On safari-- wildlife and nature photos

Lake Johnstone
Lake Johnstone- evening light. Click to enlarge
Awesome salt lakesLake Gairdner
From Lake Gairdner's hills. Click to enlarge

Large areas of the arid and semi-arid inland of Australia are covered by salt lakes...mostly dry, sometimes wet, occasionally flooded. They're in endorheic or closed basins, with no outflow to rivers or oceans. Water escapes only by evaporation and seepage

The photographs on this page feature salt lakes in the hot dry north of South Australia. The originals are mostly medium format transparencies, with some 35mm slides and digital images

Lake Johnstone Lake Johnstone contrasts...after rain, and midday glareLake Johnstone

But the salt lakes are not just about harshness. They often present a myriad of pastel tones, from cloud-shadows and reflections off the moisture of recent rain to the earthy stains left by the richly-coloured waterborne and wind-blown outback soils which surround them

Island LagoonLake JohnstoneIsland LagoonHilltop spinifex, Lake Gairdner
Cloud shadows, Island Lagoon eastNature's stains, Lake JohnstoneRiot of colour, Island Lagoon northHilltop Triodia, Lake Gairdner

Lake Gairdner southIsland LagoonLake Gairdner south
Rocky shore, Lake Gairdner southLeaning acacia, Island Lagoon northDaybreak, Lake Gairdner south

Island LagoonLake Gairdner southLake Gairdner southSalt lake debris
Sky mirrors ground, Island Lagoon northSalt patterns, Lake Gairdner southBroad daylight, Lake Gairdner southDebris, Lake Gairdner south

Signs of settlement: decaying fencelines close to lake shores are reminders of the decades of pastoral use the outback lands have been subjected to. And the transcontinental railway is a symbol of those who just pass through fleetingly and absorb little or nothing of the colour and atmosphere of the harsh expanses

Lake Gairdner southLake Johnstone Lake Hart Lake Gairdner south
Fenceline, Lake Gairdner southMorning light, Lake JohnstoneThe track, Lake HartEvening, Lake Gairdner south

At Island Lagoon northLake Gairdner southAt Lake HartAt Lake Gairdner south
Dune, Island LagoonPanorama, Lake Gairdner southCloud vista, Lake HartDune, Lake Gairdner south

The lakes are surrounded by life, some of which ventures on to the surface at times. Scorpions patrol the surface close to shore at night, for flies, moths, spiders and other prey. On Lake Gairdner's shore, the little Painted dragon in the next series of photographs is digging a burrow in which to lay her eggs; she finishes her arduous task at the end of a long hot day, and carefully fills the hole in until there's no sign of her work. She leaves her offspring to hatch without further involvement from her. See the individual pictures below or view a slideshow here

Painted dragon diggingSafety checkFat with eggsTaking a break
Painted dragon diggingA safety checkFat with eggsTaking a break

Filling inWork still to doJob almost doneJob well done
Filling in the burrowWork still to be doneJob nearly finishedJob well done

Start your African safari or look at other Australian pages: Birds , Kangaroo Island ,the River Murray , the Adelaide Hills , Victoria, Wildlife carers, or Papua New Guinea

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