Showing posts from February, 2008

Fruit trees

In addition to our other fruit it emerged (when the fruit appeared) that we had a peach tree (see left).

On picking some of them (and a pear) there was evidence of marsupials: see toothy image to the right.

The apple trees continue to do well, although we don't know what variety this (to the left) is. Note netting around the pear trees in the background. On the right is a view from inside the net - I think this is a Conference pear (or it would have been in the UK when I grew up).

A Penguin in my esky

This is effectively the story of our visit to the South Coast of NSW in mid-February 2008. For a change I thought I'd get the explanation of the title out of the way early. The background is that our National Scientific research place likes to get dead birds to add to their collection of skins, skeletons etc. The protocol is that when you find a corpse you freeze it and wrap it and then deliver it to them . We found the pictured Penguin when we were a fair trek from the car but we did have an esky (aka ice-box) in it. However, we were about an hours drive from our accomodation and we suspected the bird would be fairly ripe when we got back. Also, although our host is a birder, we were not sure how she'd feel about waterfowl in the fridge!

One of the key elements to the trip was to visit the historic village of Tilba-tilba to check out the dining table situation in the woodworks there. They had a good sample made of red gum but it wasn't quite what we wanted so we asked for…

The Daily - OK weekly - news

The title started as a quote from one of the many ear-worm songs in Guys and Dolls in which the narrator asks "What's happening in the Daily News?". But I don't intend to do this on a daily basis (Thank Deity you cry.) However there are a couple of odds and ends worth reporting as a bit of rustic interest.

I have commented in another posting about the amount of blackberries we have picked. I think the total is now up to 10kgs in El Rancho Carwoola with a further 3 - 4 kgs despatched to the Upper Swamp (aka the US Embassy) in Weston. I have experimented by adding some extract from some blackberries to the secondary fermentation of a couple of bottles in a brew of Draught Bitter which I bottled today. The idea was to try a lambic approach: possibly by the time it has matured the berries will all have gone so it will be too late to repeat the exercise this season if it is a success.

As well as blackberries we have been getting a good crop of mushrooms following some nice …

An avatar to believe in

The underlying story follows the image. One of the characters who provides colour and movement to the Canberra birdwatching scene is Geoffrey Dabb, who is a brilliant photographer and video taker. He also has a good sense of the ridiculous, and after I accurately identified a butterfly on the COG chatline sent me this image.

Other animal acts

These two shots are of a bearded dragon, which pleased me with the yellow colour (and the beard). It froze niecly until Igot too close when it scarpered up a nearby Eucalyptus viminalis (see photo below).

This shows the civil engineering of the local wombat. I suspect it has got fed up with its previous pit being flloded so has gone upbank a bit.

More garden stuff

This collection shows a zucchini, some of our raspberries (hitting their straps in fine order) a Russian Black tomato and a mignaficient Jubilee tomato - the yellow jobbie. The tomatoes are hinting at going beserk, but at the moment the climatic Prozac is keeping them under control.

These flowers - known apparently as "Naked Ladies" are clearly visible from my study window. And I am not going near that designation: there is no telling who might read the post. We thought they were the much safer "Nerrines, but have expert advice that nerrines are "different". Last year they didn't flower at all, despite all the water that the Over100s sprayed around. so the breaking of the drought has had this further advantage. I hate to rabbit on about the begonias, but they really are doing well at the moment. The huge red one in the image is the second flower, after the original flowering stem broke off due to the weight of the first blossom..


The three images below are of members of the phylum Arthropoda seen on a walk organised by the Australian Native Plants Society. I suggest click on the image to get a better look at these quite pretty beasts.
This colourful beast was enjoying the view on one of our strawberry plants. I didn't whup it at once (which I will probably regret when we find the strawberry patch - which has gone feral - all gets eaten). The Don King look spreads to eucalypt munching caterpillars. It was about 9cm long!

Getting roots

Some of you may recall an emailed tome entitled "How to get a screw in Dar es Salaam" (which the benefit of recent recruits was about punctures) so will not be disappointed to find that this is about gardening. It will at least start off with crops from below the ground, thus justifying the juvenile attempt at humour in the title.

We purchased a fair range of 'upmarket" seed potatoes and then spent $50 on straw to get them heading in the right direction. There was initially some concern that the selected planting spot was too wet for them after a couple of plants chucked wobblies and Frances found some rotten tubers. However when we actually got to dig them up (very late January) most of them were in most bodacious shape and condition. The image is the produce from one of 8 rows, and weighed 14Kgs. This was one of the heavier yielding varieties: my guess would be that we got close to 50kgs in total.

The first lots of carrots we grew in what we refer to as the dog run,…