Today, I sent Jeff Wray – senior curatorial officer, film, at the National Film & Sound Archive in Canberra – 3 USBs by registered post, filled with my third selection of HD species videos. It is two years since the previous offering. The latest batch contains 125 videos to add to the NFSA’s collection of my footage, which includes all 123 SD species videos. I need to send corrected footage of Supplement 4 of the Archive and the remaining 23 HD species videos on file, once Jeff returns the USBs.
On my morning walk on the 17th, I photographed an unfamiliar spider enjoying the sun on a timber fence in Driscoll Lane. It turned out to be the smallest species of huntsman spider I have seen. Today, I photographed an obliging fly on a metal rail next to the fence. It was confirmed by an expert as a genus new to my album. Flies seem to like the rail, judging by the number I have photographed there.
I wanted to film a giant vine in The Knoll National Park, which was hitching a ride to the canopy on an immense strangler fig tree, located near the bridge over Sandy Creek. I had measured the vine’s girth just above its base at 113 cm. Alas, both my batteries were flat, so I took my stills camera which made the going far easier, though I picked up a tiny grass tick, which lodged in my waste. I charged the batteries today and still plan to film the vine.
I photographed two new moth species on the second day of Winter, at the garage. I had to go back and fetch my camera because I don’t expect to see moths at this time of year, let alone ones I have never previously encountered.
The entry refers to a moth, Maxates centrophylla, I photographed this morning. I thought that It is the first full-on new green moth I have encountered in years, but I had forgotten about one I photographed at the same location at the end of October 2018, Clytophylla artia. It was a richer green, shaped more like a plant hopper than a moth and was very small. Today’s moth is pale green, with spread wings. Its shape and markings looked subtly different, which prompted me to photograph it. Going through my Moths album, I counted 28 green or predominantly green moths. I haven’t filmed anything since the end of February, being otherwise engaged.
Today, I completed the settings on the latest videos Steve and I have put together, bringing the total to 550, a figure we reached 9 ½ months after posting the 500th. The 550th. video is of lichens on the trunk of a palm tree emitting light in an ultra violet beam. The tree had fallen across a rainforest path. I have shot-selected another 7 videos without reaching the end of the latest footage.
There was a good attendance at the Progress Association’s monthly afternoon event at the Zamia Theatre for a double bill of my presentation of night footage and a video and talk by a local wildlife carer who looks after distressed bats. I began with a general introduction about my project and night filming and introduced 10 of the 14 videos. The audience was particularly responsive during the showing of a video of the world’s most deadly spider, the northern tree funnel web. The presentation was enthusiastically received and plenty of questions were asked, which was most pleasing. The carer had brought some young bats to exhibit. We felt that they seemed to respond to the sound of water in one of my videos. The bats I had filmed on the mountain are regarded as vulnerable, although they may camp in their thousands. Apart from twice drying up, I greatly enjoyed the occasion.
Steve and I started compiling Stills 24 with the latest 167 video frame captures, on 9 April. I have already sent several email requests for species IDs and received answers to all but one. To date I have added 19 images to the Night Life Album, two to Fungi and four to Rainforest Flora.