Jennifer Morris recently posted a lovely blog showing all the wonderful wildlife on her doorstep: snakes chipmunks, salamanders... All I get is sparrows, squirrels and the odd cat. Jennifer inspired me though to show you some of the wildlife I have encountered elsewhere.
Starting with this. Yep, it's real. And that's my finger too, to give scale. Am I brave or what?? This fella was on the porch of a bar in the Daintree, a rainforest area in Queensland. The owner let it stay specifically to freak out the tourists. That's Australians for you!
This is inside the bar. There was also this tree frog clamped to the back of a Baileys bottle. I didn't believe he was real until the owner let me touch him. He lives there, and keeps behind the bottle out of sight, to hide from snakes that slide into the bar to hunt at night!
This is also Oz, but much further south, in the Blue mountains. We were staying in a cabin. Early every morning, wild parrots would flock down to be fed and happily mob you for seed, as you can see. I should have worn a hat, because their toenails really needed a trim!
This is me with my friend Sharon. It was her wedding we went to Australia for. This massive lizard lived in her back garden and liked to come out for a stroll round the poolside.
We do have some wild things here at home though. This creature is another friend of mine, Matthew. You don't want to upset him, not with those massive horns...
They were mounted in the wall of a B&B in Scotland, at just the right height.
And finally... is it a sea monster, up from the deep?
No, actually it's me looking very silly in my special wimp's snorkelling mask, in Cyprus. It has a full face glass, so I absolutely, definitely won't get any sea water up my nose by mistake!
I did some sketching when we were in Australia, mostly of landscapes rather that creatures, but I'll pop some into the gallery sometime soon, for you to see. If you're interested to see some animal drawing though, there's all sorts in my Namibia sketchbook on the website. Cheetahs, zebras, elephants, ostriches, giraffes... I can't recommend Namibia too highly as a place to visit.