Peter’s Blog

I need to place on record my feeling that overwhelmingly throughout my life, my contact with my fellow men, women and children has been a total delight.
It is a recurring pleasure which I experience each day and is among the precious things which makes my life rewarding and worth living, not least because moments of the keenest enjoyment can as readily occur with a complete stranger as with family and friends.



A cherished dream, my book   One small place on earth …  discovering biodiversity where you are,   self-published in August 2019, has been long in the making. Jan Watson created its design template nine years ago. The idea of doing a book seems to have occurred during my stay with Clive Tempest, the website’s first architect, when I was visiting the UK in 2006. By the time Steve Guttormsen and I began sustained work on the book in 2017, much of which I had already written, the imperative was to create a hard copy version of a project whose content is otherwise entirely digital.


People may wonder why there is little mention of climate change – global warming on my website. There are two related reasons. Firstly, if former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s 2007 remark that climate change is the “great moral, environmental and economic challenge of our age” is true, we have not acted accordingly before or since. Rudd’s statement is only true if we collectively live as if it is true, Rudd included. Instead, our politics has wasted decades favouring business as usual, and a global economy excessively dependent on fossil fuels – in the wilful absence of a politics intent on achieving a low carbon economy. Secondly, although it is open to individuals to strive to live the truth of Rudd’s remarks, the vast majority of people, myself included, do not. I salute those who do. The precautionary principle alone makes me regard climate change as a current planetary crisis, but because I have only marginally changed the way I live, and still wish to fly, I am not inclined to pontificate on the subject.


The ‘Film Diary’ entries are selected items from the diary I keep whenever I am filming. To check location references, click on ‘Tamborine Mountain’ on the top information bar then hit the ‘Tamborine Mountain’ button on the map. 


Film Diary / 09.07.2020

Seeing is believing. This morning I photographed a lichen growing on a pvc reflective guide post next to a culvert. Lichens seem to flourish as readily on man-made as on natural surfaces. They are grouped in growth forms which describe their appearance. The most common, fruticose (shrubby), foliose (leafy) and crustose (flake-like) account for the majority of lichens that people are likely to see. It is estimated that 6% of the earth’s land surface is covered by some 20,000 known species of lichen. There are more than 3,000 Australian lichens around 15% of which are endemic.


Book / 09.07.2020

I delivered another 3 books to Canungra Books & Art at a time when retail sales have been few and far between. At the end of June, the main bookshop on the mountain also received an order from the local Federal MP. Meanwhile, around the same time, I received an order out of the blue from a library supplier. Early this month I contacted Libraries ACT, who ordered a copy via the same supplier, which I dispatched yesterday.


Film Diary / 11.06.2020

The last thing I would have expected to see this morning was a frog, and at the garage where I find most of my moths. I had to cut my walk short to return home and fetch my camera. This encounter was a wonderful instance of the natural world functioning as gloriously as ever regardless of the pandemic afflicting homo sapiens.  The frog is nocturnal and hides beneath fallen leaves, or burrows into loose soil during the day. This one may have been disturbed from its Winter quarters. Over the years I have encountered dozens on my night filming walks in rainforest, a preferred habitat of the species. This was the only one I have seen in daylight. The frog ranges from mid-coastal Queensland to mid-coastal New South Wales, with isolated populations in northern Queensland and Victoria. Length is 6.5 – 10 cm.


Book / 31.05.2020

I received an order for three books from my latest outlet. They are destined to be presented as gifts by the local Federal MP, Scott Buchholz,  in support of local authors.  I have not been in touch with any library since the end of March.


Book / 13.05.2020

After a false start due to amended hours caused by the pandemic, I visited Canungra Books and Art, having left a message on the owner’s phone about my book in pre-covid days. The shop bought two books.


Film Diary / 26.04.2020

Although the Australia-wide corona virus lock-down is highly effective, it appears to be particularly so in Queensland. I am allowed my morning walk and visits to shops and even nearby friends. I don’t recall a more glorious or warmer Autumn in my 33 years in the country, with day after day of bright sunshine and deep blue skies. My walks continue to prove most productive at the garage. Today, and four days ago, I found moths which are new to my album. This morning’s  was among only a handful present, which always enhances the thrill of discovery. Both were very small, yet their marking caught my attention and made me wonder whether I had seen them before. Both belong to the family Nolidae and are similarly coloured, but differently patterned. Were it not for the pandemic, the marvellous expert on whom I rely for species identification, would be on an extensive overseas trip and I would have had to wait until his return to write up an already extensive haul. He and his wife got no further than Perth, where they languished for a week or so before finding a flight back to Brisbane.