Life, with my dogs, living on one acre in Tasmania. Living on a low income, and with Complex PTSD. I write about all sorts of things. I called my Blog Echidna Home because I have echidnas that live here
So electric blanket on and for once I am in bed really early. Its 9dC/48.2dF, it only got to 12dC/ 53.6 dF now this is late January in the Southern Hemisphere. It is not right and not the first time that this has happened this month! Then two days later we had temperatures of 36dC/96.8, last week we had similar but by 10 am the day after the cold day it was 35dC/95dF at 10am we ended up at 38dC/100.4dF mid afternoon.
Is it any wonder my vegetable garden is not doing well. I know I am not alone, even my wonderful neighbours stunning vegetable garden is struggling. We have also had unseasonal rain and heavy wind gale force on several days.
The vegetable garden is so behind this year, My hope is that it will be better in February. My neighbour up the road has put in a huge green house but it is so hot that the tomatoes are cooking inside it almost.
Ahh the joy of gardening 41dsouth.
My first picking from the veggie garden this morning, the tomatoes are not really ripe, and they are tiny. Compared to the small hens egg. The zucchini/courgette is great. Already 100% improvement on my crop last year.
I am thankful for my eggs, for my hens, and rooster. I am thankful that my tanks are pretty full mid summertime very unusual.
Having a mental illness such as CPTSD really can stuff up so many of your plans..then add the crazy summer weather here in my part of Tasmania and how my garden is somewhat neglected. I am doing OK though. It is a rough period in my treatment of my illness. Things coming from out of the blackness of my brain where for so long they have been stored. Being shared with my psychologist and now me working on how to manage the impacts of these. New symptoms such as nightmares, and grinding my teeth. Nightmares that are similar to ones I had as a child. This is the truth behind what it really is like when you are dealing with mental illness and attempting to keep moving ever so tiny amount forward.
This is my life, here on my little acre.
Rain is falling again as I type music to my ears. It is lovely to hear the rain on my metal roof, gurgling down the gutters and the water running into my tanks.
The garden will be very happy. I am very happy and the chooks will be ecstatic in the morning to go out and hunt for worms.
The chooks have been happy as we had rain last week so the grass was showing young green shoots.
At least five of my six hens and Roopert the rooster have. Sadly it seems I have lost one of my hens. I live in hope she is sitting on eggs somewhere and will return, there were no feathers to show bird of prey or animal took her. I have seen no sight of her in four days. It is Frieda my larger black hen with the frizzy top knot. Sigh I love and appreciate them all so much. She is a sweet nervous hen who was just getting to the stage of coming and eating out of my hand. I know at least it was not my dog Busby loving her to death. He has been incredibly good around them. I have been working with him to minimise harm to them and the wallabies. I am remaining hopeful.
Today was a lovely morning. The joy I feel when I go off to do my weekly bits and bobs in my local town is always pleasant. I meet and catch up with so many people. Today I had breakfast at Cygnet Port Hole Cafe which does a delicious menu. Very reasonably priced menu. Pretty good coffee too. It is lovely to sit outside with my dogs and look at the gardens about the cafe that grow herbs and some veggies flowers and I think there is an apple tree and plum. It has been several cafes in my time of living here most memorable and original was The Lotus Eaters, but this new cafe is equal to it as a meeting place and good food at reasonable prices. On Friday nights they do Tacos and music.
I really enjoy taking my library books back and looking for new ones. We have an amazing library with such a plethora of reading material available state wide. I know I am feeling somewhat more competent as I have picked up some books that are more emotive ie the rise of feminsim in China, and a few others that are of interest to me. One about the impact of social media on society. Depending on how they are written and if my brain can manage them with out to much frustration I look forward to enjoying them.
I am getting organised for winter. Though some days and nights here lately you can think winter has already arrived. A few people have had their fires going. I just turn my electric blanket on and head to bed with my laptop..lol or put on my Ugg boots and winter trackies. I ordered wood for winter. I have a good amount left over from last year and the year before I need to move and stack under cover. So the new wood can be put where this is. My mind says plenty of time for me to attend to that. It is no due until February. UNTIL I suddenly realised February is this week!
As the next day is just as likely to be super hot. My house if I put the fire on takes a day to cool down.
Routine wise I am eating better, and averaging out getting to bed earlier. Showering has improved and I have walked twice this week up the road and more when we have been out.
I also changed my bottle gas LPG provider. I was also able to provide my research information on the local community pages so people can see the differences. I have saved over $190+AUS/145Us /106.34GBP a year minimum by going with the new company who also delivers down here three times a week where as my old company delivered only once a week. So if you ran out of gas, which only happened once for me as I do have two bottles 45kg/99lbs ea, It was when I was really ill. Of course it happened on the day after I would have got the delivery. I had to wait a whole week for gas. Y ou pay rental yearly for the bottle and then each bottle of gas costs so much.
The new company had a great new customer deal so even without that I still save a lot of money a year with the new company. With my old company if you did not know to check what others in the area were paying you would get charged heaps more I saved money on each bottle just by doing this. Yet their price and rental were still dearer substantially and they have a yearly administration fee.
I have noted that I received a notice in my facebook thread today something that may have triggered my Obsessive part. A lady was travelling on the boat The Spirit of Tasmania (which connects Tasmania to mainland Australia arriving in Melbourne), it is an overnight trip and carries cars our trucks with supplies food and other things, holiday makers campervans etc, you can take your dogs on it. You can place them in their horrible metal crates, or you can pay extra and have them remain in your car, though the company makes you sign a waiver of rights even though it would not stand up in a court of law (since you paid for a service), if something happened. This poor lady was traveling with her much loved doberman, who was put into the dog crates, and somehow the dog escaped. (vanished) No trace so far has been found. You are only allowed down once on the journey if you want to check your dog, otherwise it is locked area only staff are allowed there. The dog this poor dog has not been found, and this woman I can only imagine is devastated.
My own experience of bringing my cat over when I moved here was bad enough I worried all night if my cat would be OK. When I picked him up he was in a huge metal dog crate with a dog bowl that was like a swimming pool that had flowed all over the place and he was saturated. He had also been one crate away from a very large German Shepherd. (most likely a lovely dog) my cat had never been around a dog at this point. Sigh when we took our dog over to the mainland he travelled in the car we still worried but all was fine with him as he knew where he was and obviously felt safe.
Now I have put posts out to all sorts of groups asking people to contact the Premier Peter Gutweins office and the Minister Michael Fergusons office. Explaining that my dogs are my family they are the reason I am still alive and if this had happened to one of my dogs well who knows how I might have reacted. I explained about my mental illness and the woman at the premiers office said oh like a companion animal yes exactly but not officially. I went on to say they should have dog friendly rooms available so dogs could travel with their owners in the rooms. That the cost of all the issues pertaining to animals that have had issues (16polo horses died a few years ago, traveling on the Spirit the court case is still happening I believe), but this is a cost that the Tasmanians people will have to pay someway. As I am sure the legal ramifications of this latest episode.
Plus the many people who travel with their dogs when they come here, will be fearful.
My problem is as much as I want to keep pushing this. For me it makes my mental health and physical health worse. So I have done what I can as one individual. I must not keep pursuing it or I will get ill again. As I have before when I obsessively operate. I am well enough to observe the potential for this to happen. I am pleased and proud of myself that I am happy to have done something, and must leave it for now. Hoping the dog is located, and reunited with its owner. Hoping that regardless something will change in the transport of dogs and rights of owners on this trip.
wow this has gone a bit all over the place, but this is how my head is working tonight..
Yet that is pretty much how my day has been. I am content and happy, I am thankful that I have tools helping me manage the things that are coming as I work through issues. I am thankful for the rain.
I wanted to say it amazes me how just writing about the things that impact my mental illness in an everyday way helps so much. I do not know if anyone else with CPTSD fixates on a thing, and it gets in to you, that you find it almost impossible to let it go. For me writing about my experience with benefits from the Government has let me let it go. Such a positive. It is all in hand I have an appointment with my social worker, and GP so all it under some control and I have asked for help. A massive thing for me. I feel good about it all and quite hopeful. Sigh.
Along with my writing I do find spending time at home and in my garden is the best thing for me. I am trying really hard to let go of all the mess, and delight in all the positives. I am doing well at this. Everything is on a list. Yet I can not have more that one list or I become overwhelmed.
This in itself is important. I have to have a list. It is on my fridge. I mean written on my fridge in a marker, a perfect white board. My psychologist has helped me note that when I am really overwhelmed I begin many many lists. So in simplifying only the major things, on one list. I will not forget any of them. There is no time line for completion and I do not get fixated, or overwhelmed. As my mantra these days is I am content with the discontent. Strange as it seems, but just saying this to myself is such a help.
As I wrote this I heard Busby barking in the paddock. I looked out and saw this,
At first I thought oh NO he has killed a small animal. Then as I moved down towards him I tell him to leave it, and then I see this. Yes in the second photo below the white on the echidnas back is where Busby has attempted to grab the echidna. Echidna 1 (thankfully ) Busby nil. It is so hard for Busby as he is a mixed breed dog. Staffie x,with ridgeback x with boxer. All breeds that make him protective and aware of things that do not live in our home. He was very gentle with foster kittens, and cats, along with other dogs and puppies I fostered. He was fine with some orphaned rabbit kittens, but not with those in their hutches..outside big ones. It is so hard with the genetics. He is improving as he comes away now.
Echidnas have no fixed address they are wanderers and will move around a pretty large area on the mainland in Southern Queensland the organisation Land For Wildlife says that a territory can be up to 50 Hectares/123.553acres though territories can cross.
They find each other using sense of smell.
Apparently our Tasmanian echidnas are bigger than mainland Australia Echidnas.
I have talked about how echidnas form a connection with a male, the following video shows you how Echidnas mate. It is a video from National Geographic, Youtube. https://youtu.be/frZGhk0i228
It is also delightful to actually see how these awesome animals get around. They are not slow moving all the time, and are great at climbing up and over things.
They weigh between 2 and 5 kgs/4.41lb- 11.02lbs. quite a range in size. They have lower body temperature than other mammals, 31-32dC / 87.8-89.6dF.
If disturbed, echidnas will usually lower the head, and with vigorous digging, sink rapidly into the ground leaving only the spines exposed. On hard surfaces they will curl into a ball — presenting defensive spines in every direction. They are also capable of wedging tightly into crevices or logs by extending their spines and limbs.
The echidna is adapted for very rapid digging, having short limbs and powerful claws. The claws on the hind feet are elongated and curve backwards; to enable cleaning and grooming between the spines. However, despite this, they are infested with what is said to be the world’s largest flea — Bradiopsylla echidnae, which is about 4 mm long. (https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au).
Whilst both the male platypus and echidna both have spurs on their hind feet the echidnas is not functioning and is blunt unlike the platypus which has a sharp spur with functioning venom glands.
The diet of echidnas is largely made up of ants and termites, although, they will eat other invertebrates especially grubs, larvae and worms. The strong forepaws are used to open up the ant or termite nest and the echidna then probes the nest with its sensitive snout. Any insects in the nest are caught on the echidnas rapidly moving 15 cm tongue which is covered with a layer of sticky mucous, hence the name Tachyglossus meaning ‘fast tongue’. The jaws are narrow and have no teeth so food is crushed between hard pads which lie in the roof of the mouth and on the back of the tongue. Large grubs are squashed and the contents licked up. Echidnas eat a lot of soil and ant-nest material when feeding, and this makes up the bulk of droppings.
I do hope the echidna is eating all the jack jumper ants at my place. I have actually unearthed a few nests of ants in recent weeks, so kind of me to help them find food. In the process I have been bitten by two jack jumpers and they hurt so bad, and inflame and ache for days. One of the hidden joys of gardening. So I am very happy to have them about.
The echidna in Tasmania is common and widespread. They are less affected by the clearing of land as much as many other native animals as they can live anywhere that there is a supply of ants. Despite their covering of spines they do have natural predators such as eagles and Tasmanian devils which even eat the spines. They were a favourite food of Aboriginal people and early white settlers although they are now wholly protected by law.