Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Love that Watermelon!


A feeding frenzy outside the kitchen!  We've just put new frypans in the cabins and the old ones now make great bird-feeders. 

The Yellow-Spotted Honeyeaters think it's great and have created almost a monopoly, especially when bananas or watermelon are on the menu.

Just had a giggle because these four were watching a Helmeted Friarbird - almost twice their size - becoming more and more frustrated because it was behind the lattice and trying to squeeze itself through.  Finally it managed it!

What strange weather we're having - it's the warmest, wettest July we've had for years and today's the first day we've seen the sun for a long time now.  But at least everything is soooo green!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Platypus

At last another Platypus in our wetlands-dam!  It's been a few years since one has been sighted here, although they are plentiful in Stewart Creek.  I think it may be because this winter has been unusually mild and the light showers have helped keep the water fresh - normally by now the dam would be drying out quite fast and as there is no incoming creek the water quickly loses it's freshness.

These creatures are very shy and are usually only seen at dawn and dusk, although we have also spotted them on a dull overcast day.

OK, I'm cheating a little as the guest who spotted it didn't manage to take a photo - this is a 'free' image I found on the net!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

When is a butterfly not a butterfly? When it's a MOTH!

Well that answers my question yesterday - our beautiful new 'butterfly' is actually a 4 O'clock Moth (Dysphania fenestrata)!  We've learnt that it's one of the few Australian moths which flies during the daytime and is often seen in the late afternoon - hence the '4 o'clock'.  So after a comfortable night indoors (thinking the poor thing was on it's last legs!) I've just put it outside onto a Heliconia leaf and it has now fluttered merrily on it's way!

Friday, July 16, 2010

More butterfly photos

My mistake, I thought the butterfly had flown away but Peter's just found it in almost the same spot on the ground as this morning so, sadly, we think it may be dying.  We were able to pick it up and bring it inside - it would definitely be 'dinner' for something tonight if we left it where it was.  So now a couple more closeups.

And it's actually bigger than I first thought as it measures 10 cm (4 inches) from wingtip to wingtip!

Another unknown butterfly

Well, we've never seen one of these beauties before and haven't found it in our small butterfly book.  "Blue and Yellow Butterfly, Queensland" didn't produce anything when I tried a Google Images search either! 

 It was about 6cm (just under 3 inches) across and sat still on the ground for several minutes.

If anyone has any ideas we'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Praying Mantis ... and Cassowary

Traffic slowed on ther front doorstep as guests were leaving yesterday morning - all stopped to watch this cute Praying Mantis making it's 2-steps-forward-1-step-back progress across the doormat and then up the wall.  They are fairly common but this was quite a big one - about hand-size.

The Cassowary appeared on the walking track yesterday which really thrilled the guests who spotted him.  He's still quite wary and took off through the fence at 90 kph!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Malay Apples

Busy, busy, busy now with our visitor season in full swing so the blog has been a little neglected of late.

The Malay Apple tree doesn't seem to know if it's Arthur or Martha!  - it's just finished dropping some blossom, has lots of tiny fruits, many mid-sized ones and now a good crop of bright red ripe fruit.  Now the problem is to pick some before the birds get to them - as you can see!

They don't have a great deal of flavour but add a lovely splash of colour to the guests' breakfast fruit-platters.  We've even managed to salvage a couple of Soursops before the Spectacled Flying Foxes demolish them - but have virtually given up hope of beating the Sulphur-crested Cockatoos to what's left of our yellow Passionfruit! 

The white and purple Star-apples are starting to form but will not be ripe for some time yet.  And I've just pruned the Lemonade-fruit tree to try and encourage it to fruit - after I nearly killed it last year with too much fertiliser!

We're hoping the Cassowary will be back again to check out any dropped fruit - we've seen more of his 'poo' but haven't spotted him for a while now.  There are lots of big purple Cassowary Plums ripe in the rainforest at the moment which have probably caught his attention!