Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wattles and kookaburras declare Australia

Wattle and kookaburras are well-known things that symbolise Australia. Our floral emblem is a wattle (usually Acacia pycnantha, commonly called golden wattle). No matter where you live in Australia, there is nearly always at least one species of acacia in flower.

The photos included in this blog were taken up the Forest Vale Road, north of Mitchell. When viewed against the red earth of this particular hill, the gold of the wattle looks striking.

Whenever I hear a kookaburra laugh it makes me smile, lightens my spirits. It is as if the sun has emerged from a bank of heavy cloud. The Laughing kookaburra is Australia's largest kingfisher. It has a massive bill able to tackle large snakes. The Blue-winged kookaburra lives in northern Australia, and as its name suggests, has striking blue markings on its wings.

A kookaburra's laugh is a joyful sound that rings through the Australian bush. When combined with wattles in full bloom, the effect is dramatic and uplifting.

A pair of kookaburras live in and around the river red gums over the road from us here in Mitchell. Often we hear their laughter and my hope is that they help clear the area of venomous snakes.

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