Whose daft idea was it to do NaNoWriMo this year? And why can't I write faster?
The burny bean (Mucuna gigantea) is flowering. (Oh, lots of other things are flowering too. But I can actually recognise the burny bean, unlike...well...just about everything else.) The vine scrambles over the rainforest canopy and makes narrow runways across gaps. There's a cat's cradle of burny bean across the driveway and the grey fantails like to sit there and watch what's going on.
The common name comes from its beaniness (it belongs to Fabaceae, the pea and bean family) and its burniness (the seed pod is covered in irritating hairs). (But not at this time of year.) It is also called a seabean (because it occurs in forests along beaches). As this rainforest block is 750 metres above sea level and on the western side of Queensland's highest mountain, I thought that calling it a seabean would get me into trouble with Advertising Standards.
I haven't seen any birds feeding from the flowers, so I wonder if this species is pollinated by bats? The petals are pale green and difficult to spot among all the other greens of the forest, so they are not screaming for diurnal attention. They also hang down in bunches, which says bat (or perhaps large moth) food to me. Still, I'm no judge of what a volant mammal might want for dinner, so I will have to observe and record.
But these flowers...ain't they grand?