Sunday, October 19, 2008

Am I In Koala Lumpur?

Even Australian Animals Amble Down Highways

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON



Last Friday I had to make a quick trip up to the bush, for work. The drive there and back was a 200-kilometre round trip, but I was on an extremely tight schedule. Accordingly, I made the deliberate decision not to take my camera with me, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to pull over and take photographs during the drive into the Outback.

Yes, you read that correctly. I decided NOT to take my camera. Not enough time, you see. Didn’t need any distractions while I drove.

Yes, this is the bloke who always has his camera with him.

About two or three minutes before I reached my destination, there was a beautiful field of canola, a rippling sea of gold with a red farmhouse in the background. Tough. No time to stop, remember.

Then on my way back I spotted a dead gum tree, skeletal and ghostly white, against a clear blue sky. But wait, there’s more. The tree had a huge hollow in its thick trunk, with the cornflower-blue sky vivid through the gap in the wood.

Yes, you’re right. I was gripping the steering wheel a bit tighter than I had to. Concentrating, you see. Trying to justify why I hadn't brought my camera.

Then I saw an animal on the dead-straight track in front of me. I slowed down and waited for its form to emerge through the heat haze. I had dropped my speed for 100km/h to about 40km/h when I realised what the animal was.

Of all things, it was a koala. Let me put this in perspective for you. When you see a koala, it’s a) asleep or b) semi-asleep and c) always clinging tightly to the branches of a eucalyptus tree. They are not (generally speaking) the most animated inhabitants of the animal kingdom.

So the one day when I see one gallivanting down a bush road, I don't have my camera with me. This shot, taken at Dadswell's Bridge, home of The Giant Koala, will have to suffice.

Postscript: When I told one of the Authorbloglets the unfortunate story of my camera-less encounter with the koala, he just shook his head and said: "You DID have your phone with you. And you could have used that perfectly good camera.)

Wish I'd had his presence of mind.

So do forgive me while go off and I sulk in a corner and simply grind my teeth instead.

Check out the rules at Camera Critters or go to Misty Dawn.

21 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Well, you'll just have to relive it in your memories.

Sandy Kessler said...

You had me for a moment with that title then lost me - then got me again aha

Seamus said...

Awesome that you saw it! Bummer that you didn't catch it!

Katney said...

Well, you COULD take a visit back that way on your own time to get the canola field and the tree. But I doubt that the koala would cooperate.

The small camera is always with me. It is as essential as underwear and eyeglasses. I kick myself when I accidentally purchase clothing with no pockets and have to figure out a way to clamp the thing onto the waistband.

My cell phone only makes phone calls.

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

wot? David sans le camera!! I'm aghast!!
Even little old moi... had my phone with me whihc enabled my PSF post this week, and admittedly fuzzy pics in part, but I think told the story...
or perhaps there is a method to your momentary madness? it adds to the intrigue and suspense! LOL...just teasing!

quilly said...

I could have predicted just such a predicament! Oh, and phone cameras provide roughly the same picture quality as a 3 year old with crayons could.

leslie said...

Oh goodness, David, I'd have never thought to use my phone, either! AARRGGHH!

Kathryn said...

Oh no!! That is horrible! Painful even! :(

fishing guy said...

David: Don't sulk too long, we need you to take your great shots. I went out the other day w/o my camera and there was a doe with two fawns 15 foot from the side of the road, lesson learned.

Virtual Voyage said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Know the feeling - I stood a few yards away from a escapee lynx or cougar hybrid in a national trust arboretum over here - it'd been snacking on wildfowl or rabbits - always thought I'd paint it one day...

Lee said...

Hah! David, when you finish grinding your teeth I fully expect to hear about the phone cam practice time you put in. (G)

Keep Smiling!

Maggie May said...

Oh dear that is so unlike you! Must have been so upsetting & to think you had your phone that you could have used.

Betsy said...

A cute koala in your path on no camera? You? I am amazed! ;)

Sandi McBride said...

TO be bested by your child or bested by a Koala...that is the situation...to be bested by both, that is a consternation!
Sandi

Larry said...

Hey David, That really sucks man. Next time, take your camera and exercise some self control ;-)

Indrani said...

Hi David, just back from a wonderful trip to Rajasthan and I can well relate with your experience. We missed many black bucks, barasinghas in fraction of seconds. Better luck next time.
btw your young authorbloglet's idea never struck me too.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

oh what a major bummer! :(

lisaschaos said...

Oh dang, of course that's the way it happens! I would have forgotten to use the cell phone camera too. Well, maybe you will see him again, but in the mean time, if driving without camera just keep your eyes closed. :)

ratmammy said...

oh no!!! i think i would have kicked myself if i were you... oh well..... next time...!

babooshka said...

Beads of sweat are pourinng from my brow, be without my camera. Noooooooo!

Hilary said...

Ouch, ouch, ouch! Your kidlet sure does koalify in the logic department. OK, one more ouch for that. ;)