THE Traveler: Tom Thompson of Fridley.

The scene: A koala climbs a tree at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket, a town just outside of Brisbane, Australia. The sanctuary was begun as a refuge for sick, injured or orphaned koalas. Thick hair — seen here shooting from ears — acts as insulation, keeping the animal cool on hot days, warm on cold days, and dry in rain. With specially adapted claws, they can climb easily and spend more of their days in trees; this koala was at eye level when Thompson took this photo. "Koalas have been my favorite animal for many years. It was a total joy being so close to them for my visit," Thompson wrote in an e-mail.

The Trip: During a three-week trip to the country, Thompson hit all four corners. "I lived and worked in Australia in the early 1970s. I have been back eight times since then, and each time, I always make new friends and discover new places to revisit," he wrote. He had traveled to the country late last year to visit his daughter, who was attending medical school at the University of Queensland.

The Equipment: This shot was taken with a Nikon D7000, Tamron 18-200mm lens.

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