Antarctica 2007 calendars
Just four months old and already weighing 140kg, this Southern elephant seal, takes it easy on Macquarie Island while posing for Iain Field, a contributor to Antarctica 2007: Images of a Frozen Land — the popular calendar produced in Tasmania.
Rivers of fire
RIVERS OF FIRE | Hobart photographer Ian Stewart captured an amazing panoramic photograph of the fires that ravaged the Eastern Shore this week. The image above is just a small portion of the whole scene. Click here to see the full panorama. Ian has a gallery of his creative images on his web site.
A Tassie vote needed
Since our launch nearly three years ago, Stuart Gibson’s stunning surf portolios have been among the most viewed features on Leatherwood Online. The young photographer’s dedication to his vocation is now beginning to pay off, and he can do with a little help.
Spring Equinox show time
Leatherwood Online’s webcam feed [courtesy of Rose Bay High School] captured some typical Spring Equinox weather on the morning of September 23. In less than four hours Hobart and Mt Wellington saw gales, snow, rain, sleet and bright sunshine, but not necessarily in that order. Enjoy the volatile show here.
“We are making a new world”
"Cruel Tasmania, an island of secrets, threats, lies; of an often pitiless exploitation of both its own land and its own people, has wounded Richard Wastell into an extraordinary response — a series of beautiful paintings and drawings inspired by the ongoing clear-felling of Tasmania’s old growth forests.” There’s more here …
Pam Verwey: My Tasmania
Hobart-based Pam Verwey first became passionate about photography on a trip around Australia in 1984 and, in 1986 moved to Tasmania, continuing her work as a medical scientist, but determined to combine her desire to study fine art with her interest in photography. Enjoy the results here
Life and times of the giant squid
The large deepsea squid shown above triggered its own photograph on a special undersea camera used by Antartic Division scientists during their last expedition to Heard Island, and mimics the movements of the true Giant Squid which was photographed for the first time recently by Japanese scientists.
Hobart-based Liz Turner, Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Tasmanian Museum in Hobart, Rosny Collections and Research Facility, says “For the world to be able to see the photographs of a live Giant Squid is a huge leap in the quest for knowledge about these gargantuans of the oceans”.
Giant squid captured — on film
Giant squid, like something straight out of Jules Verne’s novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, have been washed ashore on Tasmania’s coast many times. In fact, Tasmania is something of a hot spot for giant squid, according to David Pemberton, senior curator of zoology at The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
But to date, all the specimens seen here in Tasmania, in New Zealand and a few other places around the world, have been dead.
Until now. The giant squid above was captured on film by Japanese scientists. The carcass below was found on a Tasmanian beach.
Southern Aurora alert
The giant sunspots that brought on the dramatic Southern Aurora displays a few weeks ago are back and look like entertaining Tasmanians again. According to Shevill Mathers, our resident planetary expert, “the giant sunspots that caused the wonderful ‘light show’ a couple of weeks ago, have survived their journey around the sun and are now facing earth again. The spot group will soon vanish around the western limb of the sun’s disc, and it is near the same position when it caused the last brilliant aurora. Read more here
In the mood for love
The beautiful, but timid, Swift Parrots make their annual journey to Tasmania in August and September for the most romantic of reasons. Find out how they got their name here
Tiger cloning experiment revived
A key player in the plan to clone the Tasmanian Tiger from DNA recovered from museum specimens says the project is back on track.
The bold plans hatched in 1999 by scientists at the Australian Museum, in Sydney, to bring the thylacine back to life were abandoned earlier this year when researchers said the DNA they had recovered was too poor in quality.
Now, the museum’s former director has told Guardian Unlimited that a team of Australian and US researchers were restarting the project and hoped to use new techniques that could lead to the sequencing of the entire thylacine genome.
A pod of dolphins, two adults and four young ones, was spotted on September 2 feeding in the busy working port area of Sullivan’s Cove. A week later they were still at it.
They are not the first dolphins to be sighted in the area over recent months but they obligingly came close enough to shore for Graeme Paine to take these evocative photographs.
Whale of a time
Southern right whales put on many boisterous mating displays this year on the lower Derwent River, especially in Fredrick Henry Bay, and seasoned observers reckon it was the best display in decades.
They’re now [August 2005] on their way north, but indications are that they will be back again in 2006 with increased numbers.
Not far from here
Hobart-based painter, Richard Wastell, thanks to a commission from the Devonport Regional Gallery, has produced an sell-out exhibition of paintings that capture the essence of the Tasmanian wilderness, its extraordinary beauty and also its vulnerability and the desecration wrought upon it by man. Read more here
In a moment of geological high drama that may have lasted less than a million years, Tasmania received a huge share of accessible dolerite, the rock that threatened, intrigued and misled our early explorers and visitors. An extract from a fascinating book by David Leaman starts here