Our life amidst the trees, birds and kangaroos, and a peep into our attempts at
living a gentle life of home grown fruit and vegetables, funny chickens and a crazy cat.
Sunday, 18 January 2015
Out And About
It's still all about watering watering watering, gosh the ground is dry now. The magpies appreciate me filling the birdbath which dries up every other day. The squawky juvenile has taken to sitting in it, blissfully lowering its belly into the cool water. Cute.
This tree is at the back of my back garden, and a while back I hung an old bird feeder on it, with a bowl of dessicated coconut in it for the little birds. So far it has sat there forlornly, ignored, but this week I keep hearing the sounds of many many little scrub wrens and when I look out the window I can see loads of them in the feeder having a nosh up. I can't begin to describe the joy I feel, seeing the small birds slowly finding the courage to come into our newly formed back garden. The other morning was the highlight, when out the kitchen window I spied a couple of wrens making their way through the plants right up near the house, searching for bugs. I am soooo thrilled! I wasn't quite so thrilled to see the damp bellied squawky juvenile magpie sitting on top of the feeder though - he must have been getting a little bored as he amused himself pulling the sticks out of the roof of the feeder, making the one thick, thatched roof into a somewhat see-through affair. hmmm
I love that the Lesser Wanderer butterflies are being enticed close to the house by the new plants. They have taken a particular fancy to the giant pumpkin flowers.
I am determined to grow sweet potatoes, I've tried a few time without much success. They need about four months of warm weather to grow well and I suspect our climate here is a little bit too cool. It's always a race to get the slips (cuttings) growing early enough to get them in the ground early enough to grow well. I've had these slips sitting on the window sill and they've all grown healthy roots, so I planted them yesterday in a yummy, gooey bed of manure, worm castings, straw, soil mix and a dash of blood and bone and trace elements. Crossing my fingers. The soil mix we've put in the back beds, which is where I've planted the sweet potato slips, is very dark, so I am hoping that will mean it will retain more warmth than other areas I've tried growing them. Watch this space...
This is my favourite little bit of the new back garden beds. The purple flowering plant is cat mint, grown from a minute cutting from a friend. The growth of it is phenomenal and it is absolutely laden with blossom, off which is hanging hordes of bees and butterflies. In front of that is a mini greek basil plant, so handy being near the back door. And the Cousin It plant at the front is an Acacia cognata "Limelight", which will apparently grow to a metre across.
There is nothing we love more than growing what we eat, it is so satisfying, and I love knowing how my food has grown, happy that there are no poisonous chemicals involved. At the moment Steve is harvesting the summer potatoes (30 odd kilos), we have scarlet runner beans coming out of our ears (12 odd kilos), plus a steady smaller supply of carrots, round beans, cucumbers and rhubarb. The corn and the tomatoes will be next. We ended up with seven Angel peaches from our new tree, what a delicious treat that was. The new O'Henry peach tree also has seven fruit on it, not quite ready yet. We weren't expecting any fruit from such little trees so to get a taste has been wonderful.
We have just started a regime of healthy eating and upping the exercise after the binges of Christmas, to try and shift some excess weight! So loads of salads and fruit are on the menu. We treated ourselves to some Albany oysters, yum yum!!
I spend a pleasant few hours catching up with my buddy Lesley. We met for lunch at Albany Heritage Park, the area up on Mount Adelaide where the new National Anzac Centre has been built in the Princess Royal Military Museum grounds. It's the first time I've been up there to see what's been done. It is just lovely, the grounds are beautifully landscaped, there is plenty of parking, and there is a lot to see. We had lunch at The Garrison, a small cafe next to the Anzac Centre.
This is the view from the cafe window, looking don\wn over Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound.
And still more view. It was just lovely.
This is the Forts Store, a lovely gift shop showcasing local talent. I love these old buildings.
You can walk all around the Heritage Park, there are historic building dotted around, some have been put to use, I hope the other will be too. We went for a walk up the hill where there are bush tracks to old weapons and lookouts and bunkers from the war. What is great is that the public are allowed to wander at will pretty much, and the some of the big cannon type guns are about to be climbed on, with the swivel action and the raising and lowering of some of them still usable. So you get to see lots of man boys having lots of fun playing with great big guns. :-)
In keeping with our new efforts to walk more, Steve and I have been taking ourselves out every morning for a walk elsewhere, the intent also to give ourselves a bit of a holiday, and pretend to be tourists in our own area. It's been really nice. We've had a few walks on Cosy Corner Beach, we went into Albany and walked up the Middleton Beach boardwalk, did the Lake Seppings Bird Walk, and we drove to Denmark and had a great few hours at Ocean Beach. We had a look at the inlet bit first, wandering over this slightly queasy bouncing pontoon bridge to a sort of bird nesting area.
The cormorant looked on, unimpressed.
Ocean Beach is gorgeous. There is this part that is very sheltered, with small but long running waves, much to the delight of beginner surfers. The sand is pristine white and soft and the whole area is very pleasing to the eye.
And Ocean Beach goes for miles and miles, the further round you walk you notice the waves getting bigger and the skills of the surfers more pronounced. Lovely spot.
On the way home I just had to stop on Lower Denmark Road and take a photo looking over beautiful Torbay, the area that we now live. We keep pinching ourselves how lucky we are to live in such a wonderful place. :-)