Film Diary / 01.11.2014

Today something utterly wonderful happened. I was on my walk in Driscoll Lane when a beautiful turquoise and gold dragonfly whizzed by and entered a hedge a short distance in front of me. Much to my delight I discovered it resting on a twig in full view. I opened up my PANCAM, took several photos and a 30sec video of the dragonfly, unconvinced that they amounted to anything regardless of the fact that the sun was  interfering with my view of the monitor. I continued on my walk and bought a couple of items at the post office, determined to return with my Sony on the off chance, in order to do the subject justice. In less than 15 minutes I was back and to my immense relief the dragonfly was where I had left it. I filmed 30 seconds of hand-held footage purely to get the dragonfly on tape before resorting to my tripod. In all, I changed the camera position five times, shooting many minutes of tape. I didn’t check the time of my return, but I would have been filming for between 20 minutes and half an hour, possibly longer. I was setting up my last… Read Complete Text


Other / 30.10.2014

The 3 latest videos appearing on the site today, bring the total to over 250. I have done the shot-selection for another 30 which Steve and I will be working our way through.


Film Diary / 21.10.2014

Broadband service was restored this morning, meaning the outage lasted 6 days. I’m waiting for the settings for the 5 newest videos which I posted on vimeo today, to appear on my website so that I can send out a newsletter to subscribers. The site trawls through vimeo once a day. Consequently the completed videos should show up tomorrow.


Website / 17.10.2014

An email arrived confirming that my resource has been re-harvested and with the updated link to my Gallery showing 340 taxa (species) instead of the previous 220. It was in reply to my email of 14 October drawing attention to the fact that the list we supplied on 30 September contained some 350 items. The discrepancy is the result of replacing two different names which EOL regards as synonyms, with a valid name occupying a single page.


Film Diary / 15.10.2014

The second night shoot of the season in Palm Grove NP was petering out after a promising start, until Robyn spotted a cricket with a small body but inordinately long hind legs which I am pretty sure I have filmed before and Hugh spotted a large, very hairy caterpillar which was new to me. Not far away were two mating flies I also wanted to film with my PANCAM, which I was mysteriously unable to switch on, though there was sufficient battery life the last time I used it. This was the second equipment malfunction of the day. (I was working on the settings of the latest videos when my broadband suffered an outage. Telstra is sending a technician to my place tomorrow morning). We were not far from the entrance when I filmed a large trapdoor spider frozen on the path in mid prowl. Then, just inside the park I was lucky enough to film a pademelon perhaps 15 metres away amongst the vegetation. It was a female with joey, whose presence was revealed by its movement in the pouch. The pademelon sat quietly for several minutes before slowly moving deeper into the undergrowth. This was the first… Read Complete Text


Other / 14.10.2014

For the first time since 29 July, due to my overseas trip and a combination of personal arrangements affecting Steve and me, we were only able to manage a working session this evening. We captured 90 frames, all but a few from the two most recent HD tapes, bringing the record up to date, except that I am well advanced on the next tape. We also put together 5 new videos.


Film Diary / 12.10.2014

The following email from Greg Edgecombe, sent in July this year, wonderfully highlights the intricacies of species identification. It concerns a House Centipede . Today (Sunday) I sought and received Greg’s permission to post it on my blog – all the more impressive because he is a paleontologist specialising in centipedes and Merit Researcher at the Natural History Museum in London. Previously he worked at the Australian Muesum in Sydney for 14 years. Greg was contacted by Bob Mesibov who is based in Tasmania and has helped me with centipede enquries.

Bob and Peter,

Scutigeromorph IDs based on photos are usually highly dubious and I would definitely put this one into that category.  Determining a species requires at least staring at tergite 6 down a microscope at high magnification and working out the relationships of spines, bristles, hairs and whatnot.  If there’s only one species known from a well-surveyed area you can stick your neck out a bit more confidently with a photo alone, but SE QLD harbours multiple species of pretty similar Thereuoneminae.

The name Allothereua maculata has been used for pretty much everything in Australia.  It’s a Western Australian… Read Complete Text


Film Diary / 08.10.2014

We drew a blank last week on our first night foray of the new season, but tonight was a success on two counts. At Curtis Falls I at last obtained footage of the Catfish which I have unsuccessfully tried to film before. The vision was never clear, perhaps the water was too murky. There were up to 3 fish in the rock pool below what was no more than a trickle. Also at Curtis Falls, I filmed a Black-spotted Semi-slug on a rock with my PANCAM, obtaining much closer footage of the mollusc than with my Sony.


Website / 30.09.2014

The updated XML files we sent before my overseas trip were all successfully harvested and are on my EOL gallery, BUT they replaced the  existing material. I should have known better than not to include the existing files with the new ones, especially after Andrew asked me if he had sent everything, meaning everything. Anyway, today we have sent the files to EOL and I await news of their successful harvesting.


My Travels / 14.09.2014

I was away from 7 August to 14 September. The UK comprised Somerset and London with a day trip to York and Europe comprised Austria and Germany. I was about to start on Germany when I inadvertantly deleted everything I wrote on Somerset and Austria which had taken me several days. No save window appeared. It seems that somehow I had over-ridden the entire document, of which my UK/Europe post was part. This has not happened to me before. I simply don’t have the will or the time to try and replicate what I wrote. Suffice to say that I had a most enjoyable stay with Clive in Somerset and with Herbert & Gil Distel in Katzelsdorf.

What had been a splendid Summer in England and Austria had vanished without trace in August so that my time in both countries involved successfully dodging the rain (it was felicitous how often rain coincided with meals, stopping once we had finished eating) and having to contend with unseasonal cold.

On my first afternoon in Somerset we went shopping in Taunton where I found yellow cotton dusters edged with red stitching, the first item on my shopping list, and a… Read Complete Text