All the same, I’m happy as I had a few plants beginning to struggle. Hell! I was struggling, but today has been off-on showery and the thermometer (which I have not yet found!) has slid down to somewhere in the ahhh-bliss! range.
But I put on my Big Girl Kni__Muriel! sunscreen and hat and set off, with a camera, into the bush across the road. There are several Eucalypts absolutely loaded with buds and I’m hoping for something spectacular when we get decent rain.
And many of the street plantings (by the City Council) feature Golden Penda Xanthostemon chrysanthos . Many happy birds!
Growing on my neighbour’s Bottle Brush is one of the native mistletoes. Pretty sure this one is Dendrophthoe glabrescens
I wasn’t brave enough to venture down into the gully (I think it’s there to carry storm water away) as it’s a good 6 or7 metres (20′) down a steep bank. I was alone and knew The Man would not hear me yell for help. And there might have been Triffids…
And I don’t know how deep that is! Sufficient for thousands of mozzies to breed!
And that will have to do for now, my lovelies. Time to put on my apron and chef’s hat and get some dinner sorted.
I will try to pop in again before too long and, I hope, have something worth “Show and Tell.”
I make no apologies for my absence from here. Suffice to say, moving house is not really recommended when you reach a “certain age.”
Apart from the body parts not always moving like a well-oiled machine, some of us STILL seem to accumulate stuff we no longer need.
So, down-sizing, whilst highly commendable, is bloody difficult. You get clothes packed into suit cases, books packed into boxes, the bigger kitchen utensils packed likewise, flower pots and cuttings assembled in a shady place for later transportation and you very wisely get the heavy-duty pros to shift the whole lot.
Nice theory! So how come the “spare” bedroom is still piled high with things?
Ah, well, I daresay places will be found for them. I must say I’m loving my new drawers! (No, Muriel, not the new knickers…). The kitchen has wonderful deep drawers with, oh joy! even more wonderful easy-glide hinges.
Did I mention that we are not far from the beach? Hmm…would have been closer, but new building approvals have seen some “new people” restrict others’ access. Ah,well, the walk will be lovely in cooler weather.
We had some drama over having the telephone transferred. Finally, after TWO HOURS on the ‘phone, being switched through THREE states and assigned a new number I was told I could expect it to be completed in 2 to 3 days. Guess what? No one could get through on the new number!Why? Our old number had been transferred. I may have said some cuss words…
Anyway, here we are, loving our new place.
Of course, Sporran was not allowed to roam alone and for the first few days tolerated a harness-and-leash outings. She seems fine with the new place and comes home when called (if she’s ready!)
Let’s play a guessing game! I’ll put a picture up and you guess what it is. What? You want a prize? Dream on, Sunshine!
Here’s a snap of some plants, still sheltering in the front entryway…with temperatures into the 30s I’m not going to risk planting much until autumn!
The sunbirds have been considering domestic possibilities and, after some quite loud vocal considerations, have decided to build a new home on a drying line The Man has strung along the front verandah.For when the rains come.
I took a quick snap early this morning as Mrs. Sunny was adding to the foundation string. Mr. Sunny was her “canary” from the top of a pole. He had Sporran covered! Very vocally! We can’t be certain of course, but perhaps these are descendants of the birds who nested and raised young ‘uns for the 20 years we lived next door…
We’ve had a couple of half-hearted showers while serious flooding has forced evacuations in southern States. Some of the hill country places have even had snow.
I’ve been sorting photos for the Garden Extravaganza. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. What I did was flood the poor chap’s in-box with photos and left him to do the sorting. Rude, I know, but he really enjoys doing this. *
You’d like to see something here, now? Today?
Here’s one of rather a lot of Crab Claws.
And, especially for Jon, who salivates when he sees them…Stag horn.
For good, popping colour, it’s hard to beat Thunbergia erecta…
A short post, but I have a long list of to-do’s, so I’ll quit waffling and buy the comestibles I didn’t get yesterday…
*I’m considering offering a Master Class in grovelling. Imagine being able to sign your name “A. Blogger MGr.”
Officially. But I don’t think it counts until the rain comes. By which time we’ll be gasping , parched and grumpy. Not necessarily in that order!
I can’t change the ancient rhythms of the planet. Not all by my own self. But there is some truth to many people being capable of great things, together. Yeah, like global bloody warming!
I have photos!
And it has a sweet, spicy perfume!
The cuttings I took of the dinky little “spoon” crotons have rooted and are on the docket for potting-up.
And somewhere, somehow…I managed to pick up a virus! Not *that* one, Just a common rhinovirus. I thought adding a rhino to the menagerie might be a giggle.
But I gargled regularly (sparkling wine) and cut the housework back dramatically and read a stack of books and am feeling up to today’s Major Task…the pruning of the huge, out-of-balance Grevillea “Moonlight.” This one….
Not much to say and rather a lot of housework to whip into line!
UPDATE Remember how chuffed we were to discover this Grevillea? Well, apparently,I mis-identified it.
Yesterday, I scrambled up to the fence and found the entire tree (on the neighbour’s property!) was a mass of flowers. I now think it is (probably) Xylomelum. Still in the Proteaceae clan, but NOT G, insignis.This link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylomelum_pyriforme has a good picture of the leaves and I’ll try to upload my own photo. Took a bit of fiddling, but here’s mine! So, a “woody pear.” I also noticed that the flowers are squirming with tiny caterpillars!
We have been busy. Still clearing some areas of what I laughingly call “the jungle.”
This morning I braved the back steps up to the boundary line and discovered…flowers on one of the (many!) crotons!
This is not far from the Grevillea, revealed when The Man chopped some overgrown ,weedy stuff a couple of weeks ago.
I did start counting crotons…that sounds like a remedy for insomnia. Perhaps it is! But I gave up – they seem to be everywhere! Not that I’m complaining as they are so colourful and such hardy plants, especially in a “wild” sort of area. The experts will tell you they need regular, deep watering, blah-blah. Well, not here! Most of these plants have been here for 20+ years and survive on rain which, in the monsoon season, can be much more than mere “watering.” Tough as old boots! But I will lay a soaker hose along the top boundary and hope we don’t need to have a hose ban!
And a Croton, with “modified” leaves
There is a row, almost a hedge, of Raphiolepis indica in front of the deck. A few months ago I started pruning it, then we had a decent couple of rainy days and it flowered! So I left it for the bees. But I will try to reduce it somewhat before the wet season.
And two or three Draecenas are flowering! Useful fillers and, if you’re lucky enough to have flowers, deliciously scented. A bit ( to my nose, anyway) like clover. The thing is, they are not what I’d call reliably performing bloomers! All sorts of insects work them for nectar. And their strappy leaves are often chomped!
And, since I’ve used the chomp word…I used a few other colourful words yesterday when I discovered that almost ALL the flower buds on a new Callistemon had been chomped, presumably by a caterpillar, though I couldn’t see one. Bastard! I only bought the plant last week and was very much looking forward to…this. Oh well, fingers crossed.
The big pot of Eucharis lily is flowering. I will probably keep it in a pot (maybe split it when this flowering is over), but yesterday I noticed a hitherto unseen white flower just off the deck. A careful tug of some other things revealed another Eucharis!
Two of the papaw trees are fruiting, but whether we’ll get any ripe fruit is a 50-50 gamble. Possums, birds and bats also love pawpaw!
One more picture before you nod off, bored to death? Oh, alright! Here’s Grevillea “Moonlight.” Long overdue for a serious pruning, but, being about the only thing keeping the birds and bees going we hadn’t the heart!
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Just who is/are “they”? This bitch has had to learn all sorts of new tricks at a time when many folk are settling into a La-Z-Boy with the tv remote control and a stack of vintage John Waynes. (some of the not-so-old eschew John Wayne and opt for Star Trek #10,051).
So, what’s new here? Well, I have bought a new sewing machine! Nothing very flash, but I think it will see me through the mendings and makings of things. This is the fifth oops! SIXTH machine I’ve owned!
No, I have not used it yet. “Why?” you cry, eager for my review of the test-drive. Ah, yes, well, the spare bedroom that I hoped would be my “studio” is still a store room. And The Man is assembling some flat -pack furniture on the dining table and I can’t be fagged clearing the laptop and assorted paraphernalia off my desk. But this is a picture of the new toy. https://www.manualslib.com/manual/2169690/Mistral-Msem508.html#manual
The garden work continues. I’ve made 3 trips to the green waste dump and yesterday, the Bag Man* emptied our big bag of prunings and weeds and last night…it rained. Hey-ho! weeds slurping lovely rain water and flexing their stems…
There’s a lovely stand of Melaleuca near the green tip and I snapped a few pics last week. Good thing I got them then as the flowers are now very much “over.”
The aforementioned flat-pack has been assembled as…ta-
I’ll leave you with this: * The Bag Man’s business name is “Blondie’s Bags.” Why? Apparently he’s Harry and the Missus is Debbie.
…bloggers are popping up with apologies for their non-blogging. Some claim to have been busy, some say they lost their mojo, some have been busy…
Oh! Sod that! I could claim all those excuses, but I can’t be bothered and, anyway, it would be bordering on untruth. We’ve got politicians telling fibs and stonking great lies all over the place; no need for me to add to the dross!
Shakespeare seems right…the rain it doth indeed raineth ev’ry day. And warnings are out for some areas to expect flooding. Thus far, our little pocket is spared that.
Some local colour…
This is an Agave. I think it’s A. attenuata, but I’m not certain. There are more than a dozen planted here; at present, only two are in flower. They are, mercifully, not the viciously prickly buggers!
A Cordyline; C. fruticosa, with a honey bee!
One of hundreds of Heliconia. They will be thinned-out once the rain stops.
And a red Athurium,
Now, something encouraging for our Inexplicable friend, whose own bat succumbed to the English winter. Tacca chantrieri. I hope to get a white one, T. integrifolia some day. This one looks much happier than it was a few months ago! Still needs re-potting.
Oh! The Great Spider Drought has broken! Last week, I saw the first Golden Orb lady for, what, 2 or 3 years. Her web was attached to a gate and I think was probably broken when a workman opened the gate. But I hope she is still out there. Somewhere…
You know how ,sometimes, you have the sort of day that thwarts your every move? Yes, that sort of day, multiplied.
The torrential rain seems to have abated. One or two light showers, but no further problem rain. Man! I was getting tired of wringing out bath towels!
Still waiting on a chap to check the roof…
And a chap from the air conditioner company can’t come before early May…so, yes, I do feel a bit like Uncle Jim…
I managed to bunk-off the other day and go into Town to catch up with a friend and have a quick look at the Libris Awards artist books. I shall be back at least one more time for a longer look. Here’s a link to the current exhibition. https://www.artspacemackay.com.au/whats_on/exhibitions/current It’s a PDF, but I think you can also view online.
Apologies for wandering off and leaving you. I trust you all sorted a beverage, maybe raided the cookie jar? Good!
Things continue to go from busy to slack to what-the-hell-went-wrong! as we muddle along between houses.
But mostly, things get done. And more things will be crossed off the list as we move into cooler weather. I’ve made a tentative start in the garden. Well, I say tentative, but what I mean is a brute force assault on some horrendous morning glory and corky passion vine. Both nice enough on their home turf, but a nuisance here!
And there is what looks like an avocado tree beside the deck! It will have to be removed as it threatens one of the shade sails. We had them repaired and when we re-hung them I could see that the avocado would poke another hole in a sail! But the repairs will see them through many years of tropic sun and rain.
And, still on house-y and garden-y things. ..A week ago, there was a cracking thunderstorm. At midnight. Of course! I checked windows and all was okay. But we did have a totally unexpected gush of water in the room which will be the office/study. I threw an armful of bath towels on the floor ( just as well the floor is tiled !!) The Man scrambled up a ladder and cleared the gutter above the doorway. But still water poured in, via an air con. !!! Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot. How did water get in there??!! That unit was, fortunately, not running and is now turned off and unplugged. And we are waiting on a roofing wallah. With a stack of dry towels, just in case…
But, while all the drama was unfolding, The Man pulled a PVC cover away from the wall where the electric cables run to the air con. And look what we found, sheltering from the deluge!
And while we are on the subject of gardens… the people who bought our former house have decided they want lawns. Chain saws and excavators and brute force have removed EVERYTHING except a cycad along the side garden.
That header could get me sued for false or misleading information. And we get quite enough of that from political shenanigans!
I was having a chat with Scarlet about planning an exciting post. So…I knew we had some timber left over from mending a fence and I wandered out to see if any posts were exciting. I certainly didn’t feel any shivers of excitement. No trembling breathlessness. Nada.
So you’ll just have to make do with my usual fare.
Here is a picture of….??? No, there is not a prize for knowing the answer. But feel free to be creative.
And another picture… hint: this one alludes to the excitement.
Another little snippet of excitement! A friend who spins, dyes and weaves beautiful Alpaca fleece has been experimenting with natural dyes and I’m going to grow some indigo for him. I did mess about with dyeing, years ago and grew some native indigo before we moved to Mackay. I have some soil prep to do before planting the seedlings. Just as well the weather pixies have finally got their act together!
We have not had the flooding some areas have seen, but damn! it’s good to have rain.
Now, I must scoot back to the kitchen and get breakfast sorted as a workman is coming this morning and may have to turn off the power.
Have another picture! And all done without one of those silly selfie sticks!
No, not Golden Rivet, so all you sailors can sit down!
I’m talking about a Xanthostomen chrysanthus, more usually called Golden Penda. There is a big tree on the front boundary. I was hopeful of cuttings, but the recent deluge has put paid to them. But it’s flowering nicely so this morning I went out with a camera…
And here’s a close-up-and-personal…
The next door Illawarra Flame Brachychiton acerifolius is still looking good, despite hundreds of flowers knocked off by wind and rain last week.
A slightly better snap of next door’s tree..
Now, I do have some more interesting/exciting/gob-smacking news, but you’ll have to consider this as something like the old “Strand” magazine that published the first Sherlock Holmes stories in serial form. I do hope that was a big pot of tea…
Now, having heard that Tony Blair is to be tapped on the shoulder I think I’ll join Muriel in a grape vat…
Oh! I almost forgot…I wish you all happiness, good health and love. Let’s hope the chin-muzzlers get the message!
I was about to feed the cat when I heard amphibian croaking…and a few seconds later … rain pattering onto the roof. Yes, rain! The gardeners’ gift. (Probably the camping and picnicking crews’ bane, but that’s tough -WE need this moisture!)
A glance at the calendar tells me it’s December 25. Which means that those of you on my side of the world are probably shredding fancy wrapping paper. And the rest of you are in a bit of a panic, racing around trying to find another turkey because Grandma’s test is negative and she CAN come for Christmas after all. And Uncle Arthur and Auntie Millie will drive her, but “we wont eat much!” Fat chance! I’ve seen Auntie Millie demolish the top tier of wedding cake!
So…why has my blog been as dusty and web-draped as Miss Havisham’s house? Well, things have been a little hectic. The Man was able to get roof gutters licked into shape while the sun shone. And I spent more time dragging hoses around TWO gardens.
The tenants moved out from a neighbour’s house and he, being confined to a southern city, asked us to keep an eye on things. It’s not an onerous chore in his rambling, jungle-y garden.I’ve even got a couple of seedlings for our garden!
Now, I should get some breakfast sorted, but I do wish you all a Happy Christmas. Even more, a safe, Covid-free one.
This is the view from the deck of the house where I’m on garden duty. Rather noice, innit.
And, because it’s been a Dinahmow tradition since 1959, I leave you with Mr Lehrer.
And I thought I should mention that, as the Wizard of WordPress seems not to like showing the date. Probably embarrassed that I show up here so infrequently!
But we are still busy Chez Dinahmow. I’d really like to be in the garden, but a) it’s far too hot and dry and b) there is no garden.(See a) )
I’m managing to keep things alive in pots and will re-pot some into even bigger pots and plant them out in autumn.
What’s that? Oh! you want to see photographic proof?
Well, I did manage to scrabble together a few pictures for the show over here. And I kept a few in reserve, in case I carved out some time on this page. I must thank Mr. Device for his wizardry in the presentation of the Triffids. Scared the pants of Muriel, he did. No, Muriel we don’t need proo___________MURIEL!
Let’s start with a warning…if you live in an area with cane toads (Buffo marinus) please remember that they are poisonous and can cause nasty reactions in humans and can kill cats and dogs if eaten. Even being squirted in the face with their poison is serious.
A few years ago, some people noticed that crows had figured a way to avoid being poisoned. The toad’s poison sacs are on the back of its head and the crows reasoned that by simply flipping toady onto its back they could get to the soft belly safely. This one was on the front lawn after a crow (I presume) had killed it.
It’s OK to come back now. I’m moving on to pretty things!
Among some little “treasures” are a salvia, which doesn’t have a varietal tag, but I do know the family, S. greggii, and I like the colour.
It’s almost Happy Hour so one more plant… This is a Yucca and I think Yucca elephantipes. But I’m happy to be corrected if it’s one of the others in the tribe.I did think Y. filamentosa, but the flower is different. Anyway…there was a sliver of moon at 5am the other day so I managed to balance on a box for this…
The Clerodendron flowers are open for (bee) business!
C. nutans. I just missed the bee!
She appears to have tail lights! Madame Winceyette, as I call her, cos she is so velvety. I was explaining something to The Man and had my back to her. Fortunately, he put a hand on my shoulder and said:”Turn around, carefully…” And she was right there, at shoulder level, wrapping her breakfast. Sadly, I think it was one of my little native bees. But, hey! We all gotta eat.
Still not sure which she is, but seems to be Eriophora sp. I’ll stick with Mme Winceyette.
And a late flush of flowers on Canangra odorata, the Ylang Ylang tree.
Yesterday’s Hibiscus mutabilis flower was white, now bright pink.And camera-worthy in the bright sun, I thought.
Well, I seem to have overcome some of the image-posting problems. May the blogger gods stay with me!
I’m still not convinced that changes made in the WordPress Tinkerers’ caverns are for the benefit of people like me. But I don’t recall ever being asked for my opinion. Probably, they’ve heard me braying about all manner of things and figure they’re better off without me!
Here’s a small picture of some Clerodendron nutans buds. We’ve had MORE rain so I’m hopeful I’ll have some flower pictures; maybe today or, more likely tomorrow or the next day. By which time I may have got my head around this ridiculous image-posting nonsense. Or not.
But now, I must hie me to the purveyor of pussy fare…back later.
Once again, I’m guessing (lord! it’s difficult when one has no reliable horticulturists nearby!) at the correct name of this. Until corrected, I’ll say I think it could be Plectranthus madagascarensis. Native to southern and eastern Africa. But not Madagascar. Go figure…
It flowers reliably at this time of year (autumn/winter for me) and is then cut back HARD. Even mown if it’s flung itself onto a grassy path and will strike readily from cuttings (the whole family has this feral tendency, or simply pop up again next year, doing nothing much until it’s time to fling its pretty mauve flowers about.
I am. however, quite familiar with this…Carpentaria domesticus.
The years had been harsh and some of the timbers were rotting. The Man has been doing repairs.
I read in the linens that there’s a re-make of “West Side Story.” Let’s turn back the clock …60 years ago we (well those of us who were old enough then!) were queueing around the block to see this. In my case, travelling 25 miles to join a modest box office queue. Care to come along? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9z33lasnkU
That’s all for now. I’m off to see what else the f&^$@!!ing grasshoppers have chomped…
Last night the wind shifted and became definitely more Southerly. So this morning, we dug out the electric blanket and I’ll turn it on tonight so we do not go to bed in a freezing-cold room!
I say “freezing- cold” but that’s more poetic licence than fact. Still, an open-plan house is a chilly place in winter. I know some of you in colder climes will be laughing your socks off.
Now, let’s have another blast. This one from the past. Taken about 1988, I think, on the Daintree River. Two (ahem) old school friends, catching up after many years.
We keep in touch through the wonderful web, but we haven’t seen each other since this holiday. We really should rectify that.
Moving on to another web…one of the orb weavers has her web stretched from the back deck supports across the path to the garden. And a couple of days ago I managed to get a reasonable photo of her. She’s very velvety! I’m still struggling with ID, but it looks like an Eriophora though more than that I can’t tell you.
Some orchids in a neighbour’s garden a few years ago. The old mango tree they were growing on was removed to make room for a pool. Yes, I was sad. And so were many of the local birds!
The rain brings out the ants. Or, rather, brings the little buggers IN! Sometimes into the house, sometimes into things in the garden. The Dischidia pectinoides (yes, I had to check the label for the name!) was absolutely swarming with the wretches. So I wrestled it out of its pot and left it hanging on a branch, in the rain. And then I’ll mix a new brew of compost for it, repot it and cross my fingers. And when I went looking for a picture of it I see it’s known by the common name of “Ant Plant.” Arghhh I might have thought twice about buying it if I’d known that! Here’s a Wiki piccy…
Time to don the chef’s hat. I’m doing this all back arsewards, aren’t I? I should just give the chef his hat and let him get on with rustling up some tasty victuals…slow learner, me!
(I said that in my best Olivier voice; a shame you can’t hear it.)
I got up this morning, fed the furry ones, brewed some coffee and came in here for a quiet perusal of emails and blogs.
Oh.My.Ears.And.Whiskers. There was an email from Scarlet, advising me that WordPress has done some more tinkering and that the cunning little work-around devised for the earlier tinkering no longer de-tinkered. Well, bugger! I thought. I’d better at least let the world know that I am still here, even if my ship is about to go down…
Thus far, things seem to be OK .But we all know how easily I can get in a muddle!
Shall we see if I can still transport photos from the Land Beyond? Right. Seat belts on? Here we go…
Oo-er. Missus It’s bigger’n I thought. The lovely Carissa which has such a sweet scent and tasty fruits. And vicious spines.
But hey! It’s a picture. On my blog. And you don’t need Sherlock’s big magnifier!
The big news on the local scene is that some Covid restrictions have been eased. As of… glances at clock...a couple of hours ago, facemasks are no longer mandatory whenever we leave our houses. And people can dance at “venues” and weddings and have up to 100 people in their houses. Bloody hell! Who lives in a house big enough to cram 100 in?
Now to see if I can publish this post. I know it’s even briefer than usual, but things are rather hectic here and I have some important filing to do. sigh…grubbing around in the garden does wreak havoc on nails!
A little pruning. No weeding as I have some band-aided fingers!
The Dioscorea ? along the front verandah rail is starting to show its autumnal yellows. That means I’d better cut it down NOW.If I leave it until all the leaves have turned crispy and brown I’ll never get my secateurs through it. Also, it has seeds forming and I don’t want a forest of this next year!
Note I’ve called it D. ? as I’m really not sure what it is.There is one whose fruits are edible, but I’m pretty sure this is not it! How do I know? Because, years ago, an old woman told me she cooked them for the family. I asked how and she said:”Just the same as ya cook spuds!” Well, I tried boiling some. After at least half an hour of rapid boiling they were still rock-hard. And green! Microwaving didn’t work either. Nor did salting then roasting. Still hard. Still green. And very likely still deadly!
The smallest is about the size of a small pea. They get a hell of a lot bigger! I’ve dug out rooted ones that easily fill a 15cm/6″ soup bowl! So I’ll try to pick up any that drop. Birds, bats and possums spread them, whether eaten and passed through the digestive tract or simply knocked off the vine or maybe bitten and spat out I don’t know, but there are quite a few around the place that probably came from mine! Oopsy!
I think we could all do with some amusement. Especially poor Queen Mary.
Damned palm seedlings, that is. Foxtail palm, Wodyetia bifurcata. A lovely, lush thing, but rather too generous with its seeds. Ripening to a rich orange, about golf ball size, they hang on the tree for ages, not unlike a 5kg bag of mandarins and are a good food source for bats, possums and some birds.
Then, the few hundred or so that are left drop to the ground, germinate and away we go again.
That’s not grass! It’s hundreds of foxy seedlings! All this rain we’ve had are having has given everything a boost and I spent some time this morning pulling out handfulls of these. Lovely trees in the right place, but this yard does not have the space for so many. Not so long ago, foxies were at the centre of a scandal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Melville_incident
I also pulled handfulls of Cobblers’ Pegs Bidens pilosa, a nasty thing whose seed awns are not only a fecund nuisance, they can be a menace in animal fur or woolen clothing. The unseen corner over the back fence is choked with them; I’ll have to be extra vigilant when the wind blows from the south.
And then, my back having had enough bending, I straightened up and took a camera for a walk…
An un-named bromeliad, bought at a school fair, years ago.
Two of our Anthuriums…I rather like the purple.
I’ll leave you with the Soursop (two that we can see, but possibly another higher up the tree).
…not in the onion patch. It was adding a glorious “pop” of colour to some herbs. Apparently, possums like petunias…
I despair! The furry fiends have decimated my Rumex and we have what’s known as The Parsley Routine, which involves clearing the buckets and clothes basket from the laundry bench each evening and bring in the pots of parsley. And, of course, taking them out in the morning.
But, moving on…while trying to find an easier method of getting pictures bigger than a postage stamp onto the blog I came across an oldie of the hoya. These beauties will not (or at least rarely) flower unless their roots are confined. So I left mine in its dinky little pot…and it died. That’s when I discovered that ants had invaded and the poor hoya was running on empty as the little sods had got rid of the compost!
But that’s pfft in the bigger scheme of things. Like Covid. You will, I’m sure, have heard/read/seen the news that Brisbane, Capital city of the State of Queensland, along with several surrounding communities, is in lockdown.
Now, here’s the thing. Settle down, you wastrels at the back! This is important! No, Muriel, not now. Muriel! Just go to your room and I’ll explain it all later…yes, you can have “special” tea.
Where was I? Oh, yes, lockdown. If you have Google Earth (and if it’s working. Mine was not working at 5am, but I think the elves have fixed it.) you can see that Mackay, where I live, is considerably further than “up the road” from Brisbane.
So can anyone explain why, when I went to my local shops this morning, I was THE ONLY PERSON not wearing a face mask? (We wont count the fellow whose mask was doing a grand job of protecting his chinny-whiskers, but bugger-all for the rest of us!)
At the first supermarket a hand-written sign ( definitely not written by the lovely https://wonky-words.com/blog/) informed me that they were “out of facemarks”).
Next store, they “didn’t think they sold them.”
The only pharmacy had a hand-written sign advising “out of stock. “
On a whim, I popped into one of those cheap ‘n’ cheerful discount stores where a helpful woman told me they’d sold out, but were hoping to get more that afternoon.
There are now who knows how many people going hither and yon, possibly carrying the highly infectious UK strain. Plus another mutation of said strain.
One of the chaps, who’d been to Byron Bay (again, check your distances from Mackay), is a “tradesman” who also works as an “entertainer.” I suppose he does strippergrams for hen parties…he’s a tradie, after all…
Blustery showers and the possibility of Big Rain so I’m off to the shops…
Times flies. And you don’t need to be having fun to be aware of the fact!
I am still fiddling with photos and trying to get some that don’t require you to drug your old granny and pinch her Sherlock Holmes hand lens. And things have been hectic around here.
That wonderful rain we had last week seems to have dried up so I’m running a hose in an area that needs a drink. Well, it’s household drinking water, after all, and I like to share. (That’s a big fat lie-I do NOT like watering the gardens with drinking water. Other than rain, I have no choice.)
The moon this morning was like a giant orange, floating in the sky. Must have been some sneezies in the upper atmosphere… I did try to snap a quickie, but by them time I’d fed ravenous cats and grabbed a camera, the light was all wrong. But it looked like this, a snap I took a few years ago, looking East from a hill near home.
Years ago, whenever I spent holidays at the beach, we’d go floundering. That is, we’d attempt to catch flounders, also called sole, dabs, plaice by means of a spear.
Not the easiest thing and sometimes feet got in the way…
Another meaning of floundering is to stumble about. Collins Dictionary says “if something is floundering, it may soon fail completely…” A good analysis of me and this blog.
Let’s try adding a photo… Stanley, helping The Gardener.
Alamanda flower. It grows up the verandah support post and flings itself about, sometimes managing to sneak under the blind and tickle my ear when we eat outdoors. Can’t say I mind!
And, just to add a little spice to my day, a thumping downpour. Just as well I’m not in a Zoom meeting!
The folks ‘way up North have had a cyclone so I guess the remnants have come down the coast to us. Nothing damaging and the rain is wonderful. By the time I have to head to the purveyor of plonk it may be gone…
Yes, I have been fiddling with photo sizes. This is an Indian Hawthorn, Raphiolepis indica. An obliging shrub/small tree. Years ago, a neighbour came home with one of these in a pot. Dead chuffed, he was, at his bargain. “It was $4.00 and it’s over a metre tall. A dollar a foot!” He was so excited, he reverted to the old money! And I have to agree with his yardstick. The flower has little discernible scent, but bees love it. Is generous with seed and grows readily from cuttings.What’s not to like?
That heavy rain has woken the rest of the household and neighbours so I’ll be off to the kitchen.
I’m still not sure I can be bothered to flounder around on this site and may de-camp to the opposition again. Oh! I forgot to tell you why I chose the Blogger site’s title…well, our Prime Minister is among the many who offer prayers and thoughts to people who are usually in much greater need of immediate practical aid when these prayers and thoughts are being dished out. I angrily said it does as much good as bears in shorts.
A silly blog name. But that’s how I arrived at it.
For clarification, that means, in Dinah-speak, the gal has been prodded into action. Thank you, Jon
And , already, I’m making a right porridge of things! Actually, no, it was WordPress that made the porridge. It turned my first attempt into a bulleted list. Be careful, WordPress, be very careful ere you become the target for my bullets!
Where was I? Looking for photos, I think…hmmm I might have to nip out with the camera. We’ve had a couple of very welcome showers and all manner of things have burst into flower. Back soon…or maybe not… with new pictures.
A week or so ago The man found a frog! You don’t think that rates an ! ? Well, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen one here. We did a silly Happy Dance and it’s probably just as well neighbours were not around to see that.
Back in our more rural days… we had lots of these and many others. You’ve probably heard people in some parts of the world urging caution when putting on boots, yes? Well, where we lived the “caution” meant tip the frog out before you stuff your foot in! Our neighbour used to keep a spare key in the pocket of his waterproof jacket, hanging on the back verandah. That was, in real estate parlance, a froggy des. res. !
I’m still having trouble with posting images. I can enlarge them, but…well, I’d hate to scare The Inexplicable One with a ginormous picture taking over his sideboard!
And now I can’t seem to upload any photos…I may have to take the laptop in the The Laptop Man (No, Muriel! He does Not make that sort of house call.) and get him to do his clever thing…Muriel! Go to your room!
But first, I thought it was time I got back on this horse. I seem to run out steam very easily these days. The trick seems to be to get up with the flatulent sparrow, do as much as needs doing outside before the Hg goes nuts and then turn my attention to indoor chores.
A good plan, yes? Hmmm…not working as well as I’d hoped. Fortunately, the Gardener’s boy has greater stamina and has transformed most of the jungle into accessible – um – garden. Yes, let’s still call it garden. Other applicable words are a bit rude!
This is an Allmanda. It scrambles up the posts in front of the carport and unless I speak sternly about putting its brakes on would quite probably come indoors. (And I wouldn’t really be very cross…)
And this is a humble BegoniaRex. Beyond that, I have no idea as it just appeared. And, just to give an idea of SIZE…that is The Man’s hand. I guess size does matter!
Now, since we seem to be talking about size and thinking about sex_________oh, come on! Of course you were! Well, let’s look at something that knocks poor little Sexy Rexy off his perch https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amorphophallus. Commonly called Corpse Flower because of its putrid smell. Ah, but that’s its cunning ploy to attract pollinators. Flies, drawn by the stench of rotting flesh, are trapped within ridges inside the spathe as the female flowers are receptive for only one day. So when the male parts open the next day and shower pollen all over the insects, there is no danger of self-pollination and the flies, beetles, whatever can buzz off and pollinate the next smelly girl they find. Several Botanic Gardens in USA (and probably elsewhere in the world) collect pollen to share between themselves ( no, Muriel, the gardeners don’t use the pollen on each other!) Oh dear! I really don’t think I can explain it for Muriel, but here’s a link so you can see what these garden chaps get up to. https://www.facebook.com/watch/1704684103096012/616550085896876/ The link will take you to 3 videos, so go make a sandwich (probably NOT bologna) and a stiff drink.
…and a query. Yesterday, I noticed flowers on a tree that has never flowered til now though it’s somewhere in the region of 4metres tall! And I have NO IDEA what it is. All I can guess is that it is,like so many of the plants in this jungle, from a seed dispersed in bird, bat or possum poo.
There are dozens of flowers and only one that i could see with 5 petals.The leaves are stiff and glossy. It may be a native, but so far I’m flummoxed. Mind you, most of my books are packed away! So…anyone out there care to take a stab at it? Google’s “images” suggested Tibouchina, to which I said Foxtrot Foxtrot Sierra. So, have at it, folks. Jon, I’m counting on you! STOP PRESSI think it could be a Surinam Cherry, Pitanga! I do have one in the same area, but it’s most definitely shrub-sized. Wiki tells me this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenia_uniflora
Here’s a shot of the YlangYlang (Canangra odorata) flowers above the front stairs. I bent over backwards for this so please don’t say it’s “hard to see.”The topmost branches of this giant were scheduled to be lopped, but it’s been given a reprieve…And, oh my goodness! I’m on a roll now! In response to Jon’s comment about ylang ylang scent, I found this when I googled the making of the scent https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVGhHy0OWH4
And the un-named cactus that was such a stalwart a few months ago has produced more, though smaller, flowers.
Another “mystery” to me. I am not familiar with native fungi. At least, not to the point of knowing FOR SURE which are edible! So these have remained where they grow. Bad enough that a dodgy prawn put an end to crustacea, I’d hate to lose my mushies, too!
And, just for a giggle, here’s another of my orchids. It’s been hanging on this, the mystery tree, for years and years, never out of flower and a lovely bright spot of colour on dull days!
I’m still spitting cuss words at the way WP boffins have messed with what used to be so simple. And, frankly, I’m tired. And I don’t have much more to add so I might try to get some other work done, maybe even pull a few bad weeds now that the rain has eased. Yes, some weeds I do consider bad, but most are good for something!
I do wish WordPress would stop fiddling! Nothing seems to be where it was. OK, it’s been a day or several since I was here, but I don’t know where things are!
I did have a few paragraphs written and intended to come back and add some photos…and everything’s gone.I got an error message about invalid content or somesuch.
Let’s try adding a photo. Just one, in case the gremlins gobble another page!
Well, that worked! Yes, it’s a tomato. Actually, several tomatoes. And worth photographing as it’s the first ripe tomato since Adam was in short trousers, thanks to possums and grasshoppers. grrrr! I’m hopeful of several more, now that we seem to have reached our wet season.
It feels good to be able to do an hour or so of weeding and pruning after nearly a year of enforced laziness. I reduced the runaway Antigonon to a huge heap of withering leaf-and-stem. Got to it before it reached the roof!
And this, you may recall, is the sweet little “Pigeon ” orchid. When the rain started I counted some 10 or so buds and after a day and a night of soaking rain…
I also found a “stray” Zephyranthes in what we laughingly call “lawn.”
Oh! FFS! I do not have the time to stop-and-start this nonsense! Sorry, folks. I have dinner to attend to. Maybe tomorrow I’ll find time to sort out this god-awful system.
For now, this is where I take what’s left of my sanity. The Zephyranthes is the pink thing!
Some of us, well, maybe most of us, are feeling a little glum, what with miserable weather and lock-downs in Northern parts and scary fires and floods on my side of the world. And that’s without even mentioning the bloody plague!
But I suggested to our friend in Merkle-land that what’s needed to cheer us all is a Blog Party! Like in the old days, before people became welded to their phones or wandered off to play on Farcebook and Instaglam.
So, I’m kicking off the 2020 Blog Party. Just think of some gifts your blog friends might be happy to receive, have a wander ’round the interweb for images and post said images on your own blogs, with a link in comments here so we can all have a giggle. Or whatever.No expenditure of the Queens coin. Just fun.
Oh! And, should the Ghost of Christmasses Past pop up asking “did I win yet?” just tell him kindly that there is no prize, pour him a small sherry and let him go.
Now, I’m off to see what the WonderWeb has on offer.
I thought I had time enough to fiddle about in here, but suddenly remembered the laundry!These automatic drying devices are wonderful, but one does still need to toddle downstairs and un-peg things from the lines. Still, the smell of sun-dried sheets is pretty hard to beat!
For those of you who celebrate Hannukah, I saw this and did a big LOL. Off to the laundry lines…
Most of you know I have the odd Viking in my family line so here’s a little Sverige tradition. If I’ve missed out someone on the present list, please, get plastered on Glogg and have fun!
Well, I am pleased to report that the loaf baked yesterday is, perhaps, not the most elegant item, but damn! it’s yummy!
I modified some things and ended up baking the loaf in a cake tin with a Pyrex pie plate as a lid. I’ll probably need to get a lidded casserole (mine went to the Op Shop ages ago!), but yesterday’s Heath Robinson arrangement worked.
Right! I suppose you want pitchers?This was the first, not very successful attempt.The recipe calls it, at this stage, “shaggy dough” and it did, indeed smell a bit like a wet sheep!
But I persevered…Here you see me shaping the dough into something that looks loaf-like.
No photos of the baked result! Perhaps I was a little heavy-handed in my shaping? I don’t know.
But I found another recipe and am quite pleased with this effort. Mind you, removing my modified lid was tricky!
The recent showers have had an almost magical effect on withering, dry gardens. The night-blooming jasmine, Cestrum nocturnum, will need some heavy pruning!
Now, I have an early appointment in town, which means I’ll be driving in school traffic. And The Man needs to use this computer as his has died. These wretched toys have a damnably short shelf-life, don’t they!
The starter was not developing as it should so last night I fed it again. 12 hours later, when I stumbled out in the near-dawn…my gooey mix had doubled! Yay!
So I brewed some coffee (nothing gets done Chez Dinah before coffee. (Ask the cats!) After a quick trawl through emails and the more reliable news pages, I felt sufficiently revived to mix another feed for my starter dough. And here it is, doing what it is meant to do.
We had a brief-but-useful shower the other night and yesterday I noticed lots of buds on the pigeon (I think dove sounds nicer) orchid. And today…a mass of dainty white flowers. A bit too breezy for good photos, but I have this…A delicate little thing, but tough enough to survive in harsh conditions. It’s so grateful for rain.
I have more than enough on my docket, so don’t expect daily updates on the state of the sourdough! But if you’d like to know how they baked their bread in Egypt back in the days of Pharoahs,I have a good link in the previous post. Oh hang on…here it is again! I don’t think I’d be that dedicated in sourcing ancient recipes. Munching weeds and pretending to be an Iron Age wife pretty much cured me of such notions! But it’s interesting…from the comfort of my upholstered armchair, glass of bubbles at hand. 🙂
It is Spring in this part of the world. Not at all my favourite season! Why? Because our Spring is dry and often very blisteringly windy. Watering gardens becomes a bit of juggling act, especially if one does not have rain water collection tanks!
But there are one or two tricks to help…I cut the base off those god-awful plastic horrors and “plant” them, neck down with just an inch or so above ground. That way, I can pour water into the bottle and let it trickle down towards thirsty roots.
If you try this, please pop a stick into the bottle to aid frogs or lizards to get out.
We have a stack of bottles, saved for this, but still need to dig the holes. I shall have the gardener’s boy do that later…
And I must cut the spent flower stems of the Swamp Orchid and strike some new plants. The original plant is going to live a few miles up the coast and I’ll keep several potted plants. Two of the cuttings, now in good growth, will be packed in damp paper and consigned to the Post Office for a long journey South. (Sorry I can’t send any to you, Jon!)
A few years ago I snipped a branch from someone’s blood-red oleander (Nerium) and it’s currently in glorious flower. But I only see it when I drive up the street as it’s high above the fenceline and obscured by the ginormous tamarind tree. But it is lovely. Hang on – I’ll pop down the road with a camera.
Not the best picture, but I wasn’t game to go into the neighbours’ yard as the ankle-biter is a tad viscious.
But I wandered about snapping this and that and will see if I can push the right buttons to bung them up here. Why oh why do these monkeys have to keep tinkering!
Here’s a sweet wee flower. Soon, it will be a shiny red fruit and if I’m quick I might beat the birds to it. I forget its name. I just remembered! Eugenia uniflora, aka pitanga or Surinam cherry
The Bat Plant Taccaintegrifolia is flowering again. Poor thing is looking a bit ragged after its leaves were twisted and torn in the windy weather. This is the flowering part, showing seeds.
This is the old stalwart, Fraser Island Creeper, Tecomanthe hillii
I’ve had enough of fiddling with settings! I’ll have to talk to our Inexplicable friend and see how he’d like me to send him the pix and he can sort it out. He’s much better at this sort of thing and, he being a Bloggerite, my WordPress malarkey will probably muck up the system. We’re still terrified of the BIG PINK THING…
Well, let’s start with my header image. About ten years ago several of us were posting daily sketches to each other and this is one of mine. Just water colour on a scrap of paper; I was trying to catch the drama of an approaching storm.
No storm today. But it is windy. [insert as many expletives as you like…I’m too busy planting things]
Mostly, herbs and cuttings that have languished since summer! I don’t want to go overboard as the plan, now very much long-term, is still to go back to NZ. But that’s going to be dictated by the pandemic.
In the meantime…I am sifting through photos and looking at the garden centre offerings because The Great Garden Photo Show and Tell is fast approaching. Yesterday, I popped across to The Inexplicable One’s place, as he’s now hosting this jolly flower fest. I think the expression, “lift your game”, applies particularly to me. le sigh…
Here’s a cat-herb combo, just to get us in the mood…
I’ve been faffing around with this “new” format and it’s doing my head in! I expect I’ll get used to things and will eventually figure out how to write a simple post without inadvertently including weird instructions…
I’ll see if I can upload photos…just go and make a cup of tea.
F’gawdsake don’t hold your breath I don’t want anyone’s demise on my hands!
Stanley inspecting his newcrate.
I’ll not be like one of those politician chaps who manages to get himself elected, make a right porridge of things and then offer some apologetic Blarney.
No, I shall simply tell the truth. I’m a shiftless slacker.Lazy to my core. (And a bit busy on other fronts.)
So…what’s on the docket that keeps me busy? Well, we are still de-cluttering and trying to get used to the fact that a bed or chair is no longer where my backside remembered.Ouch!
And we’ve had a huge clear-out-the-overgrowth in the garden.Well, that, I must admit, was all down to The Man. Still feeling somewhat shingled, I wasn’t up to much heavy work. * And then we had some unseasonal rain. When you live in an area of seasonal shut-down unexpected rain surprises you. And it surprised some plants, too! Poor things thought they’d take it easy for a while, maybe pop out the odd flower here and there…
Moon cactus Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is a species of cactus from South America. The most popular cultivars are varied mutants which completely lack chlorophyll, exposing the red, orange, or yellow pigmentation. These mutant strains are often grafted onto the hylocereus cactus, and the combined plant is called a “Moon Cactus”. Wikipedia
Even things like the Tithonia, which flowers madly from about May to July has gone totally triffid.
A few months ago our back fence neighbour did his once-in-a-blue-moon weeding and pruning and ripped out yards/metres of my Tecomanthe hillii (Fraser Island Creeper). I’d have preferred it cut with sharp secateurs, but the fellow is not a gardener…
Yesterday, my Man said : “Look at the Fraser Island Creeper! It’s over Rick’s fence again!” And charging up a palm like Phar Lap on steroids…
A Grevillea (not named), apparently in a wager against the Tithonia. Somewhere beyond that jungle is a house…