Feb 25 2012
Hello from Crocodile Country,
Living anywhere along the northern coast of Australia one must be mindful of crocodiles. It is a total false expectation to believe that any programme of culling or removal can make the waters safe. It is the absolute stupidity of locals in wading out into streams on sunset that invites crocodile attack.
Friday afternoon I spent a wonderful hour watching two plovers interact with the crocodile ‘Charlene’ on the beach. I had turned to leave when a boat arrived and to my amazement I watched a man walk into the water with a cast net. I rushed down to the water and showed the men the photos I had taken of the crocodile on the beach only minutes before. They laughed and said they were keeping a lookout. So I put my camera on video and waited. I told the men if the crocodile attacks I will sell the film for a lot of money. Even that didn’t worry them. I didn’t get the photo, Charlene was obviously not hungry this time!
The mangrove Avicennia marina is in fruit and when ripe the heat from the sun on the hot sand at low tide dries out the stalk and the fruits fall to the ground. The incoming tide collects the fruit and washes it up onto the high water-mark where it can be easily collected. The fruit is eaten by coastal people around the Pacific.
Remove the stalk from the fruit and boil it in two changes of water at two by twenty minutes.
The fruit on the Leichhardt tree, Nauclea orientalis, is ripe and the metallic starlings are having a feast.
The skies have been full of moths and butterflies this week, and the trees full of caterpillars; Ulysses, male and female birdwings, red lacewings, blue triangles, lemon migrants and the day flying moth has returned.
The St Andrew’s Cross spiders are hungry and hanging about the nursery. This spider eats moths, butterflies and a wide range of insects thus controlling a range of plant pests as well as flies and mosquitoes. The small male leads a hazardous life as he attracts the female by vibrating a mating thread of silk. I had to wait some ten minutes to take this photo as the female kept vibrating the web as her defence method to fob off danger. Eventually she realized I wasn’t a threat and the web stilled.
The monsoon has not made an appearance and we swelter in the humid heat. Meanwhile southern Queensland deals with torrential rain! The weather appears to have lost its pattern.
Cheers for now,