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.
Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Michelle popped down for a visit a couple of weeks ago and she brought a cool little fisheye lens that she can attach to the back of her phone for taking photos. She kindly allowed me to purloin some shots for the blog. Aren't they great!
I love the different way it highlights flowers, and the Magic Faraway Tree looks spectacular. You can see how dry and brown the ground is under the trees.
The nosy chicken had to stick its beak in for a look too. :-)
A few years ago I attempted to make Michelle a moss garden terrarium. It was gorgeous, moss mounds, pebbles and Steve made a cute Hobbit door out of wood. It didn't last very long unfortunately, the whole thing was gobbled up by a white fungi. So, this visit, Michelle brought it down with her and we cleaned it out and had a go at redoing it. We added a piece of Maidenhair fern for a tree too. M reports that it has started to get a bit of white fluff growing again, she's opened the top up to try and dry it out a bit and see if that helps. It's pretty though isn't it.
Here are Michelle and Steve at Cosy Corner.
And Steve and moi there too, we went for a little walk on a pleasant, sunny day.
Does anyone remember these? They are Chunder Buns, a relic of the seventies. Grated cheese, chopped celery and tomato sauce mixed together, dumped on halves of a bread roll then popped in the oven til melted. Very yum.
Here is the cat. As the weather is cooling off he is constantly looking for warm places to nap. He'll be very pleased when we start lighting the fire, which wont be far off now.
This is what the cat has been getting up to in the wee small hours. I picked a dozen tamarillos from my tree and dumped them in the fruit bowl. Neo cannot resist fruit that had a stem attached, and in the dead of night will sneak up on the benchtop, purloin said fruit, then amuse himself batting it around the floor.
This is the last of the harvest from the vegie patch. We are thrilled with the haul of Butternut pumpkins, first time we've grown them. I made a batch of soup yesterday, it was lovely. I have frozen some of the corn, I've been slack this time and just frozen them whole rather than stripping the kernels off the cobs. It will be interesting to see how they are when defrosted and cooked.
I finally made a start on dehydrating apple slices. This was a small experimental batch, leaving the skin on. I wont do that again, the skin goes a bit tough. Since then I've done another couple of batches with the skin off, much better.
On the reptilian front, here is Voldemort who has temporarily taken up residence in the woodpile in the shed. There are at least 3 big Voldemorts in the woodpile, and we have baby Voldemorts! Very exciting! There are three tiny little ones, like mini replicas of their parents, as long as a finger and not even as thick as a pencil. So cute, and even cuter is that they can sometimes be seen riding on the big ones' backs....I am trying very hard to get a photo of that, not yet though, the babies are very skittish.
If you look closely mid photo, you can just see the head of a baby Voldemort peeking out from behind the wood. It is trying to get to the chopped grapes I've put on top, but it's not quite brave enough to come out while I'm there. I need the parent and child photo to give you an idea of the size difference....watch this space!
My back garden is very overdue for a big prune, and yesterday I did a bit to start. The birds have finished nesting now so I figured it's time to get on with it Look what I found when I chopped down a big shrub near the back door. At first glance it looked like a mound of dried grass in the fork of the shrub, about half a metre off the ground....
but when I gently stretched open the tiny hole in the side, the wonder and technical brilliance of the (empty) nest became apparent. Inside it is soft and watertight, coated with various fluffy bits that feel almost like they've been felted, it was very thick and strong and cosy in there. I am pretty sure this the nest of the Splendid Wren.
Here's one of the females peeking at me. Clever little girl she is to make something so amazing. No wonder she raised four fine children.
I am very excited to see this bird again. It's a White Robin, there were three checking out the back garden last week, and it's the first time I've seen them for about four years. They are quite a bit bigger than the Splendid wrens and a lot shyer. I hope they stay around.
These are lovely birds too, the Western Spinebill, that chestnut colour around his chest is just lovely. He is a nectar feeder, he's sitting on my Abutilon shrub where he feeds often,
but he will be pleased too that the Bottlebrush are coming into flower now as well.
For our records, this is the tank water level on April 1st. It's gone down since then, gosh we are having a dry autumn although we've had a few little showers here and there, not enough to soak in but enough to green the grass a touch. The kangaroos will be pleased.