insects

For about a week I have had a constant hum in my ears. Given I was recently diagnosed with moderate hearing loss, nothing would surprise me. But then a visitor heard it too, and sensibly wondered where the bees were. Not many plants are flowering right now, so I was at a loss. Until I […]

Even without stirring from my verandah, I have a world of nature in view. The wildlife comes to me, and this time I don’t mean rose-climbing possums or gate-leaping wallabies! These are mini-inhabitants, easy to miss, and easy to admire. One dull day I spotted a strange blob of white on the corner verandah post. […]

On one common lemon tree in my yard — and I have raised many, never wanting to be short of lemons — I have discovered  a busy metropolis of green creatures. This bejewelled and banded, spotted and spiked emerald caterpillar is one of about a similar six that I could easily see — the inquisitive […]

I’d just cut back the woody stems of the verandah vines — the ornamental grape and the wisteria. A scattering of brown tendrils and dry curling leaves had landed on the verandah and I began to sweep them off. Only, one decided it didn’t want to be swept and began lurching away. It was so delicate […]

Without the need to sow or prune or feed, native plants appear, thrive and flower on my yard, where and as they choose. One of the most common and obvious flowering plants is the Twining Guinea Flower (Hibbertia scandens), whose bright clear yellow blooms are easy to spot. I have been told it is also […]

The native Brush Cherry (Szygium australe) in my garden is just opening its buds. Somehow the word went straight out into the butterfly world, for within a day of this happening, a certain species suddenly appeared to claim those flowers. I counted around 35 of these butterflies just on the sides I could see. They […]

I have an old wooden stepladder that I keep in the shed. Last time I used it was to trim the ornamental grapevine on the verandah. The other day I fetched it and placed it under a grey gum where I was mending a swing. Perhaps an hour later I went to fold it up and return […]

I was walking around the lemon tree, which has several generations of fruit on it at present, trying to decide which might be the oldest and best to pick. Then I caught a glimpse of something not quite right hanging there. It was green and nobbly textured like the young fruit, but shaped more like the […]

First I saw a dense cloud of insects — termites, I assumed. But the intense buzzing alerted me to look more closely. They were bees, swarming about the top of a young pittosporum tree. Having had trouble with bees making their hive too close to a doorway before, I was anxious to see where they were going […]

As I was about to pull up a wild cotton plant spotted near my big dam,  I noticed this spectacularly marked caterpillar. Khaki, powder blue and black, in stripes and spots and vees. Then I saw a little one further down the plant. They appear to be double-ended, with those handsome black antennae at each […]

On my verandah I have hung an antique tin tub, so rusty as to be lacework. Having found it way down in a gully, far from any habitation past or present, I have assumed it was left behind by a cedargetters’ camp, long, long ago. Now it is providing shelter for an Australian Hornet, who […]

As the warmer weather arrived, I opened the window in front of my desk for the first time in ages. Immediately I realised that I had uncovered the living larder of a very busy mother wasp. In the narrow gap between sill and window base, she had created a mud maze in a neat butterfly […]

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