Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pollinators and Pollinator Predators

In a stand of wildflowers by Lake Kittamaqundi: I was drawn by glimpses of cardinal flower, a native that's hard to find growing naturally, because people pick the flowers so much. (I'm trying it in my small garden at home, and it attracts hummingbirds.) Then I noticed the proliferation of pollinating insects on the other flowers and a praying mantis lurking below the flowers. The monster fly in the last photos, I learned later, is a Tachinid species. Although a pollinator itself, this fly will lay its eggs in the eggs or larvae of butterflies and moths, then the Tachinid larvae feed on their hosts.

(The cardinal flower and the related blue Lobelia can be bought at nurseries.)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kangaroos at the Old Telegraph Station, Alice Springs

Probably all euros, the common species of large kangaroo in that part of Australia. (Red kangaroos might also be seen.) The female with baby who isn't as shy as the others likely was raised by volunteers in Alice Springs after her own mother was killed on the road.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Black-footed Rock Wallabies, near Alice Springs, Australia, 1996/97


Two can be found in the first photo. The one on the rock at center appears to be carrying a baby, too.

The wallabies' view of the usually dry Todd River as it sifts towards town.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Perentie (Australian wildlife)

I'm scanning photos taken with a film camera during a visit to Australia in the late 1990s. Here's a record of a fantastic encounter with wildlife. The Perentie is Australia's largest lizard, second largest in the world after the closely related Komodo Dragon. I came across this one as I was leaving Trephina Gorge east of Alice Springs in central Australia. It let me walk along with it, thought when I got too close once, it raised its haunches and hissed loudly. I stopped and let it wander off into the bush.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Little Patuxent River; a Change in the View of the Lake

The Little Patuxent River, as it flows along the east side of Lake Kittamaqundi. A nice scene here, but our small rivers and streams are susceptible to excessive flow from all the storm drains in the area. Stream banks often have a gouged out look as a result of the heavy erosion. You can see the artificial bank installed here to mitigate that effect.

Below: The taller but mostly dead tree which provided a point of interest and a perch for eagles and ospreys finally fell over some time last week. The first picture shows the view last Thursday evening. The second was taken early in June of this year. The view is from the path by the Sheraton Hotel. (The tag -- towards the north end of the lake -- on this post will show variations on a theme.