Thursday 18 December 2014

Hairy Colletid Bee

I found this bee outside in my laundry basket. I took some photos of it against the white plastic and then placed it on a sage flower. It dived into the flower to sip the nectar and then rested on an empty calyx.

This is a New Zealand native solitary bee of the Leioproctus family. At 1cm in length it was a lot bigger than the usual solitary bees I see here.

The bee uses the hairy parts to collect pollen, which with nectar, is stored in each nursery chamber with a single egg. The burrows are in soil.

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Porters Pass

I went to Porters Pass to look at the wildlife. There has been snow in the last couple of days, but it has melted quickly. The summer sun is hot when it shines.

The hillside above the pass
A Southern Tussock Grasshopper (I think)
Roadside plants
Coral Broom, Carmichaelia crassicaulis

Small Hover fly, Melanostoma fasciatum

Snowberry, Gaultheria sp.

White moss and lichen
Dracophyllum longifolium is the main plant in this area

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Summer Snow

The first two days of summer have been cold, with two falls of snow on the mountains.

Mount Torlesse, the Rubicon Peak
Back Peak and Otarama

Castle Hill Peak and The Gap

Thursday 27 November 2014

More Snow!

Castle Hill Peak and The Gap

Monday 24 November 2014

Evening Moonset

Crescent Moon Setting at 9.42 pm, November 24th 2014

Monday 3 November 2014


Yesterday a mayfly came into the house and settled on a curtain.

This morning it shed its skin.

Now its wings are transparent.

Monday 18 August 2014

Lake Lyndon

Lake Lyndon looking to the head of the lake

 All these shots were taken from The Great Alpine Highway, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Lake Lyndon, the west arm

Porters Skifield from Porters Pass

The old roadman's hut on the way up to Porters Pass

Monday 3 March 2014

Wednesday 26 February 2014

The Ellerslie International Flower Show

A few things that caught my eye at the show.

Stop the Clock, a sculpture by Jane Downes
A brilliant water feature
A bumblebee nest in a Perspex box

Green flowers on red stems

Monday 3 February 2014

Porters Pass Fauna

The moon and mountain flax
Dark coloured cicada, the most common that I saw. It had a sharp intermittent call.
A brilliant green cicada that really stood out.

A green grasshopper
A well camouflaged grasshopper

A fine striped grasshopper
A hairy grasshopper

Orbweb spider

Another orbweb spider. Abdomen only. The thorax is tucked under.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Porters Pass

Porters Pass is on Highway 73, The Great Alpine Highway. The elevation is 1000 metres. These are some of the natives I found at the roadside.

Celmisia spectabilis, the cotton daisy
Acaena, bidibid. The blue scraps are fallen borage flowers.

Copper Butterfly. The blue on the upper wing suggests that it is a male boulder copper,  Boldenaria boldenarum

This is the rare coral broom, ‪Carmichaelia crassicaulis‬. Unfortunately I was too late to see the colour of the flowers. Here they are dying. The plant is enclosed for protection.

An unknown green beetle. It was about 10mm long

Harebells, Wahlenbergia albomarginata. Such tiny delicate plants growing on the bare ground exposed to all the elements.

White Gentian, Gentiana

Friday 17 January 2014

Early This Morning

Mount Torlesse on an early summer morning
Dalethorp Road as the sun rises

Fledgling thrush that is still being fed by its parents, growing fat on my fruit

Monday 6 January 2014