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Saturday, 29 August 2015

Kakadu National Park: the beauty and the beast.

Kakadu National Park, home of many aboriginal clan groups. Home of outstanding beauty and terrifying beasts. 





I promised last week to take you from Darwin to Kakadu and on to Litchfield National Park, but, well, there's a lot of photos. A LOT. Too many … and I've done a lot of culling. So, it's become a two part journey. Obviously, you're in Part 1 … Part 2 to come next week.

So, this week, let's get into Kakadu. First stop, some of the beauty.

Nourlangie Rock where artists have been at work for 20,000 years recording their way of life and stories.


See that little skeletal man at the top right with an almost complete circle around him. That circle is lightning and he's lightning man. He makes thunder too. I think he's pretty cool.

This is Nabulwinjbulwinj. He is fierce. He eats females. You can tell his strength by the size of his genitals. (This applies to females too.) In aboriginal art, size really does matter.


This amazing art is clustered in, what I found to be, cool, protected spots where the rocks overhang. Maybe art was a way to avoid the extreme heat and the monsoonal rains?




The age and beauty of this art astounds me.

And at Yellow Water Billabong more beauty. Stunning beauty.


Lotus flowers in abundance.


Green Pygmy Geese.


Egrets, Intermediate Egrets, I think. My brother will know.


A pair of brolga.


Little Corellas and Wandering Whistling-ducks.


  A Little Eagle, I think, and a White-bellied Sea Eagle.


One of my favourites, Rainbow Bee-eaters. Look at that colour and the oh-so-fine tail feather.



In the distance, a Jabiru, Australia's only stork and our largest wading bird.



And another favourite of mine, the Jacana, otherwise known as the Jesus bird for its seeming ability to walk on water. Look at those feet.



And then there is the beast.

Or rather the beasts.

LOTS of them.

I had not seen a large one in the wild, so I was suitably impressed, terrified, in awe.


Crocodiles … estuarine … salt water crocs. They're a little tricky; they live in both salty and fresh water.



And they're scary. Very scary.




These are apparently females. Not big enough to be males. 

Okay, so these aren't big? Enough?



This one sat statue-like for so long I thought it was plastic. A plant.


But then the jaws slowly closed.

Keeping the mouth open helps to control their body temperature, apparently. No sweat glands. I suppose they save a lot not having to buy deodorant.


They were everywhere. Lurking. Gliding.



S.C.A.R.Y.

Big and scary.

And that's probably enough for this week.
Photo overload.

There's more to come.
A trip to the edge of Arnhem Land,
possibly one of the oldest aboriginal rock paintings,
Litchfield National Park.

Have you been to Kakadu?

Been in awe of the paintings?

The lotus?

The wildlife?

The history?