Buggin with Bridgey is a Monthly report of sightings from the Let’s Go Buggin Cairns Nature Tour in the Cairns Botanic Gardens. As the months roll by, subtle changes in the seasons bring sightings of new creatures and this report aims to give people a wrap up of the current animals seen as well as provide an ongoing citizen science account of our wonderful critters that can be seen in the tropical north of Queensland.
May has been having an exciting month in the Cairns Botanic Gardens and also in my backyard. A new season is on the horizon and the first of this seasons dominant predators are on the scene. My backyard has been a bug-hub of activity, especially on pink flowers… so I’ve been getting in-the-pink, and doing heaps of ‘backyard-buggin’ and immersing myself into pink macro photography.
This epic food chain starts with native bees. I happily rescued probably 200 native bee individuals from the pool during the heatwave in March. Several times a day I would cool off in the pool and notice that there were native bees floating on the surface of the water. I gently walked around the pool dipping my finger into the water and gently scooping up an individual and allowing them to dry on my hands. The bees would flicker their wings removing the pool water and then eventually fly off. The whole process took perhaps a minute. It was an absolutely gorgeous way to cool down. Seeing sometimes 20 or 30 these coming back to life on my hands as I’m gently walking through the pool cooling off. Seeing them fly off back to live their lives was really a beautiful cathartic experience. Truly getting back to nature.
But anyway let’s get back to the backyard buggin photography shall we?! So first of all, I have to start with Mandy the Mantis. Mandy is a Garden Mantis (Orthodera ministralis). I first noticed Mandy and immediately grabbed my camera. She was a young adult perhaps only four centimetres in length. Our first meeting was our main photoshoot. When a Mantis is posing for you it’s… click…click… click… and soon you’ve got over Fifty shots. So I just kept shooting til she settled back into her stalking pose. Within one minute after our photoshoot, she caught a housefly. After being such a great model she was very deserving of some good bug-karma.