|Approximate position of the Barkly Tableland - its boundaries are not precisely defined, and some|
would have it stretching further east into Queensland or south in the Northern Territory.
|Acacia hilliana and Grevillea wickhamii east of Tennant Creek.|
|Snappy Gum, which grows on gravelly soils across the tropics.|
|Termite mounds in spinifex, Barkly Highway. |
Termites in Australia have been likened in biomass to large grazing mammals in grasslands
elsewhere, with lizards playing the role of carnivores.
|Abruptly the trees are no more - the line can be seen continuing into the background.|
|After that, only a very occasional tree - usually growing in a sandy ephemeral stream bed - breaks |
the vistas that stretch to the horizons.
|The James River flows south, into the Georgina River in south-west Queensland and |
ultimately, in a a rare very wet La Niña year, into Lake Eyre in the deserts of South Australia.
|White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae and Giant Waterlilies Nymphaea gigantea;unexpected sights after hours in semi-arid shrubland and grassland!|
It was quite cool when we crossed, so no reptiles to see, though there were certainly birds around, especially where water had been provided by bores for stock or at scattered rest stops, such as Sowden Bore where the following were taken.
|Zebra Finches Taeniopygia guttata (one of my favourite Australians) will always find water. Their dry seed|
diet compels them to drink daily, though they live in the driest parts of the continent.
These seemed entirely blasé about the warning sign!
|Brown Honeyeater Lichmera indistincta, found across most of the country except for the south-east.|
Nor was its interest in the paperbark flowers purely aesthetic!