The adventures of Brian the pug and his devotees.

25 April 2007

North Straddie

Last weekend was spent on North Strakbroke Island. It is a beautiful place, the future location of one of my vaca houses once I win the lottery. It was nice to have a relaxing weekend after an especially difficult week at school. If you would like to know which aquatic wildlife we saw there, read this list: a whale, a school of dolphins, a sea turtle and a huge manta ray. We also saw a magical, floating, pink flower.

24 April 2007

Tiny Gecko

This baby gecko appeared while I was trying to finish an essay on kangaroo harvesting. It was a great distraction. I have approximately one thousand photos of it.


This bird is a magpie-lark, more commonly known as a pee-o-wit or pee-wee. He is very territorial, and every day upon seeing his reflection in the window, attacks it. He then struts around, looking for food.

11 April 2007

Murramarang National Park

These photos were taken at Murramarang National Park, which is a couple hours drive from Sydney. Ben had a confrence to attend there when we first arrived in Aus.

Lamington National Park

Ben and I spent some time at Lamington National Park recently, located about an hour from Brisbane. We went on a 18K hike. There were sick leeches that attacked us. Besides those, there is some superb wildlife there. We got to see a Satin Bowerbird. The male bower bird constructs an elaborate nest, called a bower, to attract females. There are 17 different kinds of bower birds, all with different ways of decorating their nests. The Satin Bower Bird, like the one we saw at Lamington, finds items that are blue to decorate with. They will use feathers, pen caps or anything blue they can carry in their beaks. The reason we spotted it was because we first heard its call:
Paste this link into your browser and click on the ear to hear it! Do it. To learn more about bower birds, go to this website:
The photo of the crustacean below is a Lamington Spiny Crayfish. They are so cute! When they feel threatened, they face you and snap their claws.

09 April 2007

Miss Muffet

This is probably the biggest spider I have seen in real life, and not in a museum. Ben says it is called a Golden Orb, which I think should be the name of a Las Vegas casino or a (Classic, not TNG) Star Trek episode. The photos don't do it justice. The web is at least a square meter. (That's approx a square yard for those of you in North America.) There is a smaller spider that lives in a suburb of the big spider's web. The smaller one is probably about 1 1/2 incles long, but looks like a baby pea compareed to the Golden Orb. You can see 7-8 meals lined up in the web for the Golden Orb.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I started a small veggie garden. We are using cheap containers from KMart to grow the veggies in. Some plants are cuttings from a friend's garden, and some have been grown from seed. There are tomatoes, mint, basil, onions, baby carrots, strawberries, and more. Several attempts have been made to grow cilantro (called coriander down under), but they just don't seem willing to survive. The close up is of the climbing peas. Even though winter is upon us, most plants can be grown year-round due to the sub-tropical climate. The only difficulty is the level five water restrictions. I am only allowed to water two days a week, during certain hours! Hoses and sprinklers are banned, so you are required to use a bucket.


This is the chocolate egg that the Easter Bunny brought Ben. It is as big as a newborn baby.


Ben made his first batch of beer over Easter weekend. It will be six weeks until it is ready to drink. In the meantimme, it lies swaddled in the bathtub.

06 April 2007

Moreton Island

Moreton Island is the second largest sand island in the world. Ben and I went there with David and Refik from his lab, and Refik's girlfriend Rebecca. There are shipwrecks to snorkel around with thousands of fish, big and small. It was fun once I stopped hyperventilating.