Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Farmland around beach-front estates: Phillip Island

Phillip Island's abundant rainfall, this past year, means that the whole island looks green and healthy.

The housing estate where we live, on the north-west corner of the island, backs onto a very well-managed beef cattle property. Stud Charolais cattle graze pastures dotted with large rolls of hay. Other properties on the island run Angus or dairy cattle, or sheep.

The native trees, shrubs and grasses hugging the coast have never looked better with fresh green shoots, flowers, seed heads and cones. Taking advantage of this burst of fertility several species of butterfly have hatched from their cocoons in huge numbers.

Never before have I seen so many butterflies on the island. Everywhere I look, they are fluttering about. Soon they will mate, lay their eggs and then the caterpillars will munch their way through the tender new growth on trees and shrubs -- and the cycle will begin all over again.

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