Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Beach walkin

No real news so far today but have a few minutes between work things so thought I'd pop up a few photos from our beautiful beach walk this morning. The sky is still heavy with clouds, but there was no wind and the temperature is just perfect for romping with the Girls.

We got in a great 50 minute walk and the dogs loved destroying the peace and quiet by splashing through the mirror flat water at a million miles an hour. Tilly also decided that today was a perfect day to explore the sand dunes and she'd come barreling down from them at warp speed, kicking sand 20 feet in the air as she passed. Dora wasn't quite so over the top but Til did try her best to engage her in roughhousing.

On the way out we stopped to look for roos again. One day I'll actually get some sunshiney ones! There were quite a few around again today but mostly they were a ways away from the road. Tilly keenly watched from the car and whined at me, not understanding why I wouldn't let her out to chase the big hoppy things!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Big Sunday!

Yesterday was an eventful day for me!  The dogs and I got up early and hit the beach despite the threat of rain that still hung over Exmouth.  It was a perfect beach walking morning - nice temperature, just a hint of breeze, smooth, hard packed easy to walk on sand, no one else around.  We're out before the sun comes up anyway, so the grey skies didn't really matter.  Made it a little darker, of course, but no biggie.

There were tons of roos out so I puttered down the access road very slowly on the way in - good thing because another stupid little kanga hopped out and whomped the front of my car. I thought I'd really hurt this one as he laid in front of the bumper for a few seconds before standing up, giving himself a shake and a stretch then turning and hopping off into the bush. I watched him jump out of sight and he seemed OK. Hope so!

I had the Canon 100-400 lens with me specifically to try to get some better kanga shots, so I was happy to see on the way back from the beach there were even more kangaroos out and about so I stopped and tried for some photos. Shame it was so dark and overcast, I had to really push the limits of my gear and my hand holding techniques! This first group of three were pretty animated and then they heard ol Thunder Butt, the Photo Ruiner, coming and all hopped away after him.

There were lots of little groups keeping an eye on us

Back home I did some work and waited for it to be 10 so we could head out for a dive. The skies didn't clear, but the rain stayed away and we headed out to Bundegi again. More photos coming later...

Dave and I took the Girls to the beach for another beach BBQ and romp in the late afternoon, only the rain started to spit and the big car wouldn't start so we canned the BBQ and just played instead. Dave spotted a beautiful hawk-type bird on the beach, eating some treasure and I tried to get up close to it. I kept the long lens on as it just doesn't get taken out too often anymore - it's not so good for weddings & portrait work! - and I always feel bad about neglecting my gear. Glad I did! (though secretly I yearn for a 600mm lens!)

Dora and Tilly had a great time romping on the beach, exploring all the newly refreshed scents and chasing the sea birds

The rain held off and we had a great time just relaxing. Tilly does this wierd thing where she runs like a maniac back to the car and jumps in, then when you get close, she jumps out and does it all over again. Nut. Bag.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Another Friday dive

Went out on Friday for a dive with Ross & Mary again. Gotta love when he has RDOs and the conditions are good!  We headed in to Exmouth Gulf to one of our favourite sites and the conditions were even better than we thought they would be.  We had 15m visibility at the beginning of the dive and no current at all until the end when the tide started to run again.  And the marine life, wowzas, just stuff everywhere and action galore!

The coolest action was the mating olive sea snakes. They were crazy - coiling around each other, chasing around bommies, tongues going in and out...The female, we assume it was the female anyway, didn't appear to be nearly as interested as the smaller male was. She took him on a merry chase and he did his best to keep up. Finally she ducked under a ledge, rummaged around and shot out the other side. Mr. Sea Snake was still looking for her under the ledge, then gave up, shot out at about 200mph - straight into the side of Ross's fin. It was so funny to watch! The snake shook it off then happily wandered off...in the wrong direction.

Sea snakes were by far the most entertaining of the dive. I watched another small one come back down after being on the surface for a breath. He came straight down on top me then started poking the enormous bull ray - easily 6 feet wingtip to wingtip - who was nosed up under a big bommie until the ray had enough and swam off, sea snake riding along with him.

The water in the Gulf is nice and chilly - only 22C! You wouldn't think that a couple of degrees would make that much difference but it sure does to me. I wasn't too cold for most of the dive but when I'd try to move around to get a better shot, water would trickle down my back and I'd give the shot a miss. I am a wuss really! As I was heading back to the boat - visions of nice warm towels and trackie pants dancing in my head - when I got buzzed by a very pretty batfish. He bobbled around me for a couple of minutes before heading a little deeper down the line. It was a really nice way to end the dive.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dora wins!!

Dora kicked ass on our 3kg Challenge this month! Her prize? A day hanging with her Mom & Dad - without Tilly! :)

She started at 52.8kgs on the third of June and yesterday weighed in at 49.6kgs for a total loss of 3.2kgs! That's an awesome result and we are hoping that her loss keeps going at a steady pace so maybe we can finally get her to a healthy weight and keep her there.

Tilly lost .9kgs so also has been doing pretty well. The weight isn't coming off quite fast enough so we are reducing her meals a little bit more and hopefully that will get us to her goal in good time, too. I sometimes wish someone could just measure our food out of a bag and call it good - it would be so much easier.

The humans didn't come close to keeping up with Dora so we won't spend much time dwelling on it! As all four of us still have work to do, we're going to do our 2nd Great 3 Kilo Challenge starting today :) We'll all get there and we'll all feel happier and healthier once we do.

Yesterday was a gorgeous morning down on the beach watching the sun come up. The dogs weren't in a photo mood so I didn't take many but it was nice just to be out and about with them.

There were a surprising number of kangaroos on the access road when we left the beach. This guy wasn't too smart - it's hard to see in the small photo, but he's looking the wrong way! Then he hopped off to join his mates.

I don't know what it is about these flowers but I think they are very pretty. Looking at them I can almost imagine a light frost dusting their leaves.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Exmouth Gulf beach BBQ

Last night Dave and I took the dogs out to Mowbowra Creek again for some fishing and a bbq.  It has been a very long week for both of us and we needed to just get away and not think about anything for a few hours.  The evening was perfect, except the tide was a little low for fishing!

Dora was eager to get to the beach and even came up to keep an eye on the route, to make sure we didn't detour! At the beach both girls were just crazy - running like maniacs, digging, playing with sticks, growling & pretending to be grizzly bears. Dave headed out to the water to try to fish, but between the really low water and two helpers that activity wasn't too fruitful!

We took a baby bbq down to the beach with us and Dave worked hard to get it started...the outcome was in doubt for a long while and he tried many creative things to spark it to life

We'd given up and resorted to nibblies for our dinner, when Dave thought he'd give it one more go. A little jiggling of wires here, a little well-placed thump there and click click whoosh - fire! So we tossed some sausages on and enjoyed listening to the sizzle as the last of the sun disappeared. Dora was sure there was something left on the tailgate of the car, but all the good stuff was on the barbie!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Friday divin'

After I had such a brilliant time with the whale sharks on Thursday last week, trying to resist heading out for some diving with my friends on Friday proved just too much so I hopped on their boat and headed to Lighthouse Bay.

It was really nice on the surface, but underwater was a challenge with a huge surge, lots of sand storms and tons of food in the water. Having all that food is a double edged sword, really. On the one side, the animals love it and are very active and abundant because of it. On the other side, it shines, sparkles, glows, glimmers and otherwise mucks up what could be perfectly good photographs!

I only did one of the two dives as my back was giving me trouble again and I didn't want to push it. Besides, it was nice just to laze on the boat for an hour in the sun and watch the birds, the water and a lone barracuda who hung out at the mooring to keep me company. Not too often I get totally quiet, peaceful alone time!

Juvenile humphead wrasse - these don't look anything like the adults!

Hawkfish poised on an outcrop of staghorn coral

Almost all of the anemonefish were hunkered in tight to their anemones

This beautiful nudibranch was happily feeding

This very fat white tip reef shark - she may be pregnant - was zooming around and around me as I was tucked back against a ledge.

My favourite turtle of the more than 15 I saw on this dive. He was hanging vertical on the reef, his flipper thrown over this sea fan holding him up. I'm surprised the fan didn't rip right off the wall!

And a couple more whale shark shots from Thursday

Monday, June 22, 2009

Beach evening

Dave and I took the Girls out to our block for a play and a look around yesterday.  The dogs went crazy searching out all the bunny trail smells and we humans discussed plans for the new house in preparation for winning big on Lotto. The block is reverting back to its natural state - I can't believe how fast the native vegetation starts to move back in.

We zipped down to the beach in front of our property to check out low tide. I've never seen it this low and it was so neat. Tide pools out for at least 50m, maybe more. As I was walking out I got shot - by an octopus! Those white blobs are part of the stream of water they shoot out to shoo you away.

I called Dave over and he got shot, too

Dora always loves to check out the tide pools

bummer that I was falling off my little rock so I missed her getting squirted! But it was funny!

Dora and MatildaLily romped hard

And I went into stealth mode to try to get closer to the ospreys that were checking our beach out.

After spending some time dreaming of the future - complete with beach cabana and imported Mexican chefs from our favourite Cozumel restaurant making margaritas and chicken verde burritos - we loaded up and went to Mowbowra Creek. It was picture postcard perfect as the sun started to sink.

Look closely - there's an osprey up there on one of the trees, too

Dave walked around onto those rocks and the doglets tried to follow, but they're not really mountaineers so didn't get very far

They did have a great time swimming in the creek, even if Til did take the opportunity to annoy Dora again, as usual

Always taking little time outs to check to see what dad was up to

We played with the stick for a while

Tilly thought maybe going deep would help her win...but Dora had other ideas

Tilly didn't miss an opportunity to be a nutcase

Back in the car, she settled onto her favourite seat...Dora

and when she got told off, did the sooky head on shoulder with her dad

It was great to get out as a family, it's been too long.