I am an Australian natural history writer and photographer. My aim is to encourage people to venture outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of our planet.
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Published May 1st 2019
Wildlife, Pasta and Pictures
The white cheeked rosella is methodically searching for seeds, grains and insects underneath a stand of eucalypts. The colourful bird is joined by several galahs and they squabble over the territory. Eventually, the rosella gives way to the more quarrelsome cockatoos and perches a nearby pine tree where it gives a few plaintive calls before flying off to find another feeding ground.
These interactions between species are quite common in the scrubby section of parkland that borders the northern edge of Barton Terrace East just off O'Connell St in North Adelaide where I have spent the last hour quietly observing the wildlife.
Leaving the successful galahs to forage in the leaf litter I walk away from the road along a trail that meanders through acacia bushes, mallee trees and a host of other indigenous plants. Though I can still hear the traffic I feel like I am in a different world. I turn over a few logs and discover a tiny mouse taking shelter alongside several millipedes and some beetles. The mouse scampers off and I carefully manoeuvre the log into the same position.
It has been a dry autumn and wildlife is a little scarce. Both noisy miners and rainbow lorikeets can be seen stripping the tops of the nearby pines for food they would normally ignore. Close to the terrace a resident has kindly left out a bucket to provide water for the birds and a group of rainbows are making the best of the gift.
I turn my attention to the earth and leaf litter where I notice rather plump looking ant making its way along the hard packed ground. Nearby there are swarms of meat ants busily scurrying around the vertical holes that lead to their nests. This rather chunky specimen has the same basic markings but a rounder abdomen; perhaps it is a queen starting a new colony?
I have been wandering around the park for a couple of hours and it is time for a bite to eat at either of the cafes that sit on the O'Connell and Barton intersection; Palazzo and Pellegrinis. They are opposite the interesting art deco facade of the Piccadilly Theatre. Both serve wonderful meals with an obviously Italian inclination. However, my route to pasta or scaloppini is not through the park but along the terrace where I can enjoy the charming old stonework homes and their well established gardens which in themselves can be a haven for wildlife when the weather conditions are dry.