Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dog whisperer

Fed the cows on the paddock while
Kip, the aging sheep magician bravely
stayed in the ute. On our return
caught the dogwhisperer at work
feeding the calf and exchanging
genial whispers with her offsider.
P.S. I was good to-day and even
though it hailed potted the peacock
eye daffodils!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cheer from the Shadehouse

Waterlilies, Rockhampton Bot. Gdns from our holiday in Queensland

Sunrise on the farm



Frosts threaten and most of my orchids are ailing except, oh wonder of wonders, my Zygopetalums. Wish I could share the intoxicating perfume. One plant fills a whole room to overflowing with scent of tropical sunsets and large pina coladas, perfect sandy beaches and the obligatory orchestra playing. In winter one becomes nostalgic for Queensland, Noumea, Fiji - no, not Fiji with the present political situation, or Tahiti. Sadly only Queensland is accessible to this earthbound blogger. Large aircraft play havoc with the balance of bionics in my ticker. Fortunately memory still holds true and the many places on our planet I call home walk with me still in this little slice of paradise in the driest state in the driest continent.

Back to my Zygopetalum of which I have three pots flowering concurrently as well as a solitary Cymbidium. I am happy to report that my Calendulas are a picture and the broccoli is in full bloom due to neglect of picking. Must remember to chop it back for a fourth crop. The grandchildrens' bunnies will be ever so happy! Where did the time go? Yesterday they slipped a tiny hand into mine as we wandered the paddocks or explored the creek in the wild wood and now they tower above me in time honoured role reversal and pat me on the head.....Tempus fugit....time to post blog.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Procrastination and Guilt

Ten roses to plant, no , the soil is not yet prepared, the holes
are not dug , the sheepmanure has not been trundled up the hill
by wheelbarrow. Three tree Peonies, a bag of tulip bulbs and sundries
ditto. Not all my roses (150) nor grapevines are as yet pruned. Oh help, the orchard is waiting too and the season is advancing at lightning speed. The garden beds are grassed up to my knees not to mention the paths. I need at least another 48 hrs. a day extra to catch up not to mention the strength and endurance as I flag after a couple of hours work and need a solid rest.
Guilt overwhelms me, so I procrastinate by writing my blog. Getting things off one's chest, although not serving any other purpose, at least momentarily seems to lighten one's load a little. I do hope to make some progress to-day. At least it's not as cold and windy as yesterday. Oh dear, I just remembered : my winter-hardy vegies aren't in yet either, nor the patch of rye I was hoping to grow for old times sake. A blackcurrant bush I struck last season needs a transplant. I lost all its bretheren as well as all except one and a half strawberry plants also most of my raspberries in last summer's drought not realising that the water from our major dam(n) had become much too saline for garden use. All our dams dried up for the first time in 17 years on the farm.
Enough whinging, I feel better already.
In the immortal words of Sam Gamgee's gaffer: "the job not yet begun takes longest to complete!" So back to my trusty spade, fork and pruning shears.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Crisp Winter Morning

Early morning, clear limpid light - sheer joy to be alive!
Finally managed to shoot some Adelaide Rosellas and one
White naped Honeyeater. Will post at later date.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


The biggest frost crystals I have ever seen, no not on the farm, these were on Mt Buffalo (Victoria).

On Consumerism and Vanity

Am reading a book my daughter picked up in some airport by Nora Ephron with the rather odd title "I feel bad about my neck". The contents lead me to wonder why so many women (and men too) spend so much time, money and effort on painting and preening themselves to make believe (after layers of make-up, eyelashes, dyed hair and the rest) they are something they definitely are not.
Whatever happened to growing old gracefully, being attuned to yourself and the world and liking who, and at what stage of life you are.
Frankly, I find age incredibly liberating and enjoy seeing weathered faces full of life-experience and character rather than painted stick-insects on cat-walks and other so called walks of fame.
If I painted myself up and wore 6" heels into town a few people might stare as at a rarey show, yet when I wear a happy smile and my farm gear a lot of people I don't know from Adam stop to greet me or at least smile back.
I use Skin Repair for everything and have a weekly massage, the first to keep my skin supple the latter to balance out invariably overworking in the garden.
If God, whover She is, accepts me as I am (to date I have only been granted rainbows not thunderbolts) I am content. Mankind can do as it likes, that is not my concern.

After all, only Allah is perfect.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Winter surprise

Mid winter and one perfect rose among 150 thorny bushes

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Sad Day

Recently we lost one of our two farm dogs to age and infirmity.
Selkie was a humble and loving creature, perhaps not the cleverest
with sheep on a paddock, but excellent in the sheepyards. Rescued from
bondage in a bleak backyard, she was eternally grateful for the freedom
of farm life and companionship of children and animals. She had a trick
of plucking sparrows in flight from the air totally unharmed only to be licked
to death for sheer love of them. She is sorely missel by all whom she loved and who love her.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Last autumn's crop

The total crop from one pumpkin plant was 21 in all, the first of which won a prize at our local agricultural show making me a very proud pumpkin parent!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Gray, wet winter morning

The clouds are thick and low, the rain is steady, a perfect day to settle down to the dreaded tax return. Tax returns are such a joy! Our Government some years ago in it's wisdom simplified our system from the time honoured once a year to - oh joy! - five tiemes a year, four quasterly statements plus a whopper for the whole year as well. Now how simple is that! It certainly gives the accountants something to do studying up the annual changes in the system in a book the size of the St.James version of the bible! As for me, it needs a day just like this (4 degrees C outside and wet) to motivate me to get it over and done with....I hope.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Joy shall be yours in the morning.....

Sunrise, cold winter
morning, wet feet in icy, dewy grass but after 15 years establishing a garden on a bare paddock my first Redcap Robin, Yellowtail Thornbills and a trilling Goldfinch atop the oak tree!
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