Moreidlethoughts Weblog

humour,art,gardens, books and whatever idle thoughts float through my mind (it's a very draughty mind.)


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SEEING RED

But first…I stood on tippy-toes and held a mirror up to the nest and could not see anything! This may just mean that a) I am too short or b) the little ‘uns have fledged.

I did some very complicated calculations and, yes, they may have left the nest.The birds’calculations may well have been more accurate than mine! 

The Man has just come home and, having 8″ on me (No,Muriel!NO!), I got him to do the thing with the mirror.No sign or sound of little birdies so I’m calling them fledged and learning about the world.

Now, on to today’s post title. In my efforts to understand what was happening/not happening with the camera(s) software, I went prowling around snapping dorky pictures and loading them on The Man’s computer. Nothing very flash, but here we go…

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Garden clogs.

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Some of our garbage bins are quite posh!

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Pentas.

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Hibiscus

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Palm seeds.Macarthur palm, maybe.

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Justicia

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Generally just called a “ginger” it seems to be listed in nurseries as Costus comosus.(Spider web is extra)

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Fallen flowers of Brachichyton acerifolia

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Shade sails on a neighbour’s house.


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SUNBIRD UPDATE

Popping in briefly to say that the sunbird eggs must have hatched, because…012.JPG

Mrs Sunbird has been leaving the nest for brief feeding flights and appears to be feeding chicks on her return.I snapped several pictures yesterday and will keep a camera handy.015.JPG

The Rainbow Lorikeets have been keeping a beady eye on the Schefflera flowers, which are almost ready…003.JPG

I took this the other day when we were still being monsooned by lashing rain and wind. Brilliant sunshine today so I may get some better pictures.

We picked the first soursop of the season last week and have more small ones on the tree.

Strange-looking things, aren’t they? But tasty!

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We’re heading off to have coffee with friends shortly, but I’ll be back.

 


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IN WHICH WINE MAY FEATURE

Well, why not? After all, those vintners have been slaving away in the burning sun, torrential rain, even frost ! It would be churlish not to offer them support.

I found this floating around the interweb, ages ago.If I ever knew who dreamed it up I’ve forgotten, but it’s clever.

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So…things have been a bit quiet on the blog front. I’ve been doing other things.Like sitting on the steps, camera ready, as the sunbirds construct their beautiful nest. They have not nested at our house for a few years, but they’re back now and we’re delighted. The cats have taken up bird-watching. Hopefully, that’s as far as they will take it.

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Mr and Mrs Sunbird begin work on the new house.

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Mrs. S flying away for more material-bits of spider web, feathers, grass, leaves…

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As of today, the little porch overhang seems to be finished and they’re working on lining.

Yes, I have lost some time to watching them! But I must get on with some work of my own…

I’ve bought a press! Quite compact. In fact, I have bigger hand bags! But it will be ideal for my restricted work-space.IMG_2587.JPG

It is a machine designed for die-cutting;probably geared towards people who like to make their own greeting cards. But a couple of professional printmakers trialled it as a printing press, liked its performance and posted their results on-line. Blimey! They should get commission – I think the local stores have sold out and I know printmakers overseas have been buying the Xpress.

So why do I not have any samples to show? Too busy watching birds and spiders! Also need to clean old plates and cut new ones and mix new shellac. But I will share my results.

Did I say “spiders”? Yes, I did. Having “lost” 3 to bird dinners, I was chuffed to find another good-sized Nephila pilipes . And a young (quite small) one had the temerity to make a web from the front of the Mustang to the house supports! The Man needed to move the car so I had to move the spider. I carried her across to a part of the garden where others have had webs and at last sight she was in the big cycad.

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I’ll leave you with one more picture from the garden…IMG_2625.JPG

A small chrysalis. Nope, don’t know whose.If it goes to term I’ll let you know.(I’ll also manually remove that  white mess. Damned scale!)

 

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas. Not Christian? Never mind, I still wish you health, happiness and a much, much better year than this has been.Wherever you are, whatever you believe, may it not lead to bloodshed.

 


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IN WHICH I TICK OFF MORE ‘FIRSTS’

 

Sung about, written about and probably even cursed by light sleepers, the Mocking Bird eluded me until now. I think this is a juvenile (because another bird was bringing it grubs and bugs to eat).IMG_2109

And, because I know some of you want to hear  it…

I was lamenting the lack of arachnid Kodak moments. But the rainstorms the other day must have brought out a load of Incey-Winceys. So far, only  Orchard Orb Weavers that I can see (Leucauge venusta), but they’re new to me so they count!

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And the real reason I’m here…Maggie, the ancient and venerable Border Collie.IMG_4949

Post-prandial snooze.

OK, this is a short post, but I have other things to do. Those of you who dip your toes in the muddied waters of Facebook know how to find me.

 


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IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN…

I was all set to be ready, this month.Even if I had to resort to a “grocer’s bunch”…I was going to wow everyone with my Flowers In The House.

And then it rained. I mean, really rained.The sort of rain that whooshes down, drenching everything, then goes out to sea and we all dash about washing the curtains that got wet and rejoicing in the lovely, soft, damp earth that makes weed-pulling a picnic in the park.

And then it rains again.Look, not to bore you, but we have had quite a few rainy days.And some thunder storms.

So…back to the “grocer’s bunch.” Um, no. I think someone left the grocer’s would-have-been contribution out in the rain!And the cheeky blighter was still asking half my housekeeping budget for the wilties!

So what does Dinah do? Calls on an orchid to step into the breach…IMG_4346

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Phalaenopsis. It may have a cultivar name, but its label is long gone. The Man brought it indoors last week, fearful that the rain would mash its petals.Mostly, it sits on the dining table, looking lovely. No, this is NOT the dining table! This is a scruffy old table where we do all sorts of grubby things. Like mixing shellac, painting things and potting seedlings. But the orchid is indoors in the top picture.

I’ve done a massive amount of weeding and some more pruning and hope to get some things out of their pots and into this rich, soft chocolate-y soil. Soon, very soon. And I re vamped the herb boxes and put in some rocket/arugula which is coming along very nicely.I always have trouble with that in summer heat, but it’s looking good. If I can find a space that gets enough sun I might plant some chard(silver beet).

The orb spider’s cocoon is still under its leaf and tied back to a pole for safety.Another female spider is looking quite plump on her web, but the other one was gone yesterday morning. Still very slender, I think she became a snack. 😦

Is it just me, or are other people struggling to keep up with blogging? I know some of you feel “empty” and I can understand that. But blogging , for me, was  a comfortable way to write. And I felt connected.But lately? I find it harder to write what I think people might like to read. Maybe I’m being pulled in other directions? Yes, I do venture into Facebook’s waters, but that’s hardly “writing.”

I suspect that I’m getting a taste for gallivanting! Good thing I renewed my passport!

I’d better get back to the kitchen and show my Kerala coconut curry some respect…

Here’s my spider and her beautiful golden egg sac…020

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If you click these pictures you will (should!) see that beautiful golden silk shining in sunlight.No wonder it was used on the raiments of the wealthy and clergy!

Time has passed…the curry was, indeed, delicious. As was the juice of the crushed grape. And, to top it off, we enjoyed a re-run of QI.

 

 


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LOOK! A NEW POST!

And I note that my previous post, back sometime in the Iron Age * is called Flowers In The House. So I can’t really use that title.

But it is why I’m here. If Jane, with all the hassles she’s had, can manage FITH, well, the least I can do is poke a few chrysanths and carnations in a jam jar and head over to her place….

Well, not the only reason. My friend, Mig, who also has not posted for a while, reappeared today and I thought “Blimey! Someone else with an over-filled plate.”

Really, though I say I’ve been busy, my life is not quite as hectic as some lives. So here I am!

I continue to be distracted by the local wildlife.Nothing new in that! The other night we heard a possum thump-scritching across the roof and swishing down through the palms. First for quite a while. Still haven’t seen him/her, but there has been evidence.

And on Saturday I saw a “new bird.” Well, it was new to me.Turns out these are common , but I’d never noticed! Yellow Fig  Birds are or were a sub-species of the green ones. They look like this  

And the spider! I mustn’t forget Ms.Blue Eyes! I must have seen dozens of them, but only the other day did I see her in the right light to notice her eyes (well, some of them!) – like tiny blue diamonds! She has made her bronze-gold web in the carport and, so far, is safe from any birds that might fancy a snack. Here she is, in  the best image I could get without triggering a trap line. If you google you can find images of beautiful textiles made with her web.Well, not this one, of course, but some of her kin.

And, since I seem to be blathering about birds, bugs and suchlike, here is a short video of some Spangled Drongoes. We often hear them, calling, a harsh chit-chit-chee. Their song is much more melodious and on this occasion, we had three, in a palm outside our bedroom.

And now, for Jane, some Flowers In The House. 005 006

 

I’m off to Arlington to see who else has flowers…

The Iron Age…the ridiculously long time it takes me to get through a brimming basket of laundry.Probably because I so dislike the chore I put it off for as long as possible. I could do with a Laundry Lucy !

 


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MORE ‘PROPER’ TRAINS.

(and a spider alert!)

The 3801 (train folk say thirty-eight oh one) is probably the most famous steam locomotive in Australia. Oh, OK, I might be shot down by those who like others better. But there is no denying that 3801 is  one helluva train.

I’m not going to type up all the specs; you can read the details here

Back in 1988, as part of the Bi Centennial celebrations, the Flying Scotsman was brought out to Australia and the 3801 was run with her.

It was a drizzly day when a friend and I drove up to Brisbane for our run of a lifetime. Two of the best loved trains in the world and we had tickets to ride!

On parallel tracks, slowing and overtaking (there were a lot of cameras on both trains!) from Brisbane to Ipswich and back. The ride of a lifetime.

We were on 3801, which meant we got some wonderful shots of the Scotsman and, back at the station, despite the rain, some decent film of “our” engine, too. I should still have the negatives, but, despite  a search of several boxes, I can’t find them. This poor sketch hardly does the grand old lady justice.

Now, at about this point the arachnophobes can leave us and go and make a cup of tea. Check the teapot, first! 😉

edited to add this        http://www.lastwordonnothing.com/2012/11/13/abstruse-goose-disproportionate-reaction/     gotta love the Goose!

When I was much, much younger I hated spiders. I kept telling myself I wasn’t scared, I just didn’t like them. This didn’t stop me from playing “up in the bush” as we called a rough patch of weedy trees and manuka   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptospermum_scoparium
And lots of spiders! I remember, chiefly, the nursery spiders 
And one nasty little boy, knowing I hated the  things, delighted in chasing me with a manuka branch, complete with a web and, usually, a rather cross Mrs.Spider attached. 
One of my natural phenomena books had a photo of a tarantula and for years I kept a piece of paper folded over that page. Yes, really! I was such a sook. But that tarantula,or rather, the picture, helped me. How? 
I traced the photo. Then kept drawing around the outline, enlarging it each time. And then I pasted the ever-expanding spiders (I just glued the feet so that they “came up” from the page) into a book which I used to look at every day, telling myself they were “my” spiders and I was not scared. But I never did grow to like Charlie!
I was, however, quite enchanted with this when it popped up (ooh! see what I did?) in my reader this morning  http://www.behance.net/gallery/If-I-Were-Victorian-Pop-up-Books/272651
And that segues nicely to something else I’ve been doing…
 
More details of that when all the books have been completed and sent to their various homes.
Time to put on my chapeau de cuisine…