Friday, January 18, 2008

Botanical beauty, with bats

Yesterday, a friend from Wollongong was visiting Sydney and we had lots of time to kill, so I suggested a stroll in Sydney's beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens in the CBD.

With the threat of rain constantly looming overhead, we nevertheless had a great day: wandering aimlessly, for the most part, but also choosing to seek out the site of the old Garden Palace, the prehistoric Wollemi pine display, the cafe and souvenir shop, and the great Succulent Garden.

The entire day was chorused by the often-deafening background chittering and squabbling of hundreds of flying foxes, who've taken over many of the Gardens' trees by day, and are destroying their foliage by night. I really had no idea the creatures had become such a problem, of plague proportions.

To top off the day, there's been a similarly noisy chorus of screaming frogs, right here in my backyard, every night. Australian frogs don't say, "Ribit!" or "Croak!", you see. Some say, "Bok, bok!" - and the rest just scream like they've just met Roddy McDowall's withered old mother, armed with cutlery, in the shower!

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