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 I’d have broken it with one unwitting blow, had I not seen it for what it was — a small leaf insect, one of the Phasmid family, like the stick insects.
I do have the CSIRO field guide to these extraordinary insects, but I can’t find this one.
Flared and flattened, curled and bent, blotched and pitted — what amazing camouflage! Not much use on this drawer I was airing, so I carefully let it cling to a stick and transferred it to the brown stems and remnant leaves from whence I expect it had come. The delicacy of its feet, especially the questing front ones!
Nature truly is awesome.