Jessica and I were on the highway in the state of Victoria, about as far south in Australia as you can go unless you take the ferry to Tasmania, when I spotted this cute little Echidna browsing in the grass alongside the road.
Echidnas are cute, but they sure are not very cuddly. As Jessica tried to pet this one, it curled up in a ball and presented her with its quills.
i guess Echidnas are pretty well protected when they are in a ball, but this one quickly forgot Jessica was there and started grazing the roadside grass again.
We went out onto Wilson's Promontory which is a rather famous national park in Australia. There are supposed to be a lot of Emus there, but we couldn't find any. Instead, we hiked out to Squeaky Beach where the quartz sands squeak when you walk on them. I loved the big rocks there.
I got Jessica to walk through a narrow passage between some of them. It was sort of a "fat man's squeeze".
I thought it was a pretty place, even though I am not normally a huge fan of beaches.
Much of Victoria's many parks are covered with rain forests. One of their parks in Tarra Valley. It is a beautiful place, filled with primitive tree ferns.
I loved hiking the trails through the tree fern forests. This must have been the way it looked during the Carboniferous Period of the Paleozoic Era, back when our coal was being formed in the tree fern swamps and back when dragon flies had wing spans as big as birds.
It was dark and damp in there among the towering ferns, a perfect place to find something that I like very much to study: fungi.
For a biologists like me, the tree fern forests are like a living textbook.
I loved the fiddleheads growing from the tops of all the ferns.
The fern forests are the home of the Lyre Bird. I didn't see one or hear its chime like song which I remember so well from movies I have seen on TV. We did see this creature though: a wombat munching at grass. Cute guy.
I am told that wombats are friendly and cuddly, but this bloke would not let us get close to him. I had to take my pictures through the windshield of the car. Looks kind of fuzzy, doesn't it?
Maybe we will see one tomorrow and I will be able to get a better picture.