I’ve just received an email with Season’s Greetings from Neil Hewett. Those who have followed this blog for several years will remember Neil for his wonderful posts from the Daintree Rainforest of North Queensland – the oldest surviving rainforest in the world.
As 2010 draws to a close, we reflect upon a year of challenge and excitement. Passing the seven-metre mark, it was the wettest year in living memory and surely the year of the tree-frog, whose niche is best supported in an abundance of rainfall.
It was also the year that we learnt of the separation of the Northern population of Stoney Creek Tree Frog into its own species: Northern Stoney Creek Frog Litoria jungguy, depicted in festive splendour (above – click on the image to see the other frog).
Cassowary sightings were unprecedented in their frequency. Over the years, the big birds have become increasingly nonchalant in our presence, but 2010 has set a new standard. There were times when we were regularly seeing eight different birds a day, sometimes all at once. With every year that passes, we gain additional insight into the complex social arrangements that distinguish these rainforest ratites with wisdom commensurate with their years.
One of the most important and appreciated gifts of the year is the completion of the first half of the Cooper Creek causeway. Whilst a development that would probably go largely unnoticed by external interests, there are many important reasons why this significant infrastructure upgrade will provide benefits to the Daintree Rainforest, the people that live within it and the travelers that provide the sole conservation economy through their patronage.
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And best wishes to Neil and Angie, Tulli, Taiga, Tkoda and Prue, and also to you and yours, for Christmas 2010.