Bromeliads and a little frog

The wonder of Bromeliads…

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Beautiful Bromeliad, Aechmea fasciata
A foliage form of a spectacularly flowered bromeliad native to Brazil.

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Neoregelia carolinae
Neoregelia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Bromeliaceae, subfamily Bromelioideae, native to South American rainforests.
The genus name is for Eduard August von Regel, Director of St. Petersburg Botanic Gardens in Russia (1815–1892). -Wikipedia

 

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Guzmania Bromeliad

Had to include this!  A Pineapple is a Bromeliad!

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineapple
The pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical plant with an edible fruit, also called a pineapple and the most economically significant plant in the family Bromeliaceae. The pineapple is indigenous to South America where it has been cultivated for many centuries. Pic- Public domain.
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Australian brown frog enjoying our garden. The life cycle of most frogs is well known. They lay eggs in water. Little tadpoles hatch from the eggs. The tadpoles continue to live in the water until they develop into frogs.
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Ref.  https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/curricula/poison-frog
But the life cycle of the poison-arrow frog found in Central and South America has a few unusual twists! For one thing, this frog lays its eggs on land. The female deposits a few eggs in a cluster of jelly under a leaf or in a small burrow in the ground. After the male frog fertilizes them, he guards them until they hatch into tadpoles. Then the tiny tadpoles wiggle onto their mother’s back, so that she can carry them to a water-filled bromeliad that she has chosen for their home. The journey may take several days if she climbs high into the forest canopy
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The poison-arrow frog drops the tadpoles into the rainwater in the bromeliad, each tadpole in a separate tiny pool that has collected between the leaves of the plant. The tadpoles feed on algae and mosquito larvae, but to be sure they have food, the female frog returns again and again to deposit a single unfertilized egg in the water for each tadpole. After 6 – 8 weeks, the tadpoles emerge as frogs and return to the forest floor..

Banksia by the sea

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Walking through the bush toward the coast.
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Native Banksia growing by the sea.
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Lovely Banksias: The plants in the family Proteaceae, have many beautiful and well-known representatives in Africa and Australia. Banksia is a well-known Australian genus. The bottle brush has attractive flowers and remarkable cone-like fruits. 
Interestingly, there are no important food crops originating from Australia, despite its large area and range of climatic zones. In the family Proteaceae, Macadamia is the most internationally-significant food plant of any Australian native species; it’s very fat-rich nuts (75%) are widely available and much appreciated.
Reference: https://www.botany.one/2013/01/proteaceae-banksia-macadamia-nuts-and-the-annals-of-botany-cover/
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The Banksias grow along the dramatic coastline of the Victorian South Coast, Australia.
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Some years ago seeds from this lovely Banksia were collected and planted in good soil. The plants are now establishing but yet to flower.

So once again, patience is needed.

The Bible says that God’s Word is like seed…..

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Daddy Long Legs Spider

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Aptly named! Daddy Long Legs spiders are easily recognised by their extremely long, skinny legs and small body. They are cream to pale brown. Some species have darker markings on their legs and abdomen.
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Daddy Long Legs spiders carry their egg sacs in their jaws at all times, with the exception of eating, until the eggs hatch. Then, the newly hatched babies crawl onto the mother’s body for a brief stretch of time. It takes about a year for the baby spiders to develop from egg to adult. Male Daddy Long Legs spiders typically live for about one year and die after mating. Females can live for three years. Reference: livescience.com
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These spiders were found behind a wooden panel in the garage. They are also commonly found in our homes. They make a thin, tangled web in sheltered positions where they are unlikely to be disturbed.  The spiders’ successful use of these human-made structures has made it one of the most common spiders in Australia.
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The Daddy Long Legs spider feeds on insects and other spiders. Daddy Long Legs spiders are known to catch and kill the deadly Redback spider. It swiftly wraps up its prey with it’s amazingly dexterous long legs before the captor can get close enough to harm the Daddy Long Legs. Once the more deadly spider is immobilised, it is easy to bite and kill. The myth that Daddy Long Legs spiders have the most toxic venom of all spiders has probably grown from observations that the Daddy Long Legs spider will kill and eat a Redback spider. However, there is no scientific evidence to back this up. The venom of the Daddy Long Legs spider is not actually that potent, even for insects. Reference: The Australian Museum.

It had been thought that the fangs of this spider were incapable of piercing human skin. Recently, however, it was shown that the tiny fangs (about 0.25 mm) were actually capable of piercing human skin.In a test done on Mythbusters, the stinging sensation produced was very short-lived. Most reputable sources still say that this species would never be considered as harmful to humans.  Reference: The Australian Museum.

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If the Daddy-long-legs Spider is disturbed in the web it responds by setting up a very fast, spinning motion, becoming a blur to anyone watching. I have seen them rotating under threat and endeavoured to cause this one to do it but not this time!

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Picturesque Eden, NSW, Australia

A spectacular visit to Eden, NSW, Australia

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The Port of Eden is set in magnificent Twofold Bay on Australia’s East Coast.
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The Port of Eden is the third deepest natural harbour in the southern hemisphere.
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A fishing vessel, with Eden mussels for sale.
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Eden historically prospered in whaling, fishing and agriculture.
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Twofold Bay is also known for the “Killers of Eden“, the killer whales that helped a group of whalers in their search to capture Baleen whales.
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The first European to sight Twofold Bay was Captain James Cook in April, 1770. The township was laid out by Thomas Townsend in 1843 and locals celebrate its unique whaling history.
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Today, Eden is a sleepy coastal town renowned for being one of the few places in the world humpback whales feed during their southern migration in spring.
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A sunset visitor scouting for fish… a photoshoot of this entertaining seal in next week’s post.
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The Port of Eden, NSW, Australia.  (Pic: Google maps)
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 Eden (population 3,040) is located on the far south coast region known as the Sapphire Coast and is approximately halfway between Melbourne and Sydney on the east coast of Australia. (Pic: Google maps). Bounded by national forest and ruggedly beautiful coastline, Eden is abundant in nature trails, spectacular coastal scenery and surf beaches.           

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References: Wikipedia, http://www.aussietowns.com.au/town/eden-nsw

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© M. Vaughan  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of these photographs, without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited.

 

 

 

 

The Olive Tree, a tree of significance

 

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Green olives
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The olive tree. This tree was planted about 1995, 24 years ago.
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The olive flower

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Small developing olives. November 2019, the last month of Spring in Australia.

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Dahlia reaching among the maturing olives
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Purple blush on ripening olives
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These beautiful Australian King Parrots love the olives! This one is checking them out from a Red Gum close by.
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“I’m in!”
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It’s a delight each year when these beautiful birds come seeking the olives.
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Checking the photographer out!
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Caught red handed!
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Not sure what the King Parrots think of this one …
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Bottled olives. A slow process but interesting to try once.

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The olive seldom exceeds thirty feet in height: its leaves are dark green on the upper surface, and of a silvery hue on the under, and generally grow in pairs. Its wood is hard, like that of box, and very close in the grain. It blossoms very profusely, and bears fruit every other year.

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The flower is at first yellow, but as it expands, it becomes whiter, leaving a yellow center.

The fruit is first green in color, then pale, and when ripe, black.

It is gathered by shaking the boughs and by beating them with poles, De 24:20 17:6, and is sometimes plucked in an Isaiah unripe state, put into some preserving liquid, and exported.

It is principally valuable for the oil it produces, which is an important article of commerce in the east. A full-sized tree in full bearing vigor is said to produce a thousand pounds of oil, Jud 9:8,9 2 Chronicles 2:10.

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The olive delights in a stony soil, and will thrive even on the sides and tops of rocky hills, where there is scarcely any earth; hence the expression “oil out of the flinty rock,” etc., De 32:13 Job 29:6.

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It is an evergreen tree, and very longlived, an emblem of a fresh and enduring piety, Psalm 52:8.

Around an old trunk young plants shoot up from the same root, to adorn the parent stock when living, and succeed it when dead; hence the allusion in describing the family of the just, Psalm 128:3.

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It is slow of growth, and no less slow to decay.

The ancient trees now in Gethsemane are believed by many to have sprung from the roots of those, which witnessed the agony of our Lord.

The “wild olive-tree” is smaller than the cultivated, and inferior in all its parts and products. A graft upon it, from a good tree, bore good fruit; while a graft from a “wild” olive upon a good tree, remains “wild” as before. Yet, “contrary to nature,” the sinner engrafted on Christ partakes of His nature and bears good fruit, Romans 11:13-26.

Reference: ATS Bible Dictionary, biblehub.com

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Huntsman photoshoot

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Wonderful camouflage!

We are all much happier, spider included, for this huntsman to be outside rather than inside our house!

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Australian Huntsman spiders belong to the Family Sparassidae (formerly Heteropodidae) and are famed as being the hairy so-called ‘tarantulas’ on house walls that terrify people by scuttling out from behind curtains.

Huntsman spiders of many species sometimes enter houses. They are also notorious for entering cars, and being found hiding behind sun visors or running across the dashboard.

Reference: https://australianmuseum.net.au/learn/animals/spiders/huntsman-spiders/

All photos by M. Vaughan.

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