Peter’s Blog

I need to place on record my feeling that overwhelmingly throughout my life, my contact with my fellow men, women and children has been a total delight.
It is a recurring pleasure which I experience each day and is among the precious things which makes my life rewarding and worth living, not least because moments of the keenest enjoyment can as readily occur with a complete stranger as with family and friends.

 


 

The ‘Film Diary’ entries are selected items from the diary I keep whenever I am filming. To check location references, click on ‘Tamborine Mountain’ on the top information bar then hit the ‘Tamborine Mountain’ button on the map.

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Other / 25.07.2018

Uploading the 500th video on vimeo couldn’t be a more fitting subject for this, the 500th  blog post. The video is of a melanic (black) golden orb spider, which I filmed in my garden. It is a variant of the dominant lighter-coloured form.

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Website / 17.07.2018

Jess emailed me with a link to the new site wanting my initial feedback to the direction she is working in. It’s a lot different to the current site, most notably, the wider page which will take a bit of getting used to. But I like what she’s doing. This post also predates the 500th.

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Website / 06.07.2018

To recap about the website – we were forced to close the site down in October 2017 because it became corrupted. The long-delayed resurrected version went live in late February 2018 without the video harvesting and gallery sort order (sorting the position of images on the page) functions.  A situation which the developer refused to remedy. The only additional work he carried out was to create a new ‘Website’ category in early April. Fortunately, I was able to continue uploading images and posts. The idea was to also introduce new features, but the developer flatly refused to do any more work so I was forced to look elsewhere.

Steve introduced me to Jess Murphy of BeITsafe and today I paid her first invoice.

This post predates the 500th, but for obvious reasons, I had to make the later post the 500th.

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Film Diary / 26.06.2018

Dragon head fits the bright green caterpillar I found on this morning’s walk. I have never seen its like, with four menacing horns growing from its head. But it is smooth-skinned and harmless. Tailed emperor, Charaxes sempronius, is the name of the butterfly it becomes. The butterfly has a wingspan of up to 11 cm. It occurs throughout Australia other than Tasmania, though mainly in tropical and subtropical regions.

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Film Diary / 18.06.2018

That is how emails from Chris Burwell of the Queensland Museum, who has long been my mainstay on insect identification, are now titled. Chris doesn’t just provide an attribution when possible, he adds snippets of fascinating information. Today’s arrival was a gem. Without Lumart’s sophisticated uv torch, we would never have seen the shield bug on the forest floor, one night in April this year. I filmed it under the spotlight as well as under uv. It was a female Peltocopta crassiventris which is unique in transporting her hatchlings under the concave underside of her abdomen. This feat qualifies the species for inclusion in a CSIRO list of five of Australia’s most amazing examples of animal behaviour.

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Other / 11.06.2018

Last year, I filmed and photographed a cotton shrub growing in a front garden, starting with the flowers in January, then the pods and the first cotton boll in March and finally a cotton harlequin bug in early April, followed by a female tending her newly laid eggs two weeks later. I photographed the nymphs on the 3rd of June, within a day of their hatching. The female never left her eggs for an incredible six weeks. At most, I counted ten bugs scattered throughout the shrubs at any one time, plus eventually, the hatchlings.

Noticing bolls on the shrub in early May this year, I crossed the road to take a look and was greeted by swarms of nymphs in various stages of development and plenty of adults, on leaf after leaf and crawling on stems, which I avidly photographed and filmed, returning for more photographs on succeeding days. Today I took another look and photographed a late instar female. There were more bugs than ever. I knocked on the door and spoke to one of the owners who admitted that he had never seen so many in the five years since he planted the shrubs.