Monday, April 20, 2009

#342-365 Underneath

More birds but these are Aquatic, they are Fairy Penguins and the shot was taken at the penguin enclosure at Taronga Park Zoo, these birds have a wide range throughout Australia's South and South Eastern coastline, but I do recall that there were two colonies right inside Sydney Harbour.

The principal colony was located just off the Manly Wharf and the birds had a hell of a time with tourists but I recall that the local residents took quite drastic actions to ensure the local Dogs and Cats caused them no troubles, as there were regular write ups in the paper, concerning pets that went missing after paying a call on the colony.

The second colony I only learned of when I went wandering around the foreshore near the zoo, and stumbled on about 30 or so of the engaging little guys making their way over the rocks, I watched them go about life for a few hours then started back towards the wharf when I encountered one of the rare Female zoo keepers, (Rare in 1964) who asked "What did you find?" I told her and then she said that those babies had been her charge for around 10 years and she was trying to keep their location a secret, so could I keep it to myself I did and am only mentioning it now as I noticed that the foundations where the sky cable way are situated was about where I sat for around two hours, so they must have moved or something.

Just as an aside when I had a short hiatus out of the Army around 1971, there was an incident of some braindead people who broke into the zoo and mutilated a number of animals including a Galapagos Turtle rumoured to be over 200 years old, there was an uproar and the zoo was patrolled for about two months. The cost of that was prohibitive and eventually was scaled down. There was a story going the rounds shortly after that the braindeads came back and used the same route, over a back cage area where a cranky old lioness was being temporarily housed.

Now I can't vouch for the truth of this story but it went around that one of them slipped and fell in with the big cat who did what big cats do when their territory is invaded. As I said the story did the rounds but may have been a urban myth because it was said that they got finger prints of the one hand that remained and it matched the previous breakin, we got no follow-up but a letter to the Editor in a local paper stated that if this was the case the big cat should be put down, (Possibly a braindead relative) which is what the Editor called the author and went on to say that the cat deserved a medal and a good colonic to get all that bad meat out of its system. Urban Myths are a favourite of mine and just looking at this shot reminded me of it, so it is most probably untrue, but you can always hope eh?

17 comments:

Chesney said...

Great shot of this guy - love how blue the water is! Hope your lion got a medal - did you miss your brother much?? :)

Lorri said...

Thanks for the animal stories! The penguins are perfect for the underneath theme.

Katie said...

Love the water in this picture. I feel like I'm under the water as well.

jo said...

That's a beautiful image down under :)

Sherrie said...

Hi Ron,
Great shot of your Penguins!! They are beautiful birds! I have never saw one in person. Thanks for stopping by my place. And the encouragement to keep eating my potato chips! Have a great day!!

Sherrie

mljrbg said...

Great shot!! Your commentaries continue to be amazing. Thanks for all of the time you put into them so we can learn about your country.

Oh...by the way...did you get your peanut butter cookies yet?

Brita said...

Wonderful shot! First I was amazed at how good swimmer you are and taking pictures at the same time...*smile*...it's a long way to the zoo where I am. Fantastic picture and great story.

gregworld said...

So Ron...how long did you need to hold your breath to get this shot? Underwater photography is challenging and requires special equipment...kudo!! ;^)

Seriously...nice perspective on this theme. My grandkids love penguins and we visit them whenever we go to the local aquarium.

lijola said...

I really like this shot from underneath. The water looks great.

MevetS said...

I've only seem them in aquaria. Cool that you got to see them in person, and a secret site at that.

Nice shot.

Clara said...

As always, great story, Ron. I love the blue, blue water in the picture.

~Val said...

Great shot! That water looks so inviting. Penguins are so fun to watch!

ellens365 said...

I can just echo all of the above. I love the down under underneath!

Vita Stunder said...

I love this underwater shot! Great colors :)

Rachel said...

Fantastic shot. Absolutely perfect for this theme!

klsbear said...

Very cool - I love the ripples and colors!

shadowsandhighlights said...

Love the colors & the movement of the water, and of course, those little flippers! Nice shot!