Thursday, 26 February 2015

It's Raining!

Hip Hip Hooray, it's raining today!  :-)  We've had 7-8 mm of steady soaking rain so far and that is excellent.  The earth looks contented, the plants are nodding happily and the frogs are singing in a cacophony of voice.  And we are thrilled to have a day off from hand watering.  It gets a bit much sometimes, trying to be really really careful with watering the plants, trying to stick to a weekly limit and being sad that the grass has to go brown and the plants although alive, are a bit limp and tired.  We are keeping on track, we have about 1/3rd of a tank left, with another month of dry weather, so that's okay.  We are trying not to get excited about the drilling guy that is due the end of next week to see if he can hit underground water for us - we won't know ourselves if that happens!
The poor kangaroos are so darn hungry, they are all ribby and are trying to eat absolutely anything.  We are putting a bit of food out for them, some lucerne chaff and some wheat.  I wait until they are not around, then skip around like Hansel and Gretel, laying a trail of handfuls of food all over the place, so they can come across it unexpectedly.  I know, you are thinking just how darn cute I am aren't you.  :-)  And a soft touch.  :-)  But neither of us like seeing starving wildlife and it makes us feel good to help keep them going.  And having it spread out in little piles means they don't get all aggro and competitive with each other, and we get the pleasure of sitting on the verandah watching them eat. 
This is Brutus, the biggest and dominant male.  Isn't he just the prettiest boy, he has beautiful eyes.  And freaking huge muscles, even in his summer skinniness!  We admire him but keep away from him, although he seems to have a very docile nature compared to some of the stupid teenage males.  He looks like a big mooshy teddybear.
 And on the other end of the size spectrum, this is the newest baby out of the pouch, Ghost.  We named him that because he was almost white when he was a tiny boy in Lucy's pouch.  He has darkened up now but is still lighter than the other joeys.  Isn't he gorgeous.  And I know he is a he because he dangled his willy out a few weeks ago.  Did you know that boy kangaroos have spiral shaped willies?  A fascinating fact for you....
 We been noticing a few of these lovely birds around, they gobble up the last scraps of wheat the kangaroos may have missed.  They are Bronzewing pigeons, you can just see a glimpse of the beautiful iridescent feathers in their wings.
 Autumn is the time of year for sunsets, and we are just starting to see the odd splash of colour in the late summer skies.
 Mum and Dad came down for a visit for a few days, it was great to see you both.  We had a lovely time driving around, eating out, and relaxing on the verandah.  We also went to the National Anzac Centre, which was wonderful.  It is an Anzac museum where you are given one of thirty identities of people in WW1, and you follow their story around the building, with the finale of finding out whether or not they survived.  It has been really well done, and the view from the huge picture windows is a sight to behold.
 In the meantime, all those hours hand watering does pay dividends.  We are not growing very much in the way of vegies at present, to save water, but we do have tomatoes!  I can see a session of pizza sauce making coming up.  We grow Tommytoes, they are like a big cherry tomato and sweet and delicous in salads; and Black Russians, a big, dark tomato with a sensational flavour.  Suddenly they are ripening all over the place, excellent!
 And the pumpkin plants that came up out the back, probably from my compost, have grown like the blazes.  The plants are starting to die off now, and we are left with eight big fat healthy pumpkins.  This one is a Jap variety, but I think it is actually a cross between a Jap and a Queensland blue.  This happened last year too after I had grown both varieties the year before, and it makes a very nice pumpkin.
 This one looks to be a straight Queensland Blue.  I see much soup and many scones coming up in the near future!
 Now, I seem to be able to grow good pumpkins, but melons are another matter entirely.  I am determined to grow rock melons, I have tried year after year and the plants just give up the ghost, probably from insufficient watering.  Anyway, this year a small plant plugged on courageously, bore a few flowers, and then one fruit.  I was very excited I can tell you.  Things didn't go quite as planned though, as you can see from the photo below.  The rock melon was indeed delicious, but it was the size of a walnut!  Perfect in every way, but an itty bitty miniature melon.  We got a whole teaspoon of flesh each ha ha ha.
 Here is a lovely photo of He Wot Builds Stuff, looking thoughtful.  I think he was planning his greenhouse/glasshouse, that being his next building project.  Just a tiny one, big enough to grow a few tomatoes and cucumbers through the winter, and a place to germinate vegie seeds early, and get them in the ground with a good headstart.  Photos of the developing structure next time....

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