The gum trees are shedding their bark. The trunks of the trees in the forest on the drive to Clandulla are all looking fresh and yellow now their grey bark has gone. This is something that many types of gum tree do annually.
Strange things happening with this tree. It's early for its Autumn colour which happened in May last year. I think it might be getting a bit stressed by the hot dry weather. Unlike the natives it's not built for it.
Its been hot lately. The grass is tinder dry and everything is crunchy underfoot. The vege patch has gone to seed and the tomato plants shrivelled because we don't seem to be able to get the drip irrigation right.
Instead of slaving over weed eradication I've been sitting under the shady trees, catching the breeze while scribbling away in my journal. The warm weather has been great, so different from the cold rainy summer we had last year.
I am used to looking for wattles in winter and spring and have identified three different types plus a mystery shrub that might be a wattle. When I saw this smallish tree in flower I thought it would be a gum but looking closer it seems to be another wattle and there were several of them in flower that weekend. By the next weekend the flowers were gone again.
The Australia Museum site provides the following information "Leaf-curling Spiders hoist a leaf from the ground and, using silk threads, curl it to form a protective cylinder, silked shut at the top and open at the hub.. They then sit in this cylinder with only their legs showing, feeling for the vibrations of a captured insect. The curled leaf protects them from birds and parasitic wasps. Sometimes other objects, such as snail shells (which come ready-curled), are used. In P. graeffei this leaf is suspended just above the centre of the web, but may be placed higher in other species. Juvenile spiders start off by bending over a small green leaf, but eventually graduate to larger dead leaves."
This spider has hoisted its leaf into a Blackthorn bush. The Blackthorns are in flower at the moment.