Saturday, 31 October 2009

Hope Chest is full of hope...

The Hope Chest has taken a bit of a battering, first lot of seeds were knocked over by my DH accidentally...
Second lot well a kind neighbour was looking after them for me whilst we went away on our holiday....
Something ate them all when they forgot to bring them inside at dusk.....
My third and final lot are showing promise.

Basil seeds sprouting..if anyone can tell me how to get them up in the garden by direct sowing I would love to know.

Dwarf Capsicum with a little capsicum on it already and more flowers developing.
 Bean, tomatoes, melon, seedlings

Nasturtiums,  zuchhinis, pumpkins, honey dew melon,

Eggplant (Aubergine), Chilis, tomatoes,

Choko(green wrinkled thing), Avacado seed, and Rockmelon

Fig and one of my grapes,

I have been picking Broad Beans, and still my silver beet is going well.  Some is begining to go to seed.  I have purple podded peas, and snow peas.  g

The warmer weather has seen the garden just go crazy.  Everything is growing at such a rate, I will have to do a lot of pruning when the flowers have ceased on many of my shrubs, as they are almost making the pathways impenetrable. The scent from the Jasmine flowers is rather heady on the warmer evenings, and the curry plant in the foreground is just budding up for flowers.

Between the Diosma (small flower shrub behind the foxgloves) and the white daisies is one of our paths, (which I had almost cleared and begun to regravel, in early winter) The rains put an end to that and now the pathway is overgrown, pretty but ...

It is an amazing year for the foxgloves, and in the background some of the broad beans I plantedin the flower beds are almost ready to pick the pods from.
The irises are still coming up, a lovely white on on the right of the picture, (my photos are not quite as good as a friend kindly lent me her camera and I have not any idea how to use

New Leaves on my Kafir lime,

Look carefully you can see a flower bud or two on my Tahitian lime fingers crossed..

So all in all things are happening in my Spring Garden, and my hope chest is full of positive hope! 

Taj mahal is now occupied..YIPEE!

Please note Chook means Hen in
Four lovely Barnevelder chickens have made the Chooky Taj Mahal their home for two weeks now and how welcome they are. 

They are 9-11 weeks old nowand are settling in well, I believe
It will be a few more months before we will get eggs.  My idea is that they get used to being handled and Toby as he is a part of life at our place.

They are delightful and many hours have been lost by both Toby and I watching their antics.   
They are a Dutch breed who are a quiet and delightful temperment.  They are not mean to be as flighty as some breeds.  I have been getting them used to Toby and attempting to get him used to them.  He has helped us gather one escapee up, (the fencing was not quite finished) and this chook had jumped out of the Taj whilst I was sorting out water and food.  Off chook and dog, me and DH went.  Toby found her and indicated by standing at one side of a large tussock of grass on the dam wall where she was.  She was well hidden..he remained on his side enabling me to get her and settle her.  On return to the Taj and her sisters she ran to them clucking and sharing her great escape. (attempt anyway)LOL Fences are all up now thanks to my DH hard work. They are lovely girls, and I have built a small safe out door run for them and how they love to be out scratching and eating the grass.

I have a worm farm so they have had a meal or two of worms and other insects I have gathered from the garden.  I love it when one finds a worm and have a real chuckle as I watch their antics, as they chase and try to steal from the one with the worm.  Little do they seem to realise that I have actually put quite a few worms in their.  lol.
Those of you who have chooks I would love to know what you feed them if you do not use a store bought product.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Get them wagons rollin...

We have been away for just over a week.  It was meant to be a very relaxing holiday, which it was in many ways.  We went on a horse drawn colonial wagon holiday.  We being Dh and I and Toby.  We had to cross the 200+miles across Bass Strait first.  So a night trip on the Spirit of Tasmania Ferry. I booked a cabin as I could not imagine sitting/sleeping in recliner chairs with 100+ others all snoring and what ever else and feel rested at 5:40am when we have to get up and get organised to move down to the car, and continue our journey.   So a7 plus hour drive (including dog stops and walks, lovely walk with Toby around Deloraine along the river.

) to Devonport to catch the boat, the overnight trip, all was wonderful.  Off the boat and through Melbourne, out and on the way to a very tiny place called Rehola (about 50km from Bendigo) where we were to commence the caravan holiday.  Only problem is I was in such a mood and had a shocker of an argument with my DH..which made the journey so horrendous for the last 1+hours.    I don't understand it and these moods swings of mine fluctuate so widely and come on so quickly.  I guess the tired factor and stress of getting on the way did not help.

I have to ask myself why does going away cause such a great deal of stress? 
Are holidays stressful for others out there?
Okay the holiday was very different, think camping trip, with more comfortable beds, and living setup, hard roof, and the fact you could pack up and move each day (if desired to a new location).  No power, hot water unless you boiled it up, not flush toilet, no TV, computer , telephone,  shops, or mobile phone (only because my battery ran out and I could not be bothered to ask Patrick the owner of the set up to charge it, he would have very happily).
We had a basic fibreglass wooden caravan, in a bit of a gypsy style.
With a gas grill and hot plate, gas light, double bed and two single beds.  Plenty of storage, a grill for bbqs, a dutch oven for cooking over the fire, and a bush toilet, consisting of a shovel, bucket and toilet seat construction you could use.  For us it was just easier to dig a hole and be very basic.

Our lovely Clydesdale horse Penny, a fiesty 14year old, with a similar dispostion to mine at times.  Wanting to be in control most of the time and requiring some real relaxing to let others take over.  (something this holiday kind of assisted me to grasp a bit more, thanks to my DH and Penny).

Patrick or his daughter Amanda came out every day we were moving, and harnessed up the horse, and ensured that we were comfortable managing the horse and caravan.  They would show you were you were going and assist if needed at steeper parts fo the road, and if they were going a different way to normal for the  Penny.  I loved the slowness (7-8km an hour) of the journey, and the smell of the horse and her distinct personality.  Both of us humans had visions that we would walk along beside her for an hour or so, needless to say our fitness level would not allow it.  Toby loved it once he got into the swing of being a real working dog (as Patrick described him he was a bit of a well he is a pet).  Toby's first experience was to sit on the wagon at my feet and just watch, but oh no he wanted more, so he managed to jump off (out of my grasp) and almost get killed as he went forward infront of the wheels next to Penny, and not being aware of the speed we were travelling tumbled in a distinct sommersault.  Almost getting run over..thankfully he was not hurt just a bit bruised and shaken.  After this he settled down (particularly if we ignored him) to running alongside Penny. He loved it.   He was foot sore, and I would assume muscle sore, but did he want to stay on the wagon, NO WAY, he had to be running along side.

We had two days where we moved campsites, and then wanted to stay put for two nights, which was brilliant.  Sulpher crested cockatoos, and galahs abounded in this area, as to grey kangaroos, which we only saw a couple. The area had, quite a bit of rainfall very recently and was lush and green having been in drought for a few years.  It is a gold mining/fossicking historical area.   We had two periods where we had a full day without moving so two nights in one spot, for us this was the best in that we sat around relaxing, reading, drawing playing cards, or just watching the birds, nesting.  The song of the magpies was wonderful and the dawn chorus spectacular.  Sunsets serene and bliss in so many ways.  Peace and not another person around.  Sheep in the paddocks at times, but just us and Penny.

I would not enjoy it in much warmer temperatures as the flies and heat for me would be too much.
Strangely we had much colder nights there than at home, our first two days were windy and cool, with a shower.  However the rest of the trip was sunshine, warm days and blue skies. So nice to have had this as on arrival home it was still wet and cool.

I would like to have included more photos however sadly on our second day,  somehow I dropped my camera (not realising it) and Penny accidently trod on it, and or the caravan rolled over it.  Digital cameras do not survive this treatment very well.  We had no showers for a week(well I did have the opportunity at one point two nights before we left, but soap would not lather, it was nice to have running hot water.   We only changed our outer clothes once in the week as it got hotter.  We had a great time, an interesting time, and for a family holiday it would be something really special if you like camping.  I am glad I did but my days of camping are a thing of the past.  I like a few comforts and these are simple really, flushing loo and hot water on tap. 

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Early mornings

I was awake at 4:30 this morning, and being wide awake and unable to get back to sleep I rose and dressed in the dark, came down stairs to a chilly room, lit the fire, and watched the dawn breaking.  The dawn chorus was incredible, well worth being up to hear the celebration of the birds that another new day has dawned.  The Kookaburras laughed, 3 Swans flew overhead, one of the Sea Eagles was soaring about on the warming air across the river. I stood in the garden listening and observing all that we have around our home, with the scent of the smoke from the fire and a glimmer of snow on the Hartz Mountains in the distance.    I was unable to take photos of any of the birds light was not suitable but the garden and morning light on the water well these I can share with you!

I was unable to take photos of any of the birds light was not suitable but the garden and morning light on the water well these I can share with you!

I came inside to a warmer house (marginally) and decided to catch up with my reading of my blogs, and down load some photos onto the computer.  As I began Murph our cat wanted a cuddle and jumped up onto the computer desk, well onto the key board. Not happy with this he climbed onto my right arm and sat, not easy to touch type with a cat who weighs in at 5kg on your arm. He eventually decided to climb up and sit over my shoulder, purring and dribbling than slumbering after all it is only 5am and he needs all the cuddles and catnaps he can get.

  (one dribble happy, 2 dribbles unbelivably happy, three dribbles estatic and I need to shower and he goes on the  So I spent a happy hour or so reading blogs with my espresso coffee, toast with homemade seville orange marmalade watching the sun rise and the sun's heat begin to warm the room.

Friday, 2 October 2009

A day in our life with mother nature

The photos on this page are a trip Toby and I made recently, Saturday 27th September, little did I know the tragedy that was happening in the Philippines, and Vietnam this same weekend. 

For me it was a regular day out experiencing the wonders of nature!

The photo below is on the way into town, thankfully someone had been through before us. 

This photo is just as we near the larger of the towns near us.  The police told us it was now only four wheel drive vehicle access.  Our little car had to make a detour! 

The river has never risen to cover the main road bridge
even though this shows the river at low tide.

It was quite amazing to see the blossoms still intact on this
tree in town, after all the wind and rain.
This is across the river heading to a friends place to check they were okay.
The rain continued for the next 24hours. We were lucky we only had a blackout for 14hours.  Some areas of Tasmania were without power for 5days.  The storm was across most of the state.

Toby is keeping his eyes on the road..

you can see why..

This was on the way home, I thought we might be able to go under the branches, but then I noticed that there were power lines tangled in the tree branches, (PHEW!) so we had to take a detour around the coast road and saw the beauty of gum trees (eucalyptus) growing on the foreshore, sea gulls on a flooded jetty,  an amazing arbour of flowers and donkeys on a rescue farm looking pretty in pink!

Our neighbours had a large branch down, but it missed their home we had many smaller branches about the place.  Lots of kindling for next winter!  :)
Fortunately no one was killed and we are all safe and dry. My heart goes out to those people and families in Indonesia, vietnam and the Island areas of Samoa and Tonga.  Who were not so fortunate.