Sunday, 17 March 2013

Onkaparinga - What a Name!

Yes, that really is the name of a Scenic Drive near Adelaide! I call it "Wheelbarrow road", because the name is so long you need a wheelbarrow to carry it in! MOL` But as Meowmy didn't do the whole drive, I won't bore you with details of it. ;-)

Canal near West Beach in Adelaide

What Meowmy DID do you, howefur, that you may find of interest, is she went to visit Gorge Wildlife Park in a town called Cudlee Creek near Adelaide. She took LOTS of photos there (until her camera started stuffing up!) and she even got to cuddle a koala! (By the way, when I told you that koalas have really sharp claws... I was right!) The koala Meowmy cuddled was called Hope. Her fur felt like dog fur, short and rough, whereas the two Grey Kangaroos Meowmy stroked felt as soft as my fur does. (We must have the same hair dresser!)

Yes, it really is a swan!

There were a lot of birds at the park, not all of them captive. As well as the galahs and lorikeets and crows Meowmy saw flying wild, there were dozens of species of birds in the enclosures, including eagles, plovers, quails, owls, kookaburras, jabirus, brolgas, emus, parrots of all sizes and colours, finches, egrets, peacocks, and water fowl such as ducks, geese, ibises and a black swan.

Do these look like wallabies to you?

Other animals at the park included kangaroos and wallabies and wallaroos (I purrsonally can't tell the difference!) and even white kangaroos! Meomwy patted a kangaroo that came to see if she had any food and she said it's fur was furry soft. The koala she was allowed to hold was furry big and heavy and wasn't quite as soft, but it sat quite happily in Meowmy's arm, eating gum leaves and digging her claws into Meowmy's shoulder. ;-)

Talking about sharp, look at this fellow's teeth!

In other enclosures were an echidna (which also had a goanna in its pen - I'm not sure if that was supposed to be there!), a Tasmanian Devil (see above picture), reptiles and amphibians, which Meowmy didn't get to see all of, a pond with two American alligators, a couple of camels, two or three furiendly dingos, a type of wallaby called a "Quokka", which must have been hiding from Meowmy, ordinary brown wombats and also some that were white, an ostrich-like bird called a "Rhea", and the best part - a black leopard, or panther.
This could be the big brofur of sefural kitties I know!

So that was Meowmy's interesting day at the Wildlife Park. Between chocolate-shopping, sight-seeing, animal-viewing, more chocolate-shopping, and souvenir-hunting, Meowmy has greatly enjoyed her trip to Adelaide! Now there's just all the driving to get back home, although, as I write this post, that driving is half-over already. I'll update again when Meowmy gives me more mews, but fur now - Happy Saturday and Happy St Patrick's Day! (Okay, fur you American kitties, that is tomorrow, but I'll say it anyway!)

One of the little white wallaroo thingies...  

=^..^=  Samson T. Hunter - The Aussie Kitty  =^..^=

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

South Australia - The Festival State

Welcome to South Australia!

So right! Almost every town Meowmy passed through on the way to Adelaide had some festival or other on. But she finally made it to the Big Smoke of Adelaide and is sitting there MELTING! (As are we, I might add!) The temperature is in the high 30’s Celsius (high 90’s and low 100’s Fahrenheit) and it is really too hot to do anything. Meowmy arrived in Adelaide yesterday around lunchtime (pity she had to drop the fruit in the quarantine bin at the border). She went from Portland up along a long, boring road until she crossed the border and lunched in Mount Gambier, the first really big town across the SA border, then she went along another long, boring road towards Adelaide. When the city traffic hit, the road was no longer boring!


This was the view along most of the road. MOL`

In the morning at Portland, Meowmy went to look around a little bit. Point Danger, a coastal point just a little bit south of Portland, boasts the only Australasian Gannet colony on Mainland Australia. The gannets usually nest in colonies on islands further out to sea, but they also nest in the cliffs at Point Danger. Unfurtunately, it was the wrong time of year to see the gannets, but Meowmy did stumble (literally) upon a wild echidna. She actually managed to stroke its back gently and it didn’t try to prick her.

Can you see the echidna in the grass?

The Australian Bight is a long, curved portion of southern Australia that looks like a huge bite has been taken out of it – hence the name. The Bight extends from western Victoria into part of Western Australia. The great Southern Ocean shines brightly over the majestic cliffs, lapping gently at people’s feet on some days and crashing mightily on the rocks another day.

The Southern Ocean, as seen from Point Danger

At the place where Meowmy is staying, there is what she calls “a sweet dog” (a term which is debatable). It is a chocolate-brown Curly-Coated Retriever dog with “heart-melting” brown eyes and kewt ears.


Dana the dog

Meowmy’s hoping to get a bit more done tomorrow if it’s going to be cooler. On tomorrow’s agenda is purrobably a trip into the real smokey part of the Big Smoke to see the sights and spend some money.  MOL`  I hope Meowmy rememfurs to take some more pictures fur us, too!

Have a great day, my furiends!


=^..^=  Samson T. Hunter – The Aussie Cat  =^..^=

Sunday, 10 March 2013

We're off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz!

Well, there's no wizard in sight, but Meowmy's getting a good view of the Land of Oz! Meowmy is travelling from Bendigo, Victoria, to Adelaide, South Australia, and is taking a lot of good pictures fur us along the way!

It's not exactly a short trip, but it's going to be fun!

Meowmy's first stop after leaving Bendigo was in Ballarat. She went and saw the site of the Eureka Stockade. In 1854, a group of gold miners in Ballarat began an organised rebellion against UK colonial authority. The Battle of Eureka Stockade, as the rebellion is known as, was named for the stockade structure built by the miners during the conflict. The miners were mainly complaining about the expense of a Miner's Licence and taxation. Other miners in the Ballarat region joined them and eventually the gold licences were abolished and replaced by an annual miner's right and an export fee based on the value of the gold.

The next stop was Sovereign Hill, a former gold mine site in Ballarat. She visited the gold museum there and took some interesting photos. She learned at the museum that between 1851 and 1916, an estimated 10,157,050 oz of gold were mined in the Ballarat region. At today's price of $1538 per oz of gold, that's about $15 billion dollars worth of gold!

The Victorian Gold Pyramid is, unfortunately, in bad lighting and too big to fit propurrly in the picture, but it's astounding nonetheless.
This (above) is a half-sized replica of the real thing. The real Victorian Gold Pyramid would not fit inside the museum, as it is 45 ft high by 10 ft square at the base. It made its debut at the London International Exhibition in 1862 and its volume is said to be the exact same amount as the gold exported from Victoria during the gold rushes. Wow!

That's a lot of gold!
See that big nugget on the left? That's called the "Welcome Stranger nugget". It was discovered in February 1869 by two men called John Deason and Richard Oates. It was only 2.5 cm (1 inch) below the surface, but it weighed 2,284 oz! it was found at Moliagul, about 60 km (37 miles) west of my hometown of Bendigo, Victoria.

The legend of El Dorado (zoom in to try and read it)
The legend of El Dorado is well-known by many, but check this - a couple of South American farmers think they found it! In case you can't read the text in the above picture, here's the drift of it. In 1534, Pizarro heard a rumour of El Dorado (which simply means "the golden one") and he was intrigued by the story of an indian king (American indians, that is) who was honoured in an annual ceremony by the throwing of golden gifts into a sacred lake. The Spaniards searched fur years, but they could not find El Dorado, until in 1969, two farmers from Colombia, South America, searched a cave a few hours out of the capital of Bogota, and they found a golden figure of a raft with a golden king riding upon it on the lake - the sacred lake of Guatavita. The raft is one of 14,000 gold objects in the Bogota Museum of Gold. Most, if not all, of the items in the Bogota Museum were made by American Indians.

Thank goodness Meowmy has a better camera than this to take pictures with!
There were lots of other displays in the Sovereign Hill Museum about life during the gold rush days. Above is a picture of one of the displays. Imagine if Meowmy was trying to photograph her trip with a camera like that! They also had a very old slide-viewer there - thank goodness fur Photobucket! MOL`

Tonight Meowmy is staying in Portland (bottom, center of the map at the top) and tomorrow she will get to Adelaide, hopefully with some more interesting pictures!


Hope all my Aussie furiends had a great weekend, and I hope all my American furiends are looking furward to Sunday! See you soon, efurrybody!

=^..^=  Samson T. Hunter - The Aussie Kitty  =^..^=

Sunday, 3 February 2013

If you can survive February, you can survive the year.

Unfurtunately, the weather here is very hot so the outlook is looking grim. The forecast fur this next week is low- to mid-30's. (That's mid-80's to mid-90's in Fahrenheit.) Meowmy says it's days fur staying inside, but I don't agree. I like to be out and about.

This is my nest outside the window. I get a good view of the bird bath from here.

The dogs say it is too hot and they like to spend time inside in the laundry, but I prefur the Great Outdoors. There's lots more things fur me to hunt out there. That's why they call me Hunter, Samson T.

The fishpond attracts lots of little birdies like this kewt Willy Wagtail.

Of course some of the best times are when it gets REALLY hot outside and we light up the barbie. Mmm! The smell of cooking steaks or snags is furry tempting, but I'm too scared of the flames to try to steal one. Usually I get little tidbits later.

It's called the fishpond, but there's no fish!

Meowmy has been working on doing another music video fur me. (Fur those who didn't see my first one, you can find it on my Catster page: www.Catster.com/cats/1248879 ) I can also give you a sneaky preview - my next vid will be an Aussie one (with ME, of course!) to the good ol' Aussie song "Home Among the Gum Trees".

Anyhow, here's an Aussie test fur you - go to www.Lambnesia.com.au and take the Official Lambnesia test to see how Australian you are. All you have to do is look at several pictures and work out whether they are Australian or UnAustralian. (Meowmy got 48% UnAustralian in her results.) I would love to hear what your results are.


I hope you are all having a great weekend, wherefur you are! I'll try to be back with more mews and Aussie-isms soon. Ciao and Meow!

=^..^=  Samson T. Hunter - the Aussie Kitty  =^..^=


What Aussies are doing this month: In Tasmania, the Taswegians are looking furward to the Royal Hobart Regatta on Feb 11th. The Regatta is a series of aquatic competitions and displays held annually in Hobart. It runs fur 3 days and is Tassie's oldest sporting event. And, of course, all the love-birds and purrty girl-cats are looking furward to Valentine's Day on Feb 14th. Now is also the time to clear the Woolies stores out of ice-cream wear yer shorts and thongs.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Tie me kangaroo down...?

First, I know some of you are still a bit catfused about some Aussie things, so let me try to set the record straight. To avoid repetition, I'll just link you to the entry I wrote in my Catster diary about a few verbal Aussie-isms (as I like to call them!).

Start Your Day the Aussie Way!

There are a multitude of YouTube videos about Aussie slang and accents, so I won't go far into that.
Let's look at some Aussie animals...

Fur starters, Koalas are NOT bears! They may look like a bear (and they sure do scratch like a bear!) but they are marsupials. Like kangaroos, koalas have a pouch in which they carry their young. The young of all marsupials, including koalas, are called joeys. Koalas do not drink, in fact their name comes from words in an Aboriginal language meaning "no drink", or something like that. They absorb all the liquid nutrients they need from their main diet of eucalyptus (or gum) leaves. Gum leaves are poisonous to humans.

Kangaroos are one of the most famous Aussie animals, but do you know where it's name comes from? One story I heard says that European settlers saw a kangaroo jump past and heard their Aborigine companions say "Kang-guroo!". They thought that was the name of the animal, when in fact the Aborigine was merely saying "There he goes!" Another story is that that was the name of the animal in the language of one tribe, and when Europeans tried saying that word to another tribe, not realising the second tribe spoke a different language, the second tribe thought that a Kangaroo was an animal they had never seen before, so that's what they dubbed the animal we call a horse.

Watch out fur kangaroos on the road! Picture from Google Images, but we had an incident similar once.

Emus are the second-largest bird on earth (after the Ostrich) and one of the fastest, with the average top speed of an Aussie Emu around 50 kph (which, fur you Americans, is about 31 mph). Emu eggs are huge and the newly-hatched chicks are about 25 cm (10 inches) tall and will grow to be between 1.5 to 2 metres tall (5-6.5 ft) and will weigh up to 60 kg (130 pounds) full-grown.

The Australian Platypus IS a real animal and is NOT a hoax. Apparently, in a museum in England, there is a dead, stuffed platypus with scissor marks on it's bill where some fool thought it was a joke and tried to cut the bill off. Let me tell you, it IS real, it DOES lay eggs in holes in the ground like a turtle, it swims in rivers and eats prawns and other little organisms (prawns is the Aussie name fur shrimps, BTW). Platypuses use sonar to navigate under water and they have spurs like a rooster which produce venom like a snake. Kewl, huh? The Platypus is a monotreme, which is a marsupial that lays eggs. It is one of only two species of monotreme in the world, the other being the EchidnaPlease do not confuse an echidna with a hedgehog or a porcupine. Porcupines are rodents and hedgehogs are insectivores. Neither porcupines nor hedgehogs lay eggs. The offspring of the two monotremes don't really have a technical name, but I've heard them referred to as "puggles". (Although I thought a Puggle was a cross with a Pug dog and a Poodle.)

Now at the risk of sounding like a noisy Galah, I'll continue with a few native birds. A galah is a type of parrot which is VERY noisy and has grey wing with a pink breast. Some of you will also be familiar with the Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo (that white parrot with the yellow crest that people teach to talk?), which is also native to Australia, along with lots of species of parrot, several finches, Australian Ravens (commonly called the Crow), butcherbirds, and the Australian magpie. Apparently there are two types of Australian Magpie, both black-and-white, but the southern variety has slightly different markings to the northern type. I've never seen the difference.

Two Grey Butcherbirds. We used to feed them pieces of raw meat when they landed on our verandah at our house in Brisbane. Picture from Wikipedia.

I'll try not to rabbit on, speaking of which, rabbits are NOT indigenous to Australia, they were merely introduced by some drongo (*Aussie slang - 'stupid idiot'*) who wanted to shoot them fur sport. Then, of course, they started to breed like... well, rabbits! THAT'S why there's a big rabbit-fence down the middle of Australia...

And lastly, to help you make sense of the title of this post, here's a good ol' traditional Aussie song by that Aussie singin' legend Rolf Harris. (What do you mean, you've never heard of him?!)

Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport!


See ya ron! (*Aussie slang - 'see you later on'*)

=^..^=  Samson T. Hunter - the Aussie Kitty  =^..^=

Thursday, 27 December 2012

G'day all! Welcome to my Blog!

G'day mates! I've decided to start a blog about my Aussie Adventures. True, they may not be "adventures" by some furs' standards, but I still have fun. Here I will post pictures of my home and things that I do and regale you with tales of my day.

Well, to start with, I'll wish everyfur a Mewwy Chrissymas! May your days be Merry and White, because although we managed to survive the festivities, it's the wrong season to be White here! The temperature's in the 30's and 40's Celsius (that's 86-104 Fahrenheit fur my American mates!) and Meowmy's fafurite attire is singlet and shorts! So much fur that one-horse open sleigh...

Will I sit long enough fur Meowmy to get a pic of me with a Chrissymas hat?

Nah, I don't think so!

 My dog sibs, Mikey and Goldie, have enjoyed the Chrissymas spirit as well. Meowmy got them a packet of Schmackos (dog snacks) fur a special treat and even tried to get them to wear Chrissymas hats. I think she had about as much luck with them as with me...

The dog is not amused...


Anyways, I hope you all had a furtabulous Chrissymas and I'll be back soon with more news and pics of our Jolly Outback!

Catch ya later!


=^..^=   Samson T. Hunter - the Aussie Kitty   =^..^=