Showing posts from April, 2011

Nigromontana without ...

... Diuris, but a good crop of other orchids.

We spent the afternoon of 28 April with our friends Tony and Jean scouring the SW quadrant of Black (nigro) Mountain (montana) for orchids.  It not being Spring we, not surprisingly, didn't find the species of Diuris named after this area.  The first orchids we found in flower were Diplodium reflexum.

Some D. truncatum were found but had 'gone over' so were not that attractive as a snap.  Moving on, some Bunochilus umbrinus were located, but being perverse they were only at the bud stage and this seemed to send my camera into a tizz.  Again no snap.

The next goodies were Corysanthes hispida.  Many were found, but they were, by and large heading for home and a well earned (permanent) rest.  This one was kind enough to strut its stuff.
We then moved over to a rocky area where some Acianthus exertus were relocated by Jean and Tony.  I got a few images - regretting afterwards that Frances didn't get a picture of me coiled round a…

Blundell's Creek Road

Today the ANPS Wednesday Walk went to Blundell's Creek Rd in Namadgi NP.  This is quite a soft walk since it is 3.4 km (according to our friend Linda's odometer) and there is not a skerrick of uphill in it.

This area was obliterated in the January 2003 bushfires. It is very pleasing how it is regenerating (or has regenerated).  While many of the bigger trees have dead tops, there is a lot of epicormic growth and the understorey is developing very well.

As usual with ANPS stuff let me begin with flowers. 
This was a form of mint (Mentha diemenica) although the perfume wasn't too obvious to me.  But enough of that personal problem.
 This is a more than somewhat ordinary image of a Derwentia derwentiana flower. The foliage was quite common but these were the only flowers I found.

Doing a slight shift of kingdoms (to Fungi) I will start with those I am (more)confident of identifying.  To begin with here is Russula lenkunya.
The next fungus I will rate as being a member of the …

Yet more insects in April

I thought that April would be a very quiet month for insects in particular.  However I found as noted elsewhere that there is still a lot of insect action at the end of the month.  This has coincided with me getting a bit of a grip on the capacity of my new Panasonic FZ40 camera.

Here is a Common Brown butterfly dining on a Buddleia (and I really don't care if that is a mis-spelling : it's what I have used for decades).
Our two tatty Buddleias are really delivering the goods as far as butterflies are concerned.   I also snapped a Cabbage White (possibly under the category of Know thy enemy) gobbling some nectar.
Moving across the plot the Helichrysum bracteatum is still proving attractive to insects (as well being very pleasing to our eyes).  This a hoverfly (family Syrphidae) paying a visit.
I presume the body part shaped like a riding boot is in fact the proboscis!

A similar - possibly the same  - plant hosted a wasp on 29 April.  It appeared to be dining on 'stuff' it …

Phountains, Pholiage and Phlying Phoxes

This is basically a series of images taken
while walking round the central basin of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra on 24 April 2011; and then
where our drive crosses Whiskers Creek.

The range of colours in this image appealed particularly.   Even in the deciduous forests of the North it seems that one usually gets a consistent mass of colour not a great mixture like this.

The next three images are all of the water jet in the middle of the basin.  After the upcoming budget I doubt if anyone will be able to afford the power bill for squirting water that high!

The fountain in the next image is based around a globe with the route of James Cook's voyages marked on it.  There are interesting markers, each related to a significant moment in the voyages.  It is the first time I have actually seen water playing in it (but we have only lived in Canberra for 30 years).
 These fruit bats are a recent addition to Canberra's fauna: in the space of about 5 years they have gone from 30 - 40…

National Folk Festival (NFF) 2011

I have thought a fair bit about putting this post up, as it is going to sound rather like a great big fat whinge.  (I hate people remarking on my English birth!)  However I then concluded that if these thoughts lead to change (in the sense of reversion) in the management of the NFF it would have served a good purpose. Thus, here goes (with little real hope that anything will be achieved).

Our first dealings with the NFF (note this is not a reference to the National Farmers Federation) go back to the days when it was a travelling show.  We encountered it in Burra, South Australia and a damn fine event it was.  When it moved to Canberra we went along and had a great time,experiencing such people as Roy Bailey, the late Alistair Hulett, and the Fagan and Carthy families.  I also bought my first CD of African Music there (Baaba Mall and Mansour Seck - I still rate this as one of my top 10 CDs of any genre).

Since that time the NFF has become more professional.   As will be apparent from w…

Updates from April

This page lists the sites where I have added stuff after initial publication.  The vertebrates page and invertebrates page have been updated frequently as and when stuff is noticed.  There are some nice recent images in the vertebrates page and in particular I draw people's attention to the image of an Imperial Jezabel added to the invertebrates page!
Some images of our apple crop and the drying chilis (and various other things vegetative) were added to the gardening page;Additional commentary added to the NSW elections page including a link to the SMH page announcing Ms Hanson FAILED - yay!!; There have been a few revisions to Tallaganda by day. Extra images were added to my wasp page.Extra mooning occurred! Some images of willow trees added to my Pholiage page As a total aside, I noticed that one recent visitor to this blog  appeared to be located in Dhakar, Bangladesh.  I wonder if it is is one of the Australian Cricket team (or some Bangladeshi reading this blog to try to get …

An interesting insect

While wandering up the block today (in a failed search for orchids) I noticed a small construction hanging off a Kunzea ericoides (aka Burgan) bush.  The leaves of the Burgan give an indication of scale.
An alert observer will note an insect on the bottom of the construction.  When we first arrived there were several such insects around but most disappeared before I could tether small dog and get the camera out and set up.

Cropping the image to show the insect reveals this complex beast.  It also gives a close-up of the construction.
My interpretation of this was a wasp of some sort on the outside of its nest.  On seeking advice from Roger Farrow he commented that in fact "it is a species of Podagrion (Monodontomerini:Torymidae: Chalcidoidea: HYMENOPTERA).  All species are parasitoids of mantis egg cases, which is what your "nest" is: the female wasp is recognised by the enlarged dentate femora.  Very few mantis egg cases escape some level of parasitism.. Emerging man…

Scenes terrestrial and celestial - pt II

I have previously put up a post with some shots of the land and sky around Carwoola.  (The use of the word 'celestial' relates to the Salle Celeste we saw in the HQ of an international organisation in Geneva.)  On 18 April I took a few more snaps on this topic which I felt deserved their own post.

Pre-eminent amongst these was this shot, taken from our sunroom, of a rising moon.
I shall return to the evening at the end. Let us go to the start of the day.

We have established a sort of pattern for our dog walks that on
4 days a week we go to a high-point on Widgiewa Rd Rd, which overlooks the Hoskinstown Plain; two days a week we do a circuit of the property; and the remaining day we do something quick as we need to be in town early.I have reflected that on misty mornings when we go the Widgiewa route I should try to take a photo of the view over the Plain towards Mt Palerang.  On 18 April we did the property walk and I realised there was an opportunity for a scenic shot, so on fi…