Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Two-spined Spider and Flying Foxes

Two-spined Spider
With its legs outstretched this spider is meant to be the size of a twenty cent piece, or nearly 3 cm across.

I've seen it every day for nearly a month. Always sitting under the same leaf on a young three vein laurel.

Its head and front two legs are at the top. The two supposed spines, which look a lot like eyes, are on its back. The white arc looks uncannily like a smiling upside down mouth.

Lately, I've been going out there by torch light to see if I can catch it doing something. Spinning a web for instance. My Wildlife of Greater Brisbane tells me it occurs throughout Australia and is most common in summer.

The other amazing sight I've been going out to witness, is the flyover of the flying foxes between 7.15 and 8.00 pm the other night. We're on daylight saving here, so it takes till about then for it to be true dusk. Thousands upon thousands of these animals fly out of the north, across my bit of sky, and into the south east, on and on, in four or five ranks usually.

It's mating season and that's apparently the reason the animals are restless even in their flight. There's a continual stream of them peeling off from the main flow, circling and rejoining it. Some trying to fly against the flow. Little ones straining to keep up. Big ones winging easily.

Down where I'm standing the whole event seems to be happening silently. It looks very uncanny, this unending stream of wild animals flying over. The air between them seems to throb if you stare at the stream too intently. I know it's no joke living next door to a flying fox camp -- the smell is probably one of the most pungent to be experienced, and to live in that day in day out, would be unbearable -- but I'm glad to know we still have so many.

No comments:

Post a Comment