We had a relaxing morning in our neighborhood - it's still very hot, and by mid-day only mad-dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun. (Or was that India?) At any rate, we had a late and relaxing day.
By about 4 PM, things were cooling down - there was a breeze, the clouds were moving in, and it was no longer sweltering out there. So it seemed like a good time to further explore the Royal Botanical Gardens Melbourne.
My real plan in going to the RBG was to see cockatoos - I figured they'd be finishing up their day and getting ready for a nice night in the trees, or wherever they roost. And I swear, I could hear cockatoos, or parrots, or parakeets, or whatever - but no matter how much I looked up in the trees, I couldn't see any of them.
I did, however, see a kookaburra!!! Funny bird, shaped like a giant kingfisher but the head way too big for its body - just a funny looking bird!! I managed to get a few photos, but my computer (or the website) isn't cooperating and I can't seem to put the photo up on the blog. So please, look up images of a kookaburra, they are uniquely Australian and just funny birds. (This one looked dead at me for a few minutes, and since they have a wide beak that's a very funny view of it! I told it I was quite excited to see my first kookaburra, but it didn't seem to be impressed at all.)
There were lovely great white herons, black swans, all kinds of birds warbling in the trees. But the kookaburra was the most exciting find!
Oh, and a few rats running around furtively - ugh, I hate rats!
But the park was beautiful, huge, mysterious, with various lakes and bridges and ornamental ponds and thematic areas - you know, the bamboo gardens. The rain forest. The eucalyptus forest. (I looked for koalas in all the eucalyptus trees - apparently koalas only eat and live in one kind of eucalyptus, and I guess there weren't any of that particular kind of eucalyptus in this forest. I was hopeful, but the koalas weren't there.)
There was also a most bizarre "volcano" - in really was a tiered rock and succulent garden, with a filtration pond at the top - but it was labelled a volcano. Pretty, but also kind of weird after seeing real volcanoes all over New Zealand.
All in all, a really pretty afternoon in the park - I only saw a fraction of the place, and I did manage to get quite lost - but it was a lovely afternoon anyway.