North West Western Australia

TIME TO GO HOME

11/07/2016 – Heading for Perth

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Now this tree has really suffered from the strong wind!

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And here is the information about the tree.

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We thought this lovely rainbow was a good omen as we head home to Perth.

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Our last night out camping, getting cold again in the evenings as we creep further south.  Tomorrow evening we stay at a friend’s place, then Perth.

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Categories: North West Western Australia, TRAVEL, Western Australia | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

SHELL BEACH, DENHAM AND MONKEY MIA

9/07/2016 – Still going to Monkey Mia

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Just along the road from Hamelin Pool is Shell Beach, at the end of the beach is a commercial base where the shell grit is bagged and goes on to be sold.  For some reason, this beach is made up entirely of shells.

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Shells everywhere.  Really hot here as the reflection from the shells is very bright.

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At Denham we saw a beautiful old yacht.  Then over the peninsula we drive until…

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By the time we reach the other side of the Peninsula and Monkey Mia it is almost dark.  A catamaran is returning from a tourist day trip.

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The next morning we watch the very famous dolphins of Monkey Mia, I was very interested to note that now they only feed three dolphins and these only get a few fish.  After much research into why dolphins in the area were losing their calves, it was discovered that because dolphin babies feed in a vertical position, and they can’t do that when mum is in the shallows, the babies were getting malnourished and even died due to too much feeding of the dolphins.

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Here the three dolphins are brought forward and fed all at the same time, very quickly, although we did have to wait through half an hour of talking before this happened.  Big anti-climax.

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Some information on seagrass.

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STROMATOLITES OF HAMELIN POOL

9/07/2016 – Onwards to Monkey Mia

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We passed this lookout on the way to Hamelin Pool.

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We arrived at Hamelin Pool and here are the stromatolites.  Stromatolites are considered ‘living fossils’, part of the Earth’s evolutionary history, they are the oldest and largest living fossils on earth.  Hamelin Pool in Western Australia is a place of great interest to botanists and geologists as it gives an indication of what the earth may have looked like about 3.5 billion years ago, when stromatolites grew widespread across the water. Visitors can view these amazing life forms, without causing damage by walking on a purpose built jetty and looking down at the Hamelin Pool stromatolites below.

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Stromatolites grow successfully and undisturbed at Hamelin Pool because the sea water is twice as saline as usual sea water, due to a bar across the entrance of the bay and also due to rapid evaporation from shallow water.  Stromatolites which are found to be up to a metre high are believed to be hundreds to thousands of years old as they grow at a maximum of 0.3mm per year.  Hamelin Pool in Western Australia is one of only two places on earth where living marine stromatolites exist.

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Nearby is Hamelin Pool Homestead, complete with the Old Hamelin Pool Telegraph Station, which was built in 1884 as part of the communication line between Perth and Roebourne. The original building is now a museum housing many artefacts.

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Above shows shell stone quarry blocks used to build historic buildings in Shark Bay.

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Here is the quarry.  You can still see the marks where bricks have been cut.

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GLADSTONE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA – SHARK BAY

8/07/2016 – Peace and Serenity

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Here is our campground the next morning, so quiet and peaceful.

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Looking out over the bay.  This area is apparently where many dugongs come to feed and mate in another season.

The Dugong (Dugong dugon), sometimes referred to as a sea cow, is the only true  marine mammalian herbivore. It is a strange looking creature with a head designed to ‘vacuum’ seagrass off the sea floor and a dolphin-like tail. It is thought that the legend of the mermaid came about after sailors who had spent too long at sea, spied the dugong and thought they were beautiful women with fish tails. Its closest living relative is the manatee – a freshwater version of the Dugong.  Despite appearances they are not so closely related to other sea mammals, rather more related to elephants.

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But look to the left, and ….. where has all the water gone?  Not to worry it is just low tide.  Shark Bay has the world’s second largest dugong population, 15,000 dugongs, and is the world’s most significant dugong behavioural research site.  Disappointed not to see any, but there is always next time.  Further to the left are copious beds of seagrass that the dugongs come in to feed on during the mating season.

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What an amazing day.

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Linda took this beautiful photo of a … bird.   Not sure what species this is,  help please?   I decided to play around with my software and see if I could bring out the best of it.

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Very pleased with this, and I think it is a Caspian Tern?

Categories: BIRDS, North West Western Australia, PHOTOGRAPHY, TRAVEL, Western Australia | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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