Bird of Paradise flower

About five years ago I bought five plants expecting them to thrive since they seem to survive in the most neglected gardens. They haven’t grown well, I think at least one is not much bigger than when I planted it but at last there is a flower on one and another flower spike forming. I presume this one isn’t fully opened yet.

Also flowering at the moment is a self seeded Sunflower. I thought they all had black centres but apparently not.

Another flowering at the moment is a lovely little Bottlebrush, I find the buds fascinating.

 

Overheated Eastern Spinebill

Eastern Spinebill

I usually consider myself lucky to get a photo of these little birds. They’re so quick and flit from flower to flower with their tails up at a perky angle. I love to watch them hovering like Hummingbirds but have never managed to catch the moment.

This afternoon I spotted this poor little Spinebill sitting on a bird bath looking very unhappy. It allowed me to get within a couple of metres so I was able to spray it gently. It’s been very hot all day, it’s now almost 5:30 in the evening and still 45 deg. C.

Wanderer Life Cycle – complete

I decided to interfere with nature! The lovely healthy Swan Bushes had plenty of eggs on them but I could never find a single caterpillar.

The eggs on a much spindlier bush in a different position all seemed to hatch. I didn’t think there was any way for that bush to sustain all the caterpillars on it so I removed about half, put them in a terrarium and fed them with leaves from the flourishing bushes. They thrived.

It only takes a few days for the tiny caterpillar to emerge from the egg.

The caterpillar moults five times before it is big enough to start the change into a pupa. It seems to hang for at about a day before the radical changes start. I have no idea how the shiny gold dots are formed but the chrysalis is beautiful.

The colour of the chrysalis changes and by about the ninth day the wings are clearly visible through the now transparent Chrysalis.

This one was a little sunburnt near the top.

 

It seems to me that the butterflies emerge mid morning, I think it’s possible that gives the butterfly a chance to be warmed by the sun a little before it sets off on its first flight.

Click on an image to go to the slideshow.

After the wings are fully “unpacked” the butterflies seem to spend at least half an hour opening and closing them before they make any attempts to fly.

When released outside they are in no hurry to make their first flight but when they do, unlike birds fledging, they simply take off perfectly.

All that’s left of the “Nursery Bush” after the seven caterpillars I left on it have pupated.

Superb Fairy Wrens

I don’t think I saw any Fairy Wrens last year at all, they didn’t even come when the “Stinky Bush” was flowering and they seem to love that. Today they reappeared and although the Red Wattlebirds chase them off as soon as they’re aware of them I did manage to get a couple of shots.

Female Wren
Male Wren

Below is a flower of the stinky bush, I have no idea what it is but it’s certainly tough.