Friday, December 30, 2011

Year one semester two

This is going to be a whirlwind blog entry on the entire semester so I can get caught up quickly. :) I will note that not long after we got back from our trip across Australia (a few weeks, after our 1st year anniversary and my b-day) David left to go to the Philippines with his dad and sister (David and Alicia were born there but don't remember much so they took a trip back down pre-memory lane). They were gone 3 weeks.

Here's a few pictures from home: me at the Fremantle jail; A pelican at the beach near our house; and cockatoos eating near the street... something you'd never see at home!

For Maren's birthday a group of us girls went out to Swan Valley to celebrate! It's the most famous local wine region, so we did wine and cheese tasting, as well as visited the Chocolate Factory and The House of Honey. One of the wine and cheese places we stopped let us in even though it was a few minutes to close. They were really nice, they just said as long as we didn't mind eating on paper plates, it was ok. They all left and it was just us eating cheese and drinking wine in this beautiful area! It was a great day. I was the DD for the trip, so I only had the occasional wine taste. :) I did buy and amazing port!

One of the more interesting adventures I had this semester was going to Eagle's Heritage down by Margaret River. It is a raptor rescue/rehab/teaching centre. They have birds that are unreleasable and so are used for education, but there are also birds there who are recuperating from various problems and that get released. We were shown around by the guy who runs the place (Phil) who also told us a lot of really interesting information about the animals as well as how to handle them and some of the medical problems they had. We even learned how to hold many of the birds, including a wedge-tailed eagle! It was such an amazing experience and Phil is such a good teacher! We just went for a weekend, and on our last day we went for a hike out looking for eagle nests. We found a few abandoned ones, but other than that it was just a really neat hike through the bush.
If you'd like to learn more about Eagle's Heritage, here is the link to their site:

Powerful Owl; can lift a German Shepherd into the air!

Tawny Frog-Mouth

Sooty Owl

Sea eagle

Sooty owl chick

Wedge-tailed eagle

Peregrin falcon with damaged sear (like the quick of our fingernails)

Brahman kite who needed her beak filed (due to over growth)

Eagle's nest

Us at the bottom of an eagle's nest, that is part of a kangaroo skeleton dangling from that tree.
Amongst the grass trees

Inside a grass tree

Lillies are all over, it's beautiful but they are not native, which isn't good.

We had a night of ice skating, which was the closest I've come to feeling as cold as it gets back home!

I, along with another girl who had helped out before, went back to Penguin Island to help count penguins as they came up onto the beach at dusk. This is what my training earlier had been for. We only caught around 10 or so, but it was fun. :) There were seagull chicks everywhere! Don't ask what the strange blue thing I found on the beach is, I have no idea. :P

To be continued... :D

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Albany through Denmark

While in Albany we walked up to the top of this big hill where they had a war memorial and got some lovely views of the area, and before heading towards Denmark we stopped at this really neat rocky area in Torndirrup National Park on the peninsula just south of Albany. We did a lot of climbing around on the huge rocks, it was really neat!!

We also visited a wind farm where they had paths all around with information sign boards up everywhere. There's a really long trail that goes through a lot of Southern WA that goes through this area as well (seen in one of the pictures).

When we got closer to Denmark we went an visited The Valley of the Giants where the giant tingle trees grow (I know, what a great name for a type of tree :P)! There are truly some giants there, as you can see in the pictures. There's also a treetop walk here that you can do, but we opted not to as we did one in Victoria, but we want to go, so we thought we'd save that for sometime when we have visitors. :)

After all of this it was getting dark and we decided that we were close enough and we were eager enough to get home (in David's case, to the home he had never been to) that we just drove through the night (only a few hour drive). The area around Denmark is very forested so the first part of driving in the dark was a bit hectic as the road was really twisty and not very wide, but after that it was all good. We made it back to Perth safe and sound.

And here you FINALLY have the end of our Nullarbor trip across Australia!