Two States and a Territory

So I left my last post in a bit of a rush and a bit behind on the times, as I was already in Wodonga, whereas the post suggested I was in Shepparton, woops! Well, I must admit that I saw some cool things between Shepparton and Wodonga, and I would be selling all of us short if I didn’t report on them. Are those cool things insect-related? …Yes, mostly but there is some extra stuff in there as well, you know, just to be inclusive of other interests.

Anyway, on with the story!

After I had checked out Shepparton’s mooving art display, I decided to find camp, again using wikicamps. I found one just outside of town and next to a lovely river! That night, a consistent sucking/popping noise could be heard on the water’s surface… Cod by the sound and volume of it! However, after about three casts I was too harassed by mosquitos to continue (apparently they both feed and protect the fish). Regardless, it was a lovely spot and the site from which I wrote the last blog post!

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Ron by the river

 

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The river by the Ron

Next day, after a brief search by the river for bees, I set off towards Wodonga. Along the way, I found my first flowering Casuarina of the trip! There were only three species of bee on it while I was there: European honeybees, a Lassioglossum sp. and another smaller species of which I only found two individuals (one of whom was found in my hair and I had to wait for it to crawl from the back of my head to my scalp before I could catch it!).

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Lots of Europeans on the flowers!
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Red ants are quite good at catching European honeybees when they fall to the ground. First one grabs on, the bee flies around the ground until more and more grasp the bee with this being the end result.

Lassioglossum sp.

Watching all of these bees feed (and holding my 4-5kg camera rig) made me hungry. So I took the turn off to Glenrowan, the town where Ned Kelly had his last stand (thanks to The Beards for teaching me this). I took in the sights (giant Ned Kelly) and went into BLT [Breakfast, Lunch and Tea] for lunch! Well, I’m not normally one to take photos of my meals in cafés, but I couldn’t help myself this time…

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$13 for so much delicious nachos and some great service!
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Giant Ned, because in Australia, you always need a big thing if you want your town to be well known! (can you tell the difference between a DSLR and phone camera?)

That afternoon, I made it to Wodonga, took some photos of one of the bees that I found and published my last blog post, so that’s all you missed folks. After that, I met with my old friend, Indigo who I went fishing with in Lake Hume (a dam). Naturally, we didn’t catch a thing, but it was a beautiful location and we did see some trout jumping.

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Lake Hume
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That evening, with some of the insects lit up in flight by Indigo

Well, as lake fishing didn’t work out for us, we decided to take the more scenic route the next day, up to some mountain streams! If you must know, Indigo beat me in fish count, but I did catch my first ever trout! After this, we went in the direction of Mt. Buffalo for some sight-seeing and to stay the night and watch sunrise…

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A random pool half way up (or down) a steep rock face which had a couple of decent trout in it
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A waterfall at the top of a bit of a dodgy climb, worth it!
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It seemed to only have some little native fishes, no trout. Probably very good for the natives (if that’s what they were!), as trout prey on natives as well as compete for habitat.

 

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Mt. Buffalo lookout
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That’s a bike jump! No, actually it is a hang-glider platform…. Pretty terrifying!

We made it to the top of the mountain (a bit of a drive and a short 1.5km walk) to watch the sun set. Following this, we went for a drive to hopefully finally find a wombat… Which we did, finally!!!

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A pool on top of one of the large rocks at the summit
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How thoughtful, Indigo
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Bye bye, Sun.

Naturally the next morning we had to be up for sunrise!

A premium example of my awesome panning skills

 

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A couple of gang-gang cockatoos… That’s another new species for me to see!

After this, I dropped Indigo back home (after he caught more fish than me again) and continued on towards the snowy mountains! There, I saw some cool views and nearly overheated Ron going slowly up the steep hills in the hot weather (thankfully, I saw the dial before he got too hot).

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Scammel Spur Lookout
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Oh dear… My dash is very dusty… Lots of people stopped to ask if I was alright though, thankfully.
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That’s right folks, I drove all of the way to Siberia!
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Some lovely scenery!
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Thredbo, less the snow that you may all be used to seeing here

I would have to pay [in advance] for staying in any NSW national park, so I continued on to Jindabyne, where I found a nice spot in some bushes next to Lake Jindabyne (at least it’s a descriptive name).

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Lake Jindabyne
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How to wake up: Open eyes, open door, enjoy.

After enjoying the evening and morning in Jindabyne, it was time to move on towards Canberra. Along the way, I stopped in Cooma, where I asked a lady (Esther) if she’d mind me looking in her garden for bees, to which she agreed. I did find one species, but I believe that I already had it. Anyway, me being me, I talked to her for a couple of hours and got to try some of her home-made fermented foods which I would recommend. Unfortunately, there really aren’t many bees or flowering native plants around here anymore…

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A new landscape, and a new state: NSW
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Just some big flag
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I spent some time writing e-mails and the like in parks here, watching a couple of guys fish for carp. They caught a few. No that guy is not fishing for carp, he is playing fetch with his dogs in the most energy-efficient manor that he knows…

 

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Not a bad spot!

One cool night and morning in Canberra was enough to realize that I was not going to find any bees there and so I decided to move on to Sydney, where I would stay for almost a week to catch up with friends and meet with Michael Batley at the Australian Museum. Before I left though, I did have a look around the park where I stayed that night.

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A pair of red-rumped parrots, fairly common in the ACT parks it seemed!
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Nothing about this sign seems inviting (unless you’re a swallow)

The road to Sydney is not terribly long, and I haven’t carried my camera around too much in the city. But the weather hasn’t been great for people or bees, so I’ve spent my time up until now seeing friends and relaxing!

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The CBD
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Queen Victoria Building in the CBD

 

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Just some other bulding

 

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Tai! (Please no gang symbols)
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…that moment when you realize that someone has noticed you taking their picture…

 

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Tai and I [out of focus] in front of the opera house
And that’s all of the photos I have for you today folks! Safe to say, I have caught up with more old friends than old Tai here, and there are more to come! But it’s been nice seeing everyone and relaxing in Sydney [even though it is a hectic city with crazy drivers!]. I’ll be heading west to Hampton in order to meet Megan Halcroft (another bee-person), before turning my eyes towards Byron and Brisbane over the next week!

James

Kilometers travelled: 24 260

Bees found: 178

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2 thoughts on “Two States and a Territory

  1. Ohh! Sorry I missed your brief visit to Canberra. Funnily enough I was in Sydney! Yeah, all the bees are disappearing here. Seen a few BBB but the NCBs disappeared a few weeks ago. I do feel better about liking them since you pointed out that they are still very important pollinators. Heading off on my Birdsville trip on the weekend and very excited about that. All the best for the rest of the trip. Looking forward to a few more posts before you arrive back where you started. And also looking forward to the results of your amazing journey and efforts.

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    • That’s alright, Renee! I would have stayed longer if the weather had been kinder. Good luck on your trip (Which you must already be on by now!) Only one more post before home I think, but I wont stop there… I”ll try to keep something going at least until I’ve got the book out! 🙂

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