Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Small things

The narrow-leaf gingers (Alpinia modesta) along the driveway host a range of tiny creatures that I have yet to see on other plants. I'm not sure if this is because gingers are their preferred habitat or if it is because the critters are easier to spot on the smooth leaves. I suspect it might be a little from column A and a little from column B.

Late afternoon is a good time to observe these little beasts. Once the sun passes behind the trees, the  temperature drops inside the forest and the gloom creeps in. Most of the birds have packed up for the day, although noisy gangs of scrubwrens (both Atherton and large-billed) often make last minute feeding raids before retiring. If you're only a few millimetres long, you take your chances around here.

Pleuropoma sp., a land-living relative of marine nerites

A herd of very small pulmonates

A free-living mite. The ones you can see are the best sort.
The ones you can't see give you scrub itch.

Another mite of the same species. (Have you started scratching yet?)

Mite follows snail. Nothing sinister. The mite overtook the snail
and continued on its way.

A pensive ant. Meranoplus sp (?). These ants are very common on vegetation
and are pleasantly mild-mannered compared with some other ants I could mention...

Webs everywhere


Bernie H said...

Those mites are fantastic looking things. I've never seen anything like them before. Love that gorgeous little snail! We tend to get the rather large ones here, which the Kookaburras absolutely love to feast on!

Snail said...

I hadn't seen those mites before, either. They are exquisite.

There are a few small snails around your way, but they take a lot of effort to find. The big 'uns are much easier to locate.

Bernie H said...

We tend to see the smashed shells of the large ones more often than we see the actual snails. We do occasionally see the little snails, after the rains come.

magda and crew in australia said...

Snail your Garden is wondrous... of course challenging to enjoy with all the possible bites and stings waiting to have a go.. but worth learning to overcome to be able to enjoy so much variety and green.

Your wording for the Forest when late afternoon begins the Sun's passing sets the scene for me for an eerie, mysterious, shadow filled adventure...
shivery delightful... just heaps of successful bite repellent that doesn't also pong and feel too tacky piled on and into the Forest I'd go.

Hate when I forget the repellent... I get caught up with what I'm seeing and only after the satiating experience do I discover I've got paralysis ticks and a range of other bites that leave me in a state of very sad disrepair... groan...

sometimes I wonder why I love Nature so much when I'm desperately coping with healing from the quiet attack I received for having enjoyed my experiences.

The Shell of Pleuropoma sp looks well-worn, with lots of Stories embedded in the design pattern... maybe it's an elderly Snail... or carries Tales of the Sea on its Shell.

Scrub itch from Mites one can't see...
now I wonder if that's what happens to me around dusk when I go to the bin's area, which I've stopped doing after being got twice.
The pain from the lumps with what looks like a black hair fibre sticking out the top is awful. Removing the hair fibre look alike with tweezers eases one level of pain, and introduces the next stage of pain mixed with itch when the lump blisters.
Horrible experience... I look like I have chicken pox when got.. and days go by with continually bathing in the hottest of water with Eucalyptus wash then rinsing in cold cold water before applying salve to ease the pain, until finally healing starts.

Your visible mites are beautiful.
And the Snail's trail looks like something abstractly written.. like Ogham or Rune.

The Ant Meranoplus sp is thoroughly gorgeous. Didn't know Ants could be beautiful.

The Leaves close up are so glossy and light reflective...
I've enjoyed this Adventure immensely Snail... thank you, and thanks for the possible solution to my being got dilemma I'm in the process of recovering from.

Snail said...

Magda, I really should use repellent more often. I get bitten by ticks at a ridiculously high frequency and am miserably itchy for days after. And scrub itch...well, that is even more annoying than tick bite. And whereas you might get just one tick, you never get just one mite. Prevention is definitely better than cure. In fact, I don't think there is a cure. I take antihistamines to reduce the reaction, but they're never enough. Urgh!

I wonder if the little hairs are from those caterpillars that have irritating bristles? I believe some of them release the hairs when they are disturbed. Also, some are used in making cocoons and shelters. Awful things!

magda and crew in australia said...

Sorry for my slow response Snail, I went immediately to the site you gave and how kind the photos were of the raised lumps... no inclusion of the aftermath of blistering, followed by sores before the slow healing process, but definitely fits.

I have since seen hairy little caterpillars in the region. Also that zone is the area I call the Butterfly Courtship Place... I see Butterflies fluttering about together doing quite remarkable dances. Beautiful to watch. Though I now watch lathered in bite protection, don't linger as long, and usually shower the moment I'm inside and cover my self again.

This last bout has been an awful recovery journey, am only now really at the end of the healing... and groan, scarring is present... hope will fade in time... I would like to finish my remaining years with Earth with a little remaining dignity amid my collapsing, thinning, wrinkling skin without the inclusion of purple poxy looking splotches.

One would never consider you battle Nature's little attackers from the way you write. You may be quietly defending the integrity of your skin each day, but you sure take us beyond the itchies into pure delight, laughter, wonder and discoveries.
Thank you for your Bravery.