Thursday, April 28, 2011

Black Skipper

At first sight I thought this was a small moth sipping nectar from a bougainvillea flower but the clubbed antennae indicate it's a butterfly - it's actually a Black Skipper (toxidia melania) and the book tells me it's distribution is limited to rainforest from Mossman southwards to Townsville in far north Queensland, so this little fellow is just to the north of this range.  (We are a 40-minute drive north of Mossman.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Camouflage

Nature's camouflage in action - this Praying Mantis (such a descriptive name) blends in so well against the green leaves.  This one's about 8cm (3 inches) long.

Postscript to my last 'Dove Orchid' blog - some light showers finally caught up with us but thankfully nothing serious so our post-wet-season clean-up continues.  Finally Peter's managed to mow most of the long, long grass for the first time in several months!

But the saga of break-downs continues.  Last week we eventually got the repaired pressure-water-cleaner back - a 'must-have' in the tropics - but now the Landcruiser has problems, the spa motor which has been working perfectly while no-one has been staying has packed up just in time for Easter guests, and now an attachment to the tractor is broken.  Sigh!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

... and the sun's still shining ...

Orchids fully out today and not a cloud in the sky - have they got it wrong this time?!  Not that we're complaining about lack of rain!  For the first time in 3 months Peter's today just managed to mow the overgrown grass in our roadside paddock - mind you he 'threw' two drive belts on the ride-on mowers doing it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Weather-forecasting plants

Oh it's been sooo nice to see soooo much sun over the past week and we've managed to get sooooo much done, ready for our 'full house' of guests over Easter.  Then I happened to look at our Dove Orchid - in bud again which invariably means rain within 24-48 hours!   Will let you know when it arrives!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More valley neighbours

A familiar sight as you drive through Stewart Creek valley.  These delightful goats belong to a neighbour who farms Brahman beef-cattle on the lush valley flats.  As you can see the grassy slopes stop where they reach thick rainforest which covers all the valley hills - over the hills they become part of the huge, mostly-inaccessible, Daintree National Park.

We never tire of this lovely 8km drive home from Daintree Village - in and out of the rainforest and through this tropical farmland as the trail follows the winding Stewart Creek.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kookaburra

This Kookaburra watched as I squelched my way round the walking-track the other day!

We've been having some beautiful weather and have managed to get most of the grassy areas back under control but there is still a huge amount of water run-off from the valley hillsides which make mowing, or even slashing, impossible in some spots.

The other day the tractor got bogged at the top of a very gentle slope - and the Landcruiser also bogged when trying to tow the tractor!