…a morning at Simpsons Gap

Author Dorothy L. ◦

After all the rain of the past week, it was time for a visit to Simpsons Gap this morning. Besides my passion for bird photography, I’m also into insects, and a little plant photography. Yeah, I know I’ve far too much time on my hands!!

Driving along Larapinta Drive, the Macdonnell Range looks lush and green, on this glorious sunny morning. Once pass the rangers station and coming up to the river crossing there is a small amount of water over the road. So, I stopped right in the centre as you do, to take some photos.

Water over the road, Roe Creek, Simpsons Gap, NT
Water over the road, Roe Creek, Simpsons Gap, NT

The Roe River looked very photogenic, and early morning sun rays filtering through the eucalypts, the river leaving it’s footprint in the river sand.

Roe Creek, Simpsons Gap, NT © Dorothy L.
Roe Creek, Simpsons Gap, NT

Out of the car, of course Henry the Hilux, he comes everywhere with me!!, even though I am now riding my e-bike to some places. Oh I digress, we were standing in the running water on the road, ‘in the moment’ just enjoying the scene. Have you ever noticed when two people are at the same scene, whether it be beach, landscape, out birding or any other project how the same area and their photos always look different?? there I go again off the subject!!

Now where was I, oh yes photography. After taking numerous photos, we drove into the parking lot at the Gap. Collected our cameras, mine off the floor between my feet, then walked to the sandy river bed.

We were looking to find some frogs or water insects, water scorpions, anything really.

We walked close to the flowing water, looking to see if there was anything there. We might have been to eager, as the water was flowing too fast for what we were looking for. We continued up to the Gap. I didn’t find any insects, only the remains from a paper wasp nest.

No morning out around water, can go by without wading through and getting wet feet, can it? I found myself reminiscing, back to my early school days and walking in the gutters when it was raining, water up to my ankles… ah, bliss!!

The fig tree at the end of the walk has a few nearly ripe figs, I wonder who will get to them first, birds, Rock Wallabies, or humans?

I then heard a voice saying, there’s a kangaroo!! I turned around and sure enough there it was, a rock wallaby.

I took a few photos, then thought, what about a video? I sat down on a rock so I could hold the camera steady. She was munching on the grass, being very selective, reaching for the young succulent parts. It was then I noticed her pouch was hanging low with a joey inside.

I continued my wander back towards the parking lot. Nothing, then all of a sudden, there on the edge of the water, a water scorpion. I called out to my son-in-law, ‘there’s a water scorpion here’.

A young couple who we had spoken to earlier, came over to see what I was excited about. ‘Oh wow, is that really a scorpion?’ she asked. I answered in the affirmative, telling her that we only have one type of leaf-shaped water scorpion here in Australia.

Water Scorpion (Laccotrephes tristis), Simpsons Gap, NT
Water Scorpion (Laccotrephes tristis), Simpsons Gap, NT

I was now happy and ready to depart, not a wasted morning, how could it be…

We were at one of our most beautiful scenic sites in the Red Centre, Simpsons Gap.


Footnote & References

  1. Simpsons Gap and Landscape of Simpsons Gap
  2. Birds of Simpsons Gap
  3. Frogs of Simpsons Gap
  4. Black-footed Rock Wallaby (Petrogale lateralis)
  5. Water Scorpion (Laccotrephes tristis)