11 March 2007

A resiliency of leeches, and lovely luscious fruit

NOTE: Leeches are NOT fruits. They are animals, usually bloodsucking parasites described more accurately as: "segmented worms in the Subclass Hirudinea that are usually ectoparasitic".

They are "little bloody marvels", but they are not fruits. I'm saying this because many people are landing here because they searched for "leeches fruit". If that is your search, too, these fruits are what you're looking for:

My original post here is not about them, so I've now made a special page for you, about this delicious and maddeningly spelled fruit:
Or divert yourself first below with a foray into people-juice gourmets, and another juicy gorgeous fruit, that we don't eat.

I am happy to report that yesterday in the forest, a healthy leech was seen galloping up my thigh. It's been so dry that the rebound of leeches should fill us with admiration for their stiff-upper-lipness during years of drought. They just stoicise away under the ground without a whinge or a subsidisation. Leeches don't get the admiration they deserve. I would happily wax on about other qualities of these rather expressionless creatures, but you might be more interested in fruit.

Some trees have produced a huge crop of fruits despite this having been a summer of unusually severe drought, after many years of 'normal' drought. This is a picture taken a couple of weeks ago —

This luscious fruit is actually the covered seed of the fruit of the 'cheese tree' (Glochidion ferdinandi), a fast-growing Australian native smallish bushy tree.

The cheeses are a great favourite of king parrots (who, every summer, crack the cheeses open to extract the seeds when the seeds are still immature) and other frugivorous birds like the brown cuckoo doves (who swallow the immature cheeses whole).

The fruits mature in late summer here in southern New South Wales; and as you can see, not only birds enjoy them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

bloody lovely photos, again