I was on parade well before official opening time this morning and was rewarded with a a nice shot of a butterfly. Readers with stamina will have met Heliophorus epicles before. It is common here but usually rests with its wings folded. Before the morning had started to warm up I found one exposing itself to the world.
Quite the dandy! I also found a rather odd looking miniature easter egg, hanging by a silk thread. I posted the picture on Facebook and within 20 minutes had some great information. Needless to say my guess was wrong. It is not an easter egg. Apparently they come in silver foil wrappers with pink bows tied around them and my field guide doesn’t have anything like that.
The best guess is that this is the cocoon of Chalops sp., an ichneumonid wasp. However it seems there are other genera with similar cocoons so I need to dig deeper. The obvious answer is to bring it home and rear it through and see what emerges. I can just imagine Mrs. Ha tolerating that. What’s that on the sideboard? A wasp cocoon. Get rid of it! In days of yore, before Mrs. Ha wove her magic on me, I used to keep all sorts of things in the fridge/freezer. But alas nowadays that has been deemed unhygienic and moths etc are no longer welcome in the kitchen.
I next went up to the bridge over the ponds in mosquito alley and boy the mozzies are back in business. Last week I only saw a couple. This morning I was bitten several times. I heard a strange call that I am checking out. I suspect it is a frog but I have gone to the guru of amphibs, Michael Lau at WWF to see if he can help. Whilst there I checked my fungi from last week. They are paler now, fading away. Then I noticed some dark bracket fungi and tried to get decent images of them.These remind me of sandstone strata. I grew up in an area of Old Devonian red sandstone and as a kid we used to go to the old quarry and break open slabs of sandstone in the hope of finding fossils. Our RE teacher was nicknamed Fossil but he wasn’t in there. He seemed to be about 140 to us as 11 year olds. He had a thick white moustache and was a thoroughly amiable old buffer. Never gave us a moment of trouble. I hope he felt the same way about his class.
And finally, the power of FB again. I posted an image of an epiphyte asking what exactly it was I was seeing. Within 5 minutes I had this answer from the brilliant Mercury Wong, a young man who seems to know everything about botany:
What you can see in your photo is one of the epiphytic fern – Lemmaphyllum microphyllum, their fronds are dimorphic, those ovate fronds are sterile one while the one with orange thingy underneath are fertile one. The orange thingy you see is their sporangia which contain spore for reproduction (Fern would not produce seed).
Isn’t it amazing. People share their knowledge so willingly and generously. And that’s your lot for today. Tomorrow I have a busy day. Dentist, lunch, bored meeting and finally a catch up with an old friend in the evening. So I suspect it will be a nil return from me tomorrow. Thursday is even worse. 8.30am until late evening. I don’t know how people cope who have to work 5 days a week. Where do you find the time when there are so many bugs out there?