Monday, July 21, 2014

July 20th…DAY 34
Garden Plant..unknown variety
 The day has been quite cool after an unexpected 4 deg morning. Again the country through which we have driven has been interesting, varied and beautiful. Rainforests turned into a patchwork of farm lands and now this evening we are camped deep into a rain forest again. Ferns, huge and small trees and vines all compete for sunlight. The forest is very tall and dense. A tree near our rig this evening must be 35 metres tall and fronds of the King Ferns can be 4 or 5 metres long. 
Mt Bartle Frere..Queensland's Highest Mountain
The Johnstone River is fast running with a swift flow of clear water.
Throughout the  Atherton Tablelands agricultural lands look healthy, growing on beautiful red volcanic soil…sugar cane, maize and an unidentified grass like crop as well as acres of tea bushes grown by Nerada. We visited this operation and viewed the production area.
I purchased packets of three types of, green and camomile. These are readily available in Super markets of course. Last year when John and I visited Malaysia we went up to Cameron Heights where tea is grown. We called at one plantation called BOH and enjoyed cups of tea with our friends. Strangely BOH tea is owned by the same company as Nerada Tea. I did enjoy the green tea made by BOH.

Nerada Tea Plantation

Another strangler Fig tree was an amazing site today…the Curtain Fig Tree is huge and, I felt, was more attractive than the Cathedral Tree.
We do find interest in a variety of birds. Yesterday we learned the call of an Oriole and  photographed a pair of curlews. Today we saw another pair of curlews and about 20 brolgas feeding on a freshly ploughed field of red soil.

Whip birds have ‘cracked their  whip’ at a number of sites. We have seen Cattle Egrets many times..feeding with cattle in the field. We have now seen Egrets following a sugar harvester as well as feeding in the freshly harvested sugar cane field. They have been in flocks of 20 to 100. An Egret is a  common site!

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