THE STANLEY MAN HAS LEFT THE BUILDING …

Yes, I have been a bit quiet. But I am back at the coal face. Ooh! I shouldn’t say things like that. People might think I voted for the idiot that wants to sell what’s left of this country to foreign mining interests!

So…not the coal face. Back in the saddle? Haven’t got a horse, but I think you get the meaning.

There is no easy way to explain my absence. So I’ll just tell you, briefly, that Stanley has gone. We did not know that his heart was enlarged. It just couldn’t keep going. But, man! he packed a lot into his short life!

His friends sent this gorgeous bouquet for him.

sunshine after the showers.

Not a lot to say, but I do have some photos…

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!

IN AND OUT LIKE A FIDDLER’S ELBOW…

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.

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.

Yes, it was very windy when I took this photo!

This is some type of Case Moth ( Psychidae. )Nope. I don’t know! You could try this site and be just as knowledgeable as I am! https://www.google.com/search?q=psychidae+australia

casemoth 2

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…

A BLAST FROM THE SOUTH…

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.

a

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!

This is Clerodendron nutans, in bud for the first time in ages. It’s happy with the rain and, I hope, will have several sprays of flowers in a day or so.

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…

File:Ant Plant (Dischidia pectinoides) 1.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

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!

once more, unto the breach…

(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!

We had more rain this week. And fabulous lightning one night. No thunder here, but it must have been a cracking storm somewhere. Out to sea, I expect. So most of this week has been given over to more weeding!

Another picture of another frog.

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!

On the Docket Today.

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!

Here is a shot of some of the fruits…

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.

https://www.futilitycloset.com/2021/04/08/american-ships-head-to-gulf/

And for those of you old enough to have put your Saturdee night drinkin’ back/forward an hour so you could watch the kiddies’ TV favourite*…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ip5e9NUvX6A

I like clever. We could all do with more of clever. Love is good, too and there seems not to be much of that these days.

Here’s what one chap did while stuck in some hotel to sit -out his Covid quarantine. Like I said, clever.

Well I’d better git in the saddle and gallop out to the chow house…https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/05/horsing-around-australian-man-creates-paper-friend-out-of-lunch-bags-in-hotel-quarantine

*Pretty sure this didn’t make it to the kiddies’ session!

Forest of the damned.

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…

The Allamanda can’t seem to stop! Daffodils are out of the question here, but I glory in the matching yellow and similar fragrance. And that’s about the colour of our walls, too!

And the rain has been kind to the Gloriosa, allowing another flush before it goes to sleep…

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).

a lonely little petunia…

…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!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hoya-copy.jpg

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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…

Poly 1L Polystrippa Paint Stripper

Blustery showers and the possibility of Big Rain so I’m off to the shops…

I’M BACK, IF ONLY BRIEFLY

March 28.

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.

Unsurprisingly, Google has been flooded with moon queries.Here is a link to an astronomer’s page, for those who might want to know why they are going mad more moon-facts. https://theconversation.com/why-is-the-moon-bright-is-easter-a-full-moon-how-long-does-a-full-moon-last-your-moon-questions-answered-by-an-astronomer-158061

moon 6pm June 16

Going back a while for this…a late-blooming Hippeastrum

Time to don the chef’s hat…

May be an image of cat and text that says 'POLICE SUSPECT CATNIP WAS INVOLVED'

Don’t try to put THIS on your sidebar, Mr Inexplicable!

Stanley likes to think outside the box

FLOUNDERING

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.

RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL*

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!

One more frog. And, on a sweltering 30+ day and wishing for this https://www.flickr.com/photos/18554857@N03/45400480964/in/photostream/. I’ll toddle off and see if I can fix this camera glitsch.

SOME JOBS ARE BORING.SOME ARE A BIT ON THE NOSE.

I’ll explain a little more in a minute.

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 Begonia Rex. 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.

It’s a stunning thing to see, if not to sniff!

Titan-arum1web.jpg

Good grief! It’s Happy Hour!

SOME MORE PICTURES…

…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.

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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 PRESS I 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.

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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!

IN WHICH I AM SOMEWHAT CONFUSED…

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!

A CHRISTMAS BLOG PARTY!

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.

First up, because I’ve been sashaying around, whistling golden oldies, I thought Jon might like this(although, he probably already has it!) https://www.amazon.com/Noel-Cole-Songs-Coward-Porter/dp/B001AKN7TU

Over in Costa Rica and unable to venture far, I thought this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPk0xgHqQ4M might hit the spot for https://asurfeitofpalfreys.wordpress.com/

What would our groyne-and-shag-obsessed chum in Norfolk like to find in his stocking. Well, don’t be silly –that wouldn’t fit in a stocking! Perhaps something like https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/croquembouche/d6c985a0-b853-474d-96a9-efa3c27a5bdf

He might like to share that with Scarlet. But I’d hate to start a fight so let’s see what she might like…I know she’s rather fond of old things (she’s friends with me, after all!) so maybe https://boxandbarrel.com.au/products/winston-cocktail-glasses-set-of-4

Elephant’s Child. like myself, is uncomfortable in Aussie heatwaves so perhaps this might be to her taste antarctica from the air

Mago, who gave me the idea to throw a party here, might like some Bix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ue9igC7flI

I’m pretty sure Daisyfae would be a starter for a dive! No, not a questionable drinking haunt! Although… but I had this in mind https://passions.com.au/scuba-diving-cairns/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA2uH-BRCCARIsAEeef3kSCZq8FEY55ES9vf75bjw6Ixc0Ja4ZN8LGKMvpozLZDtl64fiWeyEaAskCEALw_wcB

I need to check on my dough and I know I’ve missed a few names, but hey! this is 2020 and EVERYTHING is up the boohai so I hand over to you to cudgel what wits you may still have.

Savvy hasn’t shown up yet, but when she does, perhaps she’ll like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRYFRvOUrvI

If Z pops in, as she might, noww that I’ve re-established things, she might be happy with this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3EJqvKhYzY

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…

Hanukkah toilet paper 2020 | ChambanaMoms.com

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!

THE EDIBLE RESULT!

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 (AD) VENTURE CONTINUES…

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. 🙂

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/what-bread-did-ancient-egyptians-eat

STILL HERE!

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 Tacca integrifolia 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.

b

This is the old stalwart, Fraser Island Creeper, Tecomanthe hillii

Trachelospermum jasminoides

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…

BACK IN THE SADDLE…

…and trying to stay on the bucking horse.

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…

EXPERIMENTING…

Just trying to iron out some wrinkles.

So far, so good…

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 new crate. 

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…

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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.

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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…

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A Grevillea (not named), apparently in a wager against the Tithonia. Somewhere beyond that jungle is a house…

 

 

Nephila pillipes.….looking much plumper now so I think her boyfriend got what he came for. (And with no sign of him, she probably did, too!)

*And I milked it shamelessly!

 

 

 

NO ABJECT APOLOGIES. NO EXCUSES.

MORE SHOW THAN TELL

I’m not making as much headway as I’d like, but I am getting a few more bits and pieces for the garden. Most will have to be potted-up and kept alive (one hopes!) until the cooler weather. I have scattered a few seeds of things like nasturtiums and escholtzia californica California poppy, and I’m going to bite the bullet and sow some sunflowers. Those of you who have Dark Arts forces on your side are asked, ever so nicely, to use your forces against vandal predation. The vandals in this case would be the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, which decimated my only other attempt to grow sunflowers.

The Swamp Orchid flowers withered eventually and I’ve cut the stems, to propagate more.

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One of the hibiscus already planted is a pretty thing…soft apricot colour and double-flowered.

And a dwarf Heleconia we brought down in the wheelbarrow. I think it is Little Jamaica.

And the jury’s still out on this chap. Maybe when it’s more advanced…best guess is Regelia.Don’t quote me!

And still we are battling weeds, like this, Dolichos. Not sure which one it is.

But, drum roll, please… we seem to be winning against the Sensitive Weed,http://Mimosa pudica In fact, The Man has done such great job there are no pics to show you! I expect a bare foot will tell us if any more *&**%$#! have sprouted!

Oh! We have a passion fruit. Yes, singular.But still more flowers to come and I’ve cleared the rubbishy dirt and stones, given it some TLC, water and coffee grounds and have hope.

That ginormous Eucalyptus torelliana in the front yard is seething with birds and bees.The noisiest by far are the Rainbow Lorikeets, but every so often they shut up and I hear, though cannot see, other birds up there.

Now, I must get some shoes on and go up the road to feed a neighbour’s cat. I might take a camera…

I THINK I’M BACK AGAIN…

But having just lost several photos and sentences, I’m not betting the housekeeping purse on it! I’ll try saving this, but the difficulty seems to be a)knowing where the beezeezlehoop it goes to and b) getting it back so I can continue!

This one of about a dozen (so far) flowers on the passion fruit vine. Hoping they all become fruit!

And this is the Vanda, looking VERY pink in the sunlight.It’s actually more purple. Never mind, we likes it!

Sporran likes to check on the pool crawler when she hears the pump cut-in. Yesterday, she sat on the pool coping, ears on backwards, glaring into the water. I went to see why. Oops! Mr Kreepy was detached from his hose and just lying on the bottom of the pool. We managed to hook him out with a rake, screwed him back onto his hose and away he went, scrubbing his way around the pool. Pleased with “her” efforts, Sporran wandered off…

The native orchid, Phaius australis is almost finished for the season.

And, since we are on the topic…on Sunday we gave ourselves a day off and went to the local orchid show. Ooh! Lots of pretties! But I was very restrained. I did take some pictures…

These are (mostly) Phalaenopsis, but individual labels were impossible with the rude people!

Back to the home garden…this is the Vanda in bud

And here she is, open and looking rather Barbie Pink!

Ooh! That reminds me…there is a rather dark tale about Barbie. We are not sure whether she died of natural causes, ie, drowning…or whether she was “done in, Guv. Probly by ‘er old man, cos we’ve ‘eard them ‘avin’ a right set-to many a night. An the Mister found ‘er old man’s John Deere, arse-up be’ind the pump shed…”

Indeed. Foul play is suspected. The very dead Barbie was found by The Man, who thought there was a funny noise coming from the skimmer box. Sure enough, there she was. Too late for mouth-to-mouth or even de-fib so we stuck her in the wheelie bin.

Here’s another from the Orchid House.

I’M BACK…

Just popping in to let you know I am still here. Still unpacking stuff and trying to find stuff already unpacked. No need to waste money on a gym membership…I go up and down and round and round umpteen times a day just looking for things. Important things, like bathrooms and coffee and wine. (Mind you, I can usually locate the last two without much trouble!)

Some of you want to know about the “new” house. And the garden.

Let’s start with the garden cos that’ll be easy. There’s sod-all garden! some horrible, lumpy, weedy grass, more palms , a few hibiscus, a begonia and something I have yet to identify. It was ABSOLUTELY covered in scale and sooty mould. Leaf is similar to Gardenia, but not as “leathery.” No flowers so I’m in the dark on this. But I water-blasted most of the scale from the stems, scraped most of the leaves and sprayed with white oil (neem oil is one the items yet to be located!) so we’ll see…

Oh, there are some bromeliads and succulents (including a sharp one, slated for removal as it’s a danger to the eyes.)

A passion fruit vine was threatening the swimming pool so that was tidied and trimmed.Some sort of onions;probably spring onions gone a bit mad. One tomato plant with one tiny tomato. And two HUGE eucalypts in the front yard. One is E torelliana. which I know can be a brute, but it’s home to countless critters. The other Eucalypt is too tall for me to be sure what it is!

Let’s see if I can remember how to get photos up here…this is the view from about half way up the back yard.The pool fence is on the left (and you can see the passion fruit vine on the timber fence.) E. torrelliana is the big, rather “bushy” tree beyond the satellite dish. And beyond that is the tall, skinny eucalypt

And here’s Sporran, a bit pissed off that she has to be harnessed, but she’d be over the fence where some very snarly bull dogs live. Is she watching the dogs? Nah! She’s fascinated by the Kreepy Krawly pool scrubber!

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I will have more photos to show you, but I thought I’d just jump the gun and be ahead of the game for the next Book On A Chair. See? Dinah got the smarts!

And now Dinah says it’s Happy Hour!