ecology, farm, Fleurieu, Fleurieu Coast, insects, photography, revegetation, seasons, southwestern Fleurieu, spiders, summer, trees
We’ve been talking a bit recently about when a woodland becomes a woodland. Asher suggested 500 years of growth, but was willing to settle for 50. Perhaps it’s a woodland when the birds think so, when the firetails and blue wrens jump the boundary fence from neigbouring scrub and decide they’re safe flitting from branch to branch. As our earliest plantings grow taller than humans, and the canopies thicken and throw shade, we started noticing an increasing diversity of tiny life. Insects for whom a gum or wattle tree is their universe are finding their way across the paddocks to settle in the emerging plantings. Despite the heat and dry of summer, the trees are heaving with insect life. We recently saw the documentary The Biggest Little Farm about an idealistic (and evidently well-funded!) couple who start a diverse 200 acre farming project outside of Los Angeles. One of the messages of the film is that when you create the right conditions, nature finds a balance. As we walked through the saplings, on one, the new growth and leaves were being systematically devoured by small copper coloured beetles. We walked to the next tree, the copper beetles were present, but as we watched, were body slammed by wasps and carried away. At the next, the beetles had been busy, but now a spider had arrived, and was meticulously wrapping the beetle population in silk. Perhaps these tiny communities are beginning to find the balance too.
Here’s a tour of some of the life on the trees – we’d love your help with identification!
I’ve been following your posts for over a year. Originally, I found Yarnauwi Farm because you wrote an essay based on Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac. After that, I signed up and have really appreciated your Southern Hemisphere /Australian point of view. It’s cool to read themes, observations, thoughts, and photos that are similar to my own, yet based on totally different plants, animals, climate, and Continent. Keep up the good work.
If you’re interested in reading my blog, please check out Snohomish County Almanac. And if you’re ever in the Pacific NW of the US, please stop by Raising Cane Ranch. We are about 50 km north of Seattle and 300 KM south of Vancouver, BC.
Nichlos Pate Raising Cane Ranch Snohomish, WA, USA
Dear Nichlos, thanks so much for getting in touch and your kind words! I’ve enjoyed exploring your website and reading your reflections from your patch of the world! I’ll enjoy continuing to track your project from afar. Likewise, if you ever make it this far south, please get in touch! All the best, Joel