Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Insect Infestation

It has been a month of insect infestation with renegade termites deciding to make my house their home . One day the toilet door frame was intact and the next the kids tell me there is a gaping hole where the frame used to be. The little pests had eaten clear through the frame and left the paint work intact.

Education can be an expensive thing. I am now educated in the likes of termites, favouring damp dark spaces below the bathroom where a slow leak has left a damp area under the house perfect for a mud mound to house these fascinating creatures. These photo phobic creatures craftily chew away at door jambs and floor boards, remarkably maintaining the structural integrity of what they chew until some heavy weight breaks the surface structure.
Our friendly neighbourhood builder informs me he has walked on roofs that have flexed under their weight and upon further investigation has found the ceiling supports to be totally undermined.
We were lucky to to only suffer minor damage and Danny The Bugger, a very apt name, made short work of chemical eradication our pest problem.

Following the theme of bugs and slugs I appear to have a high attraction to all things creepy crawly. My recent walks at dusk in the OHallaran Hill Reserve or Yurrebilla as known by the Aboriginals of the Greater Mount Lofty Parkland, has exposed me to some unusual variety of insect which I had not seen before. Whilst photographing a particularly pretty purple plant, a native wisteria, I came across what I now know to be Spitfire caterpillars. These unusual bugs collect on mass or in clumps and upon approach will rear up to deter invading marauders.

I went back to video them two days later and found the group had move the length of the bush from the top to the bottom.

I also came across this centipede  that was crossing the open path in the reserve.

I must say it has been a very mild winter in Adelaide and aside from a few very cold nights in July we haven't had to suffer the icy artic winds that we sometimes experience.

Stalks of fennel plants growing wild

This weeks walk with Matilda the family mutt have been warmly pleasant and lovely glowing rays of light have played across the land scape. I particularly like the golden hues and glistening greys seen in some of the flora of the park. Who would think these tired old thistles, standing on their last legs would look so pretty basking in the last rays of the day..

thistle plants

A view from Yurrebilla - OHallaran Hill Reserve looking back to the city of Adelaide

gum nuts of varying eucalyptus plants

a weedy view

weeds no less but very pretty!
warratah linoprint by monique smith 2010

blue emperor dragonfly linoprint by monique smith 2010

I hope you have enjoyed my walk with me and trust you will enjoy the day. Monique.

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