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 / 08.06.2018

Today I received two emails requesting a species identification from mountain residents.More often than not, I refer the enquirer to the Queensland Museum. Today I identified both the creatures, a moth and a spider. Also, this evening, I was asked permission for an early piece of mine about an orange-eyed treefrog in the Tamborine Mountain News to be used in a summary about an excellent recent series of seminars on Resilience.

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Other / 20.05.2018

Jack Hasenpusch emailed me a pdf of a chapter on camouflage and natural history, he and Paul Brock wrote for the book Camouflage Cultures, Beyond the Art of Disappearance. This was in response to a number of questions I asked him about spiny leaf insects, also known as giant prickly stick insects, Extatosoma tiaratum. The females can take a leaf-mimicking or lichen-mimicking shape. I had heard that the lichen-mimicking insects were instars which lost their lichen pattern and reverted to an overall light colour as adults. The pdf confirmed that the lichen pattern can be retained by adult females on rare occasions. The shape of the leaf-mimicking form is so different from the lichen-mimicking form that it is hard to believe they are the same species. I have filmed brown and green leaf-mimicking adult females on the mountain as well as an adult male and late and early lichen-mimicking instars.

 

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Film Diary / 09.05.2018

On my morning walk I happened to glance towards the garden with the cotton shrubs and noticed the bolls dotting the vegetation with their white fluff. I crossed the road to take a closer look and was regaled with a profusion of harlequin bugs clustering on leaves, on unopened bolls, crawling on stems, which totally eclipsed anything I saw and filmed last year. The bugs were early to late instars, with countless males replacing the lone specimens on the shrubs I saw previously. There may have been a greater number of adult females  than before, but because of the profusion of instars it was difficult to tell.

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Other / 08.05.2018

Today I renewed the domain name for this website for another two years until May 17 2020. The cost increased by over 200% which led me not to renew a matching domain name which I thought might have some commercial value. A Chinese company once contacted me wanting to use it, but without making an offer, so I didn’t reply.

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My Travels / 07.05.2018

This year’s stay with Simon & Nicole,  brief as it was, had everything – inter alia, being licked and nuzzled by their cattle dog Pepper; a convivial gathering for Simon’s birthday dinner at the Wellshot hotel in Ilfracombe (a standout being the brilliant birthday cake featuring Shaun the sheep, a present from a professional baker friend of theirs); seeing the Qantas Founders Museum’s Super Constellation being restored, thanks to Nicole (the four impressive engines, lined up on pallets, looked brand new in their shiny grey cowlings, but are not airworthy); attending Pepper’s dog training class, which was a hoot and going on walks with her and swarming flies; binging on minced beef (a keema curry and spaghetti bolognese cooked by Simon) and watching the new 65” telly which was just brilliant. The weather was cloudy, with warm day and night temperatures. I couldn’t have envisaged a more enjoyable time.

The highlight was a grand day out organised by Nicole, touring Noonbah, a working cattle station 160 km south west of Longreach, the final 60 km on well-graded dirt roads. Even before we arrived, I was thrilled to see two wedge-tailed eagles at a road kill. The station is immense,… Read Complete Text

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Film Diary / 28.04.2018

This evening we filmed in a new location, 696 Main Western Road. In addition to Mark, Lumart and Jaap, the party included Karen, a skilled photographer and the owners of the property, Cobie and Kate. They have planted extensive areas of native vegetation to compliment some of the splendid, mature trees which adorn the 3 ½ acre grounds. Mark found several moths for me to film, a juvenile red triangle slug (among several fully grown specimens) and the pièce de résistance, a Robust Velvet Gecko. This is a beautiful creature with a broad, dark grey stripe from its eyes to the tip of its tail, covered in whitish,  lichen crypsis (mimicking) patches. It was attached to the outside of a window at a good angle for filming. The gecko is nearly as big as its leaf-tailed namesake. It is aptly named with its plump body, limbs and tail.