Week 4 April 2009: Rain = 1 mm the garden is becoming a trifle dry.
This week we saw something that we have read about but never seen before. Near the shed we came across three lines of processional caterpillars heading, in a determined way, from west to east (see image). We had an appointment in Armidale so we did not have time to observe their ultimate destination. They were very hairy caterpillars about five centimetres long. Two lines had about 12 caterpillars in each procession whilst the third had over 25 insects in a line. Late in the week we found a large nest at the base of a large Acacia implexa just west of the house. The nest consisted of thick webs and hairs shed from the caterpillars. A silken trail led up the tree. This was probably laid down by the caterpillars to lead them to the canopy of the wattle. We are assuming that this is where the processions started although it is about 100 metres from were we observed the insects. The caterpillar hairs are very irritating and some people have been known to break out in a rash on contact.
Also on the wildlife theme this week we saw a small Red-bellied Black Snake near the house. This is rather late for reptiles to be around with the cold weather setting-in.
One of our daughterís and our grandchildren visited for a few days this week. We had a great time and visited Dangars Falls in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. Very little water going over the falls. Throwing Frisbees around was another activity during their visit.
We also had a visit from friends from Inverell. We took them on the usual guided tour of the garden. These visits are becoming a regular event and we enjoy explaining to people our gardening philosophy.
On a different note one day one of us spent a couple of hours in a dentistís chair having work done on our teeth. We would much rather show people around the garden.
Anzac Day fell during this week and coincided with our talkback radio programme. We used Anzac Day as the theme and talked about the Australian plants used in Commonwealth War Graves.
New on the Site: Black Swans and Sulphur Crested Cockatoos.