What’s happening in our rainforest
It might be winter, but life doesn’t slow down much in the rainforest.
The mist and drizzle have been going for days. It gets cold enough to have a fire. But the Chowchillas are frenetically hoovering through the leaflitter, skedaddling away at lightning speed when disturbed. Our small wallabies (Pademelons—isn’t that a lovely name?) still visit for the occasional piece of apple. The cassowaries check up on us every day or so. We even see the odd butterfly bobbing along.
Stan loves to raise butterflies. He collects the eggs and samples of the host plants, and mothers the caterpillars as they grow and munch (and munch and munch) till they retire into pupal cases to reinvent themselves with wings. I reckon that’s a case for reincarnation.
At present, we have a gigantic Cairns Birdwing caterpillar that has just started to spin its support in preparation for becoming a pupa. I do mean gigantic: it is more than 5 cm long. And when it popped out of the egg it was barely as big as a grain of basmati rice.
We were marveling at what s/he was doing: securing the leaf to the twig with silk to ensure it does not detach once s/he’s inside her pupal case. So even if the leaf dies, it won’t fall off.