Friday, July 31, 2009

Lemonade-fruit blossom

The first of the Lemonade-fruit blossom is starting to appear now so spring can't be too far away - it officially starts here on 1st September. It's been sooooo dry but the last few days have been much cooler with a few sprinkles of much-needed rain - the other night we had 18mm (25mm = 1 inch).

So it's been nice not to have to run the sprinklers, especially as we have a small problem with our main water-supply which has suddenly stopped running. We have a small pipe which runs up to a rainforest creek on the Daintree valley hillside so I'd say a tree may have fallen and dislodged it.

Unfortunately our tractor is terminally ill! So we are awaiting the arrival of a new one - it's been so long since we have had to go up the old track that it will now be completely overgrown so will need slashing and probably many fallen trees to push out of the way. Meantime fortunately we have our shallow bore which supplies us with pure clear water from an underground creek - just means we have to run the bore each day to fill the tank rather than rely on gravity to refill it from the creek.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Kookaburras

We have quite a few Kookaburras in the Daintree Valley and when a group of them have a "laughing"-session it's quite a noise - makes you feel like joining in!

Such lovely birds but sadly quite cruel as they prey on smaller birds and small animals. But, that's nature.

This big fellow was sitting on the power line high above our shed keeping a beady eye out for any passing prey.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tree Frog update

We're never quite sure where he's going to turn up next but this is the latest resting-spot for our resident Giant White-lipped Tree Frog - just hoping he doesn't get too thirsty ... !

We're always happy to see frogs thriving in Daintree as, like much of northern Australia, we are inundated with Cane Toads. These poisonous creatures kill most wildlife which eat them although I believe Pythons are becoming imune to them and birds are learning to flip them onto their backs to avoid the poisonous glands on their backs.

They were introduced to Queensland to attack Cane Beetles which destroy sugar cane but nobody had noticed that the beetles live high in the cane but the Cane Toads live on the ground .... ! Now this fast-breeding menace is spreading throughout the country and having a great impact on Australia's native frog population.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A good crop of Jakfruit

Checking out the fruit trees in our front paddock it seems we're set for another bumper crop of Jakfruit. They are, we think, an acquired taste and one which we have never acquired! These are very immature but may grow into very large fruit, several kilos in weight and up to 50cm in length.

The only other trees fruiting now are the Carambolas (also known as Star Fruit or Five-Corner fruit), a few Soursops, some yellow Passionfruit (at least the ones the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos have missed!) and a lot of new Banana bunches are coming on. The Mango blossoms should be starting soon - ours are a late-producing variety and are normally ready around Christmas-time.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another magic mid-winter's day

Another chilly night last night - down to 12 deg C - but now it's up into the high 20's. The colours at this time of year seem to be more vibrant than ever and this is the view from our kitchen, overlooking the old shed (home of the barbeque and jacuzzi) and towards the rainforested valley hills.

Our beautiful water comes from a small rainforest creek high on the hillside and is gravity-fed via a small agricultural line and filter to a tank next to the shed and then by electric pump to the house and the cabins.

On the right at the front are some of our pink ornamental gingers and red Pagoda-flowers, loved by the butterflies. To the right of the shed are banana plants with what's left of the fruit after the Brush Turkeys have finished with them!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Figbirds and Figs

All the Strangler Figs are loaded with fruit now - and with dozens of noisy, colourful squabbling Figbirds!

And our weather is pure magic although we really could do with a little rain now - not that our visitors mind our clear blue, blue skies, beautiful warm days and some nights cool enough to be reaching for an extra blanket.

We're quite envious of some of our guests today who are out on a day cruise to the outer Great Barrier Reef - they could not have asked for a more perfect day with light winds, calm seas and great visibility!