A humid morning makes walking in the bush a little slower, but in nature the humidity also brings on an enormous amount of activity with butterflies and moths. We encountered two orchard butterflies just beside the white line on the Calder Highway. Wonder how long they would stay there with vehicles passing by at 100km an hour?
Leaving the highway we proceeded down a bush track and immediately began to notice many different and very active butterflies and moths. We observed five different species in the space of a few hundred metres. Of course we were keen to take photographs of every different moth or butterfly, but they were so active we soon gave up on this rather difficult task. Spotting so many different insects compensated for the rather uncomfortable weather conditions during an hour’s walk.
Increase in humidity and insects has also increased the activities of birds and much entertainment can be had watching birds catching insects on the wing. Some non-indigenous plants such as bracelet honey myrtle are flowering in profusion near our garden. We have counted up to ten different insects feasting on the nectar at one time.
In the forest Spring is certainly over, but a few late flowering plants are still evident such as the locally common Broombush. With no rain, the ground is dry and animal tracks are easily seen on the ground. As we set off on our morning walk we often see tracks of goannas, birds, snakes, lizards and at present a lot of hares. It’s always an interesting start to contemplate what creatures have passed along this track since the last time we were there.
So once again walks in the natural environment continue to provide diverse and interesting observations, which any one can do.
Article and photo by Annette Robertson, Wedderburn Conservation Management Network “Observers”
Figure 1: Photograph of orchard butterflies on bitumen road (Calder Highway)