I came across a real ‘dark creature’ this week. I lifted a rock and underneath was a maze of silken web. Hiding inside a chamber was a NQ funnel web.
In October 1983 I was bitten by one of these spiders and landed in intensive care at the Innisfail hospital. The bite area on my arm swelled into a rock-hard balloon and was fiery-hot to touch. My memories of the next 24 hours are ‘out of body’; I was floating in a corner of the ceiling watching myself in bed while my family, the nurses and doctors all fused over me. I was left with some heart irregularity. I have had a fascination for spider ever since. Read Dr Ravens PDF of the species here and see comments below.
Another little helper in the nursery this week was a dolichopodi long-legged fly. Our Coquette Point entomologist Bill Farnsworth told me that these little rainforest flies are very aggressive and like nothing more than a good diet of aphid. They will also capture beetles twice their size and control a wide range of other plant pests. They are strikingly beautiful as they daintily dart around the plants, their bright metallic bodies and wings shimmering in the sunlight.
The cassowaries have been very active this week with lots of chasing through the scrub with territorial battles ensuring. Every day ‘Dot’ walks through the nursery to check out ‘plastic cass’. Sometimes she will stand close to it as if seeking company. Other times, she will walk around and around the statue turning her neck in strange positions to check it out.
With the dampness around early in the week strange and beautiful fungi appeared in the rainforest.
The Johnstone River was very busy today with lots of families in boats enjoying the sun or trying to catch a fish. Tonight it was good to see a family catching bait, off the beach, safely from the deck of their boat and not in the water tempting crocodiles.
Friends of mine at East Palmerston sent me a photo this week of a striped possum in the rainforest behind their home.
Since cyclone Larry these possums have all but disappeared from coastal rainforest. I have not heard the striped possum here at Coquette Point since ‘Larry’ nor have I seen it at night hurtling across the rainforest above the road that runs alongside the Moresby Range National Park, as I had often seen in the past.
That perhaps, could be because the rainforest is now cleared back so far on either side of the Coquette Point road that the possums cannot make the crossing. However, they are back in the East Palmerston and that is positive news.
Don’t forget to watch the super-moon rise to-morrow night.