02 November 2005

Butterflies swarm over Manly

A lot of Caper White Butterflies (Belenois java) swarms are about. Large numbers migrate and rest in Manly's green space. The black and white butterflies seem to flap in an eratic way and it seems unlikely that they travel interstate. But once a 'partner' is spotted, the flight-path becomes straight-lined and determined.

Humans perceive them as a danger: they 'can clog car radiators, causing overheating.' (Austr. Museum) or are a threat to all the industrial petrol 'gardens'.(Manly Daily)

As most of their food & host-plants have been eradicated, they have a long and hungry journey ahead of them. To conserve their habitat or produce a butterfly-friendly garden, this site offers a lot inspiration.


BigGav said...

Hmmm - I left a comment on this last night which has vanished (the second time this has happened here). Haloscan is OK for trackback but its totally unreliable for comments (as I've found to my annoyance at many other sites...)

MNLY said...

Pity we missed your vanished comments.
Have de-activated HaloScan which was spam-free and stemmed the spam-tide in blogspot a bit.
Thanks for the advice!

Big Gav said...

Yes - the blogger spam problem is a bit much but word verification is pretty effective even if it is mildly annoying...

My comment was on your lorikeet post - I explained at some length about the wildlife that lives in the old industrial site where my apartment is, which shows that there is some resilience if you leave them even a small amount of bush - although modern day outer suburbia with its small blocks, large houses and endless roads is rather more hostile than the inner harbour suburbs.

Then I guilily admitted that I am a lorikeet feeder. I tried to atone by explaining that I don't feed the mynahs and we just have the one pair of lorikeets who visit - I feed them unsugered brown bread every 3 days or so (as a change from their normal bottlebrush diet) - is that still something I should give up ?

Seems a shame as I enjoy them coming to visit (even though my wife complains about the mess they make) but I don't want to make them unhealthy either...

MNLY said...

It’ll be interesting to see how word verification works.

I agree about the mono-culture of sub-urban sprawl eliminating diversity and reducing life quality. Potts Point for example can be a more restful and stimulating place than McMansion-land. For the time being we are here in Manly, but consider the ‘big apples’ of Europe for life quality, if there is still some petrol left to get there!

The ‘feeding problem’ is all a matter of aggregation and hygiene. Birds in nature tend not to feed together, but from dispersed sources, i.e. flowers etc. This minimises disease spread. If the same standards are used for the birds as for your own dishes there should be no infection risk. Working for their habitat is probably even better, but it is also important that you enjoy their visits!

MNLY said...

ps Is this the comment that went astray?

Big Gav said...

Ah - that is it - maybe I was looking for it in the wrong place - doh !

As for life quality, I'd agree that Potts Point is more restful and stimulating than much of mcmansion-land (I lived in Rushcutters Bay for a few years and it was pretty good generally, though the north side has more bush left and thus more wildlife).

As for moving to Europe, many parts of Europe are fantastic (and oil won't "run out" for a long time, even if it will most likely get a lot more expensive) yet many Europeans would love to move to Australia because of their perception of Australia's unspoiled natural environment. The grass is always greener as they say :-)

MNLY said...

Yes, the perception of the ‘unspoiled natural environment’ might be an effective tourist PR, but in a resource economy that promise is impossible to meet.
As for civilising cities:
Sydney is starting to get a 'Recipe for a Liveable Sydney' together:
European cities civilising their urban habitat: (http://www.ecocitycleveland.org/ecologicaldesign/whatcities/europe.html)
As we are very impatient to wait for the ‘recipe’ to be cooked, we might soon avoid the ‘green grass’ and seek public places, handy public transport and cycle ways etc in Euro-land.