Thursday, 20 October 2016


We had the pleasure of the company of mum and dad who toodled down here on the coach to stay with us for a week.  We treated them to a nice French dinner at the Lavender Cottage, it was a special occasion after all - Mum is celebrating her 80th birthday on Sunday.  I told her that she can now put the letters OBE after her name..... "Over Bloody Eighty"  ha ha ha.  Happy Birthday mum xx

 We spent a couple of days driving around taking in the sights, one of our favourite places was the wonderful Sculpture Park, a continual work in progress on the property of Darrel Radcliffe, a chainsaw artist.  Click HERE to read an article about him.  The drive through his property is fantastic, you stay in your vehicle and slowly cruise through, eyes peeled for carvings dotted around the place. 

Nothing beats a scenic drive around Mount Clarence to Middleton Beach, and we ended up at the beautiful Emu Point where we had a very nice lunch.
While we were in the car park I spotted a juvenile Pacific Gull hovering above.  He had some sort of shellfish in his beak, a clam perhaps, and he very cleverly hovered way up in the air above the bitumen, then dropped the clam to break the shell.  Then he did it again, diving quickly to gobble up his prize before the seagulls grabbed it.  I was most impressed at his cleverness.
Speaking of birds, this is our lot.  Breakfast time is a busy affair.  They all get on very well these days, the ducks are not quite so bossy, and most days we find 2 chook eggs and 1 duck egg in the nesting boxes.  Well done ladies.
 There are many many fat kangaroo pouches to be seen at present.
There are at least seven mums with joeys that are almost ready to start leaving their pouches for brief periods and learn how to hop and eat grass.
This little one, who has popped its head inside the pouch for a drink, has been seen awkwardly attempting to hop for the last week or so, the first of many.  It will look like a nursery here soon, I hope they all hang out together and play.
That big pile of cuttings and storm dropped branches behind the kangaroo has been sitting there while we wait for the appropriate day of weather to burn it.  That day came on Tuesday, we'd had a few dry days so it wasn't quite as soggy as usual, and, more importantly, the first day of light winds in ages, so there was no risk of embers flying around being dangerous.  After half an hour of flames it quietly smouldered away for the rest of the day.  Job well done, just in time, as the fire bans start next week.
 The orchard is continuing to sprout forth leaves and blossum.  These teeny tiny green fruit are Coe's Golden Drop plums.  They are a European plum and we are excited as there are heaps on the tree.  Lets hope they don't fall off and we get to try a few!
This is one small branch on the dwarf Sundowner apple tree.  It really is quite a show-off, absolutely weighed down with beautiful blossum.  It is also a very confused tree, it is supposed to be the latest of our five apple tree, fruiting in May/June, but this one doesn't know the rules and has been the first to flower for the last two seasons. 
 This is rather thrilling, although you may wonder why.  This is our little Stella cherry tree, and for the first time it has blossom on it.  Not a lot, about twenty flowers currently although I can see more coming.  How exciting would that be to grow a few cherries, yum!
This I am most unimpressed about.  This is our Angel peach tree, and this tree, like the other peach and nectarine trees in the orchard, are suffering from leaf curl, a fungal disease, which makes the leaves curl up and they get weird red lumps on them.  I am pissed off as I meticulously followed the rules to control this, spraying with copper when the leaves fall in autumn, and then again just before they start growing again in spring.  I did exactly what I should have, and yet the trees have the worst case of it we've ever had.  This tree in particular has got it very badly.  Oddly it doesn't seem to affect the fruit although bad and continuous infestations can weaken the tree, which is not what we want to happen.  Eventually these affected leaves will all fall off and then the healthy leaves will come through.  In previous seasons I have pulled off the affected leaves and burned them but this tree would have no leaves left if I did that.  So, I've sprayed them with copper again and I've given the trees a good tonic drink of Seasol and we'll hope for the best.  I think next year I will buy a fresh bottle of copper and I have since read that mixing a bit of oil with it can help it to stick better. 
My fenced garden out the front near the chooks is a haven for the wrens at present.  There are splendid wrens and fairy wrens and scrub wrens, all enjoying the thick cover of some of my plants.  Lots of bird arguing can be heard amid the best and thickest plants, while they contend for (hopefully) a good nesting spot.  This beauty is Grevillea olivacea, which is now about 2 metres across and 1 1/2 metres high.  It's covered in these glorious apricot flowers.
This plant, Leucospermum or teatree, is much the same size as the plant above, and is covered with these waxy flowers that have a delicious, subtle, honey aroma.  Birds and bees abound here.
This is a geranium, a particularly rampant one that grows thickly and has lovely burgundy flowers.  There was a huge hubbub going on inside this plant yesterday, lots of cross tweeting.
 I think I am rather attracted to five petalled flowers, simple ones with lovely colours.  I planted this recently, it's a ground cover geranium called Rosanne, and I was thrilled to see the first flowers emerge a few days ago, I love the colour and the delicate striping.
Well, we have sunshine outside, although the air is chilly, so I think I'll venture out and pull a few weeds up.....

1 comment:

  1. Lots of lovely happy times,great post Dy! Wonderful to have your parents for a stay.