Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, February 09, 2007

Flying Foxes - the "eyes" have it.

For the sake of my pal, Miss Eagle, yes, I do know that the heading is a misquote of the oft-use Parliamentary saying - "The Ayes have it".
On Thursday evening, I went to the CTC's Music Night (the first without BJ and Boney running it). They have not left town yet, but they were at a "gig" in Wollongong, so they could not be at the CTC in Robbo.

Anyway, after the Music Night, I walked around the property, and down the back, near the Scout Hall, there were about 40 Flying Foxes coming and going into the large hedge of Cherry Laurels there. So I tried to photograph them flying in and out of these tall hedge plants (trees). They would fly in, squabble, fight, fly off and come back and crash-land again in the tops of the trees. Eventually I got a few photos of reflective eyes, at least.

Anyway, the evening was quieter than the usual (familiar) Music Night with Boney leading the show.

But Brendan and Royce and the new guard did a pretty fair job. Jenny was singing and jumping around, and John brought a new friend, David, along.

It turned out that David is a pretty good pianist. And Brian and some of the other Musos had a nice time.


Those of us, like Pip, John, Vivienne and myself, who are dedicated audience members had a nice time, and will probably be back next week, and the week after. Lets hope James and Dave and some of the other gang keep on coming along.

On Friday night I went to REPS, where the guest speaker was speaking on Climate Change. He presented the story very well, with amazing statistics on CO2 emissions, rainfall patterns, temperature charts, etc.

At the end of the meeting, I did a "show and tell" with a bunch of
Cherry Laurel leaves and fruit, and mentioned that these trees ripen their fruit at the appropriate season for Flying Foxes to come in on the warm summer evenings, which makes their potential as a weed far greater than I had realised before.

One of the members came up and said that she had just paid a large amount of money to have a large Cherry Laurel removed, because of the Flying Foxes. I think it was their noisy behaviour which triggered the move, but clearly, any removal of these huge and prolific weeds is a great move.

Clearly they were once a popular tall hedge plant in Robertson, before their potential as a weed was understood. As the oldest (largest) plants appear to be in Ranelagh House, it is not hard to work out who is responsible for this problem - the original owners/gardeners there. But they are long since gone - so that does not help our situation, does it?

For any local readers, please do not plant any more Cherry Laurels in this climate and soil.

I have grown them in Canberra, where they simply do not become a weed. It is much colder there, and the soil is much poorer, so they do not seem to have such weed potential there.

But in Robbo, they grow like crazy, and fruit prolifically. They become a 10 metre high weed. That is pretty scary.


Anni said...

Oh that's what they are here for, of course!
I love the last of the three shots (very much like Disney Film). And you can actually see the body shape as well.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Anni

As photographs, they are terrible, but they do at least show something. They are eerie creatures, and when feeding so actively, they get quite excited, and crash-land in the trees, and obiously, sometimes they come in too close to another Bat. Then one or both drop from the tree and circle round, and try again.

They are actually quite noisy in their flight, while coming in to land - all that wing surface, being used to change direction, causes a lot of disturbance to the air - which is what creates the loud "Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh"noises as they come in to land.