Signs of Spring
|Slender Hovea (Hovea lorata), Bellbowrie|
Though it may be introducing itself to us gently this year, spring has definitely arrived in Brisbane! Temperatures have been slightly cooler than average, but decent rains from some robust storms have allowed the landscape to enter the new season with vigour.
|Rainbow Bee-eater, Ormiston|
|Purple Swamphen, Southport|
A strange sight confronted me in Purga Nature Reserve earlier this month. In the dry swamp woodland there, I found a terrestrial termite mound playing host to a Termite Powderpuff (Podaxis beringamensis). This peculiar organism is a large fungi that has evolved to live inside termite mounds around northern Australia. For most of its life, the fungi lives inside the mound feeding off termite waste. When it is time for it to reproduce however, it rises up and bursts through the hard mound exterior, releasing spores into the air that will settle near other termite colonies. Thank you to the Facebook group 'SEQ Fungi' for identifying this species and teaching me about it!
|Termite Powderpuff, Purga|
One last sign of spring I've noticed is that on warm days, the cicadas have begun singing again. At a little highway stop off on the way to the Gold Coast a few weeks ago, a charming little Black Tree Ticker (Birrima varians) landed on me and posed for a portrait. This species is easy to recognise because it is the only local cicada that commonly sings in flight, so if you see it zig-zagging and 'zitting' through the air, you can now greet it by name. Wild Brisbane is a friendly little place!
|Black Tree Ticker, Ashmore|