I guess that most of us can remember having to write an essay, story or composition about pets while at school. This always caused me a few problems. I lived on a farm and although we had plenty of animals around us all the time, all of them were “working” animals; they all had a purpose, from the horses and cows to the pigs, dogs and ducks. Perhaps only the cats could be called pets, though they, too, had a role in minimising the number of mice around the house and sheds.
Sometimes I envied children who had unusual pets. Few pets, however, compare with the animal in today’s photos. A genuine, real, living alligator is not your average household pet. This animal is part of the show about reptiles at the Australian Reptile Park in Gosford, north of Sydney. This animal knows how to behave when in the presence of its keeper because it has lived with the keeper for many years and is well trained.
Trained or not – that alligator is not welcome in MY home.
- Write about your pets – describing them, listing their likes and dislikes, their nature and their characteristics.
- Write a poem about the most unusual pet you can imagine.
- Write an article about keeping pet birds, reptiles, insects, or amphibians. some research may be needed.
- Write a story about the day your pet boa constrictor took over your dinner party.
- Write a poem about the time you took your pet lamb/puppy/fish/lizard to school.
I took the photo above on a recent visit to the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, New South Wales.
The giraffe is looking straight at me as I was taking the photo, prompting me to think that it was wondering what I was doing – or perhaps it is thinking: “Are you looking at me?”
This photo was taken during the time when the general public can get up close and personal with the giraffes. Various species of animals have times set throughout the day when the public can feed and touch the animals. One has to pay for the privilege of interacting with the animals in this way. It also means you get your photo taken up really close as well.
On this occasion there were a few people lined up to feed the giraffes, and many more curious onlookers like ourselves. For the onlookers it also allows some excellent photographic opportunities. This is particularly so with such a large animal as the giraffe.
- Write a story or essay explaining what the giraffe is thinking.
- Write a poem about giraffes.
- Write about a close encounter you once had with a wild animal – or one in a zoo or a cage.
- Imagine that humans could ride on the backs of giraffes. Write a story about “The great giraffe race.”
- Imagine being a giraffe for a day. What adventures do you have? Outline the good and bad aspects of being a giraffe.
Earlier this week my wife and I had a few hours free from grand-children caring duties. We drove the short distance from our son’s home where we are staying. About 15 minutes later we were in the Lane Cove National Park, just a short distance north of the CBD of Sydney.
In the national park there are numerous delightful picnic areas next to the Lane Cove River. We choose one of them to have our lunch (see photo below).
As my wife starting eating her lunch she had a close encounter with a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (see photo below). I didn’t manage a close-up photo because I was about 50 metres away taking photos of other birds. The cockatoo decided that my wife’s lunch was worthy of investigating, and landed on the table next to her. My wife quickly covered up her sandwiches!
Later I was able to catch up with the cockatoo and another one as they were also having lunch on some nearby flowers (see photo at the top of this post).
Writing prompts: close encounters with birds:
- Write about a close encounter you had with a bird.
- Describe a time a bird snatched food from your picnic table.
- Write a poem about the pet bird or wild birds in your life.
- Do some research about the birds in your local area. Write an article about your discoveries and observations and submit it to a local newspaper.
- Take some photos of birds in your garden and write a caption for each.
- If you write a blog, write about your close encounters and include photos of the birds seen.
- Write about time you had a sudden, unexpected or frightening experience of a close encounter with a bird.
- Have you ever found an injured or dead bird? Write about your feelings. Tell how you helped the injured bird. What happened to the dead bird?
As the years encroach I find that more and more frequently I am in need of sleep. I can be reading a book and I slip off into noddy land; it doesn’t matter how interesting the book is either.
Or I can be working at my computer hammering out my latest best-seller, er… make that my first best-seller as I haven’t had one yet, and I will nod off into slumberland.
Trying to watch the news of some other interesting show on television is often fatal too, because sleep often creeps in and I don’t see the end of the show.
It can be quite frustrating. In all seriousness, my wife tells me that I frequently have a sleep apnoea problem. On advice from my doctor I have an appointment at a sleep clinic in a few weeks’ time and I hope that will indicate what needs to be done to solve this problem.
But I digress.
The koala in the picture above shows a koala enjoying a nap. Koalas often sleep for 18 to 20 hours a day. Bliss. I think I’ll become a koala, but the downside is that I would get very little writing and reading done. Perhaps I would finish off a few writing projects if I reversed the koala’s sleep regime: sleep for 4 – 6 hours and write for 18 – 20 hours a day.
- Write a story about a koala’s dreams.
- Write a story based on one of your dreams.
- Write a story about a dream you would like to have.
- Write a poem in praise of sleep.
- Research the sleep patterns of your favourite animals or birds and write an article based on your research.
- Write a story in which animals feature in your dreams.
- Write a limerick about someone who can’t sleep.
- Write a story in which you cannot sleep for months on end. What do you do to fill in the time?
- Write a story about two fictitious characters who only meet in your dreams. You can be a part of the dream too.
- Describe the places you find it easy to fall asleep.
- Describe the routines you include in your day to help get a good night’s sleep.
Good writing, good sleeping and goodnight.
Photo credit: Taken during a family visit to the Australian Reptile Park near Gosford north of Sydney. © Trevor Hampel
Some people can be incredibly ruse at times. Others can be rude all the time. Yet other people are accidentally rude – like the Laughing Kookaburra shown in the photo above. He turned his back on my camera while I was recently visiting the Australian Reptile Park just north of Sydney.
Write about the rudest person you have ever met. Describe what they do, how they are rude to you – and others – and how it makes you feel. Write it out on scrap paper or print it on used paper – then burn it. If you only screw it up and throw it in the bin, make sure the person’s name isn’t on the paper – especially if they live in the same house! It could come back to bite you.
The Laughing Kookaburra in the photo wasn’t really all that rude. A moment after taking the photo he did turn around and look at me. Trouble is, the second photo I took was all blurry and I’m too ashamed to show it here.