,Twas the night before Trishmas and all through the zoo, not a creature was stirring, not even a roo….
It turns out that most of the animals had gone to bed early, in anticipation of Trisha the elephant’s 64th birthday the next day. The birthday was going to be a big celebration and the animals wanted to save their energy. Anyhow, it really was rude of us to arrive well after the animals’ usual bedtime. Trisha was nowhere to be seen, obviously having her beauty rest.
As would be expected, there were a few rebels in the group. The bin chickens started their celebrations early. They were everywhere and actually outnumbered all the other animals combined. Additionally, there were a few other night owls in the nocturnal house, but we didn’t dare to go in there.
Fortunately, giraffes are party animals too. I took an amazing photograph, of a picture of a giraffe, which I’m super-proud of. I actually fooled a few of the other photographers into believing that it was real. I also took a special shot of an elephant and an emu. The photos speak for themselves.
In general, the animals hid very well yesterday. The tortoises didn’t come out of their shells and the tigers were nowhere to be seen. That’s a relief, because there was a huge sign on the tiger enclosure warning us that the tigers lick the glass. I’m being extra careful because it was only last week when an echidna licked my camera lens. Another sign said that the animals bite, so it’s fortunate for us that they weren’t around.
We made our way into the area full of kangaroos and bin chickens, where most of the partygoers were congregating. One of the kangaroos was practicing the Hokey Pokey, while the bin chickens were enjoying a feast and photobombing my photographs.
Later we saw a few koalas on the trees, but they had their eyes closed for the whole time. Ironically, the koalas were sleeping like bears even though they are not bears. We would have seen a lot more action with Caramello Koalas.
Despite the absence of animals, the zoo was incredibly busy yesterday. There were plenty of people having picnics. The signs say not to feed the animals therefore they were feeding themselves. There was so much excitement in the air. Even the Smurfs were jumping for joy.
Perth Zoo is a wonderful place to be and we had a great time.
Happy 64th Birthday Trisha!
On Sunday 17 January, I visited the Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, with a group of photographers. The photographers gathered in the gravelly car park before walking to the main entrance, where we were warmly welcomed. After a short talk and video about Kanyana, we were taken on a guided tour.
Our adventure started with a quick look at the animal hospital, before making our way to what looked like a five-star restaurant. It's the place where volunteers prepare delicious, nutritious food for all the animals. The ingredients were definitely fresh, you could tell because some of them were alive and moving. The food smelled so good that it would make even the fullest person salivate. There were also recipe cards which would make a top-selling cookbook. The quality of the recipes and the execution were so fantastic that they would make any Michelin Star chef look mediocre.
We left the kitchen and strolled outside to visit the enclosures. It was an electric atmosphere because there were electric fences everywhere. The first animal friend that we met was the echidna. I had a sensational shot ready, but the echidna licked my camera. Seriously. It felt like my goat experience all over again (at an outing a couple of months ago, goats were chewing at my shoes and attacking my camera)! Who would have thought that echidnas had such long tongues? Fortunately I had some camera wipes to clean the drool off my lens. While I didn’t get amazing shots, I did get a photo of a plant which looked just like an echidna.
Following our echidna encounter, we were guided to an owl enclosure where the photographers were invited to go inside. There was a padlock on the outside and it would have been very easy to lock everyone inside. Oh, the temptation! I stayed outside and the other photographers told me that it was a hoot.
Our next stops were the enclosures with cockatoos, tawny frog mouths and a possum. I went inside and took an amazing shot of a possum (see photograph).
As we neared the end of our tour, there was a dramatic turn for the worst. Things became very scary, very quickly as we walked towards to the snake enclosure. On the way we walked past some toilets, which had warnings to keep the doors closed. YIKES! Imagine what would happen if a snake got inside!
While everyone headed towards the snakes, I ran far, far away. If it wasn't for COVID I probably would have headed overseas. Our guide took one of the snakes outside and placed it on a tree. I took a photo from a long distance through my zoom lens. No more tongues were going to slobber all over my lens!
Speaking of tongues, the final animal that we met was a blue-tongued bobtail lizard. Fortunately it was slow to move and my camera was safe.
Overall, our visit to the Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre was both an enjoyable and educational experience. The Centre does wonderful work for the animals and it's well worth a visit.
For more information, please check out their website.
Our adventure at Elizabeth Quay was the biggest and most ironic outing so far this year. Despite so many photographers turning up, none of them was named Elizabeth. Our meeting point, The Bell Tower had thousands of padlocks, but not a single key. Geez, Elizabeth Quay without Elizabeth and without a key. Who would have thought? Unlike our past few events, the photographers didn’t run around like headless chickens. It’s a shame because we had an excellent bird photographer among us.
We commenced our adventure by meandering towards the old jetty area. About five of us reached the end of the jetty and realised that none of us could swim. That was a scary moment because nobody could save us if a seagull pushed us into the water. As there were plenty of seagulls, we walked away cautiously.
During our leisurely stroll, we discovered that there is plenty of wildlife at Elizabeth Quay. We walked past a sign with quokkas that said, “See some friendly faces," before stopping at a very large bird sculpture, “First Contact.” That was my moment to shine, because I got a photo of the bird in perfect focus. At that point I had to remind myself that I'm not a bird, as I had my head too far up in the clouds.
Shortly afterwards we headed towards the ferry terminal before stopping for coffee and chips on the water. Our adventure ended with a spectacular view of the Elizabeth Quay Bridge (Macdonald's Arches) in the distance. The perfect way to end an excellent day.
For more photographs from the adventure, go to Gallery.
Our visit to the WA Art Gallery and cultural precinct was another record-breaking outing, earning the title of the longest photography event in history. We met at 10.30am and finished at around 4ish. It really is true that time flies when you’re having fun. I got to Northbridge early and took some photographs of the surrounding area, including a car which was set up for the Christmas lights.
We met at the coffee shop before entering the Art Gallery. Thankfully it was quiet and very welcoming. In comparison, the nearby museum had an enormous line of people queueing outside. The museum line was just like mad shoppers waiting for the doors to open at the Boxing Day sales.
Once we were inside the Art Gallery we took our time to appreciate the diverse mix of art. Some of it was incredibly weird but very creative. Overall, it was a very relaxing and enjoyable experience.
After we left the Gallery, we wandered towards the city, wondering where to go first. We stopped briefly outside the train station and encountered a few interesting characters, before heading to the Murray Street Mall. At the Mall there were some pop-up stalls. I was distracted by a sign that said, “free donuts,” before someone pointed out that it said G-free donuts. Gee! I didn’t see the G! Whoops! It’s a good thing that I don’t like donuts anyway.
Further down the Mall, we stopped to photograph a busker who was actually very good. Meanwhile I was distracted by a KFC advertisement on one of the buildings. It had a very interesting message to “look on the fried side of life.”
Speaking of fried, we decided to look for a coffee place, wandering around the city like headless chickens ready to become KFC. Fortunately, we weren’t real chickens as there would presumably have been a KFC store around the corner. We must have walked about three kilometres before stopping at Bocelli’s, a place that is not connected to Andrea Bocelli, the Italian singer. We didn’t mind though, because we had already encountered a lot of blind singers in the city.
After our long coffee break, we headed towards Yagan Square, in pursuit of a “fun fair.” We discovered that the fair was not really fun because it was closed. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t even fair! Fortunately, it all worked out well because we got to explore the empty food hall at Yagan Square before making ourselves comfortable at “The Shoe Bar.” We had some fun conversation before we literally had to shoo.
Despite the sweltering 40-degree heat, five very hot photographers took on the challenge and prepared to shoot, just like soldiers in battle. It was the ultimate endurance test but we were victorious. Today we were officially among the hottest photographers in Perth and in the world. It’s only a matter of time before we have our own calendar, just like the firefighters. If anyone’s looking for models, here’s your opportunity before we become big. Really, really big.
The photographers worked hard just to get to Cicerellos, our meeting spot. You could see it in the redness of our faces and in the buckets of sweat dripping everywhere. The sweat kept us glued to our seats, so we had to fight extra hard just to stand up.
Early on, we made the strategic decision to stay near the Fishing Boat Harbour due to the scorching weather conditions. We also made the wise decision to stay out of the sun as much as possible. The weather was so extreme that Fremantle looked like the aftermath of a nuclear disaster. The harbour looked deserted, there were very few people and even the seagulls stayed in the shade. However, the Ferris Wheel in the distance kept on turning.
We made our way across the Fishing Boat Harbour towards Bather’s Beach, where we encountered a few very important signs. For example, one said “pick up after your dog,” which is a great reminder for everyone.
To celebrate our official title of “Hottest Photographers in Perth,” we decided to finish our adventure with a group lunch at the Bathers Beach House. Remembering the importance of staying near the water, some of the photographers ordered a drink while acquiring some extra festive spirit. Also keeping with the Christmas tradition, all the photographers were well and truly stuffed by the end of this event.
For more photographs see Gallery
Despite a downpour of rain just an hour before the event, the weather was perfect and it didn’t stop the festivities. We had a good turnout of photographers, which is just as well because there was a good turnout of characters, each with their festive spirits in hand. While gathering at the Moore and Moore building, our meeting point, we already encountered a couple of “party-goers" who started their spirits way too early. That was just a taste of what was yet to come.
As we walked from the old part of Fremantle to the main street, we were entertained by a busking guitarist accompanied by a very special dancer, also with her spirit in hand. It was a very festive atmosphere indeed. That was despite Santa not making it due to COVID. Oops, I said the C word! Unfortunately Rudolph’s nose doesn’t work with a mask on.
We strolled down the main mall towards the Fremantle Markets, then took the scenic route to The Esplanade. In the park we encountered a ferocious dinosaur, an empty Ferris wheel and another character also doing some form of dance. It was spectacular. Presumably the Ferris wheel was empty because you cannot dance on a Ferris wheel.
Anyhow, we covered approximately 18.321 kilometres around Fremantle (ok I may be exaggerating slightly). It was a good workout.
I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure and so did the dancing lady. Unfortunately I didn’t get photos of her or any of the other characters because I just wasn’t brave enough. I didn’t want to ruin the festivities. I’m a bit shy and need to work on building my confidence.