Videos by a natural naturalist

Creature Feature

With many thanks to local naturalist Norm Clarke

(written by Kerri-Lee Harris)

What it means to be a ‘naturalist’

Any person who takes an interest in the natural world, looking closely and learning from what they see, is a naturalist. They may be professional researchers, students of the biological sciences, or any person with the time and interest to make observations of living things and their interactions.

Norm Clarke is a naturalist, living locally, observing and recording his discoveries as short videos.

 

A spectacular puffball

At a recent Atlas Naturalists fungi workshop Norm brought along the most fantastic puffball I had ever seen! It was 11cm in diameter and felt like a papery sponge. With purple spores! It was familiar to many people, but spectacular nonetheless.

During our discussions, Norm mentioned a movie he had made showing the real thing rather than this rather aged specimen. ‘A Puffball with Personality’ had previously been published on ABC Open, and he kindly agreed to share this with us, along with the poster below.

The Purple-spored Puffball … from start to spectacular finish. And with humour! (video by Norm Clarke, published on YouTube)

The various stages in the maturation of the puffball,  Calvatia lilacina (poster by Norm Clarke)

The various stages in the maturation of the puffball, Calvatia lilacina (poster by Norm Clarke)

More videos

Norm has made a range of such videos. Here are just a few more.

Ever wondered about those little sand pits? They’re made by ‘antlions’ … larvae of certain lacewing species (insect order Neuroptera). (video by Norm Clarke, published on YouTube)

 

The less benign side of these shiny, placid looking water skinks we all know so well (video by Norm Clarke, published on YouTube)

 

Masked Devils en masse … and their discarded wings as art! (video by Norm Clarke, published on YouTube)

 

Encounters with a huge hawk moth caterpillar. This may be Hippotion celerio (Vine Hawk Moth), a cosmopolitan species (more info). (video by Norm Clarke, published on YouTube). This story also appears on ABC Open.


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