Sunday, May 24, 2009

Unknown Moth and Ulysses Butterfly

We really must buy some more reference books! There are so many different species of moths, butterflies and insects around at the moment and the books we have just don't have everything listed.

This beautiful moth measured about 4-5 cm across. At least they are quite easy to photograph, unlike most of the butterflies which just never stay still long enough. I've been experimenting with my camera (have always been a point-and-shoot photographer!) and ALMOST managed to get this Ulysses with it's wings open!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A change of subject!

This has really nothing to do with the Daintree Valley! But it's a follow-on to our P&O cruise on Arcadia earlier this year (see Jan/Feb). It turned out that Susan Kurosawa who is Travel Editor of one of Australia's biggest newspapers, "The Australian", was also on the ship and later wrote a review in the paper. I emailed Susan to say how much we enjoyed her article and briefly mentioned my own seagoing experience as a female purser and to my astonishment she invited me to write a column for the paper!

So last Saturday my first attempt at journalism appeared in "The Australian" and if you are interested you can read it at,25197,25467415-36115,00.html.

It has been an amazing week because I have been contacted by seafaring friends and colleagues with whom I'd lost contact years ago - and the reminiscences and photos have really been flowing back and forth through cyberspace!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Battle for the Rambutans!

A full crop of Rambutans which we love - unfortunately so do the Rainbow Lorikeets! It's nothing to have up to a hundred of them in the tree at a time and we're lucky to salvage just enough for ourselves - they are a fruit which has to ripen to fully red on the tree but the birds don't wait that long.

And what the Lorikeets don't get the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos finish off - the only good thing is that the Cockies are so heavy they tend to break off whole branches from the top of the tree so we're able to pick up quite a few fallen ripe ones which we couldn't otherwise reach.

The Cockies have also discovered the Carambola next to the Rambutan tree and have proceeded to decimate the still-green fruit on that too. Oh well, at least we're doing our bit to feed our native birds ... !

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bush-Stone Curlew

Our blog seems to have been on the back-burner of late as May has been a busy month so far with lots of guests and quite a few enquiries and bookings, which is very encouraging in view of all the doom and gloom economic forecasts! In fact parts of July are already booked out!

It's also been raining quite a lot, although mostly gentle warm rain which, strangely, nearly everyone seems to be enjoying - after all we are in the WetTropics! But it has slowed us down as far as our annual end-of-wet-season vegetation pruning and management goes - it is almost unbelievable how fast everything grows here and it doesn't take long for invasive vines and tropical plants to 'take over'.

For the past few nights our Valley has echoed to the beautiful, haunting whistling call of Bush-Stone Curlews. These beautiful birds often come past our house just on dusk - sometimes Mum and Dad with Junior. They blend into the background so well, a few quick running steps and then they freeze for a few seconds, a few more steps then freeze again so if you don't see them actually move you would easily miss seeing them at all. I must admit I did 'cheat' taking this photo as I took it during a visit to the wonderful Rainforest Habitat near Port Douglas!

Monday, May 4, 2009

More butterflies

More beautiful weather then some gentle rain has brought out masses more butterflies. A few minutes ago this beautiful male Cairns Birdwing kindly posed for me just outside the kitchen - a rare event as anyone will know who has ever tried to photograph a moving butterfly!