The calm before the storm, by @consciouscat

The weather was lovely for much of the day here in South East Queensland. It started off cool and got warmer and warmer as the day rolled on. By the time my partner got home from work mid-afternoon the sky was starting to look heavy and ominously dark.

Often we'll try and get something done before we go out for a walk; a post here on Hive or a task around the house. But today, when we heard a distant crack of thunder, we thought we'd best check the weather; the rain was on its way. So we donned clothes that would be fine if they got wet and made our way into our nearby chunk of bush to get in a walk before the sky fell in.

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We were less than 100 metres into the bush before my partner said, "Stop. Come back."

He said it in a soft and gentle tone, so I knew there was an animal of some kind that he didn't want to disturb before I could have a chance to see it. I also knew that whatever it was, wasn't stressing him out as he sounded calm. I curiously and slowly backed it up, knowing I wasn't looking for a snake on the path but rather something else.

Lo and behold, it was one of his favourites; a kookaburra 😊

Many people, even many Australians we know, don't realise that a kookaburra is actually a (very large) kingfisher! It has a very strong, big beak that it uses to catch and kill its prey. It's not exactly the most timid of birds; I've seen kookaburras steal food right off people's plates! It's rare, but it can happen when people feed them. (Lesson: Don't feed native birds!)

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We walked on, listening for the changes in the weather (in case we needed to run to escape the rain) and meandered along some of our favourite tracks to make a short-ish loop back home. (For the record, we did 1.88km in 27 minutes 18 seconds, including time to take these photos 😃)

As we turned the last corner to take the track out of the bush, one of Brad's other favourite animals we in its usual spot; right near a water drain that it likes to disappear into when we get too close! This is a water dragon of some kind. I think it's an Eastern Water Dragon (Scientific name: Physignathus lesueurii). They're not usually that colour but I think because this one is constantly in and out of browny-orange water I think its skin has been stained.

Anyway, it's a dragon (lizard) of some kind and it's cool 😎 One of these days we'll get a shot of it jumping spectacularly into the water but for now you'll just have to imagine it 😏

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