Much admired by visitors from around the world, these magnificent Red Siris (Paraserianthes toona) tables have been reduced to fragments by an unidentified rainforest giant on the left. The picnic tables were 7.2-metres in length, but they crumbled under the weight of a 30-metre Daintree rainforest tree. It is a sad loss.
The last time I photographed this astonishing event, I posted it under Creatonotos gangis and its chemical communications. This more recent image, captured last night, is of poorer quality, but the coremata was less retracted and worthy of publishing for its greater proportions. The tufting at the ends of the major branches show the extent of retraction.
Reported with wind-speeds of 300-km/hour, Category-5 Tropical Cyclone Ita was contending with Cyclone Yasi in destruction stakes. Lacking the breadth of Yasi, Ita made up for it in concentrated power. We know when a cyclone is coming by tour cancellations and media reports. Cairns Airport was closed down and we were housebound and waiting. We kept track of Tropical Cyclone Ita on the Bureau of Meteorology website throughout the evening of Thursday 10 April 2014. The cyclone graduated to Extreme Tropical Cyclone Category-5 at 10.00pm and was moving in a south-west direction towards Cape Flattery.
Photographed last evening alongside a fast-flowing, open section of Cooper Creek, the Common Mist Frog (Litoria rheocola) is listed as ‘Endangered’ under the IUCN Red List, the Commonwealth Government’s EPBC Act 1999 and Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act 1992.
Safe drinking water is vital to all known forms of life, including humans, yet less than 0.3% of Earth’s water is in rivers and lakes. The abundance and quality of beautiful fresh water in Daintree Rainforest sustains an astonishing celebration of life and underpins the essential value of inhabitancy.
After 26-years in the Daintree Rainforest, we are still finding unfamiliar species. When something new emerges, we begin our research on the web by describing its characeristics, in this case a vine with clustered white berries. We look at images, then dig deeper for clues. Reference books are devoured and we come up with the most likely candidate, Psychotria fitzalanii or coelospermum. Both are vines, with small white fruit about the right size.
Prolific flowering this year, after a lean, dry 2013, is giving promise of an abundant fruiting of the cassowaries’ favourite fruit, the Blue Quandong (Eleocarpus augustifolius). This is good news for both the cassowary and also for travellers who want to catch a glimpse of this endangered keystone species, Casuarius casuarius.
The Scarlet Bean (Archidendron ramiflorum sp. Cooper Creek) is stunning in the rainforest. Attached directly to the trunk of the tree, without the visual impediment of surrounding leaves, this relictual Gondwanan plant can only be found in the refugial rainforests on the eastern flank of Thornton Peak.
A recent study conducted by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has ranked Queensland’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area as the second most irreplaceable natural World Heritage site and the sixth overall in global irreplaceability in a new international analysis.