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March, 2007:

Definitely not cuddly!

But it is still part of the weird and wonderful wildlife that you can find in country Victoria!

Brown SnakeThe Common or Eastern Brown Snake can grow to around two metres, and are fairly slender by snake standards.   In favourable conditions they are known to move around at night.   I guess that the favourable part is a matter of perspective – I was freaked-out enough at seeing this one in broad daylight!   These guys are poisonous and are responsible for the majority of snake bites in Australia – and they move quickly.   If you want to see it up-close click on the photo.

Cuddly Koala?

Koala Face 3-Mar-07They do look cuddly, until you realise how big their claws are!

The Walker’s dog had this one “trapped” up a tree for a few days, right outside their bedroom window.   Obviously it hadn’t been up there long enough as leaves still got in the way of his face.   He seemed quite happy up there with lots of fresh food.

Walkers Koala 1Walkers Koala 2

Echidna – Upclose & Personal

Echidna - Upclose & Personal

I have found echidnas to be a touch tricky to take photos of in the past.   As soon as they see you coming the head ducks down and they start to dig in.   If you are patient usually the nose will peek out – but as soon as you get the beep of the auto-focus snapping-in that’s it, all you get is a small mound of prickles!   This one however was quite accommodating – that may have had something to do with all the ants around at the time – they don’t call them spiny ant eaters for nothing!

Australian Echidnas are one of only three species monotreme, egg-laying mammals, in the world – more details about  Echidnas can be found on the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries and Water Website  [^].

Echidna LeftEchidna - Upclose & PersonalRHS Echidna

Plans Finalised

Wedding BellsIt looks as though all of the wedding plans are coming together now.   The date has been set, Easter Saturday (7th April 2007).   The Hot Air Balloon, courtesy of Global Ballooning is booked.   The rings are made and ready to pick-up.   The photographer is booked – and promises proofs to look at on the internet 3 days after the big day!   The champagne breakfast and back-up plan are all set-up at Fergussons winery in the Yarra Valley.   The civil celebrant has been organised for a long time.   Susan has picked-up her dress, and I’ve got my new suit and matching tie.   And we are going to talk to the florist tonight.   The honeymoon is coming together – the flights are booked, more details will follow.

Teens prosecuted for racy photos.

Police blotter: Teens prosecuted for racy photos | CNET

Combine unsupervised teenagers, digital cameras and e-mail, and, given sufficient time, you’ll end up with risque photographs on a computer somewhere.
That’s what 16-year-old Amber and 17-year-old Jeremy, her boyfriend, both residents of the Tallahassee, Fla., area, learned firsthand. On March 25, 2004, Amber and Jeremy took digital photos of themselves naked and engaged in unspecified “sexual behavior.” The two sent the photos from a computer at Amber’s house to Jeremy’s personal e-mail address. Neither teen showed the photographs to anyone else.

It seems that the poor teens in this case were allowed to engage in sexual relations, but not to take photo’s – that child pornography.   It sure is a bizarre world we live in, or is it a sign of the times?   I would love to write “this could only happen in America” – but this could, and probably will, happen just about anywhere in the world.

The interesting thing about the case was that it did not come down as a unanimous decision.   The dissenting view can be summed up  in this statement:

The law “was designed to protect children from abuse by others, but it was used in this case to punish a child for her own mistake.” (Judge Philip Padovano)

The majority concluded:

“the reasonable expectation that the material will ultimately be disseminated is by itself a compelling state interest for preventing the production of this material. In addition, the statute was intended to protect minors like appellant and her co-defendant from their own lack of judgment… Appellant was simply too young to make an intelligent decision about engaging in sexual conduct and memorializing it. Mere production of these videos or pictures may also result in psychological trauma to the teenagers involved. Further, if these pictures are ultimately released, future damage may be done to these minors’ careers or personal lives. These children are not mature enough to make rational decisions concerning all the possible negative implications of producing these videos.… The state has a compelling interest in seeing that material which will have such negative consequences is never produced.”majority opinion

Surely this ignores the negative consequences of these teenagers getting a criminal record as sex offenders.