Australia, Friends and Family
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Park of the Kings

Featuring a DNA helix tower, my sister and I scrambling on ancient animals, and at least one duck.

Welcome, to Kings Park*.

*if anyone can explain to me why exactly this name does not have any apostrophes in it, please, please do.

Anyway. Kings Park is a huge parkland situated in the middle of my city, Perth. And I really do mean huge- at 400 ha (nearly 1000 acres) it’s one of the largest inner city parks in the world (Central Park in NYC is only 300 ha)… although maybe it’s a bit of a cheater as far as ‘parks’ are defined, given that two thirds of the park is native bushland.

When you climb the hill from the city you’re hit with a long promenade bordered by towering gums. Ahead and to the left is the park. To the right, are killer views over the Swan River and our city skyscrapers:

Although the park features an abundance of grassy areas perfect for picnicing….

…. the general aim is to display our magnificent wildflowers.

Kangaroo Paws:

Papery everlastings:

And spikey-leaved fluffy-flowered banksias:

Even though I missed the peak wildflower season (late winter- around September), I was lucky enough to still get to see a few of the brightly coloured blooms. Australia is a pretty harsh place to be a plant, particularly the west. Not only is it insanely hot and dry, but the soils are some of the oldest, and therefore the nutrient-poorest on the planet.

Which makes it all the more amazing when the natives manage to put together such a beautiful showing:

Also featured in Kings Park is a small collections of dinosaur.

This guys, pictured here, is in fact¬†not a real dinosaur, but instead is a giant wombat. He’s a representative of several kinds of megafauna which used to roam the lands. This one in particular is a Diprotodon, a name I remember from a Conway Brothers song which goes:

Diprotodon, diprotodon, where’d ya get, where’d ya get your pouch from?

Apparently this CD, which my sister and I listened to fairly often as young kids, is not a common part of Australian culture: literally noone I’ve talked to has ever heard of the Conway Brothers.

If you have heard of them (perhaps you know the song about Filbert the dinosaur who had a runny nose, or are familiar with that old classic about how dinosaurs didn’t wear sandshoes?), hit me up.

Alternatively, if you want to blackmail my sister, I can offer you a nice voice recording of her singing the Diprotodon song, for a very small fee.

Also a strong favourite, the Muttaburrasaurus. Known from the equally-brilliant Conway Bros. song ‘Hey there Muttaburrasaurus’.

Dramatic eh?

By the way, here’s that duck I promised you:

Maybe not as native, nor as impressive as the Australian ancient animals but still, check it out! She made a whole lot of little ducklettes:

(Disclaimer, this is actually a/several different ducks. But you know, for the point of narrative flow…)

Ariel, who was probably as much raised by cats as actual human parents, could not fight her desire to stalk the little duckies.

But I eventually managed to coax her away with some bread and the promise of a DNA tower.  

Cool huh?

But also, steps, ew.

I’m going to be honest. I did not climb it. I used the ‘I will photograph you from the bottom for Drama Reasons’ excuse.

Because it’s important to have at least one mortal enemy, and steps are mine.

But you have to agree, she DOES look kinda dramatic!

Very King- Like, no?


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