Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Butterflies galore - still!

Wow, have we got some butterflies now after the rain has gone and beautiful sun is drying everything out!  For the past few days the lovely blue Ulysses have been everywhere and now the first of the Cairns Birdwings are appearing.  This is a male a few minutes ago on one of the Pagoda flowers outside the kitchen - his back is a stunning irridescent green and the female is darker on the back.  She is also Australia's largest butterfly, with a wingspan of up to 150 mm (6 inches).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Butterflies galore

While we wait for Cyclone Nathan to decide where he's going to cross the coast(!) we're enjoying beautiful weather, lots and lots of different Butterflies and ... amazingly for this time of year ... very few Mozzies!  Whatever Nathan does we are in for a lot of wet weather so Peter and I have just been for a walk round our 30 acres and picked a bucket full of wild-growing limes - we like curries and these make wonderful pickles to go with them.  On the way back this lovely Blue-banded Eggfly was fluttering around us and landed long enough for me to get a half-decent shot.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Magpie Goose

A loud honking noise this morning and I looked out of the kitchen in time to see large wings flapping at the top of a tall tree overlooking our dam.  Grabbed the camera, went closer and saw this Magpie Goose - by the time I got back to the house another one had joined it.  They're often seen in large flocks on the nearby Daintree River but we don't often see them here,

Saturday, March 7, 2015

All our own fruits - almost!

Although we have dozens of different tropical fruit trees it's quite rare to have this many in season at once.  I've just made up this breakfast fruit platter for our UK guests - apart from the 3 Limes which I don't think they'd appreciate for breakfast.  Lemonade-fruit, Mangosteen, Carambola (Star-fruit or Five-corner), Rambutan, Yellow Passionfruit and the amazing bright red Dragonfruit, the only one not grown on our property but thanks to our next-door neighbour!

Monday, March 2, 2015


This beautiful weather we've been enjoying (what Wet Season???) has brought out masses of butterflies.  This lovely male Orchard Swallowtail (the female is more colourful) was fluttering alongside our walking-trail yesterday afternoon.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bridal Veil Fungus

Peter's been mowing the grass and spotted this Bridal Veil Fungus just in time - I tried to remove all the grassy bits but a few have stuck!  We often see amazing fungi during our rainy season, although after all that torrential rain last week we are enjoying beautiful fine sunny weather, while central and southern coastal Queensland, and also the Northern Territory to the west, are both bracing for cyclones.  It's a crazy country - parts of inland Queensland are still in drought.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A symphony of Frogs

The wet season has well and truly arrived although we have so far escaped the torrential rain a little south of us, but the forecast is for a lot more rain to come.  It's such a relief after what must have been one of the hottest, most humid, energy-sapping Januaries for years - now the temperature is much lower and can even feel quite cool while it's raining.

The dam is gradually filling up and the frogs are going mad!  There is an amazing frog-chorus, 24/7!  I took this little video a couple of years ago but the sound-effects are exactly the same.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Breadfruit again

Such a strange season for many of our fruit trees with several which have not produced for years suddenly deciding 'this is our year'!  These are Breadfruit on a huge tree near The Shed.  White firm flesh, very starchy, but sliced thinly and pan-fried in a little oil they make very nice crisps and cut into chunks can be roasted alongside the Sunday roast.  Other trees making a come-back include our one and only Mangosteen, one of our favourite fruits, and one of our several Carambolas (Five-corner, Star-fruit are other names) which hasn't produced for about 10 years.