Weather has been a lifelong passion for me; while my husband and 4 kids all in college and beyond, one now married, have patiently gone along with me!
By: PugetSoundPost, 3:31 PM GMT on September 13, 2013
October 1, 10 pm
Scroll down below all of the photos to the bottom for my summary of our September weather.
One last shot to post:
There I am, holding just about the sweetest little girl in the world! What a treat and what a trip highlight for me!
Adding in more photos from the Australian Outback:
Termite Mounds - some other tourists are looking over the mounds - all built by termites. They are magnetic as well - aligned north/south inside for proper cooling and warming. A queen termite lives around 15 years, producing 30,000 eggs per day! When she dies, the colony moves out and starts over.
One of several waterfalls we saw in the Outback south of Darwin, in Litchfield National Park.
Australian Outback in Northern Territory
Trio of cascading waterfalls in Litchfield National Park, Northern Territory, south of Darwin
Outback Australia is famous for its "road trains" - extra long rigs that dominate the highways.
The Stuart Highway, or The Track, that is the main and only highway that cuts north/south down the middle of the country and through the Outback. We passed through many miles of this same scenery in Northern Territory.
An inviting swimming hole and waterfall in Northern Territory
Katherine Gorge, a wonderful, and very hot boat trip through this gorge was beautiful. It was 100 degrees on our day there.
Sign says it all and is posted on all the rivers, yet less than a week after we were in the region, a man was attacked and killed by a crocodile because of foolishly swimming in a heavily croc infested river we had been near.
Yellow Waters Wetlands, in Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory. We took another boat trip on a similar flat bottomed barge type boat and the following photos are from that trip. A wonderful wildlife viewing area.
Hey! There we are, Mr and Mrs PSP at Yellow Waters
Lying in wait on the beach
Pelicans on the water. They did everything in unison and stayed so tightly knit all the while we watched. Crocs are in the waters too..
So many birds
Those jaws clamp down at 2,000+ pounds per square inch force. Yikes.
Just another day at the beach for all of the residents at Yellow Waters wetland. Kakadu National Park.
This croc is barely below the surface, in camo.
Yellow Waters Wetlands, Kakadu National Park
Loved the reflections here in the late afternoon
We finished our trip by flying back to Brisbane and driving an hour south, to Gold Coast. This is our evening view at Surfers Paradise. Quite different from the Outback.
This little guy is a red-necked pandemelon, about small cat size. It hops just like a kangaroo. This is in a national park just inland from Gold Coast.
Ahh, here is the only wild koala we saw, and we found him near the end of the day on our last day of touring. I had just about given up ever seeing one in the wild, and on a walk in the forest, off the trail, Mr. PSP spotted him, just as we had turned back.
There's his too-cute face peeking out at us
A view of the "hinterlands" of Gold Coast, a farming/ranching area in the rolling hills not too many miles inland from the ocean at Gold Coast
Just before our last sunset in Australia, we hurried to see this Natural Bridge. It was lovely and surprising! Water flowed along above and fell through this natural hole to the cave below, flowing over a jammed log, and then on down the river below it. In the cave there were supposed to be a colony of glow worms, but we did not see any. The next morning we started the very long trip home. What a wonderful three weeks it was!
This time, everyone must keep their arms and all body parts inside the boat.....
From Darwin we did take a few long day trips into the Outback. On this trip we took a jumping crocodile boat trip/tour on the Adelaide River as part of an all day tour. This part of it was certainly a top highlight of Australia for us. I will post here quite a few photos from that boat trip. Our boat was a flat bottomed aluminum barge style boat, not very big, with a partial roof and open sides. The crocodiles were wild, it is not captivity, and they came right up to the boat, jumped right next to us, and if we were so foolish, at times we could have reached over the edge to pet them. A wild experience that was fascinating, exciting, and unnerving at the same time. We were warned to never turn our back to the railing.... such as it was.
The boat guide hung a chicken carcass on a pole over the water to lure the crocs in toward our boat. There is the potential for food, but they don't all necessarily get any, so it isn't quite the same as "feeding them". They naturally jump up (so watch out if you are too long on an overhanging branch over the water) and are propelled with great leaping force by their powerful tails. They can just shoot straight up in a second.
A good look at their teeth
Two big crocs are circling us, but there were many in the area. These two tussled with each other and they don't hesitate to bite off limbs from each other. They say for every one croc you see, there are ten others lurking out of sight, under the muddy water or at the bottom. They can stay submerged for up to three hours.
Coming in fast. Such power and force.
Not the greatest picture, but that is Mr. PSP's shirt on the left, so this shows just how close we were to the jumps. When we started this day we really had no idea what we would end up doing and experiencing. You can also see that this croc has lost a leg - they fight each other and lose parts too - and they will go after anything within their reach like our arms if we hang them over. Also, you aren't safe on the beach as they will spring out of the water onto the beach and you maybe had no idea they were even there. They say you need to stay 5 or so meters back from the edge of any water.
Here he comes, silently. The construction of their bodies with those ridges allows them to slip through the water without leaving even a ripple.
Adelaide River scene. Crocodiles infest this river. Less than a week after we were here, just a few miles away on another river a man so very foolishly swam in the river, and was killed by a crocodile. Can't imagine such folly on any of the rivers or wetlands in this area of northern Australia. Saltwater crocodiles are very aggressive, much more so than freshwater crocs which are in the area too.
While on the same boat trip, we also saw this very large flock of cockatoos along the river. They were very loud and noisy, demanding our attention. These are birds I only know being in someone's cage in their house - a whole flock in the wild was such a marvel for us too.
Also on the river were these hawks. They swooped in as our guide threw out pieces of leftover meat and they were right there, even colliding with each other, to grab it mid air. This was also quite an interesting sight.
What an amazing boat trip this was for us. Just everywhere you look was something new and exciting.
More Outback photos next!
Here are some more photos of Australia!
On an evening country drive, a small group of kangaroos hopped across the road in front of us, so we got this shot out of the car window.
We are in a "national park" but that isn't quite the same as we think of in the US. It seems that all parks are "national" (other than some city or quite local parks) and many are quite small - more like we may think of as county or state parks. But some are large and closer to our idea of a "national park". I loved this place, up on a plateau/ridge with wonderful views, and it was just us there.
This is a reservoir behind a dam that supplies water to the Brisbane area. It is very large and a great recreation area, but while we were there quite empty of people.
During the vacation part of our trip (all of it was to me!) we flew up to Darwin, on the far north coast of Australia. The latitude here is around 12 degrees south, so it is quite tropical and different from the rest of Australia in many ways. Very hot and humid. This was a wonderful morning for a sail on the Indian Ocean.
Aboriginal art in a park in downtown Darwin. This area is still sort of a hub of aboriginal culture and connection.
A swimming beach and park in the center of the Darwin waterfront area. It was a lovely spot, and the swimming was quite inviting on the hot day we walked all around here, but we didn't do it. Too much else to see and do!
The skyline of Darwin, which in spite of being the capital of Northern Territory, it is not a very big city. The territory has few people too. Darwin is quite isolated from most all of the rest of Australia. But, it is a pretty modern city, having been destroyed and rebuilt several times in just the last century or so. One example is that it was destroyed by a bombing attack by the Japanese in World War II that was more severe than the attack on Pearl Harbor, just a few weeks before. More bombs were dropped and more aircraft and ships were sunk than at Pearl Harbor. But there was far less loss of life as they had mostly evacuated the city shortly before, but failed for some reason to move their military assets. Storms have also destroyed the city, the worst recent one being cyclone Tracy in the 1970's.
Sunset is approaching over these cliffs on the coast of Darwin.
And there goes the sun over the Timor Sea, of the Indian Ocean, at Darwin.
Stay tuned, as some rather exciting photos will come next!
September 13, 8:30 AM
I am finally back around WU to begin to post some photos from our trip. We took close to two thousand of them, but I will pick out a few over a bit of time to give a flavor of what we did and saw. It was a wonderful trip, full of adventure and busy experiences. All of them unique and just so very different from what we are used to here in the Pacific Northwest, but also for the most part just very unique from anything in America. Loved it! Loved it! Hope you can enjoy a bit of it along with me!
At Rainbow Beach, at the north end of Sunshine Coast and sliding into Fraser Coast.
Ahhh, what a wonderful beach to walk on in very warm brilliant sun! There goes Mr. PSP. We walked a long way. So different from our beaches! Actually warm, with warm water!
One of just a few wild kangaroos we saw near a road at dusk - the only time we saw them in the wild was around dusk.
This kangaroo is in captivity, but it was a wonderful experience too - we could feed them with purchased "approved" food, and pet them, etc. Very mellow and soft as well!
An emu also in captivity, but I did see one in the wild, quite unexpectedly, beside the road on an Outback trip we took. Crazy to see one just walking along! We don't have birds like this!
Quite a face they have!
Brisbane River, well outside of the city and a completely different look to it.
Koala! They seem to love to sit like this on limbs. This is in captivity at a koala sanctuary and was a wonderful place to visit.
Oh, so sleepy! They sleep around 20 hours per day, but also seemed to be sort of cat naps too. Their diet of eucalyptus leaves is very low in sugar, which is a very low energy diet. But it works for them. This is a male, you can tell by the smudge marking on his chest.
Such a sweet pair of koalas! Soooo adorable!
Don't you just want to hug this too-cute face? I could have just spent the rest of the day taking endless photos. One can never have too many of koalas!
Sunrise: 6:23 AM ---- Sunset: 7:24 PM (PDT)
(losing 3 min, 24 sec tomorrow)
Here are my stats from September, which turned into quite a weather month. It set a record in multiple places, including the city of Seattle, for the most rainfall for September on record. It featured several thunderstorms, some rather potent, and notable because we don't get a lot of them typically. Here at home we did not receive as much rain as many places did - including Seattle, and a lot less than SW Washington, down around Briar's area, but it was still a quite wet September. The month was a tale of two months, which I have noticed seems to happen more than you'd think. The first half of September was quite summery, but right about the middle the switch flipped to Fall and hasn't looked back, although with 20/29 hindsight, I see that the heavy rain we got on September 6 (awfully early in the month for so much rain) was a precursor to what would come later in the month. The calendar kept saying September, but for a good two weeks, it seemed to be a month behind the weather. Now it is with some relief that it is finally October - perhaps we won't feel so much out of sync! I wonder what this month will bring? So far it is the same as last month. It has been a mixed bag of weather today, including rain, heavy clouds, a bit of sunshine, and breezy winds. October!
September in Review
Average High: 72
Average Low: 53
Warmest Temperature: 94 (9/11)
Coldest Temperature: 42 (9.26)
Coldest High Temperature: 55 (9/29)
Wettest Day(s): I am going to list two days as nearly a tie, since they are so close in total and this is so unusual for us to have multiple 1+ inch rain days, and especially this time of year. Sept 6 (1.34") and Sept 28 (1.38")
Days of Measurable Precip: 15
Total Rain for September: 4.90"
Note: Our rain total is well below Seattle's official total of 6.16". We often seem to come in under their totals, which actually is measured quite a distance from us anyway. We seem to be rainshadowed somewhat, but it also seems to just be the way clouds roll when dumping downpours - often miss us for some reason, but not always. Sometimes we get rain others don't, as when a Puget Sound Convergence Zone sets up.
Sunrise: 7:08 AM --- Sunset: 6:47 PM (PDT)
(losing 3 minutes, 25 seconds tomorrow)
Updated: 5:07 AM GMT on October 02, 2013