A loop for Perth

It has been a little since I camped on the beach south of Geraldton now… In fact I just arrived in Perth. Seems like that took awhile huh? But maybe I am getting ahead of myself here… It has been a busy week!

After leaving the Geraldton coast, I headed towards a small town, again on the WA coast: Cervantes. Along the way, I had to tear myself away from a site where I found 11 different species of native bee for fear of the time required to photograph and edit them! I thought that maybe it would be best to rush on to Cervantes to begin the lengthy process. There wasn’t a great deal to the town itself, but that never really matters when you have a great hostel to stay in, and some great guests to talk to! They even took it in stride when I brought a big drawer full of camera equipment into the common room and began flashing and pinning insects for a 5-6 hour marathon of photography! It’s amazing what becomes normal when you stay in hostels…

2016-01-21-13.46.12 ZS retouched 39p bellows.jpg
The cuckoo bee from Geraldton airport, quite common in the area it seems
Some WA coast from the road south… lots of beach shacks!
A field full of Xanthorrhoea (grass trees)
Amongst the Xanthorrhoea, a happy place to be! Until it starts to rain…

After a short, relaxing stay in Cervantes, it was time to make the even shorter journey to the big smoke. Or at least a big smoke, Perth. Believe it or not, Perth is actually a very pleasant and pretty city, certainly parts of it are! I spent a bit of time exploring the CBD, which had several awesome arcades and a fair bit of cool as graffiti! I also headed down to Fremantle on Pippa’s awesome recommendation, to discover ‘WA’s best fish and chips’ (I can’t disprove them yet), and an awesome part of the city that really doesn’t feel like the rest of the city.

Yep, certainly in the city
One of the arcades: London Court. Home to a very helpful camera repair man!

Perth Graffiti, take that Melbourne!


At the very least, some really freaking great fish and chips in Freemantle!
This house also seems disappointed that it is deprived of its god-given right to practice parkour and freestyle BMXing!

After taking in the sites and picking up a friend form the States, I had to get my car serviced and honour a meeting with Terry Houston (previous curator of insects, native bee researcher and native bee expert) and Nikolai Tatarnic (curator of entomology) at the WA museum. The meeting went great, and I had a fantastic chat to them both (all ’round great people!) about the bees in the area, my book and many other things, before being granted access to their collection and imaging equipment! Insect researchers are awesome. The only problem is that the only available time for me to go was the following Monday. Being Wednesday, that was probably longer than I could wait in Perth. And so a loop was devised, and with a recommendation of the Sterling ranges for bee collecting, I was off!

That day we headed south only a little while out of Perth, camping at the edge of a bush fire that had burned not that long before.

A burnt path
Burnt branches and leaves at the campsite
Those underground animals, however, are well prepared to survive fires and emerge safely!

Next day was a driving day through a wine and cheese-infested area of WA. So after a lunch on the beach and the purchasing of wine and cheese a campsite was decided upon in Gladstone National Park. To my surprise there was a free hut at this site, waiting for the first person to claim it! This was not me, but a lovely French/Australian family, who I spent my evening with, alongside several others at the campsite that night! It is a bloody fantastic site.

Beach herbs in flower… But only European honey bees and wasps coming for a visit.
The hut.
The creek below the hut (Actually a crossing for the road past the hut)

Anyway, next day would see us to the Stirling Ranges National Park! Of course because I cannot collect there, we could not stay. So just to the north at a ‘look out’ (Actually a slightly higher part of the otherwise flat landscape), camp was made and bees were found! The next morning was back to Perth, where I stayed to catch up on some focus stacking and to be ready for a day at the museum.

Part of the Stirling Ranges, from the road
Part of the Stirling Ranges from the ‘look out’
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A wasp that I originally thought was a bee, from near the Stirling ranges

At the museum it took me a little while to get used to the museum’s set up, but once I did it was awesome and really a pleasure to use! I was thus warned by Nikolai that I could not have it… He was onto me! I didn’t get that many bees photographed during the day though, as I needed to take, stack and partly edit them while there (so that both the museum and I could use the photos… without making more work for them) so I only photographed 5 of their bees in 18 photos. However, I also got to take a few breaks with Terry to talk about bees, the museum and whatever else! I was further invited to come back and photograph further if I wanted, which was […is…] EXTREMELY tempting, but I have been in WA too long already I think, so tomorrow I will make a break for the border. But maybe I’ll have to come back some day in the not too distant future….


2016-01-25-16.03.50 ZS retouched Ctenocolletes smaragdinus (Smith) 100mm 1 to 1.5 ZS
Ctenocolletes smaragdinus, one of the bees that I imaged at the WA museum (unedited)… Such a good macro set up!

Bee count: 103

Kilometres travelled: >12,800

2 thoughts on “A loop for Perth

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