Friday, April 18, 2008

Far North Queensland Butterflies.

I love to see butterflies in my garden and to my delight, the sighting of a small local species of The Monarch Butterfly, came fluttering through this morning as I watered some of the freshly planted pots.

I did capture the Monarch's on camera Click Here to see them, last January whilst on a small vacation and I also did a search for the beautiful Ulysses Butterfly from Queensland. In doing so I came across a slide show so kindly offered for sharing by This Enthusiastic Photographer. Click here

He has a wonderful slide show of butterflies from the Kuranda Butterfly Sanctuary a place I have heard of but never been to, up until now.

I did get to Kuranda a few years back and because there was much to see in between my trip up through the rain forest in the gondola and back down the mountains in the old train, my time was too short to make the trip to the Sanctuary.

Kuranda Butterfly Sanctuary--Far North Queensland, Australia

I was searching originally for this butterfly below. It truly is beautiful. What do you think?

The Ulysses butterfly (Papilio Ulysses), also known as the blue mountain butterfly, is a large Australian swallowtail. The Ulysses butterfly has a wingspan of about 14 cm (5.5 inches). It lives in northeastern Australia along the coast of Queensland. It inhabits tropical rain forest areas and suburban gardens. The Ulysses butterfly's favourite food plant is euodia (Melicope elleryana), a tree with clusters of small pink flowers growing straight out of the branches. The upper side the wings are an iridescent electric blue; the underside is a more subdued black and brown in colouration.

The colours are produced by the microscopic structure of the scales.
Ulysses butterfly at the Melbourne Zoo

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nostalgic Musings As I Plant Pansies.

The song goes like this:
Rain, Rain, go away come again another day.
My song goes this way:
Rain, Rain come and stay
We need you more, every day.

I have finally attempted to plant a few pots up with the beloved little pansies, cosmos and impatiens. The autumn this year has been very beautiful, weather wise with sunny, delightful days and cooler nights.


The ground is still very dry, in fact I dug the ground today to plant some rosemary and yellow daisies and there was no moisture in that soil at all.

I have always loved these sweet little flowers called Pansies. I remember as a girl my very first planting or attempt at planting out seeds were pansy seeds in a pot on the front veranda. My mother was so impressed that she picked some of the beautiful big purple flower heads with the sun gold centres and pressed them in a big book. I know they are in a big book somewhere even today, however I am not too sure which book to look in because it has been so long since I sought them out.

Have you ever pressed a special flower in a big fat book? Or made a daisy chain?

Or eaten the leaves of a nasturtium? Then again if you were brought up near a paddock full of sour sobs, did you ever suck their sour, juicy stems?

Or maybe you ate the parsley straight from the bush? Or one of our very favourite activities was eating the fresh peas out of the pea pods. There were never many left to cook if we children were left to shell the peas.

I remember the big apron my mother wore in the garden and as she picked or planted, her apron with it’s useful big pockets became swollen and full She would often use them as storage vessels for all kinds of vegetables and even for the bantam’s eggs.

We kept Bantams as I was growing up. Those smaller and cuter little chooks, who make the best little mothers, because they are so diligent and determined when sitting on their own eggs and the eggs of other chooks too.

After bringing out a big brood of new chicks they would be soon out searching for new eggs to sit on. Really cute to watch these little bantams, as their little warm bodies with all the pretty feathers fluffed out would cover the eggs, keeping the eggs warm until hatching.

Great little mothers the Bantam hens are for sure and cocky are the little red roosters.

Bantams make the absolute best mums...

It will be Anzac Day here next week on the 25th of April and the weather is renowned for being wet on Anzac Day. So if I plant now and hopefully we get some rain soon, my dry summer garden will revive, albeit minus quite a few of my old favourites that just did not make it through the fifteen consecutive days of above 35 degrees celsius.


R. C. Lehmann

Tufted and bunched and ranged with careless art
Here, where the paving-stones are set apart,
Alert and gay and innocent of guile,
The little pansies nod their heads and smile.
With what a whispering and a lulling sound
They watch the children sport about the ground,
Longing, it seems, to join the pretty play
That laughs and runs the light-winged hours away.
And other children long ago there were
Who shone and played and made the garden fair,
To whom the pansies in their robes of white
And gold and purple gave a welcome bright.
Gone are those voices, but the others came.
Joyous and free, whose spirit was the same;
And other pansies, robed as those of old,
Peeped up and smiled in purple, white and gold.
For pansies are, I think, the little gleams
Of children’s visions from a world of dreams,
Jewels of innocence and joy and mirth,
Alight with laughter as they fall to earth.
Below, the ancient guardian, it may hap,
The kindly mother, takes them in her lap,
Decks them with glowing petals and replaces
In the glad air the friendly pansy-faces.
So tread not rashly, children, lest you crush
A part of childhood in a thoughtless rush
Would you not treat them gently if you knew?
Pansies are little bits of children too