Thursday, 22 January 2009

Butterflies



My latest enthusiasm is butterflies. There are so many this summer, fluttering through the garden - way more than last year when we had cooler, wetter weather. I've borrowed a book from the library to help me identify them, but may have to splurge and purchase my own copy if my interest doesn't wane.

Photographing them is difficult as they just refuse to pose for the camera. This one I discovered dead in the (empty) laundry tub. There was a large chunk missing from one lower wing, which perhaps was responsible for its demise. According to my new-found knowledge, it's a Varied Sword-grass Brown.

January bushwalk

This month's bushwalk was on a day that promised to be pretty hot, so we were pleased to find it descending into a cool valley full of tall tree ferns. The trail was very narrow and steep, though, so there was less opportunity for easy conversation, and a lot of slipping and scrambling, particularly on the way back as we used a rocky creekbed as our path. Thanks to rain the night before and the naturally moist conditions, leeches were an unwelcome diversion, especially in the early part of the hike. Most of us discovered them while they were still easy to pull off, but a few of our company needed Jenny's handy salt shaker to dislodge them.

We had lunch on the most level piece of ground available, deep in the shadows. That's Michael on the left in the blue shirt.



When we had time to admire it, the terrain was beautiful.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Sunset

The recent high temperatures have brought us some spectacular sunsets as clouds mass in the west for the inevitable thunderstorms. Fortunately, these are brief, and bring welcome rain to the garden before the following morning dawns bright and clear again. This was the view from the windows of our house a couple of evenings ago.

Not the opera house

Everyone has seen photos of the Sydney Opera House standing proud on its peninsula jutting into the harbour. What you never see is the sandstone cliff that faces the Opera House across the plaza in front of it. It's amazing how much vegetation has found a foothold in the crevices of the sandstone, in particular this small Moreton Bay Fig sapling, looking rather like a slender woman sitting with her legs decorously crossed at the ankles.