Friday, 6 March 2009

Love Is Like A Butterfly (If You Like That Sort Of Thing)

To provide a little balance, given how many comments I've made about Justine's fear of spiders, let me now make the admission that I hate little flying, flapping, fluttering things, especially moths. So my therapy session was to be at the Butterfly Centre in Cairns' rainforest. We travelled up into the hills on (another) cable car, or "Skyrail" as the marketing people would have it.

This gave us the chance to see spectacular views behind us over Cairns and out to the ocean and, in front, the seemingly endless, blanket of trees. It's probably tiny as rainforest areas go but it just looks enormous.

The skyrail drops off at a couple of stops and you can get off and walk around amongst the trees and the spiders... some of them even bigger than our house guests. This is either going to send her crazy or she'll be purchasing a pet funnel-web when we get home. The end of the Skyrail deposits us at Kuranda, a little village which now seems to cater solely for tourists visiting the various attractions, one of which was "Butterfly Hell House"! We went there first and I prepared myself for what lay ahead...

It was awesome*.

A huge mesh tent with trees and water and loads of brightly coloured butterflies and I could have stayed there all day taking photographs (again, if anyone wants to see my butterfly photos, allow a good chunk of time).

Warning... Things now get cute and fluffy, as it's time for Jus to cuddle a koala. This seems to be legal in Australia, so we stand next to a painted rainforest backdrop, one of the keepers extracts a koala (which seemed to have been minding its own business in a nearby tree) and brings it over. The unfortunate bear is draped over Jus and they both smile for photographs.

Then to my horror, the nice young koala-catching lady asks if I'd like to join in. After she asked the third time I shuffled over and stood next to the happy couple. "You can stroke him" she said. When she'd said this for the third time, I felt it would be rude not to so I gave him (the koala) a little tickle on the head. They've got really deep soft fur and I have to admit he was very cute, although not as cute as Eric (our cat for those who don't know).

* (c) Eddie Izzard using the original meaning of the word awesome. Not the new one which is sort of for socks and hot dogs: "Hey! Red and yellow - awesome! You got red and yellow socks, they're awesome!"


  1. I'll not be so pedantic as to point out the error in your "the unfortunate bear" comment earlier. Oh, I just did, sorry.

  2. Paul - yes that's a very fair comment. Really should do my research before posting scientifically innacurate data (I've tried to learn my lesson and hopefully you'll appreciate the higher standards I've set on my latest post "Back To The Future").

    Just to be clear, as Paul rightly points out, a Koala is not a "bear" (the following from Wikipedia);

    Although the Koala is not a bear, when first adopted by English speakers, the name Koala bear became popular, as this roughly evoked the species' similarity in appearance to the Teddy bear, to people unfamiliar with it. Although taxonomically incorrect, the name Koala bear is still in use today outside Australia — its use is discouraged because of the inaccuracy in the name. Other descriptive English names based on "bear" have included monkey bear, native bear, and tree-bear.

  3. You're very welcome and I do apologize for not posting the whole Wikipedia article myself.