Nature's Place

Good Gum Boots


DragonflyWasp NestAbandoned Spider NestBig Orb Spider


Today was an adventure. I went where nobody goes. Into the swamp called Billinudgel NR. There wasn’t a single sign anybody has been this way since the rain started. It seems so long ago. Even then hardly anyone goes there.

I am honoured. To go where nobody goes.

I saw sign of wallaby, cow and snake. They were the only tracks in the sandy trails that I could discern. There were other creatures too, the spiders and dragonfly’s and many unseen things moving in the water. Too deep to pass in places.

Oh, and a few bees. And of course the mozzies.

I have been waiting for the opportunity to go back to see what became of the spider and the wasp that made their homes on the tall reedy grass, and today it happened.

I didn’t plan to go, I just went on the way back from somewhere else. I could because I had my new gum boots in the back of the car. I am pleased they have been useful at least once.

It was overcast today with the occasional ray of sunshine and the trails were still under yellow brown water, but not as bad as a week ago. The rain has been easing lately and many creatures are venturing out again.

The early trails were easy to navigate, the water was not very deep to start with. The ones deeper in were another matter. I was in water up to within two inches of the rim of my new gum boots in places.

But it was ok, I used my walking stick to test the depth before I would put my foot down and I got through. Slowly but surely.

I got through to the place where I first saw the spider and the wasp living on the reeds over two weeks ago. See Wily Little Spider and Little Lady Wasp (no Pictures uploaded yet). It was under a foot of water in places but seemed well protected from the worst of the storms we’ve been having.

I went to where I thought the wasp nest was and found one.

It is in the same general area, within a metre or two, but this one has three wasps on it and it looks like it has been built up, if it’s the same one.

There are more chambers to one side of what could be the old nest; it has the same general size and shape if you take away the new chambers.

Maybe they are not complete nomads, maybe the first nest, if it survives, is used by new arrivals looking for a safe place for their young.

How safer than one that has survived the storms? Anyway, it was good to see them.

You wouldn’t think it possible but I found the spider’s nest too. Only there was no spider in it. It took a while though because things had definitely changed here.

You can see it’s the same one. I rotated this pic so it has the same orientation as the first pic I took of it over two weeks ago.

It was hanging over and upside down because some insect had eaten away one side of the reed causing it to weaken and fall over. The structure no longer able to support the weight of the seed cluster above.

I suspect the spider evacuated when the house fell down and probably lives nearby in another cosy web. Or it is long dead, who knows?

On the way back I checked for Big Orb and there she was, still sitting in her web oblivious to the passage of time. Just being spidergirl.

What a beauty. It’s been two weeks since I’ve seen her and she hasn’t changed a bit.

 

All copyright reserved / Mark Berkery

 

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