In this closer view of an Australian eucalyptus tree you can see dark black branches that have died even though the tree is still healthy. These hardy trees can cut off the supply of water to certain branches in times of drought, allowing the main body of the tree to remain alive. These sacrificed branches can fall off without warning, hence the nickname “Widow Maker”. Knowing about the eucalyptus’s tendency to drop branches might be handy if you are wandering in the outback.
The descent into Weano Gorge, in Western Australia, was steep. But at least the endeavor did not require climbing down a vertical ladder, as some did, which would have been very hard to do with a camera and tripod.
One of the most famous landmarks in Scotland, Stirling Castle dates back to the twelfth century. In times of peace, Scottish royals held court there. But in times of war, the area in and around the castle became a center of conflict. Near the castle’s perch atop a massive volcanic rock, are the sites of William Wallace’s 1297 victory against the British at Stirling Bridge and Robert Bruce’s 1314 victory at Bannockburn.
Built in 1600 by the Lord of Shetland, this tower house castle still stands strong in the town of Scalloway on Mainland, the largest island of the Shetlands in Scotland.
When you enter the front door of this well-preserved defensive structure, the main direction to go is up, up, up — toward living quarters and eventually to the battlements on top.