Home, Home on the Range….

Borrowing someone else’s story today.Thank you, Terry.

The Dorset Rambler

Worbarrow Tout Worbarrow Tout with momentary brightness lighting up the sea

‘Home, home on the range’…..the MOD Artillery Firing Range that is 🙂 ! This week I made the most of the school holidays to walk the Lulworth Firing Range paths – these are normally closed to the public apart from some weekends and holidays, Christmas/New Year being one of them, so I made the most of it. It didn’t work out quite as I’d hoped in that the weather didn’t perform as forecasted, and my ankle didn’t perform as hoped either, but I didn’t care, I was out on the coast path again! In fact, the weather probably helped in many ways because on more sunny days, these walks can be very popular.

I set off on a very cloudy morning with the temperature barely above freezing, and I walked along a two mile stretch of the Purbeck Ridge, passing above…

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So…a little more tinkering and tweaking and I think we can call it done.

But I should back-track a little…I have also tinkered with some photos .

My friends’ Eden garden.

Dendrobium speciosum
Here’s a link, should you live in a suitable climate https://www.australianorchids.com.au/pages/dendrobium-speciosum-the-sydney-rock-orchid
A pretty little grouping of soft pinks on the front terrace.Perfect for that early morning cuppa.

Castanespermum australe.  This is down near our beach and is what my “bean trees” would grow to if I let them!

Acacia holocericea spent seed pods. Known as Velvet Wattle for its very soft leaves.

And we had a visitor! A niece was over from NZ for a conference in Sydney and she spent a few days with us. We took her out and about, walked along the beach, paddled in the sparkling water. And decided a swim would be just the ticket! So good, we did it again the next day!

That pesky cyclone that was hanging around finally went out to sea after making a bit of a mess up north. No serious damage here and most of us were very happy with the rain!

My sweet little Pigeon* orchid, Dendrobium crumenatum,  was, perhaps, the happiest- it produced 7 sprays of flowers! True, they do not last long, but they are so delicate.

*And I’ve been calling it a “dove” which is the common name of a different one, a Peristeria. Mine is the “pigeon.”

Well, folks, in my world breakfast beckons. And I have a busy day ahead…

As you can see, I have been tinkering.Not nearly as effectively as the late, lamented John Clarke tinkered! But I will continue to tweak things and hope to do so  later today…

Might even change the pretty image,up there /\, for one of my own. Come back after tea …


I’ve been home for over a month and have almost forgotten what I wanted to say!

The bus trip down to the coast was a lovely, comfortable run, though I didn’t see much after Bredbo as daylight faded to  stars-and-headlights. But it’s a good road and I’d be happy to drive it. Another time…

The nice driver told us remaining passengers, at the final scheduled stop, that if any of us wanted to be let off he’d stop. (Farming country, so some people might have taken that opportunity and been met at their farm gate.) My friends were meeting me in Eden so I stayed til the end of the run.

I’d travelled all that way to see Margaret and Bevan, friends from the time we lived at Tamborine. We’d not seen each other for 17 years! 

Margaret is an artist and for many years sculpted wildlife forms  alongside running their Arabian horse stud. Keen gardeners, I remember helping to divide, re-pot and pack many plants when they headed south.

A vastly different climate and habitat, they began a new garden on a comparatively small (well, much smaller than their former one, measured in acres!) suburban plot. I have a few photos…

Hebe.One of several
Magnolia. Not sure which one

Viburnum opulus. Guelder rose.Happily scrambling into the neighbour’s trees.That’s a bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus)below it. Size matters!

Marg and I are both hazy on the name of this gorgeous rose, but I think it may be David Austin’s “Graham Stuart Thomas.”
I’m not sure if this was ever named, but it came from a mutual friend’s Brisbane garden. I do know it has “Dorothy Perkins” in its lineage and has the prickles to prove it! But such a sweet thing.

Liriodendron tulipifera. American tulip tree. Well-budded in October so would have been stunning when the flowers opened.

The harbour at Eden. Once a thriving fishing port, the catches have dropped dramatically, but the harbour is being dredged and extended to take big cruise boats. We ate a fish’n’chips
 lunch there;fish landed that morning. Oh, the local gulls are well-fed!

Once again, the clock is mocking me. Also, it’s raining again and I have windows wide open  … 


Yes, I have been slack in updating things. 

We had a visit from a niece and spent some time showing her local sights. But that will be for another post. Back to Canberra.

Sunday in Canberra is  a market day and we meandered through stalls, some selling handmade wares, but quite a few offering rather tacky clothing, perhaps made locally, but from cheap, hideously-coloured fabrics from somewhere in the north western Pacific. One day, people will wake up to the fact that we have put far too many eggs China’s basket!

These were, somewhat, offset by hand spun and knitted garments. Higher prices, but at least locally produced. 

Something else, also locally produced, caught my attention. Black garlic! How can I not have come across this before? My life has been missing a significant taste treat all these years! Some enterprising chaps have set up a company near a hamlet called Bredbo, about an hour south of Canberra.  https://capitalregionfarmersmarket.com.au/directory/listing/bredbo-black-garlic-ingelara 

We sampled it at the market. We bought some . We ate most of it at lunchtime! And Sue said she was sure she had seen black garlic in Coles supermarket.Yes! Not the Bredbo garlic, but an import from NZ! (The other supermarket giant does not carry it, but my local branch of Coles does, so for Australian readers, you can buy on-line from Ingelara or the NZ brand).Do yourselves a favour and try some. You can thank me later.

Another highlight of my visit was the National Library. It has a stunning entry, featuring some amazing stained glass. I could write much more about this, but this link will do it far better, and with professional photographs, far beyond my clumsy phone cam attempts (which featured quite a few photo bombs!) 

see what i mean!


I could have spent the rest of the day there, but the weather was not sure it wanted to cooperate, so we cruised the bookshop (!) for a while then went outside to look at the sculptures. Next time I’m there I think I’ll spend more time and with a bigger camera!

The thing about Canberra that strikes me is that its modernity of lay-out allows for  BIG features, some permanent, some temporary displays. And you don’t have to brave chaotic traffic to get close to things.

The steps of the Science Museum feature cut-outs of famous scientists.Here are some…

Marie Curie
and Charles Darwin

Faraday and above him, Newton and the apple.

Some more from Sue’s lovely garden…


Flowering cherry

Rosa banksia alba

Alba again.Just look at all those buds!

And, finally, the bus that carried me up over the crispy-dry Monaro and down to Eden .(see current header)

Bus to Eden


And I’ll own up right now…this is copied from my friend’s blog as I am a busy beaver as we have company coming to stay for a few days.

Besides, Sue had many, many more photos than I managed that day!

Here are a couple of pictures from my garden…the Dove orchid (Dendrobium crumenatum)does nothing for months on end, then it rains and overnight we have this…D. crumen atum.JPG


Black Bean* (Castanospermum australe) seeds I brought back from Canberra.


One day, they will be 8m (25 feet) tall like this…Castanespermum australe.JPG

*Please note, these are NOT the black beans of your kitchen.They are poisonous. Indigenous peoples  did use them as a kind of flour, but only after extensive and elaborate treatment.


Now, for some zooperlative  shots from our zoo trip, please go here: https://myjustsostory.blogspot.com/2018/11/sunday-selections-405.html


I’ll be back when the dust settles…


…or Canberra.  Kambera is a word meaning “meeting place” in one of the native languages and may have led to Australia’s capital being named Canberra. But there is no hard and fast evidence for this, which I find rather sad. I can understand names being muddled in the early days of colonisation [in any country], when even English spellings were barely standardised. But Canberra only became the official name in 1913! A tip of the hat would have been nice…

But I don’t really want to tread that path, fraught as it always is.

I want to tell you a little about my recent visit to the Capital.

Now, some of you know that I met and was royally hosted by someone whose blog I’ve followed for several years. Yes! Another blog-meet. And from the airport pick-up we both felt like old friends.

We share so many interests I wonder sometimes if we are not,somehow, kin.

So, my first time in ACT and my head was swinging from window to window as we drove out. Most of the wattle (Acacia sp) was past its bloom, but I still saw enough for “wattle fix.” I can imagine what it must be like late winter/early spring. Here’s a link to just one https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_baileyana.

Jazz, the resident cat, must have known a stranger was coming – he hid in a closet! Eventually, he decided I was not a Major Threat and even allowed me to play with his ribbon …20181012_155443.jpg

There were birds! Oh yes! Regulars at the feeders kept us highly entertained. Currawongs, magpies, pigeons, king parrots and even bearded ravens. Most of my photos still need editing so you might have to wait a while.Here’s one of the male Kings (Alisterus) being hand-fed.king male

And then there were  gardens. My kind of gardens. I’m not going to overwhelm you with photos, promise! But just look at this wisteria! And that’s only SOME of it! 20181012_100202.jpg


Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is an old favourite of mine.It loves cold winters or I’d probably go a bit  mad with it here!



A pure white Aquilegia in Sue’s garden



Flowering quince  Chaenomoles japonica  Another one that likes a colder climate.



I will share more another day, but here’s another wattle/Acacia. Just because. No, I don’t know which one!20181012_095014.jpg

And something I loved…just around the corner someone has set up a street library, with a notice inviting people to help themselves to a book and to add books to the shelf if they wish to. Thoughtfully draped in plastic sheeting to keep books dry and topped with this splendid fellow…


Next time, I’ll take you to the zoo!