Monday, March 28, 2011

29 March 2011.Rainy day, grass growing, and weeds growing. Nothing new in that. We have had the wettest summer and the only vege that really seems to enjoy it here is the cucumber. The eggplants hate it, the egg laying chooks hate it, and even the mossies are leaving us alone. The passionfruit vine that did so well last year has had 1 flower! At least we have cracked fertilising the Granadilla , and have some fruit on that. And our chooks have been joined by a surrogate, a bush turkey babe that thinks she is a chook. So that's fun, even if she eats the chook food. I cannot believe the speed that the grass grows. Pity we dont eat grass---and ants! then we would be self sufficient.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

We have sighted our first snake here, so at last we feel like true blue sub-tropicals! It was a little olive snake, apparently a whip snake, going from one rocky area to another. It was very pretty.
We have also wrestled with a rat plague since we got back--obviously--when the cat's away---.None left now, I hope.
The days go on being hot and shining, not a sign of a rain drop. And Tony Abbott and That mad Nick Minchin say there is no climate change. The locals cant believe how dry it is. In spite of that, the bananas look good. Amazing what a weekly bucket of water will do.
Our four baby butchies are growing up, very adolescent though. They can still put on a "Feed me Mummy squawk if an adult is silly enough to sit near them. Still they are learning to be lovely singers.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

here we are--returned from our amazing time in Shanghai. What an experience! Such a different culture from ours, and so enjoyable. A number ofaspects stand out, --Shanghai is a modern, up-to-date city, with some of the tallest buildings in the world, and at the same time the dominant mode of transport is the bike, either push bike or motor scooter, where people do the most menial jobs, with dignity, and where much life is lived on the streets, and yet there is a completely efficient metro, which even I could use easily. I particularly loved the organic feel of life-- I could buy all my food on the street, get a bike tyre mended on the pavement ( if i had a bike!), buy an SD card for almost nothing from a hole-in- the -wall shop whose primary clientele consisted of workmen from building sites, looking for a fag and a drink. It was also incredibly cold, and yet the city was full of roadside gardens, some planted with petunias, which, James says, are replaced each week, and where Topiary was elevated to an art form. Buildings would be pulled down overnight, and new ones built almost as quickly. And everywhere street sweepers-- with fresh brooms made each day from aboo pole and some willow branches, or bamboo leaves. The enclosed pictures show a tiny glimpse of life there. One pic is taken from James lounge, looking over the Pu river, which has one of the world's big ports at its mouth.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We are off to China tomorrow. What excitement. I have set up the most complicated watering system, in the hope that , if we keep having this drought, everything does not die. If it does, well, thems the breaks, and we will start again.
I have old hoses, rejoined to newer ones, systems connected to the tanks, in the hope they will just dribble enough to keep it all alive.
I have also deep watered all the new trees. Last night we were promised storms and rain, but what we got was about six drops. Just to tantalise.
The butcher babies have finally left the nest, to inhabit our silky oak. They are the most delicious fat bundles, but oh so hungry. Poor Mums!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

At last we have had some rain. The place does not look so sad and parched.
We are off to China on Saturday and now we are desperately trying to find ways to keep stuff alive. I am quite reconciled to losing veges, if we get those horrible burning days that we had in Oct and Nov, before the rain, but really hope we dont lose our little fruit trees. The one most at risk is the tamarillo, it is very soft. I think I will leave a dripping hose on it. Lucky we have 4 tanks and can set up some watering. The veges look good, tomatoes bearing more than we can eat, and cucs,coming on a treat. Eggs plants and okra flowering on small okra to eat already. Capsicum, not happy yet, rosellas, just coming on. Sad to lose those.
We have also been busy trying to set the chooks up witha run that will suit for the time away.I have never realised before how destructive they are. I am terrified they will escape and do the total destruct. In their new run we have a mandarin ,which they thought they would dig up, so we put a gravel mulch on it---quite big gravel-- well, that did not last overnight. I was quite amazed at that. Still they do produce one egg per day each, which is pretty amazing.---Eggs coming out our ears. Our butcher birds are feeding 4 BIG babies, IE we Are feeding our butchies AND 4 big babies. I hope they leave the nest before we go. They will be hungry otherwise.
Our JACARANDA is beautiful--it may be a pest, but it is a lovely one--and the perfume, floats in the loo window, and over the garden. And the concrete paving is paved with lavendar. The bees get quite drunk.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

This is detail of Joe's painting

This painting was done in the garden by Joe, who is just 3. He kept mumbling that he was painting rain!