Saturday, 6 September 2014

Lone Almond

It's an odd morning.  It's very warm outside yet overcast, and the wind is swirly loudly in the distance although it's not really windy here.  We have a severe weather warning in place for early this afternoon for very strong winds, and hopefully some rain.  So, I decided to tackle some inside jobs.  At the top of my list is THE drawer in the bedroom, the one where for the last 2 years I have just stuffed in any receipts out of my purse.  One of those "I'll sort them out next week" scenarios, you know what I mean.  Anyway, I went through the whole darn lot and tossed out a myriad of useless receipts, like the bottle of wine we bought on 28th May 2012.  :-)  Neo had the best fun however, pouncing into the middle of the pile, gleefully ripping papers into shreds.  I live to amuse him.
Neo continues to haunt high places, the high bookshelf is his new second home and he sleeps there a lot during the day.  He can see out over far horizons through the front window and chatters at any bird he might see.
 Work continues on the retaining walls.  Steve has managed to finish the steps which are just fabulous.  Sturdy and strong with no movement.  He's used the treated pine sleepers for the risers and has filled the steps with limestone pebbles.  No more trooping through the sand dunes to hang out my washing! :-)
He's managed to follow the curves of the concrete paving beautifully, complete with much cursing and calculating.  All the edges or the timbers are being sanded, the tops of the posts are being bevelled and everything butts together perfectly.  He is a clever lad, the lad who always claimed he hated working with wood!
We've put a temporary fence up all around the back of the house, right up to nearly the back boundary.  It will be great to be able to gaily plant up all the new area without fear of kangaroo chewing.  These are part of my native plant bank, right at the back.  It may not look like much to you, but I am quite pleased with the growth of these plants, considering they were all bought as 'tube stock', ie miniscule little seedlings.  They've been in for 18 months to 2 years and most have survived.
The grass we put in at the front of the house has started to grow now the weather is warming up.  It will be soooo good not to have sand blowing all over the place this summer!
The new fruit trees are all showing signs of life, ending their winter dormancy.  The almond tree has outdone itself and has been covered in flowers, and as we could see the galahs and 28s eyeing them off, we put up our very first fruit tree net, using two long pieces of black poly pipe arched over the tree to hold up the net.  Mind you, Steve had a wander down there this morning and reckons he can only see one almond, so perhaps the flowers haven't been pollinated.  It wouldn't surprise me actually, as the weather has been so weird, much warmer than usual, so the trees are all flowering early, and maybe the bees haven't been paying attention!  So, it could be rather a lot of overkill, that net, just for one almond, ha ha ha.
It was 'clean up the vegie patch' week this week, digging up the spuds, tossing out the old broccolini plants, weeding, and preparing beds for the spring plantings.  Normally the chooks don't have access to this vegie patch, but I tossed them over the fence one by one so they could help out with gobbling up any bugs.  These are my three originals, Anne, Angie and Leanne, looking very chubby and well feathered now their moulting has finished.  They had the best time in here!
And here is the new girl Bridget Bardot, also having the time of her life.  She is my shadow, I think because I protected her a lot when she was being bullied.  Her neck is still a little bald but her new feathers are coming through and she will be fluffy soon.  Thank goodness the pecking order crap has finished, they all get on very well now.  I couldn't get a photo of Angeline Jolie, she was too busy underneath a giant silverbeet plant to grace us with her smiling face.
They are a bit of a pain when I'm trying to dig, as they've figured out each new spadeful of dirt is where the majority of worms are to be found.  Half the time I end up lifting not only a spadeful of dirt out of the hole, but a chicken too that is standing on top of the dirt!  When they all went back to their yard later, they lolled about in a contented stupor, with the fattest, bulging crops, full of worms and slugs.
We had a drive to Shelley Beach a couple of days ago.  Love that beach.  We used to bring to kids here when they were tiny as it's a beach with a freshwater creek running across it, great for rinsing off in, not to mention the fact that it's also very beautiful.
It's busy busy busy at the moment, seeing as how spring has announced itself, so we are doing lots of chores outside.  Hard work but very satisfying.  The grass and weeds seem to spring out of nowhere after a week of slightly warmer temperatures and in the distance you can hear the thrum of ride-on mowers and tractors on nearby properties hard at work which I love, and, oddly, the sounds of someone playing the drums, very badly.  I love early spring, enjoying nature bursting forth, but still too early for the bush flies, ha!

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