Kookaburra, kangaroo, cockatoo, and fur-headed flying foxes on Atherton tablelands


Kookaburra, kangaroo, cockatoo, and fur-headed flying foxes in Atherton Tablelands

Mother kangaroo with joey in pouch

Mother kangaroo with joey in pouch

One of the main reasons we returned to Australia was to visit our friend, Heather, whom we first met in Scotland in 2011.  While we were in Cairns with Heather in 2012, we had an adventurous two weeks diving, snorkeling, and beach combing on Fitzroy Island.

Cairns

Cairns is a charming town with four lane downtown streets divided by center islands of palm trees and tropical plants.  We walked to the lagoons where the city has free public swimming pool on the bay. Every weekend in Cairns  a farmers market in the center of town, merchants sell fresh produce grown in the Atherton tablelands — monkey bananas, mangos, papaya, tomatoes, passion fruit, dragon fruit, grapes, and lettuce.

Heather is a delightful, adventurous woman who loves to travel.  She was in Berlin in August for her son, Warrick’s wedding.  Her daughter, Shea, also lives in Berlin and was in the wedding.

Atherton tablelands

Cockatoo in Heather's front yard

Cockatoo in Heather’s front yard

We only spent a day in Cairns so I could reserve a three-day diving trip on the Great Barrier Reef.  Then we took off for Heather’s ‘miners cottage ‘ in Herberton in the ‘wet tropics’ Atherton tablelands.  The tablelands is a lush tropical agricultural region with sugar cane, banana, mango and tea plantations.

Flora and fauna

Laughing kookaburra on Heather's clothes line

Laughing kookaburra on Heather’s clothes line

We love Heather’s tablelands retreat. Since our last visit, she had a new verandah built around the front and sides of her house with views of the mango, citrus, banana palms, and frangipani trees in her yard.  frangipani produce the delicate, fragrant flowers used in Hawaiian leis.

Fragrant frangipani blossoms

Fragrant frangipani blossoms

Rose-colored frangipani

Rose-colored frangipani

Lucy relaxing on Heather's new verandah

Lucy relaxing on Heather’s new verandah

One of the delights of the Atherton tablelands is  the diverse and colorful flora and fauna.  I spent three days photographing tropical trees, flowers, plants, birds, and even bats!

King parrots

King parrots

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On a morning walk into Herberton, I passed homes with beautiful flowering plants and trees in their yards.  Sorry, I don’t know the plants’ names, but I’ll do a little research.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fur-headed flying foxes

Roosting bats with pointed ears and beady yellow eyes

Roosting bats with pointed ears and beady yellow eyes

In November, a flock of fur-headed flying foxes, a species of bat, flew into Herberton settling on the Wild River riverbed on the edge of town.  Within weeks, thousands showed up, roosting in trees, feeding on a flowery plant blooming in the area.  The local newspaper reported that there are now hundreds of thousands of the nasty looking creatures screeching day and night, fouling the ground and river banks.  Residents are upset and have appealed to shire officials demanding something be done.  But the creatures are protected indigenous species.

Roosting bats

Roosting bats

Roosting bats in stripped gum trees along Wild River

Roosting bats in stripped gum trees along Wild River

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Menacing looking aren't they?

Menacing looking aren’t they?

After looking at those creatures, here’s are friendlier looking indigenous animals, a kangaroo and kookaburra we saw one afternoon visiting an old mining town, Irvinebank, near Herberton.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kookaburra in Irvinebank

Kookaburra in Irvinebank

Grove of fig trees in Irvinebank park

Grove of fig trees in Irvinebank park

Heather’s ‘miners cottage’

Much of our time in Herberton was spent walking around Heather’s yard and admiring her tropical trees, plants, and birds.

Banana palms

Banana palms

Mango trees in Heather's yard

Mango trees in Heather’s yard

Verandah in shade of blooming frangipani trees

Verandah in shade of blooming frangipani trees

Parrot 'diving' to feed on pink flowers

Parrot ‘diving’ to feed on pink flowers

 

Next:  Cruising for ‘crocs’ on Daintree River

* * * * *

In addition to this travel blog, I write international thrillers, mysteries, and suspense novels.

I’m currently writing a thriller series based in Milan featuring the anti-terrorism police, DIGOS, as they pursue domestic and international terrorists.  I travel to Milan every summer for research, to see my Italian and American friends, and to work with my researcher and translator.

If you’d like to receive a free ebook of my first Milan thriller, Thirteen Days in Milan, please sign up on the left side bar.  I just need your name and email address.

The second book in the series, No One Sleeps, follows DIGOS agents as they track down a sleeper cell of Muslim terrorists in Milan who have received toxic chemicals from Pakistan to make deadly sarin gas.

You can find my ebooks all digital book sites.  Paperbacks of Thirteen Days in Milan and No One Sleeps are available at Amazon and independent bookstores around the world. If they’re not in stock, stores can order from Ingram distributors.  You should have your book in 3 or 4 days.

Book 3 in the series, Vesuvius Nights, will be published as an ebook in November and a paperback in 2018.  If you’d like to learn more about Italy, travel, and writing, sign up for my email newsletter at my publisher’s web site, RedBrickPress.net or my personal web site jackerickson.com.

I like hearing from readers!  Please email and tell me what you like to read.

Find my books in Apple’s iBookstore
At Amazon including # 1 Kindle best seller “Perfect Crime” 
Twitter: @JackLErickson

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s