened those tight muscles!
Not for long, as it was time to sit down again. Back to the playful koala pair.
They were just too cute to watch and my finger stayed on the shutter button to watch and capture this playful Koala gathering. Seeing these cuties interacting with each other was simply incredible.
Another koala was sitting in a eucalyptus tree a bit further away. It was a pure image copy of the other loner sitting a bit closer.
There was some movement in a small tree not far from me. The fifth koala sat in a young eucalyptus tree, right above me.
Although, he looked more like the infamous Australian Drop-Bear.
He was tired, it was clear to see. Maybe he is a bit more active later?
The family pair were still going with their ‘bear and milk’ antics.
Eventually, the youngster gave up and looked a bit disillusioned. Mom lends a hand but the milky bear had none of it. A sulking suckling. I don’t see that very often.
A little later, junior changed his mind and made up.
Oops, someone is watching!
These koalas were so entertaining, that I decided to this post in two parts. Stay tuned for more koala cuteness to come.