Getting in over your head

In mid-November, Anne Bonfert posed a challenge to tilt your head and look up. I am late to respond; I hope this prompt doesn’t have a use by date. (Watch me publish a Yuletide post in time for the next equinox.)

A few days ago I wrote that December was…

Palms and gingers and orchids, oh my!

The first time I saw Fan Palms (Licuala ramsayi, Arecaceae) in their natural habitat was at Tam O’Shanter State Forest (now Djiru National Park), Far North Queensland. I was on a night walk, hoping to photograph insects, frogs and other nocturnal animals. Although it was the dry season, the ground…

Productivity? What productivity?

October was a productive month — fifteen articles published on Medium and three non-fiction pieces sold to online and print magazines. It might not sound like much, but it was a big step forward for me. My pace is glacial.

I had similar plans for November, but…

The complex nature of tropical rainforests

On last Friday’s walk through the rainforest, I stopped to look at a tree. I stop a lot — for flowers, fungi, birds, and things I think are birds (mostly leaves, sometimes twigs, occasionally mangoes) — but I try not to do it for every tree because…well…there are thousands of…

Alien and intriguing

Not far from my home on the Atherton Tablelands, a patch of tropical rainforest clings to the western bank of Malan (North Johnstone River) near Tutamonlin, the falls where the river cascades over an ancient lava flow. Once most of the region was covered in rainforest, but settlers cut down…

Giving in to the inevitable

I live in a rental, so can’t keep companion animals. Once my neighbour’s pet Rainbow Lorikeet broke out of its aviary and tried to move in under the house, so I fed it bananas until the owner came home. Then some weeks later a chicken turned up, but it was…

A ground-breaking naturalist in South America

It is a striking image. A large spider pins down a hummingbird it has caught near a nest in a guava tree. The hummingbird has the yellow throat, red cap, and iridescent wings of a male Ruby Topaz (Chrysolampis mosquitus). The spider is charcoal, with a bronze abdomen, and rust-coloured…

A sign of the monsoon

The flame trees will blind the weary driver

And there’s nothing else could set fire to this town.

Cold Chisel, Flame Trees, 1984

The monsoon is on its way. In a few more weeks, the north-westerlies will sweep down from South East Asia, bringing with them summer rain. Until then…

The story of a bird, a would-be god, and a voyage to the South Pole

In Greek myth — or maybe in reality, who can say? — Phaethon was the son of Helios. He begged and cajoled his father for the reins of the chariot so he could drive the Sun across the sky. He had the skills, he said. He would be careful, he…

Bronwen Scott

Zoologist, writer, artist, museum fan, enjoying life in the tropical rainforest of Far North Queensland. She/her.

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