Yellow paper wasp nest

Some years ago I noted that I had seen yellow paper wasps, Ropalidia romandi, in my garden but hadn’t seen the nest, presumably also in my garden, which they were coming from. Its location could have been vital information, saving me from a nasty confrontation, so I kept on looking – with no success at all.

I finally spotted it very recently, above the roof-line of our high-set house in a paperbark tree (please visit this page if you want to call it a bottlebrush – it’s both) and overhanging the neighbours’ fence. A clear view of it was only possible from one or two locations even when I knew it was there, so I don’t feel too chagrined at missing it for so long.

Yellow Paper Wasp nest on Melaleuca
Yellow Paper Wasp nest on Melaleuca

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Sawpit Gorge revisited


White Mountains National Park was named for the pale grey sandstone of its rugged hills and it earns its name even from space, as this satellite image  of its North-west corner shows. (The river at top left is the Flinders; this map puts it into context.) The whole of the park is difficult country; easy public access is restricted to the SE corner of it, where the highway between Pentland and Torrens Creek cuts across the park.

But for all its forbidding landscape it is a botanist’s paradise, Continue reading “Sawpit Gorge revisited”

A stroll up Mount Marlow

Perfect winter weather enticed fifteen walkers to join the Wildlife Queensland monthly excursion on the Sunday just past. The group met at the Freshwater bird hide (see Town Common map (pdf) if you’re not familiar with the park) at 9.00 and ambled along the causeway (someone called it a “dam wall”) to the foot of Many Peaks range near Bald Rock, then up to the top of Mount Marlow, the highest point of the range. I walked down it a year ago and commented that “I would rather go down it than up” but really, going up wasn’t too demanding. Continue reading “A stroll up Mount Marlow”

Freshwater Crocodiles in Ross River

We know they are there, but we don’t often see them – freshwater crocodiles in Ross River, that is.

Freshies, as many locals call them, are smaller than salties. They are generally shy, attacking only when startled into defending themselves; and when they do, their narrow jaws and relatively small teeth can’t do as much damage as a saltie’s heavy head, although the Australian Museum warns us that they can still cause serious injuries.

They can also be hard to spot, even in plain view.

crocodile on log
Catching some sunshine

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Townsville’s 2019 floods – consequences in daily life

This post extends my April post, Townsville’s 2019 floods, by mentioning some consequences, both temporary and ongoing, of the flood damage.

Accelerated decisions
  • Old people flooded out of their homes may not return but find retirement accommodation, a move they may have been resisting for years.
  • All sorts of people will be replacing furniture they were already planning to replace because it was looking shabby.
Cancellations
  • Both of the main performing arts spaces, Civic Theatre and Riverway, were flood damaged and had to be closed for repairs, forcing the cancellation of events scheduled well into the middle of the year. Civic Theatre, I know, is re-opening for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in July – but then re-closing to finish repairs.
  • Sports grounds were also flood damaged, forcing the cancellation of events up to national-festival level.
  • The Alice River bridge on Hervey’s Range Road was severely damaged and needs to be rebuilt. Rumour (which is all I have) has it that the road won’t re-open until late this year. Until it does, Hervey’s Range residents can only get into town via Black River Road and the Highway, an extra 10 Km each way.

Continue reading “Townsville’s 2019 floods – consequences in daily life”