Sunday, 19 February 2012

Jottings from the Tropics: 19 February 2012

Harry the brush turkey is almost back to his old self. A season of mound-building and mellow temperature testing has resulted in a brood of self-sufficient chicks, so he has returned to strutting about the garden and chasing off other turkeys. He is still trying to break through the flyscreen on the kitchen door. Mostly, he does this when I am not looking, but yesterday he gave the screen a defiant peck while I was standing in front of it. I threatened him with a spatula. I might have to buy a wooden spoon.And then there's the red balaclava and the yellow cravat.

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Female Ulysses butterflies have been laying eggs on the Melicope bonwickii in front of the house. If the eggs were not so far up the tree, I would collect them to protect them from parasitoids and marauding gangs of scrubwrens. You can't have too many Ulysses butterflies, I say. The Melicope might not agree. But then it can get its own blog and complain about all those insects taking its leaves. There's nothing stopping it. Well, apart from the lack of an internet connection and possibly the lack of digits. Anyhoo...

Female Ulysses are not as glitzy as their male counterparts, but neither are they dowdy. One of the egg-layers was chased by a blue triangle yesterday. The triangle was about half the size of the Ulysses. It looked as though they were having they were having a blue. [Ed:— What is this I don't even...] [I thought it was funny.] [Ed:— Yes. Yes, I expect you did.]

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Although it was almost certainly nothing of the sort, I like to think I had a rare moment of direct communication with a pademelon. Red was grazing near the patio. When he looked towards me, I saw he had a leaf fragment stuck to his nose. I tapped my own nose and made a brushing motion. And then he did exactly the same. It's doubtful he could even see me that well, but it made me laugh.

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And on the subject of pademelons, there were two newbies in the garden this morning. Both of them were youngsters a little bit bigger than Pip. They were cautious, but not hugely disturbed by my presence. I wonder if these are rescued joeys? I've encountered those before and they don't always do well.


Bernie H said...

I think we've got a Dr. Dolittle! What a laugh that the Padde copied you! Wish we could see the Ulysses down here. I have seen them up at Paluma occasionally. Such beautiful things.

Snail said...

I used to get the odd Ulysses in my garden when I live out at Kelso, but they weren't frequent visitors. They are just wonderful. If I had the space, I'd have a grove of Melicope to encourage them.