Saturday, 31 December 2011

New generation

New Year's Eve an appropriate time to post a couple of photos another generation of nature watchers.

 Our family has been with us for some time over the holidays and our grandson has been busy with his Bug Catcher and Critter Keeper Christmas presents,  getting a close up look at some of the insects. These two beetles (I think Soldier beetle family) were just gaining their freedom after some watching time.
Some of the larger wildlife also had close attention although not too close for comfort, as the small  Lace Monitor sunning on the deck was a subject for study.

I have had a most enjoyable year doing the blog and hope next year brings more new species and great photo opportunities for all who are fascinated by the wonderful world of nature that is all around us.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas colour

 Our wetter than normal winter this year provided the ideal conditions for our Red-flowering Gum Corymbia ficifolia, one of the around 110 species in the Corymbia genus that had previously been included in the eucalyptus genus. A native of the southwestern corner of Western Australia, it is arguably the most striking of the flowering gums.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Blue eyes looking black

An insect that is reasonably common in our area and generally seen at night, when it is attracted to the house lights, is the Common Lacewing or Blue Eyed Lacewing Nymphes myrmeloonides. This one had come in the house and had managed to get spiderweb around the wing tips and was not able to fly, so it was rescued, placed outside and the web removed for the photo.

They are one of the largest of the Lacewings, about 40mm in length and they are the adult of one of the Ant-lion larva species that build insect traps for their prey. Their eyes at certain angles and in torch light show bright blue, hence the name.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Pretty in pink

The wet year has been good for the flowering of Pink Spiral Orchids or Austral Ladies Tresses Spiranthes australis, a slender terrestrial orchid with small flowers (4/5mm) tightly packed in a spiral around the scape. This is the only Australian species of Spiranthes and is regarded as a form of Chinese Spiral Orchid Spiranthes sinensis. It has a wide range in Australia found in all states other than WA, in habitat that is moist to wet, such as swamps, steam edges, grasslands and marshes.

This example was self propagated in our bog garden; although we have many scattered throughout our grassed areas, where I endeavour to mow around as many as I can but some are spotted to late to be saved.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Colour above B&W below

Back at home after a few weeks away and with the wet weather this year we now have lots of grass cutting to do, Still I did manage to take some time out to get a couple of photos of a Red-backed Toadlet Pseudophryne coriacea which was one of three rescued from the pool this morning as the rain last night must have encouraged the excursion.

These toadlets range down the coast from southern Queensland to a little south of us and they are found in the damp leaf litter of the forest. The colouring is quite striking but it is the bold underside marking that is the most outstanding.