I’ve bitched about Summer on here more than once: the energy-sucking heat, of course; the harsh, high-contrast, drama-killing, colour-draining light (photographically speaking); the insanely early start required to reach the waterfront or creek bank in time for sunrise (just made it this morning by heading out the door at 4:10am); cricket; bad TV (I mean badder than usual, and not in a good way); Christmas…
So why bludgeon you with more of the same? Let’s focus on the good side of the Sweltering South-East Queensland Summer: the basking. Not mine — I don’t bask well, except in my own glory.
I’m talking about the lizards:
I’m still slogging through the pictures from Japan and have completed the editing of half a dozen days’ worth from that 47-day epic, plus several shots, at least, from each of the others. When Day 28, for example, starts to drive me crazy, I jump over to Day 13 for some variety.
At least six hours a day goes by like that. When my eyes start to hurt, I leave the library air-conditioning behind and step outside so I can refocus on something more than 18 inches from my eyes. It feels so good…
Other than that, on a good day there are afternoon storms (a possible one forecast today)…
..the magpies at home or in the park are a nice diversion, as are medication-induced naps enlivened by vivid and entertaining dream-sagas, and lately there’s Gilligan, my little grey butcherbird buddy here in the other park, who drops by daily for a few bits of meat while I enjoy my morning coffee in an ever-shrinking oasis of early shade.
A few days ago, though, I headed into the city to break the monotony with a few hours in the beautiful library there, and when the worst of the heat and light seemed to have passed, wandered back to Roma Street Parkland…
..to revisit the eastern water dragons I love watching and photographing:
I hadn’t visited Roma Street since last Winter, which, though typically mild, was chilly enough to send the resident reptiles underground. I asked a gardener, who confirmed that hibernation explained the disappointingly lizard-free environs, adding that I “might be lucky”.
I suppose I was: I found one, a halfwit, I suspect, who, like me, was wondering where everybody had gone.
So it was great to be back in Dragon Country. I had a couple of enjoyable hours strolling the always-immaculate grounds of the Spectacle Garden and surrounds as the sun slowly sank behind the apartments leaning protectively over the lawns.
The shots here feature perhaps eight or 10 of the numerous mini-saurians I stalked. All were shot, as always, sans telephoto, which means I had to do some reptilian belly-crawling myself, inching as close to the beautiful big buggers as I could.
More than once I was charged by a big, burly male, presumably responding territorially to the spiny brute reflected in my lens, or perhaps because he just didn’t approve of harassment by the paparazzi.
Either way, a relic from the Age of the Dinosaurs bearing down on you from above is always startling!
I also witnessed an impressively violent tussle between two testosterone-charged males: it was like one of those old Ray Harryhausen plasticine-dinosaur spectacles. But in colour.
One thing I love about these dragons is the backdrop of flowers. Dragons plus floral colour is a weird but somehow very Queensland combination for me. You’ll notice that shades of purple dominate at the moment — also nicely complementary with the shimmery streaks in that delightful dragon leather.
Alright, nearly outta shade. I’ll leave you with the pictures and see you soon.
~ And that’s all the Goat wrote