My new, more active life in London has led me to seek out others of my species who have ventured far from their pond beginnings to see what we can learn from each other. My search has uncovered some truly remarkable specimens! These are just a couple of the new acquaintances I have made here.
There is an amazing family of frogs that have set up a eating and shopping emporium where travellers to London are surrounded by rainforest sights and sounds. They are very keen to promote amphibian-human relations and so when each new generation reaches the age of independence they find someone, usually a child, with whom they can go and live.
I may discuss with the Dancer about inviting one of them to visit us, I feel having another young frog around would be good for Ty.
I was very impressed when I discovered a fairly young tree frog had established a successful drinking establishment in an area I’m told is considered quite trendy. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stay long enough to sample the offerings available but I hope to return and explore both the area and the menu before long.
The Professor was something of a wine connoisseur and during my years with him I sampled a few tipples, but nothing appealed to me as much as finding this fine fellow adoring the label of a bottle of viognier!
As the Professor was particularly fond of wines from this grape I am pleased to say I also enjoyed it immensely, although it is still no gasseous pond water. For those of you with a penchant for such things I recommend you search it out.
For my birthday this year I had a new experience – an outing to the National Gallery.
The specific objective of the visit was to view the art works of a chap I was told was quite a leader in his field as a key member of a group known as the Impressionists.
I throughly enjoyed the whole exhibition, it was very pleasurable seeing his take on some key London landmarks I have come to greatly appreciate since my move here.
However the highlight for me had to be this water based image which reminded me of my younger days.
I am now very keen to visit the property in France that inspired Monet to produce it.
Today Ty and I were sitting in the garden enjoying the Monday holiday sunshine when a bold cat strolled in like it owned the place.
However, we had a stern discussion and I let him know his presence was neither wanted nor appreciated so he quickly turned tail and left after giving his word he would be more respectful of other people’s property in future.
Our final big outing before returning to the UK was to a very extensive nature park in the hills above Adelaide known as Cleland Wildlife Reserve.
I was delighted to acquaint myself with so many new species. These marvellous animals, many of which belong to the marsupial family, were quite timid at first as they have had a very negative history with amphibians* brought in from abroad. However we soon fell into a rhythm of communication and I am so glad to have broadened my knowledge and understanding of this continents indigenous communities.
In fact, I got on so well with one little fellow that the Runner arranged for him to come on a visit – a bit like a cultural exchange programme I believe British young people sometimes do with counterparts in Europe.
Overall my Australian Adventures have been an excellent experience and I would encourage anyone who has not yet ventured that far afield to do so. Tye and the rest of the gang are really quite envious and I have to be a bit careful of how much I wax lyrical about the whole thing!
*Find out about the introduction of cane toads to Australia
I told you how I enjoyed the gardens in Melbourne, well I was even more astounded by the offering in Adelaide. Whilst I don’t think they were necessarily more extensive their Victorian counterpart, there was something superior about the layout and offering in general.
The water features were greatly varied from lakes to waterfalls and fountains. I was particularly enamoured by giant Lilly pool tucked away in greenhouse. I actually took the opportunity to recline momentarily and breath in the smells (and I must admit I did also sample a few flies while I was at it!
On reaching the end of the Great Ocean Road we turned inland and headed to the Grampian mountain range. The weather had turned unseasonably cold and wet as we set off our road trip, which the others mentioned negatively on frequent occasions but I was rather appreciative of. However, even I have to admit the further drop in temperature on this leg of the journey was quite a shock to the system.
The mountains themselves though, did not disappoint. Whilst it was rather fresh, it was lovely to take a dip in wild fresh water again at McKenzie Falls after only seeing salt water for days.
I was also very interested to learn at little about the Aboriginal culture while we were there. Their interpretation of the seasons seems far more appropriate for the climate there than the arbitrary winter, spring, summer, autumn that humans usually focus on.