When I saw this invitation to participate in a photo scavenger hunt, I thought it was a good exercise to get the girls out of the house and into the wide outdoors. Of course, they quickly lost interest, and I was the one prowling through the paddocks, searching for a muddy footprint.

And it’s not exactly winter here, either. But I thought my contributions could be an interesting juxtaposition to the North American norm.

This was my list:
1. A pine cone
2. An animal track in snow or mud
3. 3 different seeds or berries
4. ice
5. A hole dug by an animal
6. 3 different birds
7. An evergreen (try to identify)
8. Tree buds waiting for spring
9. A bird or squirrel nest
10. Orion (turn off flash to photograph stars and rest camera on firm surface if possible)

Here’s what I got. (I didn’t even try to capture Orion — I’m assuming it’s the wrong time of year.)

Brioni, 3yo, January 2010
1. Brioni and her pine cone.

Scavanging, January 2010
2. A horse footprint in the muddy paddock out the back of our house.

Scavenging, January 2010
3. Lantana seeds/berries. A native of South Africa, Lantana is considered a noxious weed in Australia. It always reminds me of Nigeria, where we used to eat the lantana berries while on our Sunday afternoon walks around Miango.

Scavenging, January 2010
3. Powderpuff flower and seed pods (Calliandra surinamensis), originally from South America.

Scavenging, January 2010
3. Macademia nuts (also known as the Queensland nut), an Australian native.

Scavenging, January 2010
4. Ice — The only ice around here comes from the freezer, and this is the girls' favourite form of it.

Scavenging, January 2010
5. A spider hole in our back yard. Possibly a poisonous spider, possibly not. Ignorance is bliss.

Scavenging, January 2010
6. A very poor photo of a Pale-headed Rosella — he kept flying away!

Scavenging, January 2010
6. Kookaburra — this one was having a laughing competition with two others in the same tree.

Scavenging, January 2010
6. Crested pigeon — when it takes off in flight, it sounds like a tambourine being gently shook.

Scavenging, January 2010
7. Radiata pine tree — A native of North America, it's used in forestry plantations throughout Australia.

Scavenging, January 2010
8. Buds on a lillypilly bush. These will turn into flowers and eventually little, edible fruits.

Scavenging, January 2010
9. No squirrel nests around, and it's the wrong time of year for bird nests, so how about a termite nest? (In our neighbour's yard, not ours.)

If you’ve got kids at home, why don’t you participate in the scavenger hunt also?