Happy Feather’s Day!

Esther BeatonBird Images, Did You Know?, New South Wales, On the Beaton Track

Male emu with eggs

Here’s something to make all fathers think. Be thankful you weren’t born an emu. Your lot in life would have been tending all the eggs – a dozen or more at a time (some even fertilised by rival males!) – no time to lubricate your parched throat and you would suffer dramatic weight loss. And it doesn’t stop there – you’d be tending … Read More

Mating Madness

Esther BeatonAustralian Geographic, Behind the Scenes, Did You Know?

Male Cane toads jump on anything that moves

You’ve all heard about the rampaging Cane Toads, right? How for the first few decades after introduction they stayed in Queensland? Then suddenly, say about the year 2000, they spread. Like the plague. They even hit the Kimberley in the west and Sydney in the south. One reason they are so rampant in their reproduction success is that they like … Read More

The Little Flea from Jibbon Lagoon

Esther BeatonDid You Know?, Nature Photography

Who would have thought that little Jibbon Lagoon would ever have a claim to fame?    If you are wondering where you can find this little creature from the black lagoon, Jibbon is at the north end of Royal National Park. Which as you all know is on Sydney’s doorstep. Here’s a photo I took in Jibbon Lagoon myself when … Read More

Orchid Fly – New to Science?

Esther BeatonDid You Know?, Macro Photography

I ran into some orchid hunters on the weekend and instead of doing what I was “supposed” to do, I played hooky and went out into the fields to play with my new friends. It was well worth the effort (fun?) because we may have stumbled on to something new to science. Orchids are some of the most mysterious and … Read More

One Minute with Nature: Cicada’s Summer Song

Esther BeatonDid You Know?, New South Wales

New Year’s Day started out warm – at last. It has been one of the coldest summers anyone can remember. Insects have been low key so it was a delight to find them calling from above my head, as I headed out on my first exploratory bushwalk of the year. This late in the summer Green Grocer cicadas should have … Read More

Outback birds take to nesting

Esther BeatonBird Images, Did You Know?, On the Beaton Track, Outback

The Outback when it is wet is amazing. When it floods and takes human lives, and livestock, then it is truly terrible. The damage caused by the recent Queensland floods was so so extreme because it mainly hit the heavily populated coastal towns. Further inland, the Outback towns are used to the river channels breaking their banks and most of … Read More

Magic happens when you least expect it

Esther BeatonDid You Know?, On the Beaton Track, Outback

I arrived at Cooper Creek, in South Australia’s Channel Country, in the middle of this year’s unusual rains. The scene I planned to photograph was grey and ordinary. But after spending an hour or two – and after I stopped whinging about the gloomy skies – the real beauty of the scene emerged. To get the story behind this photo, … Read More

Is this the Most Important Forest in the World?

Esther BeatonDid You Know?, Ecology, Habitats, Victoria

A recent media release announced that scientists had measured the most carbon dense forest in the world. No, it’s not in the Amazon – it’s right here in Australia and I know it intimately. I worked hand in hand, for over a year, with well-known ecologist David Lindenmayer, one of the team of scientists who made the discovery. (He’s the … Read More

The Spider Olympics

Esther BeatonDid You Know?

This little feller wasn’t invited to compete in the high-wire gymnastics at the Olympics – probably due to unfair advantage. His type was born with extraordinary skills and an especially strong dose of pluck and courage built right in to his DNA. The female St Andrews Cross Spider, common in gardens, is a model of sexual cannibalism. Tiny, almost invisible … Read More