While the weather was fine this morning I took some photos some of the plants and they looked so refreshed after having to cope with a couple of heatwaves during spring when we had days and days of above average temperatures. We didn't even bother watering the flowers but just concentrated on trying to keep the vegetables alive. However, some of the hardier flowers did survive the neglect and now provide a little bit of colour in the front garden.
As you can see there aren't a lot of flowers growing. What are there are quite colourful though. I thought I would check to see if there were any cucumbers that needed picking as we have planted so many different types of cucumber that they will be coming out our ears soon. :-) I was moving the leaves around so that I could get a better view when I saw something black and shiny.
I got quite a fright as I am always on the look-out for snakes and blue tongue lizards as we have quite a few of the latter but hopefully no snakes on our property and, as it was cool and rainy weather I really didn't think that it was a snake so relaxed a little. However, on closer inspection ....
...I saw this really weird critter which was sitting on top of the cucumber flowers. It nearly frightened the life out of me. It was huge and not your everyday Christmas beetle that we have flying around at this time of year. I asked the garden CEO if he knew what it was and he said it was a Scarab Beetle. I asked Mr.Google for some more information and it seems to be a Rhinoceros Beetle Xylotrupes ulysses australicus.
Has anyone seen one of these before? They are quite large but it appears that they don't bite which is comforting in case I find another one lurking under the cucumbers leaves. They grow to about 60mm (over 2 inches). Apparently they don't put in an appearance when there is dry weather. In Asia they are kept as pets and in northern Thailand they are used in gambling games where the males are induced to fight by putting female beetles inside a bamboo cylinder and placing the males on the outside. The males then fight each other and the winner is the one that pushes the others off. Can you believe that? That little snippet of information was from a Queensland Museum Fact Sheet.
There are more storms forecast for the rest of the week but I will be braving the heat and humidity in Mt.Isa while waiting for my little grandson to be born. The temperature will be 10+ degrees on top of what it is here at home so I think I will be in survival mode. My daughter tells me that the usual dry heat of the Outback is easier to cope with than the humidity. However, as it rarely rains up there I don't think too many people are complaining.
Have you had refreshing rain at your place?