One down-side of digital photography is that it is so easy to take too many photos. Its consequence, for me at least, is a lot of time spent sorting them and throwing out the not-so-good ones.
I can spend even more time trying to identify insects I have photographed, and moths are a particular problem: there are just so many of them! The introduction to CSIRO’s Australian Moths Online notes that, ‘There are about 22 000 species of Australian moths, of which only half have been described [i.e. scientifically identified] so far.’ For comparison, there are only about 320 species of dragonflies, 420 species of butterflies and about 800 species of birds, making any of them far easier for the average person to identify.
Over the last year I have been photographing moths whenever they came my way but rarely finding time to identify them. They ‘came my way’ in great numbers during the last Wet season, flying to the house lights every evening, and I was almost relieved when numbers dropped during the Dry. ‘At last,’ I thought, ‘time to sort them out!’
But I didn’t find the time, and now the Wet is approaching and the moths returning. Speiredonia mutabiliswas special enough to go to some trouble for, but I can see myself getting further and further behind from now on. (If anyone wants a few dozen moth photos to sort, please apply here!) Three recent guests:
It has been a long dry cool winter but things are beginning to change.
A bedroom window looks out towards Mt Stuart and it gives us our first glimpse of the weather every morning. Blue sky? Obvious. Clouds? Ditto. No Mount Stuart? One of us will turn to the other and say, ‘Someone has stolen Mount Stuart!’
It’s an old family joke, going back to the time when one of the children was engrossed in a (very primitive) computer game called Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? which entailed solving outrageous crimes all over the world: ‘Someone has stolen the Eiffel Tower’, etc. Back in the real world and the present … if we can’t see Mt Stuart, cloud has come right down over it. That is a wet-season phenomenon and it happened last Sunday for the first time in months. It happened again on Thursday morning just to show it wasn’t an aberration, but we returned to cool dry conditions again this weekend.
The plants are preparing for a change, too. The Macadamia has been flowering, the Poplar Gum has lost its bark and is losing leaves (for the first time since Yasi, incidentally), the native Wisteria is flowering fit to bust, the Callistemon is doing well, etc. Many of our trees here lose their leaves, come into flower and then come into new leaf in a matter of a few weeks around the end of the dry season. Those are traditional autumn and spring changes, of course and ‘ought’ to be six months apart.
As I’ve said before, our seasons align very poorly with European-style spring-summer-autumn-winter. An artist friend of mine researched local Aboriginal season descriptions some years ago. I don’t remember them all but they were (roughly) pre-Wet, Wet, post-Wet growing season, drying-off and cool dry. Much more appropriate!