Thursday, 13 March 2008

Monga National Park

These pictures come from the ANPS Wednesday Walk in Monga National Park at the top of the coastal escarpment. Everyone was most surprised to find a Monga Waratah (Telopea monganensis) in flower in March. Everyone was less surprised to find leeches in fair numbers.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Gardening as Autumn falls

The large news up to the 8th of the month is that our grape vines have produced this year! After the work we have put in to weeding (mainly Frances); mulching (Martin), pruning (mainly Rob and Carol Ey); and netting them this is good stuff. They eat very well, although for some reason taste somewhat like feijoas!

After a very cool Summer the start of Autumn has seen a nice warm spell. This has really kicked our tomtoes along. We have gone for variety rather than the supermarket junk standard. I can't remember some of the names but the big yellow ones are Jubilee (excellent, all flesh) and the greenish ones are Black Russiians (taste nice but mainly an interesting colour).

The other activity has been preparing for the great daffodil planting event. Frances has acquired 650 bulbs of various varieties, which requires about 12 square metres of bed to be dug. I have created some more patches down the drive to extend the Wordsworthiness of last year's effect (see the last bit of but this still left a need for space for about 400 of them!

Thus we decided to create a bed up near the clothesline on a patch of lawn on which little was growing. I think that little was growing there because there was no topsoil other than some sand. This involved use of most of my larger garden tools including mattock and crowbar to break up the rock. Horse poop was then spread on top and about 50 worms relocated from the spud growing area to try to get the soil a bit better structured. (All of this was followed by an 8mm thunderstorm which was just what was required.)

Monday, 3 March 2008

March News

Frances has been using the room at the East end of our house as a music and art room pretty much since we moved in. She has often commented how pleasant it is with the sun coming over the Taliesin Hills. Proving that I am only a slow learner (and not totally thick) I have now taken to enjoying the view - as well as her music. The above is a sample of what can be seen.

Talking (or blogging) of views, the following images come from an Australian Native Plants Society walk to Mount Aggie which is about 1450m up in the Brindanella Ranges just in NSW on the Western side of the ACT. The bug is an Alpine Katydid and is displaying as a result of having its head squeezed (in a caring manner of course).

The next two photos come from a Nature Reserve to the North of Canberra. The reptile concerned is formally known as the Shingle-backed Skink, but informally as the "two-headed turd". You be the judge.

I came home from a bird meeting at about 10:15 to find that Frances hasd been entertaining an amphibian in the sun room. (Or the amphibian had been entertaining her, whichever.) It is a Peron's Tree Frog based on the cruciform pupil - clearly a tree frog by the sticky pads on its trotters.