A variety of Scales

Ulysses (Papilo ulysses) on Callistemon flower

Ulysses (Papilo ulysses) on Callistemon flower

Towards the end of the ‘wet’ we often experience extended periods of drizzly rain but now we are happily enjoying some clear, starry nights and beautiful sunny days.  Although cool, the evenings are quite pleasant as long as we remember to put on some extra clothes and to close all the doors to keep in some of the day’s warmth.

Butterflies have been busy feeding on flowering Callistemon – a good height for some photos unlike the Melaleucas which are also very popular with the nectar lovers but too high for me to get a good photo.  Both Melaleuca and Callistemon flowers are constantly visited by birds and butterflies during the day and Spectacled Fruit Bats feast on the Melaleucas at night.  Even though this photo could have been sharper I can’t resist including it because I was so pleased to have two Ulysses in the one shot!   The host plant for Ulysses is Corkwood (Melicope elleryana) a fast growing Rainforest tree which we often include in our revegetation work.

Union Jack Butterfly (Delias mysis mysis)

Union Jack Butterfly (Delias mysis mysis)

The larvae of Union Jack butterflies (Delias mysis mysis) feed on the broad leaves of a red-flowering Mistletoe according to Common & Waterhouse.  Although Mistletoe is a parasitic plant it provides a good source of nectar and so we don’t make much of an effort to discourage it especially as it often flowers when there is little else available.

Now that the days are cooler the cold-blooded creatures are being seen a little more frequently as they make the most of any  patches of sunlight.  I disturbed this young Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) which was lying quietly on some dead grass until I walked down the hill concentrating on the water ahead of me and not watching where I was going. When I heard a movement on the grass I saw that I had disturbed this poor fellow but managed to get a quick photo before he slid off into another pile of mulch.  Although they are a venomous snake we don’t consider Red-bellied Blacks a threat to our safety.  Like most snakes they would prefer to keep out of our way whenever possible.  It appears that this snake has attempted to make itself look bigger by flattening out but I think it looks like it needs a good feed!

Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus)

Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus)

4 responses to “A variety of Scales

  1. Your Red-belly certainly looks like it needs a good feed.
    Lovely Butterflies.

  2. Lovely butterflies! It’s interesting to hear the details of your climate and its effect on the small things around you. This is such a BIG country and so different from place to place.

  3. G’day Barbara,
    I was going to say exactly what Mick said.
    I just commented to Duncan the other day, that down here in Gippsland, we’ve just about seen the last of the butterflies for a while – cold and grey!

    • Thank you Denis, Mick and Gouldiae for your positive comments – one of the joys of reading all your nature blogs is being able to share such a variety of experiences. Our weather has returned to “scattered showers” but our new plantings are enjoying a good water and the sun will return!

      Cheers to you all

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