Today I finished checking the texts accompanying the images for typos. While doing so, I found myself improving a number of texts.
I met Hilary Furlong over coffee today. She organises a monthly programme of afternoon events at the Zamia Theatre on behalf of the Tamborine Mountain Progress Association. She had asked me to show some of my videos when I attended one of last year’s events and we wanted to fix a date for my presentation. We settled on Saturday April 27.
Exactly twenty years ago, I wrote the first entry in my Film Diary. It was about filming the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean. The project’s duration didn’t figure in my thoughts at the time. One thing I could not have predicted was that the 20th anniversary coincided with a scheduled night walk. Before we set out, we – Hugh, Jaap, Mark, Robyn, Lumart, Karen and me – raised a glass of Veuve Clicquot to the health of the project, which I want to keep going as long as I can, and exchanged heartfelt words and thoughts.
At Lumart’s suggestion, after a long absence and two weather delays, we were at Witches Falls National Park. Paradoxically, recent walks have been both shorter and longer than ever. Shorter in distance covered, longer in time filming. This may have been the shortest yet. The track into the park comprises a level path which extends more than a kilometre before the descent to the shelf land which is its core. It was 10 o’clock when we turned back towards the car park and we were a fair distance from the first steps downhill. Even then, we found two frogs I had never… Read Complete Text
I have just uploaded the first gallery page since April this year. Jess has up-sized the enlargements for new and newly created images, which makes a tremendous difference. Steve and I did a number of fresh frame captures from old footage, some of which I have uploaded, and the enlargements all benefit from the up-sizing.
Eureka Productions from Sydney, got in touch about a wildlife series they are making for Animal Planet, with a request to use some of my possum video which they saw on youtube. I agreed, as long as I received payment for providing high resolution footage. Today, an email arrived stating that payment had been approved. The footage is needed to compare an Australian with an American possum. Both are marsupials, but they look quite different. I duly signed the licensing agreement this evening at Steve’s, and will email it and the footage to Eureka tomorrow or the day after.
PS The fee was paid into my account on 19 September.
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.
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.
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.
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.