Monday, January 24, 2011

Little critters

Yer, I know, 'critters' is probably an 'Americanism', a corruption of 'creatures' ..
This is a bat. A very small bat. Don't ask me what sort, but it's the second time it has come into my house. Didn't know it was there, as the shirt you see lower left corner of the kitchen table was piled on top of it (or to be more accurate- unbeknownst to me, it had crawled underneath the shirt). Had a rare "tidy up" moment, moved the shirt and .. erk, wazzat? It was quite late at night, hence the 'flashlight photo'. Decided to leave it there, deal with it in the morning, so put shirt back on top of it, turned light out; went to bed.

About ten minutes later, dozing off, felt a slight breeze on my cheek. ?? think i, thought that had closed all the doors; dozed off, another brief breeze. Mmm, think i, summats not right, so turned light on. Whoo, there's little bat; soundlessly whizzing around kitchen. Suffice it to say, it was captured without harm and released into the half moon night.

have no idea what these things are ..
.. er, yep, caterpillars; but what sort, no idea. First saw them as a clump up on one of the branches of a gum tree near the gate (entomology is another 'foreign' word .. heh). Walked out the back door one afternoon .. and there they were, migrating. Was fascinated. Have no idea where they went on their slow progress, as they'd disappeared when next went out several hours later.

You can see a couple of 'tails' raised. The 'leaders' seem to be 'communicating' with the rest of the group, as whenever they encountered something 'new' (like the blue polytarp) or there was a change in direction, the 'leaders' would raise their tails and 'tap' on the ones behind, who then 'tapped' on the ones behind them.
Curious.

4 comments:

Davo said...

The pic of the migrating caterpillars was taken last month. NOW the backyard is a kaleidescope of multicoloured butterflies. Has to be a story (analogy?) in there, somewhere.

John L said...

Aren't they the ones that get up trees in big clumps and spit at you when you go near them?

Davo said...

Dunno John, have a pic of them up the tree, but at no point did they ever spit at me.

Peta Akester said...

Steelblue Sawflies are the larvae (grubs) of wasp-like creatures that are stingless and not related to the social wasps you would be more familiar with.

Sawflies are harmless to humans and animals, but they do defend themselves with eucalyptus oils regurgitated from their crops (stomachs). These oils give off a pleasant smell and are harmless unless eaten – even then they are unlikely to cause any harm.

The larvae feed on leaves and will remain on a single tree throughout their lives as long as enough food is available