Monday, 29 October 2012

Flutter and Buzz

I wish to quote myself, something that I uttered only one week ago.....

"So far, touch wood, we haven't had a huge problem with insect pests"

I believe the flying insect world heard me, had a conference, and decided that the our property was the place to be.  There are fifty trillion tiny moths having a wonderful time living and cavorting and laying eggs in plants, but they have a particular love for the brassica family, that being cabbages, broccoli, brussels sprouts and the like.  It is said that you can grow cabbages all year, but in reality it is better to grow them in winter because there are far less bugs around.  We have only a few broccoli and cabbage plants left anyway, so we may pull them up and concentrate on the new plantings, which are the summer crops like tomatoes. 

It is amazing how one day there are no moths and then suddenly there are hundreds of them.  Not only moths, I was standing at the shed window washing dishes when I noticed gazillions of bees swarming outside.  But what was interesting was that had that happened in our city back garden, they would have hung around for hours and turned into a seething mass in a tree that was ultra scary, but out here in the countryside, the big swarm just cruised slowly past and made their way off through the forest.

The other phenomenon that occurs late October, coinciding with the farmers cutting pasture for hay making, is the arrival of mega millions of bush flies!  The sort that like to crawl in your mouth and your nose and your eyes.  When working outside, measures must be taken to keep one's sanity and avoid shrieking every swear word in one's vocabulary.  You have no idea how brilliant fly nets are, and boy does it stick it up the flies, who crawl over the net mere inches from your face that they desperately want to get to, and cant.  Ha!  Sucked in flies!
I have prattled on rather a lot about bugs!  It is something you just have to accept and get used to if you want to be a country bumpkin, it's all good.  :-)
However, I ordered something interesting today.  We try to be organic and not use pesticides,  and I am dabbling in companion planting and beneficial insect attracting plants.  I was watching a David Attenborough show about plants on ABC last night and they showed  glass houses in Kew Gardens and how they hang cards covered with the eggs of predatory insects which hatch and help to control pest bugs.  I had heard that you can buy eggs of predatory insects and that show got me interested again, so I hit the internet and found what I was looking for.  After some research, I've ordered 500 lacewing eggs from here, it will be very interesting to see what happens.  They may all hatch and nick off but worth a try.

In the meantime, the sugar snap peas and snow peas are slowing down after a fantastic crop, gosh we have eaten so many, they have been brilliant.  The broad beans are in abundance at the moment too and being young, are very yummy.  I picked heaps of both, blanched them and froze them.  It will be nice to still be able to enjoy eating them when the plants have finished.
We have rather relaxed kangaroos here.  No hopping for this lot, lazing and lolling is the much preferred option.
House update.  We have been busy painting the skirting boards.  As we are old crocks, crawling around on our hands and knees for hours means evenings of anti-inflammatories, hot wheat packs and drinking wine to recover.  Possibly everyone else in the world already knows about these, but we made the most fabulous discovery and purchase to assist us. Da-dum - knee pads! 
No idea which way up we are supposed to wear them but this is the most comfortable.  They are brilliant, so comfortable when kneeling on a concrete floor.  Here is moi modelling them.

And here we have a skirting board for your viewing pleasure, complete with three coats of "White Illusion" in satin sheen.
Our builder put skirting boards along the front of the hearth, and I like the way it ties it in to the rest of the house, apparent now it has a coat of paint on it.  The wood fire is sitting in position, just awaiting the installation of the flue.
This is the cupboard in the laundry.  Three sliding doors along the length of one wall,  and floor to ceiling shelves within, I love it!
We have a walk-in robe in our room, with the standard single shelf.  We asked our builder very nicely if he would put a couple of extra shelves above the standard ones.  Our ceilings are higher than normal so there is room for another shelf.  One above the robe door...
And one across the back of the robe.  You have no idea how happy I am to have so much built-in storage space in this house!  Our last house had virtually none and it was something I was determined not have happen again.
I have one little urk with the house, very small but it niggles at me at the moment.  These are the fluoro lights we chose for the living area and kitchen.  Simple, bright and easy to change the globe and clean.  Looks okay up close.
But as you move further away from the light, the round baseplate becomes visible.  I am sure that with the ceiling painted white and the passing of time it will become insignificant, but for now I can't stop looking at it, arrgh!
And finally, here is a photo of the hallway.  Every morning for an hour or so the sun comes in the back windows and I love seeing the sunbeams dancing across the floor.

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