Insects and other low life in Sydney

This is the blog of a 25-year-old bookmark. I proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion.

Today’s travel notes

Today I’ll give you a worm’s eye view of some insects the TC and I have come across lately. And, following up on my promise of two months ago (By the light of a gibbous moon), I’ll give you another peek into the ups and downs of this worm’s life.

Traveller’s tip

Beware anyone bearing gifts.

The book I’m in

The Laments, by George Hagen.

A funny, comfortable and uncomfortable book. Highly recommended by this worm, who participates but vicariously in the viciousness, vicissitudes and victories of life.

The photos

A word of warning to all my fans: An impending coup of bookmarkian proportions looms.

The book I’m in (The Laments, remember?) deals with the petty conspiracies of daily life and how the average worm triumphs almost willy-nilly. As so often happens, real life is imitating fiction and I’ve recently felt compelled to do some uncomfortable navel gazing. My own navel is nothing to be ashamed of, mark you. But a newer, smoother and shinier one has appeared on the scene. The Rival. She was a gift to the Travelling Companion, so no intended disloyalty on the TC’s part. Still, this worm is wondering what the future may hold.

Me and The Rival:

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Sure, The Rival is younger than me. Some might even says she’s better looking. Maybe she’s made of modern material. Into new technology. (She has leaden inserts, no less.)  But does she have my style and experience? What can I do to make sure I get the best place in the best books? We can’t share a book, that’s for sure. It doesn’t work for me.

Let’s move on, for now. I promised you some insects. Here’s a shot of some flies and ants on a salmon-barked tree near Manly Dam.

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Can’t see them? I guess not everyone has the advantage of a worm’s eye view. So I’ve blown them up for you. Here are the ants:

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Insects and other low life in Sydney

And here’s one of the flies. They’re very small and delicate, about the same size as the ants:

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Here are some bees being busy in Manly:

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Insects and other low life in Sydney

This is a fungus-covered tree stump near Manly Dam, patrolled by some red beetles:

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Here’s a closer view — a denizen of the bark scurrying for cover:

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Insects and other low life in Sydney

This beetle probably thinks he’s camouflaged or something:

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Here’s someone else hiding amongst the vegetation in Allambie:

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Insects and other low life in Sydney

This moth or fly is small and moves quickly. They’re a common sight and quite attractive when they sit still long enough to be examined:

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Insects and other low life in Sydney

I’ve shown you this creature before, but I’m a slave to her beauty. She’s a fly of some sort, I think, who was gadding around 40 Baskets a while ago. Like all the other creatures on this page, she’s small — less than a centimetre long:

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Insects and other low life in Sydney

To round things off, here’s a rather fine specimen of a worm diving for cover:

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Getting back to the attempted coup looming over me: So, what’s your stand on the Battle of the Bookmarks? You’ll notice that The Rival has decked herself out with pictures of ladybirds. Only pictures, note, whereas I am the real thing.

Just to prove I’m into the new-fangled stuff too, here’s me on the iPhone:

Insects and other low life in Sydney

Insects and other low life in Sydney

That’s all for today, dudes.

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Cockatoos in Sydney

This is the blog of a 25-year-old bookmark. I proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion.

Today’s travel notes

The cockatoos in the area have discovered the TC. For those who haven’t been following my blog, the TC is She with whom I travel.  She is a soft touch for anything with ffeathers.

In the last week, the TC has been at home in the dying hours of the afternoon. A passing ffeathered ffiend happened to alight on the window sill and tilt its head in what some might call an appealing fashion. The TC rushed off to find some food that might satisfy the bird’s no doubt urgent hunger. Neither the bird nor the TC were experienced in the human-to-avian interface, so there was a bit of inept fumbling. But eventually mutual satisfaction was achieved.

Traveller’s tip

Never trust a bird, no matter how pretty.

The book I’m in

the Visitor, by Jane R Goodall.

Misty eeriness mixed with good solid detective work.

The photos

Me and a cockatoo. You’ll notice that I kept myself well shielded during the entire experience, using a good book as armour against the ffeathered ffiend:

Cockatoos in Sydney

Cockatoos in Sydney

Even I succumbed to the temptation to get just a bit closer. Dude, that’s a big beak:

Cockatoos in Sydney

Cockatoos in Sydney

Are you wondering how Peg has been recently? She’s keeping it together. Her role in the bird-feeding episode was unglamorous but necessary and above all safe:

Cockatoos in Sydney

Cockatoos in Sydney

The other birds in the neighbourhood soon heard about the free food at the TC’s place:

Cockatoos in Sydney

Cockatoos in Sydney

Inevitably, there’s a movie version too. Here’s a cockatoo checking out the action. He’s standing on the roof, sticking his head upside down through the window and looking ineffably daft:

Here’s the ffeathered ffiend as yet not ffed, attempting to look cute and beguiling. His ffriend struts his stuff on the tree behind:

Here’s one bird eating, but looking a trifle uneasy because another is attempting to join the ffeast. You can hear the footsteps clicking on the roof, then bird number two clambers down the window and muscles in on the action:

Not seen enough yet? There’s more on this worm’s YouTube channel.

That’s all for today, dudes.

Do snakes have legs?

This is the blog of a 25-year-old bookmark. I proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1.

Twenty-five years, and I don’t look a day older than one! Alas, I can’t say the same for my Travelling Companion. I spend most of my time inside a book (well, duh) while the TC sees the world. Read all about me and follow my blog posts to share my experiences as bookmark and travelling worm.

From time to time, I’ll say something meaningful. Like a t-shirt.

Today’s travel notes

Today we went for a stroll along the Spit to Manly Walk. It’s a ten-kilometre path which follows the shore line from Spit Bridge to Manly, near Sydney in Australia.

Of course, you don’t have to do all of it in one go. We didn’t. When you’re travelling with the TC, you can’t get very far without stopping to exclaim over the bird life. Occasionally she manages to trip over the odd snake or something a bit more interesting.

We started at 40 Baskets, near Balgowlah, and headed off towards Spit Bridge.

Traveller’s tip

Tread lightly, because you never know who’s under your shoe.

The book I’m in

Caravans, a novel of Afghanistan, by James A. Michener.

The photos

Let’s start with a bird’s eye view and move progressively to a much more interesting worm’s eye view. It’s spring in Sydney, and the Flannel Flowers are out in full force.

Do snakes have legs?

Do snakes have legs?

Here’s a closer view of a Flannel Flower:

Do snakes have legs?

Do snakes have legs?

The Spit to Manly Walk runs along the coast, so you get the Australian bush all round you and the sea right there too. Most of the time, it’s a fairly tame view because you are in the harbour rather than on the ocean. Still, it has a quaint appeal.

Do snakes have legs?

Do snakes have legs?

The Water Dragons are all over the place, looking at you askance and then scuttling away into the undergrowth. Here’s a rather unflattering view of one of them:

Do snakes have legs?

Do snakes have legs?

This one is about 80cm long and quite chubby. Here’s another shot of him:

Do snakes have legs?

Do snakes have legs?

And here’s his altogether more sauve-looking cousin:

Do snakes have legs?

Do snakes have legs?

Now we get to the question in the title of this blog post:

Do snakes have legs?

Check out this lass:

Do snakes have legs?

Do snakes have legs?

Is she a snake, or could she be a “legless lizard”, also known as Pygopodidae? Maybe she can even call herself Delma impar, one of the endangered ones? Take a closer look at her middle bit — there are little half-formed legs that move away from her body as she slithers along. She was not a fast mover, so the TC had ample time to take a photograph:

Do snakes have legs?

Do snakes have legs?

I’ve decided to call her Lizzie, for want of a better name. The TC narrowly avoided stepping on poor old Lizzie. I don’t know how she did avoid it, to be frank. She had her head in the trees, as usual, watching the birds and totally unaware of the far more interesting life that goes on at ground level. It’s lucky she has a worm like me as a travelling companion, or she’d miss out on all the important stuff.

If anyone knows what Lizzie is, let me know. She is quite short — less than a metre. Here’s a better look at her face:

Do snakes have legs?

Do snakes have legs?

Getting even more of a worm’s eye view, here’s a rather stunning little insect that was flitting about on the rocks on 40 Baskets beach:

Do snakes have legs?

Do snakes have legs?

This creature is less than a centimetre long. Tim P dropped a comment on my previous blog post, asking for more close-ups of the “intense detail apparent in tiny living things”. I know he was asking for more photographs of myself, being such a remarkable specimen of a worm, as well as of other small creatures. I promise to post some more of me soon. In the meantime, this one’s for you Tim.

Do snakes have legs?

Do snakes have legs?

Does anyone know what insect this is? It looks like a fly of some sort. Drop me a comment if you know anything about it.

That’s all for today, dudes.