Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Mysterious Uluru in Australia

Uluru is the aboriginal name for what was called Ayers Rock until 1985, when the site was restored to the aboriginal people, who consider this land sacred. It is the world's largest monolith. One of the remarkable and enchanting aspects of Uluru is not merely its size, but its changeable color. It deepens from red to almost purple at sunset. It is 3.6 km (2.25) long by 2.4 km (1.5 miles) wide 348 m. (1,142 ft.) above ground and 5 km (3 miles) below ground.
Uluru is not as imposing up close because only a portion of it can be seen at any one time. Its massive scale is less apparent. There are several trails to explore it up close. Climbing on it is not permitted because of its spiritual significance to the Aboriginal culture and religion. We were there in December after they had experienced an unusual amount of rain, and the desert floor had turned green with grasses.
This is a harsh land, yet vegetation is able to survive in the desert sand.
Uluru is the site of the Aboriginal story of creation. The valleys, mountains, and undulations in the rock like you see here are regarded as having been carved by giant serpents from inside the earth. In walking up to or around Uluru, there are some locations that are sacred and that the 500,000 visitors each year are asked not to photograph or transgress.
Australia is known for its unique wildlife. Even when walking in the desert around Uluru, there are colorful birds if you look closely. This may be an Eastern Yellow Robin or a Pale Yellow Robin, although I am not sure.
When going to view Uluru at sunset, the sunset is behind you. The sight is to watch Uluru catch the colors of the sunset, not to see Uluru silhouetted against the sun. This is the sunset that produced the colors on Uluru that we showed in the top photo.
Thorny devils are yet another of the unusual Australian wildlife They can eat up to 3,000 ants at a time. What they really need in the Outback are flying thorny devils who could eat 3,000 flies at a time.
Another colorful Australian bird, and another apology that we cannot identify it with certainty. It may be a Superb Fairy-Wren.
This we can identify, as there is no mistaking an owl.


brattcat said...

These are amazing with fascinating commentary. I wonder if you carried away a sense of the sacred after being there.

glenda said...

Great pictures! I take it from your comment about the lizard-eating ant that there were lots of flies. Cool looking lizard. Love my Ayers rock visor. Great golf prop!

JM said...

I believe this is one of your best posts! All shots are truly fantastic! And how lucky you were to have found that incredible lizard!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

It looks mysterious and beautiful!

J Bar said...

Fantastic photos. I need to spend more time to have a proper look around your travel blog here.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Carraol said...

Extraordinary series of this beautiful monolith, its color are amazing. The power of this massive rocks leave its mark in the human spirit. Here in Mexico, I climb the Bernal Peak (the second-largest monolith in the world) and the experience was unforgettable. Thanks for sharing!

Nathalie said...

Are all photos yours Dave?
You did a mighty job in photographing the birds.

Did you know that my job is to sell travel to Australia? Our website is (all in French) so of course Uluru is one of the destinations I sell most.

Lovely green shoots everywhere- amazing to see how the desert comes alive after rain ! said...

Thank you for your comments. I did not know that you sell travel to Australia, but I will check out your website.

In answer to your question about whether I took all of the photos, Julie took some of them and I took some of them.

When we shared a camera, we used to debate at times later which one of us took a particular photo. For the last 3 years or so, we travel with separate cameras so we can now tell who took each photo.

Julie now takes better photos, as she now has much better equipment.

1ondoncalling said...

Uluru is mesmerising!
It's like a chameleon.

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

Wonderful photos there, Dave - much, much better than the ones I took when I was there. The bird does look like a Fairy wren, although I didn't think they were found in the red centre - not enough water. It would be a male and I notice its right leg has been tagged.
Thanks for the comments re the Cambodian photo. Malaysia and Cambodia were amazing places.
Melbourne Daily Photo

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