03 Dec 2020
A silent mist crept through the streets of Blackheath while we were mooching through an antiques store. We were so close to Govett’s Leap lookout, that we couldn’t resist driving back to experience it in the mist. As we approached the forest, mist turned to fog and visibility reduced to a few meters.
“It’s not so much raining, as being amongst the clouds” I wondered how often Blackheath experienced weather like this.
Stepping out of the car, the frist thing we noticed was the quiet. The cicadas were more or less quiet and we could hear frogs instead. With the view consumed into the white void it heightened our sense of hearing.
“Let’s see what the forest looks like in the fog” I suggested pointing to the path we’d followed a few days ago. The mist was surprisingly warm, or at least it wasn’t cold. It opened up so we could see a good few meters ahead.
Suddenly there was a flash of red feathers as a rosella took off from the track just ahead.
“Oh hello you” I said a little startled. He chatted quietly to himself as he nibbled on the flowering grasses. His brightly coloured feathers were dulled by the mist and I was surprised at how well camouflaged he was.
The whole forest seemed to be glistening with tiny water droplets adding a ghostly lushness. It was difficult to photograph with the phone, I really had to get in there amongst the leaves…
“What the HECK!” I practically shouted as I jumped back from a cluster of leaves. I pulled myself together, “Dave! Look at this!”
A single leaf was covered, on both sides, by strange larvae lined up, side by side, munching on the leaf and tapping out a rhythm- in unison. WTAF? Tap tap tap tap – it was freaking me out!
“What the heck is going on here? Why are they tapping in time with each other? Why are they huddled on a single leaf?” It was so weird, I couldn’t look away. I wanted to ask my brother-in-law Jon, an ecologist. Turns out they are Sawfly larvae that turn into a harmless wasp-looking insect. Creepy.
Quickly changing the topic – here are some pretty wildflowers, blowing in the wind.