Archive for the ‘Forest’ Category
Strangler Figs dominate the skyline of the rainforest creating rounded domes that tower over other big trees. Figs (ficus species) are deciduous and shed their leaves to give nourishment to the large number of plants that reside under their umbrellas. When the new leaves emerge around August-September, the domes become golden, the crowning glory of the rainforest.
The spectacular flush of red leaves after cyclone Oswald is breathtaking in its abundance and contrasts magnificently against the multitudinous greens. It’s a great time to visit as the rainforest commences its rehabilitation and regeneration. New growth inspires a feeling of optimism and youthfulness. It must be the pheromones exuded by the burgeoning growth.
Pink Princess or Pink Flowered Doughwood or Corkwood (Melicope elleryana) is currently flowering out of its branches in the Daintree Rainforest. This successional species of rainforest tree grows to around 25-metres tall with a base diameter of 60 cm. The trunk has a white, corky appearance, with a tendency to slightly buttress at the base. This tree is the favoured food plant for the spectacular Ulysses butterfly (Papilio ulysses).
Dwarfed into insignificance, over-awed by the grandeur and beauty, inspired by the complexity and inter-relatedness and touched in a way that is inexplicable, many visitors will write about their experiences. Words cannot encompass a multitude of feelings. The National Landscapes Program has embarked on an ambitious search for one word that describes Australia’s Wet Tropics. ‘Intriguing’ has been chosen, but does it really cover the gamut of emotions of humbled, inspired, amazed, awe-struck…
The wonderful phenomenon of glowing fungi, at least in the Daintree Rainforest, appears to have resolved the problem caused by the spectacular success of flowering plants and their obstruction to wind. Glowing lights attract invertebrates to aid in spore dispersal. Predominantly a wet-season occurrence, the coincidence of male fireflies, producing a series of like flashes from abdominal light-producing organs begs the question, is the fungi mimicking the the visual cue of the flightless female firefly, to lure the male into direct contact for spore-vector purposes?