Rat

Rodents, more specifically rats, are regarded in many different ways by people. To some, they are reviled as disease carrying (‘you dirty rat!’) or crop destroying vermin; to others they are intelligent and beloved pets; and to others they are farmed for their fur or used in vivisection (animal experimentation.) …

Rosella

These techni-colour parrots are well known in Australia, their vivid hues enriching tree, garden, park or soup tins! The name Rosella is said to be derived from ‘rosehill parrots’; Rose Hill, Sydney, being where they were first seen by white people. A Dreaming about Rosella is one of tragedy which …

Sandpiper

Sandpipers are found almost worldwide. Our ‘Aussie’ sandpipers hail from the icy winters of Asia or the northern hemisphere where food is plenty, then back here for a feast. One of the most common, the curlew sandpiper comes from arctic Siberia. In a Dreaming from north-eastern New South Wales (and …

Seagull

Seagull in Flight

Familiar coastal birds (although a single one or group might appear and settle in surprisingly inland locations); seagulls are a noisy addition to the beautiful beaches and inland waterways of Australia. Scavengers at heart, “Silver Gulls” will eat virtually anything, profiting greatly from Western society.  Very bold, they will grab …

Seal

The Australian sea lion is one of four native seals, and the only one uniquely Australian.  These beautiful creatures are very curious by nature and are well-loved performers. Their diet in the wild has been known to include fish and fairy penguins.  The male Australian sea lion and elephant seals …

Shark

An encounter with a shark is not recommended at close range, unless one is in an aquarium or safely aboard a reasonably sized watercraft!  Sharks have been known to not only attack hapless swimmers; there are many tales of attacks being made on small dinghies and boats. The term ‘shark’ …

Shingleback Lizard

Mirages were called ‘shingleback’s water’ by the people in central New South Wales. The shingleback lizard lives in arid areas where it is difficult to find water, and so it was believed he drank the mysterious water seen in a mirage. The shingleback lizard (with Black Cockatoo) assisted in the …

Snake

Australia contains the highest proportion of venomous snakes in the world.  However, they are very shy of human contact and will flee before attack as first option.  For reasons unknown to modern science, (the Dreamings have an answer though!), the swift neurotoxins of the deadly taipan and tiger snakes are …

Spider

spider image

Spider has lots of different symbolic meanings worldwide. To many Australians the word ‘spider’ recalls the deadly funnel web and the red-back on the toilet seat.  Both species have been known to cause severe reactions, and even death with their bites. A Dreaming about Spider[1] from northern Queensland links her …

Sturt’s Desert Pea

The state symbol for South Australia, the Aboriginal people call this beautiful, vibrant red flower the ‘flower of blood.’ It is also considered a symbol of the blood spilt during the invasion and the following years of European settlement. The Dreaming for this flower, from which the Aboriginal name originates, …