No such thing as a simple life on my one acre in Tasmania with my two dogs.I try to grow food, wrangle chickens and the native and non native wildlife share the land I call home. Life with CPTSD and ADHD not been easy so I share about it all. Low income, a bit frugal, real life My Life.
Opened my front door this morning to let the dogs out.
Seems we all like to have gourmet breakfasts every so often
Sensibly watching my dogs, who are actually not interested in the Wallaby. I also am obviously outside with them and keeping a close on eye on all animals. Even when the wallaby jumped off and away, neither Busby or Miss Treacle were interested.
Though Busby is going to check out the bales of pea straw thoroughl!
Looks like I will need to move these now wet pea straw bales I purchased for the garden out of the wallabies reach. Another of those jobs I was meaning to do. The chooks have loved scratching through some bales too.
This is one of our favourite beach/riverside walks which is pretty close and if we take the long way home, it is on the way home. The rocks have many fossils, though over the years I have lived here, the rock cliff has eroded so much.
It was a beautiful winters day though it was a little windy we all enjoyed it.
The following photos are the northern end of this beach it is very different on this day as it was sandy.
Heck here it is July, I feel as if I have been on a different planet over the last few months. Its is all good just nary a post. Winter here in glorious Southern Tasmania the wood fire is going, and snow is on the distant mountains, as I sit writing listening to my two dogs are chomping on bones. We have all been on a short walk. The frost is still present and the sun has not reached my place as yet.
However today is going to be glorious and whilst I wait for the sun to come over the trees(how I wished I lived on top of the hill and not down near the river lol, though in summer I am happy in this position). I aim to get back into the garden, to clear an area of my ‘veggie growing area’. I also aim to dig at least one hole a day for about 10 days for the new fruit plants I have purchased that will be coming soon as bare rooted stock.
My mental health on the whole is good, I have no regrets about coming off my medication (with support) for me it was such a wonderful thing to get me through the really bad period, as I had and continue to have support from my psychologist. I knew it was time. I have not had an ADHD assessment done, yet in my heart I believe it is a fact, and wow if I had known years ago what a difference it would have made in lots of ways. Now this knowledge lets me relax about so many things that often would cause me anxiety and distress.
I took a break of several hours and worked outside in the garden. Winter gardening is all about the weeds and planning. Preparing and dreaming. I am just pottering attending to so many things slowly that have been neglected or forgotten in the last few years. Self care was my highest priority as I adjusted to life with a mental illness, asking for help (hard to do for me) and utilising the help both medication and professional. I feel right now as if I know what I need. I am working towards this and as I do I am content, even with any discontent.
Today lovely sunny one down here in the Huon still and just one of those great winter days. I decided to begin on an area of neglect in between the chicken run and my veggie garden. I had attempted to before I became ill create a pathway for the chooks out to the paddock, so they could not be tempted into the veggie garden. Well that all fell by the wayside and what I was left with is blue steel fencing embedded into the soil (that had made itself over the last 5 years and impaled by the most horrendous grass ever. (I call it onion grass because it bulbs and spreads and its a nightmare).
In the final photo you can get an idea of how deeply buried the fencing wire mesh was. Still more to do. I sort of got sidetracked when I popped into the veggie area and decided to weed a bed. I did come back and pick up all the onion grass and all bulbits I could (little buggers always miss one or many!) Used the top of the old dog house to through all these horrible pulled and cut out grass bulbs, which means no touching the dirt. Tool of choice was a serrated edge steak knife!
The garden bed I was distracted by. A lovely weed filled bed with grass growing around it and weeds. is the one on the left of first photo, completed clearing around the edges and inside. Winter is proving to be the time the weeds are sprouting here at my place. I may not have dug a hole and prepared for a new or older plant to go in today, I did weed a bed, always choices when you have a garden and always manyana.
I am now looking forward to tomorrow, as the weather is again meant to be lovely as today. I have my eager helpers the dog/s and chickens and I hope to do more of the buried treasure recovery.
This morning I was awake early for a Saturday morning. I lay in bed watching the sunrise, and listening my two cockerels crowing. My dogs and I are sleeping on my mattress down stairs(Bubsy was not allowed to go up stairs when he had his cruciate ligament operation). He has recovered but it is cooler down stairs and I have hope I will get my bedroom painted, before the cold weather arrives.
So the three of us were on the mattress, Ms Treacle and Busby asleep; I noticed movement on the stairs on my deck and saw a small wallaby. A incredible way to begin a morning.
I was meeting up with someone who was giving me a mother for making Kombucha,it was a transaction to be carried out in the car park of a business in Cygnet. After my morning wake up visitor, I headed to the shower. Then the dogs went for a run. Loaded them up into the car and we headed into Cygnet. As I was driving a grey Goshawk(which is actually white) flew up off the edge of the road, and flew in front of my car. Sadly I did not have my mobile or camera to hand. Yet sometimes the lived experience memory far outweighs the image. I can still see the bird quite a large one flying up. I imagine it’s breakfast was laying in the long grass alongside the road. I could not help but appreciate how incredibly lucky I was.
On arrival into the small village near where I live, I saw several other folk who were ‘loitering’ at 9am on a very quiet Saturday morning in Cygnet. A vehicle pulled in and jars were handed out. We thanked the wonderful woman who was sharing her mother with us. Off we went onto our day. As I had not eaten or had a coffee at home, along with it being a truly stunning Autumn morning, I chose to have breakfast at one of the wonderful cafes in our village.
It was a short walk to the cafe. We arrived and were the first outdoor customers. The Port Hole Cafe uses locally grown vegetables and all deserts are gluten free. Cater for vegans too. They do serve meat meals. Wonderful coffee and is a lovely out door area, with herbs and flowers growing around the perimeter. As I sat waiting for my order, other people began to arrive for breakfast. Many bringing their dogs. Most eating places in town with out door areas are dog friendly. Huon Valley is a wonderful dog friendly community.
You are supposed to have your dogs on lead in all public areas (unless other wise noted) Miss Treacle was sitting under our table in the shade. I was thrilled to meet up with two wonderful women and as the cafe began to fill enjoyed a couple of hours catching up and sharing with the ladies, meeting and greeting for my dogs, and saying hi to many people I knew. The cafe was filling up fast. I discovered it was Regatta Day and the local sailing club were conducting a race from another bay further around (quite a way ) called Kettering. This is where you catch the ferry across to the wonderful Bruny Island. The sailing club was racing from there back to Cygnet. A lot of other activities were happening. I had intended to drive down and take some photographs, alas I was running close to another meet up I had this morning. We all said our see you’s and my dogs and I went for a walk up the road and back to the car. I had to do some grocery shopping, and did this quickly. We headed home.
I had surprised myself two days before I had offered some rose hips to some one on the local crop swap Facebook page. She no longer needed them another person did. Without thinking I invited her to my place to pick as many as she liked. WOAHH no anxiety, no what if, and today no regret. I was so amazed that I did not cancel, or have somatic reactions to knowing a person I had met only a couple of times in the community was coming to my place. MY PLACE. No one has been to my home in so long even in the garden. Especially someone I did not know very well. Yet I felt no anxiousness, of feeling of wanting to cancel of flee. It seemed strange that not one iota was present. When the woman arrived We walked around the outside of my home, (which is not neat and tidy or beautiful to share with others), as a hoarder working to resolve this, a lot of things are waiting to be dealt with and things that I have managed to move out of the house in the last two plus weeks are waiting for a friend who has offered to help me take stuff to the tip. Two things in this paragraph seem so extraordinary to me. Someone came to my home no anxiety, I have moved stuff to get rid of out of the house.! Only someone who is a hoarder, loves a hoarder, or is wondering if they still wish to be with the hoarder or is fed up and wants to help the hoarder get rid of the hoard. How is this possible? As someone who has been diagnosed with CPTSD, my hoarding became another symptom of my mental illness. By having things in such a situation and way for me, (and each person who is a hoarder is dealing with their own issues and recovering is a very individual experience). You can not MAKE a hoarder change, You can not get rid of the Hoarders ‘hoard or rush the individual. As frustrating as that seems, we are fragile. The hoard whilst not necessarily valuable or as in my case in the best of condition or even seemingly rational to other people, even those closest to the person who is hoarding. For me cardboard and newspapers were a huge thing, my carport is full of cardboard boxes. They are for my garden but when they were coming into the house and taking up space and growing, that was a huge problem. I managed to get them outside and for me, now, I know I will be using them for the garden over the next few months Autumn and Winter. My visitor saw all this, she saw the two arm chairs outside and other items making my drive area what it is. I felt ok with that. There are two boxes in my living room at the moment and they are being filled with smaller bits and pieces that need to be moved outside to be taken to the tip
I am so happy so incredibly happy I have been saying for months to my previous GP, that I was feeling like my starter motor would not turn over. This GP disagreed saying I was not motivated. I was flawed by this insensitive comment. I responded to her, I have managed to have a shower, get in my car and drive 70km/ 44miles one way to this appointment. I am motivated. I want to get into my home…I cant’.
I left this GPs office and was fortunate that at this moment the GPs closest to me was taking new patients. It was meant to be.
If you have not read previous posts in regard to my accidental cold turkey coming off Desvenalfaxine (Pristiq), one month ago today. I do not recommend it, I have been incredibly fortunate with my withdrawal process. You really need to do it with support and being taken off it slowly. I am still experiencing odd symptoms of withdrawal.
The importance of having someone I don’t really know come to my home and see how it really is was horrifying to me, the hoard meant no one came to visit, it kept /keeps me safe and no one comes into my home, or garden. Yet today they did, and it was wonderful. Not to feel anxious but to enjoy sharing about her garden and small business (she and her hubby grow organic veggies and salad mix sell it to the cafe I had breakfast at and other places). I shared with her that I was a hoarder and working towards recovery, a very slow process. That was all that was shared about it. we just chatted as she picked the rose hips. In exchange I received three organic eggplants/aubergines. I have not regretted even now as evening approaches her coming here. I have not felt sick in my stomach. I have felt thankful that my starter motor is kicking over. I am glad I did not believe or agree with what my previous GP thought. For me after several years on the medication that saved my life and I am eternally grateful for it. I am through a lot of hard work and emotional distress anguish thanks to my wonderful Psychologist who has ensured that I remain on her books even when I could not afford to pay for her services(she bulked billed for me); has seen me able to have the same psychologist (as a low income earner for three + years). Prior to this I would see one for so many weeks there contract would not be renewed another would come along and I would have to start again with them, this actually I really believe made my mental health worse.
I understand not many are as fortunate as I have been in this situation. I also know it is very early days in my medication free life of a person with a diagnosed mental illness. I am just trying to eat as well as I can; which as a hoarder this is not always easy, and I not always brilliant at it. My kitchen is pretty much at the moment a state of disarray, and whilst I can prepare some things; I have been working on the kitchen. I have a floor space that has basically nothing covering it piled up a couple of inches. It is floor boards I am walking on. Things so many things have been thrown out that had been on the floor and well might be able to be saved/fixed..nope my mind now is I have been walking on this shit for a long time, (fluctuated over the course of time ).
Today started out so beautifully and as the sun sets here in southern Tasmania at 19:32 the days are drawing in, it is a clear sky and it will be a crisp night. I Love Autumn/fall. I will be going to sleep with a sense of peace. Amazing. It is so hard to explain when nearly every thing about your life when exposed to others can be so triggering and to not have that experience at all today or now made the beautiful start go all day and I feel my dreams will be peaceful.
I am thankful that there are people clever enough to work on medications that can help people such as myself get through the roughest patches. I am thankful that I am strong enough now to listen to my own voice about my mental health. I am thankful for the fact the withdrawal symptoms are lessening. I am thankful that I have a new GP who has really taken the time in the three appointments each over 40minutes bulk billed(health care card holder) to get to know me, what I have been dealing with and where and what is happening for me now. She also has spoken with my psychologist (with me permission very happily given ) and is now comfortable with where I am at to follow up in a month. (to begin with and it must be hard to meet someone first time who is coming off antidepressant cold turkey and tells you that is how it will continue. ). She was somehow concerned I may be suicidal (no matter how much I reassured her I was not. I was seeing her weekly.. for three weeks. So I did have her support for the last three weeks coming off the antidepressants. I am so fortunate and so very thankful.
my soul and heart ache for all people who are going through horrendous conflict /war situations, those who are loosing their jobs and now must survive in Russia with prices rising rapidly. Those who are defending their countries/communities in all conflicts around the world. For those who are griveing for all they have lost family friends livelihoods, pets, homes, everything. There are no words none. It does not help you I understand. I really can not do anything to help but donate money and hope it gets to organisations that will ensure all or the majority of it gets to those who need it!.
I know I am rich beyond words. I know I live in an incredibly safe place, and Have more than I need. may you all be safe, Tazzie
Warning please seek medical support prior to going off any mental health medication. Withdrawal from medication/s is a very individual experience and my experience is mine alone. I do not encourage anyone from stopping any mental health medication without support of your GP, Psychiatrist and Psychologist. I worked as a mental health qualified Registered Nurse RPN and RN I did not mean to do my cessation like this this it was very much situational.
Day 10: Wow am I all over the place today. I broke my toe about 9am yes definitely broken, its taped to my other toe and hurts like hell and if i move it wrongly I feel ill. Did not cry when I did it yelled and screamed for bit. for any new readers I have CPTSD and am a hoarder. I am hoping to be able to say recovering hoarder as I have spent several hours today cleaning and throwing things out. I have wooden floor visable for the first time in a few years in my living space. I also found two places where mice were making nests. Foiled them nests gone. I am proud of myself as it was done with no effort, no planning. I just wanted to do it. I have been wanting to begin for months and had been saying so to my psychologist and my previous GP (the one who was 140km round trip away who told me I lacked motivation). I tried to explain to her I did not lack motivation. I was not able to do this! As I do this I am struggling still to get rid of items. Yet I am proud of myself that I have thrown away quite a few items that I have held on too or that were damaged. I am noting I am getting better at the concept if its been on the floor and I have been walking on it or stacked stored in a pile of stuff for several years and I have not used it. Why keep it. I have been spending money on things I have wanted to do creative activities with. I have wanted to get these things for so long and well yesterday I just did it. I felt joy. I am eating fairly healthy. I went out last night for a wine evening and lovely dinner. It was brilliant and I enjoyed being with my friend and being with 30 others but was very happy to return home after 2 1.2 hours a great meal and wonderful wine (tasted 14different wines from sparkling whites roses to reds. Ended with a small tequilla. (i love tequllia). I am not a big wine drinker or actually alcohol drinker at all and this is a monthly evening I have been a member of for several years. (my one real social event ).
I washed a load of clothes hung them out in the beautiful sunshine and bought them in.
I left my two dogs outside for a bit too long unsupervised thinking the chooks would have gone to bed. Sadly I heard chickens screeching, and as fast as I could hobble I went outside realising what was on. In the past I got so angry at Busby. I was annoyed, because he would not stop chasing this one hen. (he gets fixated and it is impossible almost to break his fixation) once I knew the hen was safe got him to hear me and go inside. I was not anywhere near as angry as I have been in the past at him. It was my fault I left him outside too long. My error.
I am teary, right now. Have just questioned the meaning of friendship to those who are my friends on facebook, since not one person I have as a friend and I only have people I really know and have known for several years as friends. As I had not been on Facebook for 10 weeks. So questioning the whole friend thing. Not really sure what I am expecting. Not sure why I wrote on Facebook bizzare.
I have no real idea how much longer withdrawal is going to take perhaps several weeks more. I have to see my new GP on Thursday. She seemed to have the idea I may have been wanting to self -harm. I kept saying this is the furthest away from my situation. I am so glad to wake up everyday, I am content in my discontent. I have asked my psychologist who was sending information to the new GP to please somehow ensure she is aware that I am not in anyway considering self harm or suicide.
I guess I am on a weird roller coaster of unkowns right now. Withdrawal off this medication symptoms are all over the place. I remain light headed and dizzy at times; even lying down go figure. I have nauseous feelings less but still there as is the body temperature fluctuations. Sleep once I get to sleep is heavy and the last two nights nightmare free. The anger I was experiencing earlier is not so pronounced. Though it would not surprise me if it flared out in a trigger situation. I am very aware that I seem to be a bit all over the place in my writing tonight and my mind is certainly running fast. Is it a withdrawal symptom to feel almost a bit manic? My mind is racing and my thoughts are a bit all over. I feel like I want to just keep getting on with de-hoarding, so full of energy inside. Yet at the same time a sense of weariness. I am now beginning to worry that all of a sudden I will stop sorting my house… that thought distresses me. My toe is beginning to throb, so pain relief tablet due and bed I feel.
I am so thankful to be getting my house a bit better. I am thankful my chook is physically unharmed. blessing to You, Tazzie
How are you? Me? I am plodding along. Its Thursday evening here 18:46 the sky is filled with grey clouds. The sailing club is out racing and the hills along the river are so green and water filled that it is beyond belief that they can possibly hold anymore water. Yet we are forecast more very wet weather here in my valley. It has been amazing in the spring garden and the bulbs and fruit trees have blossomed so vibrantly. We seem to be having three-four days of very heavy rain and colder temperatures and tomorrow and Saturday are forecast to be single digit (Celcius) maximums. So I have just put some dry (as in not wet) but very dry (as in not green) wood ready to if need by light the fire in the morning. Snow forecast down to 600m(1967f) tomorrow in some areas too. Up to 40mm (1.6 inches) rain forecast in my valley. The preceding days were gorgeous, blue skies, still and hot. Lovely. I was working in the garden removing black berries roots and vines that were bursting into tendrils wrapping themselves about the chook runs fence and about one of my hazelnut bushes. Makes for very risky picking. Chuckle. Have you ever tried to dig out blackberry roots by hand? Oh my did my shoulder neck arms hands and fingers ache last night. It was a good ache and I slept so soundly. (which as one of the very lucky people in the world is not unusual for me). It was the sleep of having been doing hard slog! (physical work) I am extremely out of practice in that. I was covered in mud as the soil even after two days of dry weather was very wet.
I must say it was delightful to be able to have lunch on my deck with my two besties in the wonderful sunshine yesterday, listening to the birds, and watching the birds bathe in the bird bath.
I do believe in the power of sunshine and physical exercise as being extremely important for my mental illness. Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) along with physical well being. What is really hard for many people to truly understand mental illness along with those physical illnesses that do not have symptoms that can be seen is that those like myself can seem to be fine on the out side and yet be dealing with a lot just to be present out and about.
For example I went to pick up a package today from my little towns post office. I had been and attended to other things in town that morning along with taking the dogs for a walk in town enjoying the sunshine. I was chatting to the staff member and she was assisting me with a problem that had occurred; an item I had received at the post office a few days before had not been in the package. It had been packed but the package had torn. I had struggled to get in touch with Australia Post to see if the item missing had been located. I had spent ages on the phone 16 attempts to get through, which frustrated me. I had also attempted to contact the correct area via the Australia Post website. To be told that oops something went wrong, and to try back in a few minutes. I tried numerous times over the next few hours. Each time having to go through the complete process. Again I was feeling quite annoyed now. The good thing here is I was able to accept the problems as frustrated as I was and just emailed the Federal Government Minister who is in charge of Australia Post as a communication method for Australians, owned by the Government.
I may be seen as a Karen, but I wrote a very honest and factual email of the situation.
So the kind lady at my Post office was helping and contacted the people who bring the mail from the main sorting area in a suburb of Hobart to see if they had found anything. In the middle of this I found myself having a panic attack, sweats, heart palpitations and hands shaking. Oh how I dislike this, but it is much better than uncontrolled anger which has been an issue in the past a symptom of my CPTSD. So thankful for the improvement in my responses, from working with my Psychologist.
What does any of this have to do with the sunshine. I am not totally sure, laugh. I do know of course the importance of vitamin D, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) a form of depression experienced in winter time when sunshine is very short supply here in Tasmania.
I do not have the answers I just am finding what works for me. Of course it is different for everyone. What I found lovely at the Post Office staff were so kind offering a drink of water. I am not sure but having a panic attack over the fight response is perhaps a more positive? solution. I am still very much a work in practice.
Coming home I filled the bird baths, fed the chooks and went to collect eggs, only to find…. in my veggie garden..
Well I feel relived that Henny is healthy, and well my hope is that they are three hens? What are the chances?
What a difference a day of sunshine makes to a lot of things. Here in Australia we have begun daylight savings, ( a week ago). Putting the clocks forward, it caught me by surprise. It was not until I went up to my friends three days later that I discovered that this had happened. I have to laugh at myself. Clocks really do not have any meaning to me these days. Unless I have an appointment. I really do not worry about it the clock that is. Time on the other hand is totally a quandary. I can know longer know by the sunlight what time it is. As the days here in Southern Tasmania get longer time seems to distort. It has seen me not going to bed till the very wee small hours. Which for me is not such an issue and I am very fortunate.
After spending time sitting with my friends and their dog Toby on their deck, having a lovely morning tea, as the dogs played and the cockatoos screeched.
It sure beat the previous few days, though in between showers I did manage to do something very needed.
It was so great to have been able to spend this lovely day with my neighbours and their dog. The weather deteriorated I endevoured to keep active and give the dogs some nice experiences as the weather was not going to improve for a week or more.
Whilst I find I am able to some things so many more just continue to be on lists. I do get frustrated with myself at times. Yet this is the reality of my life the fact is I am definitely not lacking motivation. I can do things at times. Yet the things that I not able to do are the very things which would make it so much easier in my life. I continue to move things out of the house. I really struggle with my CPTSD (complex post traumatic stress disorder) every day there is something that will impact me. I hold on tight to the fact that my mental health is good most of the time, I am so very fortunate safe and secure where I live. I am fed up with the wet weather, and we have more storms coming. It is making it hard to work in the garden and pop in spring flowers seeds. My seedlings for the veggie garden are doing pretty well and my hope is next week I am able to get in and tend to the beds.
Its been a wee while since I wrote. Here I am again. What has been happening in the mean while? Apart from trips to vet for Busby’s injection and to do my shopping not much. I washed clothes and rewashed them, finally getting them out and hanging them over my stair rails to dry in the heat from wood fire. Yeah!
I have made plans to visit two friends and did not turn up. I have so far it seems won the battle of the mice yeah.
I have made an appointment with my GP, Yeah; to discuss my medication and an appointment with the psychiatrist I had seen once before. This item creates great anxiety in me. So much so I am fluctuating between cancelling the appointment. As I write I feel my throat tighten and my mouth go dry. I attempt to focus on the benefit if an ADHD medication may actually reconnect my brain somehow.
I found myself feeling at home at times in tears as I began to recognise aspects of my own processing and behaviours shared and explained in this channel. After watching and connecting the fear of being diagnosed with ADHD is reduced somewhat. Then I go into what if I am NOT diagnosed with ADHD and I am just lazy and disorganised hopeless and all the words I have heard so often over the course of my life?
So rather than go down the rabbit hole of YouTube and my search engine I decided to get out of the house, yes avoiding the garden, the house and the computer. I loaded up the dogs and we headed off for some lunch.
I had to pick up some chook grains for my hens and roosters (yes roosters oh dear that is also on the I have to deal with soon list), in Huonville.
I decided I would venture to Summer Kitchen in Raneleagh which used to be a small village a little over two KMs from Huonville but now is really a suburb of it.
The photos below see some of my flock saying Where the heck are You going? We are starving! A house on the way, where the newest owners have had enough obviously of past work on the house they purchased. Spring is certainly arriving in my beautiful valley. Last photo is of Hawthorne flowering along the road.
Even though we have not had any outbreaks of Covid here in Tasmania for over a year cafes, shops and businesses remain on COVID Responsiblities requiring signing in or using the Covid App, social distancing etc. A beautiful brunch at Summer Kitchen,https://www.facebook.com/Summer-Kitchen-Bakery-389693084374495/ delicious vegetarian wrap (I am not a vegetarian) with wonderful garlic hummus and fresh vegies…large cappuccino sitting in sunshine with my dogs about me. Near-bye were a group of bicyclists (MAMILS Middle aged men in Lycra a few ladies too) enjoying the sunshine too. My dogs were petted and discussion about them. Several proud doggy dads showed me their furbabies photos a gorgeous Samoy, a labrador, a whippet and poodle. The valley is a cyclists delight. My dogs were the only ones present but as we arrived we passed a couple leaving with their owners. I love that my valley has so many dog friendly places to eat.
After leaving Summer Kitchen Raneleagh we headed basically to the hill behind the Raneleagh showground. On the way we passed the Home Hill Winery, https://www.homehillwines.com.au/ . The first photograph below shows the face area of Mount Beauty. A different view than from my home. This mountain range certainly delineates one end of the Huon Valley. So green yet as I drove up the hill the grasses altered and whilst they look dry the ground under my feet and the dogs paws was very wet. We have had so much rain and wind over the last few weeks. (normal for the time of year).
The last photograph above is from the hill looking back down to the valley over Raneleagh.
The following photographs are the drive back down from the hill top to Raneleagh. When I see the rock along the road I am awed at how trees, shrubs and grasses grow, such tall trees. Hobart is the second driest Captial city in Australia. mM beautiful valley is often on water restrictions in summertime.
In the valley timber homes abound. As Tasmania is known for its State Forests and wood was easy to access for many over brick and other materials.
The photographs below see me driving alongside the Huon River towards Judbury another small village well it is really not a village as it has no shops, post office, pub, being only approximately 13kms/8miles to Huonville. Rain falling ahead, the river valley is green and lush. The third photograph is of the Tassal Nursery for their salmon. They hatch the salmon eggs and grow them until they reach smolt (hatchling fish reach the length/weight/size for the smolt can now move from the fresh water into the sea cages/nets. As I drive further we begin to see the homes of Judbury so many new homes being built in the hillside, and along the river flats. Hard to remember that smoke and fires were all around here only Summer 2018 in the hills.
I have enjoyed the journey so far, it seems that the dogs have too. I really enjoy my own time, and doing my own thing generally, so find this such an enjoyable thing. Thankful for my car, my dogs who make my life and keep me doing things. I am thankful to live in such a beautiful area. blessings to You. Tazzie
Well hello so much has been happening down here on my little acre in the Huon Valley of Tasmania. Finally more sunshine, and heat. So my tomatoes are ripening and developing Yeah. Pumpkins and zucchinis are doing well for me. However the most exciting news is Frida Kahol’s chicks have arrived!
I just happened to hear Frida making the sweetest noises as I was walking to release the other hens. So I went in to see her and found the first chick. It was so wonderful. One other egg was pippin.
So next morning there were 5 chicks! Yeah. 3 yellow chicks and two darkish.
The weather forecast was for high temperatures the following day. 36dC/96.8dF. I went out in the morning and it was so hot. I checked the chicks and Frida Kahol. The chicks were standing outside and Frida Kahol was panting. I made the decision to move them all inside. As it was only 9am and it was already 26dC/79dF. The following three days were to be hotter. It ended up at 38dC/100dF and did not drop down below 23dC/73dF overnight which is very rare here.
So nine chicks. Bringing my flock numbers up to 15.. argh. I wait to discover the genders of them. I imagine if I have quiet a few females I will potentially sell them when they are point of lay which will cover the cost of raising them. My hope is there are very few roosters. Only time will tell. I am so glad that I did cull them as she would have hatched 18 chicks out of 20 eggs.
Above the chicks and Frida have been in side for four days now. I have to admit that I have to still fix the small coop for them all. I only need some nails. As I also need to fix the run as one of my neighbours said she almost ran over one of them. Not that it was an issue for them to have them over there. I just personally would prefer to have them confined a bit more and only let out for shorter periods during the cooler months. They are so delightful to listen to. I love listening to Frida just talking to them gently and teaching them. In the last photo above note where the food container is. Inside the nesting box. I set it outside in away from the entrance into the nesting box. Why would Frida be moving it into the nesting box.
Busby was so unsettled mid morning he kept heading up to the front door and back to me. I opened the door so he could go out, but he did not. I returned to the seat where I was working and he again came pacing back and forwards. I became annoyed as I was trying to concentrate and he was just distracting me The door was open and he could go out. A bit later I went to the loo, and as I approached (Busby was right by me) the door to the bathroom I heard distressed chirps and calls coming from inside. On opening the door I noticed one of the chicks had got through the pen rails so Frida was distressed the chick was distressed. I popped the chick back in and all was quiet. When I came out and sat down. Busby laid down and settled. Turns out he was trying to get me to go and see what was happening.
I took three of the chicks to visit a couple of my neighbours with young girls. The girls loved cuddling the chicks. The chicks were so sweet and settled with them. Frida is an amazing Mamma. She understandably does not want her babies taken or her removed from them. I decided before returning the chicks to Mamma I would introduce them to Busby. Miss Treacle was not interested.
Busby was so incredible in trying to get my attention earlier, I decided that he should meet the chicks. He did push his nose in a bit hard at first, so I gently lifted each chick up to his nose so he could sniff their bottoms. This worked well and he was so very gentle with them. The chicks did not seem perturbed by his big nose sniffing them. He is so good around the babies. He is improving around the big hens and Roopert too.
It is a lovely summer day here in the Huon Valley Southern Tasmania. In the 20+ years I have lived in my home, I have only seen a snake 3 times in my surrounds. The first was a black snake, just slithering across the road as my dogs and I were going up the road for a walk. The second was last year I was watering the garden and one slithered rapidly away.
Today I went out onto my deck which is 1metre(3foot) off the ground. I was moving something, and out of the corner of my eye I saw movement, black and yellow stripes..slithering really fast, away it was not super close, about 1 meter from me it was a suprised by me, as I was by it.
It was a tiger snake. I had forgotten Tiger snakes can climb up human structures. There is so much bush around my home.
Tiger snakes in the wild have a broad diet that includes fish, frogs and tadpoles, lizards, birds and mammals, as well as carrion. As the size of the snake increases, so to does the average prey size, however this increase is achieved not by larger snakes giving up on small prey but by them taking more large prey. Tiger snakes are largely diurnal and hunt for prey during the daylight hours; however they will forage on warm evenings. They will readily search underwater and can stay under for at least 9 minutes. A bat was found in the stomach of one museum specimen, demonstrating the tiger snake’s ability to climb. Invertebrates have also been found in tiger snake stomachs however these could have been taken as part of carrion; other taxa such as grasshoppers and moths however may have been ingested as prey. Cannibalism amongst wild tiger snakes has also been reported. Prey items are grasped and subdued quickly by the powerful venom, with sometimes constriction being employed as well.
Available prey size is thought to play an important role in dictating the adult size of tiger snakes in some island populations. For example, on Chappell Island the snakes are typically very large and take advantage of the seasonal abundance of fat muttonbird chicks, whereas on Roxby Island where there are no nesting seabirds the dwarf population of snakes survive on mostly small skinks. https://australian.museum/learn/animals/reptiles/tiger-snake/
There are three snakes found in Tasmania and all are venomous. Though one the white lipped snake has never had any recorded deaths from its bite. Whilst my snake was easily to identify by its colours not all tiger snakes in Tasmania have such clear markings.
Fact, not fiction
The forked tongue is not venomous but is actually a chemical brush used to transfer molecules to the Jacobson’s organ in the roof of the mouth, where the snakes sense of taste and smell is located. A widely forked tongue increases the ability of a snake to track its prey.
Snakes do not have ears and cannot hear sound. Instead they detect sound by sensing vibrations passing through the ground.
Snakes’ skin is not slimy and normally it is dry.
Snakes are not attracted to milk beyond the fact that it is wet and easy to find by smell.
The venom toxicity of a juvenile snake is the same as that of an adult although they usually produce less venom.
Less than 10% of newborn snakes survive to adulthood. Most are eaten by predators, such as birds or feral cats, or are killed by humans.
In reality the danger presented by snakes is not nearly as great as perceived. Sporting accidents, dog attacks, lightning strikes and even peanuts cause more human deaths in Australia than snakebite.
In Tasmania the presence of the Blue-tongued skink (lizard) is no indication that snakes are absent.
Tasmanian snakes are unlikely to attack people unless they feel trapped or threatened. It is easy to mistake a snakes bluff or an attempt to reach shelter for an attack.
I realise that on my deck are little frogs. So it may also have been after those. I also realised I was up really late this morning and normally I fill the large plant pot saucer of water I leave out for the echidna, the blue tongues and snakes. So this lovely guy/gal may have been looking for water too. All available on my deck.
So many people are terrified of snakes. Yet hop into their car every day with out thinking. The last recorded death from snake bite in Tasmania up until January 2020 was in 1977. As sad and hard for the family of Mr Fish who died in 2020 Two deaths in 50 years makes snakes bite risk pretty good for humans.
Of course dogs and and other animals get bitten and some die. If your know your dog has been near a snake rather than wait to see if it has been bitten, take it to the vets. Waiting can cost the dog its life.
If your dog is barking at a snake get the hose, and direct it at the dog to force it away.. giving the snake time to flee.
As I live in a rural area I am fine having snakes about my home. They do not want to harm me as I do not want to harm them. During summer I usually do not let them out by themselves. But I do thump the ground when I walk and slam my front door. Since snakes react to vibration rather than noise.
My Grandfather my pop was a rabbiter , he raised his family in a tent in the Australian bush and he told me in regard to snakes that they do not want to use their venom on humans as it is how they kill their food. They are scared of humans so just walk away.
He also told us to respect them and look at their beauty. He also said not to remove one from our area if we have one as another will move in. The one you had knows your patterns and will try to stay out of your way. The new one wont.
I will be making more thumps when out on the deck and about the garden.
I do not fear snakes, I respect them keep my distance. I provide water for them so they do not have to come looking for it. I will not be leaving any of my doors open for the foreseeable future..
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