Not So Creepy Crawlies…

I wrote yesterday in my post “From Beautiful to Terrifying” about some of my adventures on Maggie Island at Koala Village this weekend. If you are ever in Townsville, Queensland, Australia make time to visit Maggie island. I wanted to pack a picnic so I stopped at the farmers market to get some fruit. I picked out the largest tangerine I have ever seen, and an enormous paw paw (round papaya)


 Sunday morning there is a Farmers Market in Townsville with lots of fresh fruits and veggies.

Just picture an Aussie child saying “give me a mandy mum.”


With picnic packed I was ready to hop on the ferry over to the island. The ferry ride was $30.00 to go over and $29.00 to come back. Once you are on the island a daily bus pass is $7.00.


View from the ferry leaving Townsville.


The water in the coral sea was bright blue and the sun felt intense even though it is winter here. The air temperature was a perfect 75 F.


I felt like I had the bay all to myself.


I walked along the water until I found a perfect rock to enjoy my picnic. It was peaceful and relaxing.


Pretty purple shell. I would find pieces of coral every so often on the beach.

After lunch I hiked around some more and went to Bungalow Bay Koala Village. I will share some more Australian creatures that I got to hold, and play with.


Holding a “salty” at Koala Village.

Feeding a Red-tailed Black Cockatoo.

Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat. It is one of the rarest large mammals in the world and is critically endangered.


He was sleeping in his burrow in a tree trunk, but I did reach in and scratch his skull. He is one of my new favorite Australian animals. The other is the echidna. I saw one waddling across the road at night but couldn’t get a picture. but this is what they look like.


Echidnas sometimes known as spiny ant eaters are in the monotreme order of egg-laying mammals. Similar to the platypus, and are the only surviving members of that order that lay eggs.


Holding a koala is a little misleading. I was a tree and he was holding me. (It was really awesome by the way)

This is a carpet Python. I have three ball pythons in my class room (hook, baby, and skinny) They are not as long as this carpet python.

The koala is an arboreal (tree dwelling) herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. Its closest relative is the wombat. They love to eat eucalyptus leaves.

The Bearded Dragon.


After Bungalow Bay Koala Village, I hiked to the other side of Horseshoe Bay and sat down on the beech to listen to the waves take in how surreal it is that I am on the beach in the Southern Hemisphere, very far from home. I was very content to sit and eat my Paw Paw, and let time and the sunset usher out of an amazing day.


Rainforest, Coral Sea, Maggie Island.


My ‘day job’ is as a biology teacher, but I am fortunate to have the opportunity to be a summer researcher through the Columbia University Summer Teacher Research Program. Days like this remind me to thank Jay Dubner, for his commitment to science teacher professional development. You and your program have enriched my life, and the lives of countless other science teachers. THANK YOU! 


4 Responses to “Not So Creepy Crawlies…”
  1. Reinie Thomas says:

    WOW! I found the picture of you and the Koala! What an adorable/lucky picture that you were able to take……I would’ve absolutely loved this part of your trip! All these animals are so ‘Australinaish’. I didn’t know you had snakes in your classroom. They’re not necessarily my favorite animals, but they are very interesting. I would never be able to hold one like you did in that picture. Scares me ^_^ The farmers’ market looks delicious, such vibrant colors 🙂

    • Mr. Chopp says:

      Thanks for the comments Reinie. I agree snakes are very interesting. You think the farmers market had vibrant colors, you should see the coral, and the fish around the reef! I could not believe my eyes.

  2. Abhiram K says:

    That koala picture is arguably the cutest picture ever. Though the reptiles are pretty nice too. This is the sort of thing that I’m hoping to do in biology – more in the two lands of ecology and kinesiology than anything else (ecology because it’s fun, and kinesiology because it would probably help with designing prosthetics), as opposed to blood and operations and doctor training (Ugh. This is why I’m not going to med school). All these pictures are crazy impressive though!

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