Monday, 31 December 2007
" Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition."
Wishing you all the best for the coming year - health, happiness, and inspiration for unique work, what ever it is you like to create.
Sunday, 30 December 2007
Saturday, 29 December 2007
I worked in the garden for a few hours from about 6.30 this morning, pulling weeds and cutting back the exuberant summer perennials that had been flattened by more than four inches of rain that fell in the storms of last week. We still need more rain as the garden is dry in patches and my trees look stressed. This was a shot of my 22,500 litre water tank overflowing in the rain - it was a shame to see it being wasted, but there is enough now to sparingly water the garden and save some in case of bush fires.
Benefits of the warmer weather? My raspberries continue to ripen and I have just picked a big bowl, frozen some and taken the rest to friends for their dinner. The big dog kept me company and ate any I dropped as well as gently picking those she could reach herself. So much for her being a raspberry guard dog!
The other good thing is that I have been working on the January Journal Quilt for the Aust - NZ Art Quilt group and am very happy with the way it is progressing. No photos yet, but it might be finished tonight and I shall photograph it tomorrow.
Delores the little baby chook is doing well. Her adopted Mother is now taking her out into the main hen run to show her how to scratch and find yummy stuff to eat, while protecting her with much clucking and ruffling of feathers, from the mean Gladys. It is very sweet to watch the chick stay so close, and the way in which the art of mothering has come so naturally to Dorothea and transformed her behaviour.
Thursday, 27 December 2007
One of my gifts was this gorgeous little chicken, a Rhode Island Red cross, who came from Vic Market on Christmas Eve in a shoe box - constantly chirping its little heart out. Already named Delores by friends of my daughter, she was gently tucked under her new mother Dorothea, the broody chicken on the page below, at night, and seemed to know exactly what to do despite having been hatched in an incubator. The plaster egg and golf balls were removed from the nest, and by the next morning Dorothea was behaving like a proud and protective mother, clucking at her new baby and anyone else that comes near. They have had a couple of days in the nest box, but today ventured out into the main run. Most of the chickens are not interested, but one is a bit aggressive and might harm the little one. I have installed an upended wire crate a few inches off the ground as a haven for the chick, and have seen her rush under it if she is frightened, so fingers crossed that she will survive this new big and scary world. Mother chook is staying very close, shepherding her around the pen, showing her what to eat and ruffling her feathers if she feels the baby is threatened. I shall keep you posted on her progress...
Tuesday, 18 December 2007
Imagine a scene from' The Bill' or 'CSI', where a squad of police are walking across a field in a line searching for clues at a murder scene. Now imagine the same scene with ducks instead of people – common Australian Wood Ducks - more than thirty of them waddling along, mumbling to each other as they raise insects ahead of them in their search for food and leaving copious quantities of dark green slimy poo where they have been. This is the time of year when families seem to gather together with their new offspring in large flocks and this morning they again visited me. Charming you think? Definitely not! Early this morning they traversed my vegetable patch, stripping young Broccoli plants to their stalks, removing the centres from the Sweet Corn and eating the lettuces. Secondly the Pink Dog loves to roll in their evil smelling green poo when I'm not looking, she did and she then needed a bath.
I have a 4 metre long row of Raspberry canes along a fence, and this year promises the best crop ever. Two days ago, noticing that a very few were beginning to colour, I immediately rushed to find the bird netting and quickly covered them thinking I had beaten the birds at last. Earlier today, my attention was drawn by the loud squawking of a young Currawong sitting on the fence, demanding attention. Its Mother was somehow getting Raspberries through the netting and had been feeding it for breakfast! I have since picked all the ripe ones and readjusted the netting. I'm thinking of tethering the big dog, who hates birds nearby to protect the rest of the crop.
Pathetic rather than pesky – Dorothea the Light Sussex chook has been broody for about three weeks, and is sitting with great determination on a plaster egg! She is looking poorly, missing feathers and very pale, leaving the nest box only to feed late in the day. Oddly the other chickens squeeze in beside her to lay their eggs and today I retrieved three from under her warm fluff. I know they were not all hers as some were white and she lays brown ones.
Pesky bird story #4. When my fruit trees were covered with blossom there was a series of heavy frosts and no fruit developed on the pears, plums, cherries, quince and most of the apples as a result. One old Granny Smith tree seemed lucky enough to escape the damage and was covered with small apples a few days ago. I mean hard, green bitter apples less than 2 cms in diameter. I thought it would soon be time to net it, but I am too late. They are all now lying on the ground beneath the tree, many untouched but most with a small bite out of one side. I blame the beautiful but very destructive Scarlet Rosellas that abound in the area.
Sunday, 16 December 2007
Saturday, 15 December 2007
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
I have joined the Aust-NZ Art Quilters Journal Project as well as the Unique Stitching Art Quilt Challenge that will raise money for the NSW Cancer Council. I was too late discovering Sharon B's wonderful Take a Stitch Tuesday to participate, but will be doing her Take it Further Challenge and hopefully might be able to combine it with the Journal quilts. In addition, my niece has been promised a quilt for her January wedding and no doubt, other projects will pop up along the way, and then there is the garden .......2008 promises to be as busy and over committed as 2007, but would you want it any other way?
Today's photo is of Oriental Poppy seed heads - the poppies were self sown in my vegetable patch where I had planted peas. I did not get round to weeding them out so you can guess which plants won!
Sunday, 9 December 2007
Thursday, 6 December 2007
Monday, 3 December 2007
Recently I pulled down a series of tatty metal arches over which some equally tatty roses grew, in preparation for the construction of a much more solid timber pergola that will be more in keeping with the scale of this large block and garden. The sturdy upright posts need to be placed in concrete more than half a metre deep in the ground, so a mechanical digger was brought in to dig a series of neatly circular holes. This was to happen one day last week when I needed to be in Melbourne all day and I left the builders to get on with it, expecting on my return to see a sort of timber Stonehenge happening, and was somewhat puzzled that there was nothing to see except the holes, and a moonscaped area that looked as if wombats had been burrowing.
I needed to make a phone call on my return, but when there was no dial tone, I just thought it was due to was another power failure, water in the lines or any of a number of things that commonly happen in rural areas, and it was not until I had reported the problem to Telstra that the penny dropped. Sure enough when I inspected the holes in more closely this is what I found. The guys had severed both the water main and the telephone line with their very efficient digging machine. The water main had been fixed, but the telephone lines were flapping in the breeze.
Two and a half acres of garden, so what are the chances of hitting both water and telephone lines in the same hole? Should buy a lottery ticket?
Anyway - I have been without a telephone or Internet connection for five days, until half an hour ago when a lovely bloke from Telstra fixed it so I am once again in touch with the world!