Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Butterflies

Oh what incredible weather!  After so much rain - mostly light rain but so consistent that the ground has been waterlogged - this week of glorious sun is drying things out and the rainforest is alive with birds and butterflies.  I don't think our English guests realise quite how lucky they are to be here now after last week's rain!  We feel sorry for the schoolkids, and families - fancy having the weather clear up the day you go back to school!

This morning I was watching, and trying to photograph, a tiny little newly-fledged Sunbird in a Geisha-Girl bush - it was learning to sip nectar while Mum and Dad fluttered around keeping watch.  Suddenly this beautiful female Cruiser Butterfly (Vindula arsinoe) appeared and landed on the adjacent Hibiscus - the female is larger than the male which is predominantly brown.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Our new bridge

Our newly-completed Harlow's Bridge on Stewart Creek Road, the only access road to the valley.  Now much better access during the wet season and, most importantly, the strong rails make it much safer.
Below is a 'before' picture of the old wooden bridge - any fast water over the top and you wouldn't dare to try and cross.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Where IS everyone ... ?!

A beautiful Daintree Sunday today so we decided to wander across the Daintree ferry for a rainforest drive to our favourite coffee-place, the Daintree Coffee Company, and go for a walk along the beach.

Our first surprise was the ferry itself - 10.30 am on a magical Sunday morning and we shared the 30-vehicle ferry with one other car - also a 'local'!

Sadly the cafe was closed so we went elsewhere (name provided on request!) and got ripped-off - AU$9.00 for two weak watery capuccino's - will not be returning - or recommending!


But as always a beautiful drive through the rainforest with the sunlight filtering through the trees and scarcely another car on the road.

Stopped at Thornton's Beach and as you can see we had to fight the crowds!  That's Peter ahead of me and we were the only folks in sight.

Back for the return ferry ride and this time the numbers had swelled to five of us - including three locals! (During our winter, June-July, school holidays it can take up to an hour in the queue.)

Days like today really do remind us how very lucky we are to live where we live. And it was a reality-check to appreciate how fortunate we are while so very many other Australians - and also Brazilians - are suffering the aftermaths of, and in many places enduring ongoing, devastating floods.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Queensland flood map

We cannot believe the extent of the flood damage and now heartbreaking loss of life in south-east Queensland.   I've just found this map which gives you an idea of the events which have been happening over the past few weeks, and now with no end in sight. (Incidentally the icon for Cyclone Tasha should have been placed below Cairns - Cairns itself was not affected.)

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1458011/Queensland-flood-map

Sunday, January 9, 2011

HAPPINESS IS ................

.................... a working phone at long, long last!!!  No more driving to the nearest signal in Daintree Village every day to pick up calls diverted to our mobile - clocked up 305 km (190 miles) in the 19 days since we last had a phone!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Another magical day in Paradise

Such beautiful weather here in Far North Queensland - had to run out with the camera just now, before the sun disappears behind the valley hillside.  Guests checking out of this bungalow, Sunbird Sanctuary, this morning were thrilled to have seen Platypus in the dam, just below their verandah - haven't seen any for a while now, although there are many of them throughout the Valley.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher

Well it's happened again - 15 mins ago a 'thump' against the office window and another stunned little Kingfisher on the verandah.  These seem to be my best photo opportunities as they are so hard to snap in the wild!  Peter was able to pick it up and put it on the verandah rail to recover - and as I type this it has just flown off.

It is one of the many mature birds here now ... and we're  hoping to catch sight of some juveniles soon.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A feel-good moment!

A warm fuzzy feeling after guests, Stu and Justine, left this morning - Stu wrote this in the Guest Book:-

As fate pushed us north through wind and through wave
Dodging potholes and cyclones that nary would brave
Through sunburn and spiders that made Jussy quell
We wandered along to see what this road held

A haven it seemed in the upper Daintree
A place just perfect for my lover and me
A place to stop, relax and just be
A place to soak up some tranquility

Frogs croak, bugs chirp and the pretty birds sing
(And Daphne's jam is a really great thing!)
But tomorrow we'll have to leave you behind
And much sadness within us you will find

Daphne and Peter, we wrote you this meter
To express our pleasure for the evenings of leisure

(Thank you so much!  From Stu and Jussy - Brisbane)

---

And thank you too, Stu and Jussy - it was lovely to meet you both!