Cutest fruit bat ever!

Cutest little fruit bat – Photograph by Laura Lecce

Ok, so to those of you that hate bats, hopefully I can change your mind with these two very cute photos. In inner Sydney an hour before sunset the sky is full of winged creatures called flying foxes (also known as a fruit bat), which is one of Australia’s mega-bats. This particular type is native to Australia and is called a Grey-headed flying fox (typically a grey head with a neck collar of orange-brown fur). These little guys might be bigger than you think, with adults having an average wingspan of 1 meter (3.3 ft). They settle on the giant fig trees when in fruit, and if you are anywhere near, you will hear them squabbling loudly at each other. Unlike micro-bats they don’t use sonar to get around, they use their eyes an ears like we do and can see in the dark as good as a cat can. If you watch them closely enough you will see how cute they are, hanging upside-down and watching you while munching on a fig, which also means they poke their tongue out a lot. To me the photo below is just like an adorable teddy bear. They love nectar, pollen and fruits and are vital to maintaining the ecosystem by dispersing the seeds. I hope you also see how adorable a bat can really be once you get past the whole night creature with leathery wings.

Bat or teddy bear? – Photograph by Laura Lecce
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A heron with a spunky hairdo

A spunky hairdo – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This juvenile Green Heron was photographed in Belize, and what amazes me with these birds is how different they appear as an adult compared to a juvenile. This bird is called a Green Heron because as an adult his back and wing feathers will be a very deep green color (rather than brown) and a chestnut red neck and breast. Hopefully he will get to keep those lovely white streaks down the front of his neck. This little fellow is stretching his neck out to see as far as he can from his perch, but a lot of the time they will sit with their neck folded. These birds have quite a spiky hairdo which they can emphasize at will by raising their crown feathers when annoyed or disgruntled, or just because they can.

A formidable pair of ospreys

A formidable pair of ospreys – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This mating pair of ospreys were getting their nest ready for the future egg that will call this nest home. They were the only ospreys on this tiny island off the coast of Belize, and having the entire island to themselves meant they had ample food to catch in the reefs off the shore. Ospreys are the kind of bird that if they were ever happy, they never show it, with their face fixed in an icy frown. At one point hubby returned with a fish and wifey jumped with joy and ran across the roof top to share the meal, still looking as angry as ever! Poor guy, I guess he should have caught a bigger fish.

Kirkjufell Mountain in Iceland

Kirkjufell Mountain in Iceland – Photograph by Laura Lecce

This particular mountain in Iceland has become famous due to it’s use as an impressive back drop in the Game of Thrones television series. Usually it is photographed as a formidable snowy mountain or a luscious grass-green temple with waterfalls in the foreground. Since these two scenarios are hugely overdone, I thought I’d share a spring time photo. A photo that marks the end of the snow melting away but before the grass has had a chance to spring back to life and regain its green complexion. It showcases the orange/brown grass which contrasts the blue of the sky and it’s reflection in the water below. The cute little house that also features in this photo is typical of almost all the houses and buildings you see in Iceland – they are all uniformly white with adorable red roofs. One thing this photo cannot convey to the observer is the extreme wind that is blowing through here in this moment. I took this photo from the car because going outside was almost unbearable.