Celebrating Charlotte – A Spider Special

Halloween is being celebrated in some parts of the world and creepy spider images are often featured. This gives me a perfect excuse to share pictures  of my much maligned  eight-legged garden friends along with a backyard news update.  Actually, the real reason I am writing a creature post is because my Lamington National Park walk photographs were poor quality and I’d like to revisit the area to improve on them. If you like blood sucking parasites and reading about  lycra man suffering stay tuned for that story. Continue reading

Fruitful Wanderings – St Lucia Lakes

I’ve joined a choir. I’m sure my friends who’ve suffered through my attempts at singing in the past are  open-mouthed at this horrific announcement. Before anyone dislocates a jaw, I’ll reveal it was unwillingly done and we hope to disband soon as our combined efforts are not at all pleasing to the ears. Our little household has been moaning, groaning, coughing, snuffling and snorting  along with thousands of other Queenslanders afflicted with the imaginatively named Brisbane Influenza.

We’re on the mend now but I haven’t had a chance to go on long walks. Rather than not post anything I thought I’d share more discoveries and oddities from my short wanders around the university grounds in August. Continue reading

Feathers, Flowers and Tomfoolery at Toohey’s Forest and Mt Gravatt Reserve

I am writing this post in a slightly sleep deprived state due to the antics of my furry friends, the nocturnal brushtail possums, Trichosurus vulpecula, which have been thundering across my roof more than usual lately.  I’m not sure what has caused this increase in activity but I’m hoping they take a possum chill-pill soon and allow me a little more uninterrupted sleep.   One of them likes to snooze on top of my open garage tilt-a-door, but during a gusty day recently, when the door started to flap, it was in danger of  becoming a possum pancake  so I had to encourage it out onto a tree. Continue reading

The Shortest Hike in the World

mantid

“Among the myrtles the mantids moved, lightly, carefully, swaying slightly, the quintessence of evil. They were lank and green, with chinless faces and monstrous globular eyes, frosty gold, with an expression of intense, predatory madness in them. The crooked arms, with their fringes of sharp teeth, would be raised in mock supplication to the insect world, so humble, so fervent, trembling slightly when a butterfly flew too close.” – Gerald Durrell, My Family and Other Animals.

It’s past midnight and the party is still going strong. It happens every night and I’m never invited. Instead, I lie tossing and turning, listening to their high-jinks, romantic interludes and  occasional fighting. That’s what happens when your backyard is a jungle in a street of manicured lawns and trimmed hedges. The possums move in! Continue reading