Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Critter Spot: The Hunt...

This hungry little critter was on the lookout for its next meal tonight. Greenfly. Yum!

In the blurry top left corner - the strike!

In the bottom left closeup, you can see the greenfly underneath the ladybird, which was having difficulty in moving on the fabric (a sheet draped by my wife over our back verandah railing). The greenfly escaped so I encouraged the ladybird onto my finger, and placed it in a nearby climber that I have found greenfly on before.

Although, if this is a Southern Ladybird (Cleobora mellyi) which it resembles, then it feeds primarily on psyllids and tortoise beetles, and not greenfly.

Maybe it was just being affectionate!

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Mineral Spot: Biotite...

This is a photograph of a mineral called biotite, one of the mica group of minerals. Biotite is now a group name for phlogopite, siderophyllite and eastonite. The crystals are usually stacked, not often seen as individual crystals such as this one. The field of view is about 4mm and the specimen comes from Jaune, Le Riveau Grande, Puy de Dome in France.

It is also a specimen that will be included in one of my auction lots this week at OZtion...

Critter Spot: Red-Legged Spider...

I assume that this is somewhat related to the Red and Black Spider, although there is not as much red. I also assume that there is a certain amount of toxicity because of the colour. This one found inside our hallway.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Critter Spot: Colourful Caterpillar...

I was out dead-heading roses this morning and came across this colourful little critter. No idea if this is a butterfly or moth caterpillar, let alone what species. Suggestions anyone?

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Hot Spot: Bushfire...

Its bushfire season here again. This is a fire that broke out yesterday at Conningham in southern Tasmania and has already burnt 500Ha. It is still considered active however the Tasmanian Fire Service have it contained and there are no properties currently threatened. Weather conditions are much better today.

The photo was taken from our new house block (the house in the picture is one of our neighbors to be).

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Critter Spot: Iridescent Green Fly...

Tonight, there were a number of these flies cavorting around on one of our pittosporum bushes.

Known as a ‘long-legged fly’, possibly Austrosciapus connexus, I am now wanting to capture one with its prey! Morbid, I know.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Odd Spot: Extreme Comb-over...

Spent a few hours in town today and took this photo (using my mobile) in the Elizabeth Street Mall in central Hobart.

Isn't this the most extreme comb-over ever seen?

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Mineral Spot: Sulphur...

The name sulphur is given to a yellow mineral that is made solely from the element, and is often seen in volcanic fumeroles amongst other things. This specimen is unusual in that it has a colourless gypsum crystal growing on the sulphur crystal. The specimen comes from Austria.

It is also a specimen that will be included in one of my auction lots when I post my first for 2008 at OZtion...

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Critter Spot: Flying Dragon...

Had a flying visit to our block today and captured what I hope is the first of many flying dragons (what our kids used to call dragonflies!). There are lots of dragons and damsels (damselflies) hunting around the small dam down in a gully.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Mineral Spot: Barite...

First post for 2008! Happy New Year to everyone!

This is the second time that I have posted a barite, (see here for the previous one). The reason for this one, other than its a nice specimen of course, is that I don't know anything about the location where it was found: North Kyle Mine, Drake, New South Wales.

If anyone can provide any information, it would be most appreciated.