Trip 28 – Happy birthday Jules!

It so happened that Jules’ birthday fell on the same weekend that the guys had booked to stay at Molloy Island for a short fishing trip so we decided to tag along.

Molloy Island Caravan Park sits on the banks of the Blackwood River, just across from Molloy Island, where the Scott and Blackwood rivers meet. A lovely little caravan park and this weekend it was pretty empty, however, it can get very busy during school holidays or when there’s a fishing competition running.

One of the resident and very friendly roos, with baby joey out of the pouch for a bit whilst mum has a rest.

We headed down on the Thursday afternoon to spend Friday, Jules’ birthday and Saturday camping, before heading home on the Sunday. It’s always good camping with the guys and the usual suspects of Rod, BJ, Baz were here, this time also joined by Owen and Annie, Noel and another Hobie fishing mate, Mike.

Friday dawned bright and sunny and after a lazy breakfast, Jules chilled at the campsite for a couple of hours whilst I went hunting for Peacock Jumping Spiders. Not knowing where to specifically look for them, I literally drove 200 metres out of the caravan park and pulled over in a small gravel area opposite the Molloy Island ferry road. I managed to find a couple of brown Jumping Spiders pretty quickly but not the elusive Peacock variety I was chasing. But then, after a good hour or so of crawling through the bush I spotted one, with a female, in a small patch of heavy grassy stuff. I then spent the next 30 mins or so playing chasey with him through the grass trying to get a decent picture. The bloody things are tiny and quick, making them difficult to photograph but I eventually managed to get some pics, including a pic of him dancing for the female! This was the first time I’d seen a Peacock Spider dance so I was chuffed. Unfortunately the angle I was on and the surrounding trees etc. meant the pic isn’t the greatest but it was better than the GoPro video I shot which came out blurry as I couldn’t see them in the viewfinder to check my focus.

The first Jumping Spider I found. Not the brightly coloured Peacock variety I was looking for but still pretty cute nonetheless.
The first Jumping Spider I found. Not the brightly coloured Peacock variety I was looking for but still pretty cute nonetheless.
Maratus Karrie. You’d think with colouring like this that they’d be easy to spot, however, that’s not the case..
My only shot of him looking towards the camera
Maratus Karrie
Their eight eyes met from across the bush… This is the bigger female my little guy was trying to woo.
And he’s off and dancing!! You can see how he flattens and lifts his abdomen which he waves side to side along with his 3rd pair of legs.

Following my spider hunting success, I grabbed a quick shower before taking Jules out for a lovely lunch at Glenarty Wines just up the road. Glenarty is one of our Augusta favourites, boasting a reasonable wine list, great food and a nice atmosphere, with none of that wanky bullshit some of the larger and more commercial wineries have.

Lunch was fantastic but we were stuffed afterwards and decided to finish our wine outside on the tables under the shade. The day was beautiful and our location idyllic, but that was until I was struck down with hayfever, quickly turning into a red eyed, snot monster.. Before we packed it in, we did manage to get a couple more shots of another small Jumping Spider that decided to join us at the table, at one point climbing and hanging out on my wineglass.

Our Glenarty Wines table sharing jumper..
Our Glenarty Wines table sharing jumper.

Friday night was spent sitting around the campfire, sharing a few too many drinks with the crew and chatting. All in all a great day.

The clouds came in overnight and Saturday afternoon/evening is forecasting rain, but the morning was dry so Rod, BJ, Jules and I did some exploring, driving out around East Augusta, whilst Noel and Baz chased more fish and Owen and Annie went into town.

We had a nice little drive, but we didn’t spot anymore Peacock Spiders or anything else to unusual.

A little weevil looking bug I spotted.
A couple of bronze coloured beetles sharing a flower head.
Another little jumper I found at East Augusta
An inch long bullant in the grass
A small Dragonfly hanging out in the bush.
Not sure what these flowers are but they were pretty
More flowers in the bush
Mucking around with processing a fern leaf a bit differently
A bee collecting pollen
Another jumper..
A flower head which was paperlike
A tiny, only a couple of mm long, grasshopper bug thing, but his eyes we huge compared to the rest of his body.

We expect this’ll be our last trip in the Goldy before Christmas when once again we’ll be heading back down to Augusta for our annual pilgrimage.

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