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
Saturday we were up early to a very chilly morning, the fire is going, as I head out to let the chooks out. They are a bit traumatised yesterday my big dog chased them (my fault I had forgotten I had left them out). He grabbed one fortunately she escaped and I was able to get Busby inside, then go and find the hen, who minus a few tail feathers and been so shocked she had laid an egg poor hen. I had been very concerned about them all.
I was very relieved they were all ready to get out and all were happy to hang out and stay in their run.
After an early run the dogs and I headed into Cygnet. I was meeting a friend for breakfast and then go to a new market the Cygnet Garden Market. It was being held in the rear of the cafe we were having breakfast at. I have probably shared that Huon Valley is a very dog friendly community. Most cafes with out door areas are happy to have well behaved dogs on lead come with their owner/s.
As me and my two headed in we were greeted by a gorgeous Bernese Mountain dog. Boris who apparently is a Saturday morning regular who was a little put out due to the fact his normal area on the grass out the back was not available due to the market. However he was a big 74kg/154lbs teddy bear.
Breaky (was disappointing and expensive). Ah when you are someone who lives frugally normal prices can seem expensive, if it was good food I would not have minded. At least I got to meet lots of dogs. My friend did not make it which was fine. I went for a walk with the dogs popped them in back into the car and headed for the market. I was so fortunate the sky was blue sun was out here and there. As I headed home the rain began.
Worm wee was being sold, compost, tools, organic bags of soil, local sheep manure, and alpaca poo. Alpaca wool. Apple cider vinegar made locally, grape vine seedlings, so many plants and seedlings, wonderful. I did buy some strawberry plants and a lemon balm cutting.
The local seed saving community group were there and were giving seeds to you gor a gold coin donation. There is a renowned garden who was loved when he was the presenter of Gardening Australia on the Australia Broadcasting Corporation TV. (Our national TV and Radio network public) Peter Cundall and I was fortunate enough to get some of his Pumpkin seeds yeah. I also liked that there were only four in the packet. I seem to end up with so many seeds left over. Which is why I love saving my own seeds.
So for the inaugural market, it was successful. I was in and out fairly quickly as they were doing the covid distancing requirements. The regular Cygnet Market has also recommenced. We are so fortunate for the people who organise all the wonderful community activities we have in our valley
Sometimes in my garden things just grow. I have an area of land that is a small paddock and when my wattle trees (acacias) flower they drop their seeds and a sapling will grow. I had one come up last year and I left it as it blocks wind on two plum trees without shading them.
This year another sapling grew. I watched it and realised that it would end up shading my vegetable garden and hazelnuts bushes. I had also noted that in my native area, where many acacias had self seeded some were very scrawny and others had become too big shading some of the other natives and bird attracting flowering shrubs I had planted.
I made the really hard decision to take several trees out. There was no point in just pruning them as wattles grow rapidly and tall. I made sure that no birds had began nesting in any of the sapplings (they were not big trees) as I could not have removed them if they had. Then with my hand pruning saw I removed them.
As hard as it was I know it was the best thing for the plants that are already in the garden. That they will have their needs met. With more space I can put in some smaller shrubs that will feed the native birds, bees, animals and bugs.
I want my garden to be a place where every creature can live in harmony and have access to water and food. I made errors where I put fruit trees years ago, and now the two blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) have grown huge, even though my partner pruned the tops off them years ago. I love them as do the birds. The bees when these two are in blossom (and they have been lately) have been loving them too. This growth has also added to altering where the sun falls on areas of my garden. I have had no hakea flowers this year and my hakea is a pin cushion one which I love. I realise now that it has probably been planted in the incorrect position all those years ago. It is to large to move now and I will hope that it will have its amazing flowers next year.
I guess no matter how well you plan your garden, and how tall or wide the label or nursery person says the small tree /shrub you are buying will be. It will all depend on the situation you put it and what you plant near it or where you plant it near. How young other areas of your garden are, and like me the seeds that germinate and you let grow. That will make you face the choice of removing it.
I have some more pruning of some trees to undertake. With the forecast for the next five days to be back to winter temperatures and snow to 800m it may be the perfect time to undertake this. There are several trees growing on the old dam wall Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. monilifera
have noticed it has spread up our little road and around a dam further up. They are small and I will attempt to get them tomorrow. My own and I think there are two. I would like to remove them before they set seed. As a land holder it is my responsibility to remove those on my land. The spread of these shrubs trees is really noticeable this year, along the river. This means that next year if they are allowed to seed it will be worse. They impact our native forests under story destroying the natural diversity. They also can become a huge fire hazard. I can not pull the trees out I have to prune them, bag them and then treat the stump with a herbicide. As pulling a mature tree/shrub out will disturb the seeds and create more. Thought the seedlings pull out really easily.
I do believe many people who buy many acres of land with bush to homestead on may be unaware that they have responsibility for weed management, and land care. On top of attending fencing, stock, vegetables, fruit trees, gardens, normal family life, and work, this will add substantial time to being on your homestead and caring for it. Something to think about.
If like me you are on a small income, and have a little patch of paradise. Or you dream of it, begin where you are. Grow things in pots, if you rent. If you are buying a flat or unit and it has a balcony grow a garden out on it. You will learn so much.
If you have a garden no matter how small get out there and begin. As if you expect to move to land, you need to know some things, and just reading and watching Youtubers is not enough.
I look at a neighbour down the road, two properties away. He has an amazing garden, he is 91 he walks every day, he grows his own vegetables and fruit. He created his own amazing water collecting set up. Yet his garden has very different microclimates to mine. Next door has too.
I have found over time that I have to look at my own place, how the sun moves, and how the garden changes year to year. How when I first moved here the garden was fine in the front area, but now it would get too much heat and wind if it were still in that location. I moved it when I had to have my French Drain replaced.
I am waiting for some people to come and remove some of the blackberries of my land and then I will remove some more very sad and sick wattles. My neighbour and I are thinking of potential a lovely native bird and butterfly area on the bit in between our two properties.
The garden is never the same year to year. Some years the rain is perfect and the tomatoes are fantastic, others are a bad year. Similar for the fruit trees. You do the preparation and you tend as best you can.
I love it, it is addictive this growing your own food. I try not to eat (fresh) tomatoes form now until my own are ripe..I am laughing at this as the seeds are not even up yet. It makes my mouth water at the thought of that first red tomato (or green or black depending on the variety) that I pick smelling of sunshine warm to the touch and cut or bit into it, juices running down my fingers and that flavour. HMMmm.
I have picked stunning sweet juicy broadbeans the last two days. The pods were straining with the swollen seeds. I just ate them raw. Delicious! Similarly I was eating rocket and coriander leaves as I was walking about the veggie garden and one asparagus spear. The joy of my garden. Rocket is flowering, as is the coriander and my sprouting broccoli. All I will let produce seeds. I aim to harvest the majority of them as I am not sure I want them all just popping up everywhere as I have so much to plant out soon. Fingers crossed
Where ever you are, I do hope you are able to grow some herbs or greens, at least have access to fresh local vegetables at a reasonable price. I know how much better I feel when I eat lots of fresh veggies and fruit.
The weather is fluctuating as is normal here in the southern most council region of Australia. Huon Valley Tasmania, on the Island state of Australia, situated in the Roaring Forties. Tasmania’s location between the 40th and 50th southern parallels place it directly in the pathway of the “Roaring Forties”, which are strong westerly winds in the Southern Hemisphere.
It tends to be especially windy around the solstice, and equinoxes here in Tasmania. Which can be really hard on gardens. I had tied my broad beans the wind has been harsh, though it I am really delighted to see beans are forming.
Above, Rocket and coriander going to seed, broad beans knocked about by the wind show beans, looking towards the hen house, vegetable garden broad beans, garlic marigolds, peach tree and fig i(n barrel), with daffodils.
above: I love my red wattle flowering tree. The nettles will soon be flowering. Hellebore flower and the last of my snow drop. My bay tree is being attacked by something. It is on my to do list.
My hens are settling in really well. They come running to me I believe its more about the seeds I bring for them. They are running a bit amok, as the fencing in the chickens area is too low. I am working on that. The black bantam is still sleeping in the tree. I have no idea how she managed to hold on during the gale wind and storms we had the last few nights.
I love having them. The dynamics of the hen house are really fascinating to observe. I love listening to their chatter. I continue to get about six eggs a week currently. As the hens (which were an incredibly generous gift) are different ages, and very mixed breeding. So I feel that I have two hens laying and five who are maturing to be layers.
My seedlings are mostly doing well though I have had some failures. It may be I over watered them, or they grew to rapidly. I have time to resow the seeds, and get them underway.
I feel so thankful to have my hens, eggs, my potential veggies grown in my garden. There are wonderful blossoms forming on my peach and two plums (I have a couple more that are just budding up).
More rain and wind is forecast, the days are lengthing and temperatures increasing.
Haiku, unrhymed poetic form consisting of 17 syllables arranged in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively. The haiku first emerged in Japanese literature during the 17th century, as a terse reaction to elaborate poetic traditions, though it did not become known by the name haiku until the 19th century. Britanica https://www.britannica.com/art/haiku
Bringing Haiku to the people. What an interesting idea. Community members of my local village Cygnet, Huon Valley Tasmania got together and learnt about Haiku. They were then able to try their hand at writing their own. If the individual would like it to be included in a display on windows of businesses in Cygnet. Done in chalk paint, the majority of Cygnets businesses are involved. You can take a walk along the main street of Cygnet and read each of them.
What a great creative experience bringing our community together, and bringing others to town to visit and read the Haiku browse our wonderful shops, have something to eat/drink in one of the many cafes. Visit galleries and local artisans.
We may be an island in isolation, but we can travel and support our communities.
I am thankful for this freedom to move around my island state home. I am thankful for the creative people about me. I am thankful for such a great community. Thankful for those who participated and the businesses who are sharing the Haiku on their windows.
The day began here with blue skies and bird song. After the wet very wet days it was great to see sunshine, even if it was only 5dC/41dF at the time.
I had to head out and do a few things in Kingston which is about a forty minute drive from here depending on which road I take.
Today we went via the slower road, winding, narrow, rough, but beautiful.
I came across a Wedge Tail eagle eating road kill on the side of the road. Alas before I could gather my camera it had flown off. It was a shame to miss the photo, yet as I watched the early morning sunlight hit its wings I could not feel anything but awe.
The drive is peaceful and not as busy as the highway. We were driving over a hill and something caught my eye. You know you sort of think you see something and well you want to check if you did.
So I turned off the road on a minor road and chucked a uey.
It was a massive Wedge Tail eagle sitting in a paddock. I pulled up very slowly, and wound the back window up to stop my dogs movements being noticed.
I wound my window down and quietly set it up as best I could. I was just hoping I might get something, at least one photo of this majestic bird in the sunshine.
As I was trying to stablislie my telephoto lense and not frighten the bird I realised there was another Wedge Tail eagle on the fence. WOWEE!
I began just shooting in auto focus, (and these photos are from RAW to JPEG so loose a bit in the transfer of data). All the while I was totally mesmerised by the birds.
As it seems were the cows. I feel they are either courting or a pair. They were intent on themselves it seemed as someones dog escaped and was barking.. ladies shouting for it to get back off the road. A couple of cars and a truck went past my car as I was on the side of the road shooting.
A couple of close ups once they had seperated. The bird on the left had flown up the hill a way. The one above remained on its post mesmerising me and the cows for many minutes.
This is the best I could do with the bird that flew further up.
I am still just in awe, at how massive these birds are. I am incredibly thankful that I saw not just the original one. To have a pair was perfect for me.
I am thankful to have these incredible birds, the opportunity to see them in the wild and to be a part of this for the time I was.
There are so many natural wonders here in Tasmania. Not just our amazing fauna and flora. The landscapes, the waterways, the clear night sky. The Aurora Australis. Sometimes something else grabs your attention. Bioluminescence. One of the most amazing introduced pests into our sea.
The bright blue glow is caused by billions of single-celled algae or plant plankton called Noctiluca scintillans, (latin for sparkling night light) or sea sparkles. It is more common in the warmer months but can occur at any time. These micro creatures have a built in biological clock and will only sparkle in complete darkness. Even if you put them in a jar, they will not flash in daytime, they will only flash in complete darkness.
This was my first time photographing bioluminesence.
For a first experience it was incredible and as my friends who had photographed it before said it was such phenomenal amount. I drove here and as I turned towards the cove the whole area was blue. I could see it so well. Word had not got out at this point so the couple of people who had sent me a message (Huge thanks to them) meant we were able to get some wonderful shots, before it was made public as others spread the word. This was truly an exceptional occurrence to have so many Noctiluca scintillans the lights across the bay it was still visible to my naked eyes(without a camera).
You could have photographed this bioluminescence with a mobile phone this particular night. It really was such a fantastic experience. I became hooked in keeping my eye out for this wonderful natural show.
Generally it is not such a volume of bioluminescence and you will often see it on the wave tips or if it is gently moving about off shore a bit. If it is too windy it may break up the mass of the Noctiluca scintillans I have had fun since this first night running in the sand near or in the water and seeing these algae flash blue in my foot steps, or throwing water from a bottle, to spray and splash, or I am now thinking one of those big water pistols.
If you are on the hunt be it for bioluminescence, Aurora, or the night sky. Please be considerate of others who are also taking photographs.
This photographer, had a bright light and torch, as can be seen, and had positioned herself right in front of me. I had been there for a while and it was easier for me to move than create an issue.
As more and more people came as the word spread, excitement was tangible. I do understand the desire for a photo, and I look at this shot and see an interesting photograph of someone else enjoying a natural occasion that she may never have an opportunity to experience again.
The fact so many people are interested is great, if they are considerate and in built up areas quiet sadly this has not always been the situation I have had when taking some photos in more known locations. I now do not share exact locations of where I shoot. As for me part of the experience is the peace and quiet.
Living in the south of the state and having so many known locations close to Hobart is wonderful for tourists and those who are studying or working from overseas.
Are they dangerous to humans? Do not ingest Noctiluca or put it on the face, eyes, or mouth. Brief handling such as swishing water with the hands or dancing in the light generally cause no adverse effects. Still water in canals and lagoons near urban regions must be treated with caution.
Does it hurt them when we splash around? Splashing around doesn’t hurt them. The tide stranding them on the beach – or us stomping on them – will dry them or crush them; these actions are generally fatal to them. However, they are clonal, so “fatal” is not as terminal as it sounds.
Can I take them home? Yes! In a widemouth jar in a cool area (not the refrigerator or freezer), they will live several days or more. Open the jar during the day, and replace the lid before swirling. They will not luminesce during daytime, but if the jar is tapped or gently swirled at night in a dark room, they will put on quite a sparkling show!
Because they are an introduced pest, after you are finished with them, ecologically appropriate disposal methods include down the drain or poured down the driveway. This information provided from The definitive guide -How to find and photograph sea sparkle bioluminescence . Text by Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin, Fiona Walsh and Matt Holz.
These are just some of the wonders that glow at night here in Tasmanian, apart from Aurora and the clear dark night skies. I will post more about my experiences. I have been fortunate and experienced many more nights taking photos of the Noctiluca scintillans. I do have to say that this my first experience was perhaps the largest mass I have been fortunate to see so far.
Many places around the world have these algae.
I am thankful for all the amazing naturally occurring things that I am surrounded by here in my southern Tasmanian home. I am thankful to be able to look for them, and spend time sitting in the wonder, and enjoyment of the experience. I am thankful that I am so privileged to have time to do this. I am thankful to have been able to share with you my joy and photographs.
It is windy and wet, snow is forecast down to 600metres /1967feet in Tasmania tonight minimum 1dC/33.8dF and a maximum of 12dC/53.6dF. Lighting my fire seemed like a wonderful idea. It is lovely to have, knowing that it should be easy to get going in the morning. Daylight saving also ends for us in Several states tomorrow. It will confuse the the dogs perhaps. It usually is not so bad returning to normal.
There has been a lot of rain, and more forecast. Walking about my veggie garden between showers I pondered picking my pumpkins. The Waltheim butternut one and I can not recall the other variety. The corn also perhaps should have been picked today. A bit late now to be thinking about it. Though I notice my mind is rolling it about in its repertoire.
Sipping rose hip syrup in hot water is a truely beautiful herbal drink. There is no traffic on the highway across the river. All I can hear it the fire crackling and the metal creaking as it heats. It is so still. The dogs are both asleep soundly no noise from them either. My fingers on the keyboard typing, it feels as if I might be the only person alive. Snug in my home curtains drawn, I sit near the wood heater sending out my thoughts across the world.
A struggle this afternoon to keep myself from wallowing in my darker spaces. Deciding to keep out of an online support group for a wee while, as it is hard to sometimes be able to walk in someone else’s shoes without being pulled down a bit with them as you support them. Instead of allowing myself to get deeper in I removed myself, took my dogs for an actual walk up the hill, and chatted with a neighbour. (we were 15 meters or more apart)
My Government has been asking for Nurses who have let their Registrations lapse to consider coming back into help with the Covid-19 situation. The part of me that made me become a Nurse is wanting to go in and help.
After all that is what being a Nurse it is about. I miss being a RN so greatly. Feelings of being able to help and care for people. I know I can not do this.
Reality hit of course my mental illness has just been signed off on by a Psychiatrist as making me no longer able to work at all. On Thursday (yesterday) in the mail the letter from the Psychiatrist I saw two weeks ago, stating that my mental illness was incapacitating making me unable to work. Even though relief flooded through me to have it confirmed; my mental illness was incapacitating to this level. It makes it final. Feelings of understanding that this is the battle that has been going on inside of me. Knowledge that it is final, I am unwell. The angst and battle that has been fought for almost a year to reach this point, knowing that in all reality this is just the first step completed in the application for disability pension.
My sleep has been long and deep the last two nights with the very real bizzare dreams that can be side effects of medication I take. Upon wakening it takes time to realise that you are not in the place the dream had you. Something only someone else who has experienced these types of dreams would truly understand.
Blogging is so helpful to me at times. As I write my thoughts, feelings, ideas, sometimes in the construction of one blog post as with this particular one, something clicks. A light goes on. Seeing everything written down in black and white, re-reading what has been written. I take note, that I received the letter on Thursday and have been sleeping deeply, and long since then. I had not realised that my brain and body had been anxiously waiting for this letter. That now it was real, it was OK for me to switch off.
Which also goes hand in hand with the darker feelings. Right now a wee flame has lit inside my chest. As my sensations are all aligned to my anxiety. A sense of loss over no longer being able to nurse, a real and valid feeling for what has occurred. Enough going on in my own life without me being able to uplift and support anyone else right now. I am not responsible for them or their actions. The dreams well come and go. They do not scare me. It is perfectly normal to feel sad that my working life as a RN has truly finished.
I feel lighter. I am thankful that I wrote this post tonight. (I had actually compiled a different one). I am thankful to all the retired Doctors and Nurses who are able to help. I am thankful to all essential service workers, I am thankful for being warm. I am thankful to be in isolation with my dogs, who make me laugh, and give me such joy. I am thankful to all the people around the world who are doing the best thing for our essential workers our vulnerable community members, and ourselves by staying at home.
It is such a glorious day here in the valley where I live. The sky is blue with puffs and streaks of white cloud blowing over. Its a lovely temperature and being a Saturday many people are out enjoying it. The most enjoyable thing is there is not one mower or chainsaw being used. It is blissful and relatively quiet, except for the birds singing and my neighbours little girl playing and laughing with her daddy.
There is a gentle wind, which will dry my washing out. I use a clothes horse and fencing about my deck to hang it. The pleasure I have when I bring in the clothes smelling of sunshine. Sigh.
I did have three clothes lines but had to have them taken down for my replacement water tank to go in. (I guess that is important information if you are on tank water; ensure access is easy to replace your water tanks.) The plastic ones are easier as you can roll them into position, I do have one plastic one. Not so with the corrugated metal ones.
Corn flowers continue to flower, and provide seed for next flowering season. A sweet pea is growing in the planter, along with some strawberry plants. Only the strawberry was planted in this particular pot. I love my garden for this it self seeds and brings so much beauty for so little work.
I am watching lots of butterflies and bees flying about, along with some white cabbage moths, I feel I am loosing the battle with them and my brassicas. I am having little luck with broccoli forming heads, and the pick again are also not as I hoped. Perhaps I put them in a bit early. Oh well I am eating them and enjoying what I get. I am also adding the leaves to dogs food and my own too.
I spent a while at the begining of the week cleaning the leaves of all the brasscias on my deck before I put them under the netting. Only to discover that I had left it open so the white cabbage moth had laid eggs and caterpillars have eaten the leaves.
So sitting out on my deck just enjoying the day, I am attempting to shoot photos of butterflies the one below is the only one I captured.
I am not sure what it is but all my butterflies look the same. I am not sure if I can attract some others. I may have to research this. It was lovely to see so many floating about my garden.
Earlier in the morning I was watering the garden. I realised all of a sudden that all the bird life had stopped flying and chatting. I just caught the wedge tail eagle as it flew bye, explaining why it is not a great shot.
I gave my dogs a squashy blackberry each and how they loved them. So they have had a small feast each of delicious organic blackberries from the bushes that make up my boundary. Miss Treacle was not too sure about them. I had to feed her several by hand and then she decided she liked the a lot. Busby on the other hand just tasted and dove into his serve and then ate the leftovers from me. We all had our fill of blackberries this morning.
The beautiful days have bought some growth in the veggie garden.
The asparagus bed is still giving me asparagus every so often, I have high hopes for it next season.
Onions in the old wheel barrow. Looking lush. The peach tree needs a prune.
Whoa so proud of this capsicum plant(above) I planted it in the asparagus bed and it is doing really well. It has 3 capsicums forming well and more flowers. Who knows if they will grow bigger and ripen or not?
Oh my this bed above is a bit of a disaster. The pumpkins are not happy, neither are the cucumbers. Ahh well a big learning curve lots to read up on for next year. The pumpkins that are meant to be growing (unless I confused the names are butternuts. The wee yellow round blobs are not butternuts. Lucky I can laugh at it.
The chili (at least that is what I think it is ) has another fruit on it, and is flowering. It is purple coloured the fruit. Again all I can do is wait and see what develops.
These tomatoes are Suplice and were supposed to be early developers. I have had five small sized tomatoes of the two plants in the garden bed. There are more beginning to change colour and quite a few green ones. The good news is that at least I am getting some ripe tomatoes. Most people who are growing outside this year are having a bad time with tomatoes.
This is my one and only zucchini I have managed to grow so far this summer, and I am nervous to suggest it is going to develop.. As three others have not but they were smaller than this one. It is not for lack of water so I am so uncertain as to why my squash family are doing so poorly.
I have never had this problem in the past. It is not just in one bed three beds have not really done much. The zucchini has a lot of male flowers and few females.
Red vein something the young leaves can be eaten.
Rocket is beginning to shoot up all over the place, this is great news.
The Corn is looking good, as are the beans, I have begun harvesting beans though I am fairly certain I have created a bit of bad seed scenario. As I have planted two or 3 varieties of indeterminate and one determinate. So I am not sure if they cross pollinate. I really have forgotten so much and realise I was quite gung ho with my summer crops. It is an adventure.
I am fairly happy with the Three Sister bed, it is the first time I have grown squash, beans and corn together. Below is the only pumpkin I have growing and this is a butternut Waltheim variety from memory. It is only about 9cm/4inches long not including the dead flower. Again I have no idea if it will mature or not. Previously I shared about my neighbours lovely pumpkins sadly something has got into his and eaten them. Which is really disheartening for him and I do feel for him. As he has worked so hard on his beds and building his trellis. That is the thing with gardening you can never count your pumpkins or any harvest definitively until it is inside your house, and you taste it and it is delicious.
The beans just keep reaching for the sky, they are now way over my height, probably at about 213cm /7 1/2foot now and flowering and producing beans..Yippe!
Photo above is my brassica bed. It looks like the flash went off, but it didn’t. A very bright light at midday. The kale is the plant on the rear left and is doing really well. I never knew it would just keep on growing.
My broccoli plants are in the foreground. Interestingly the one with the seed heads from my silver beet draped all over it is not as impacted by white cabbage moth caterpillar as the one on the left. To the right background is the jostaberry bush.
The photograph above show the other two capsicum plants that were put in at the same time as the one in the asparagus bed. In hindsight I should have left all of them in the one bed. This is not the best photo of them, as the smaller plant in front has some wee capsicums on it and lots of flowers. The taller one only has flowers. The plant to the right is another pumpkin, variety I have no idea but
it has a fruit growing on it. Fingers crossed it matures. If anyone can assist with help as to why I seem to be having more male flowers I would really appreciate it.
Daisy I put into wine barrel at the front of my deck is very happy as it seems the self sown sunflower. I wait to see what happens with it.
Self sown peas, green peas not sweet peas. I love it when things just pop up, and surprise you especially as I dont think green peas are supposed to be growing now.
Two cabbage seedlings, just beginning, I had some others but someone ate them. So I moved these and hope they will be OK. I have to sow some more.
Ive been tidying up my deck plants, just waiting for the lettuce in the background to seed and I will fix that pot up too. Sadly I lost one of my lemon trees this year, it was in the purple pot. I keep meaning to plant one of them out in the ground. I just never know when is the best time. As they seem to be always flowering.
You can see it is still very dry here, pretty normal for summer. We did have some rain (not a lot on Thursday night and it was quite cool) I am fine for water I still have two thirds of a tank in the metal tanks and my plastic tank is full. I have to work out how to connect it to my others so I can use it on the pump as it is very slow to water the garden on pressure alone. I have also been distracted, forgotten I was watering and emptied the tank. Not good
Actually I know how to do it, it is just purchasing the things I need and doing it. It is just one more thing that is difficult with my CPSTD. Since so many things I have done or had done, have been made worse not so bad when I have done it. Really frustrating when someone you paid has left you worse off than before they came to fix it, and three times came back but made it worse! OK let it go, let it go breathe.
I have a very long list of what I need to do. One list only and no pressure.
Strawberries and brassicas hmm weird.
This is a very healthy eggplant/aubergine and it has flowers, same story as almost all things will any fruit mature? It is the wait and see vegetable garden here.
Busby is hunting gekos, and I love the red geranium it brings such a lovely colour to this part of the garden. There is a curry plant on the left that has seen better days. Soapwort grows under and about the geranium.
Red veined sorrel has seeded and has new young leaves, delicious.
The tomatoes on my deck are getting larger, and flowering still I just wait for them to ripen. I have noticed some I think they are the mortgage lifter appear to have some blossom rot damage. No idea how that happened. As non of the others have it and they have all been roughly where they are all together since I put the seedlings in. I have basil growing in some of the pots the way things are going I will have to harvest the basil and make pesto.
Brassicas on the deck not looking so great.
New leaves on this poor lemon and lots of flowers, I am hoping it will give me a lot of lemons. Lots of new growth on the lemon and lime too in the foreground.
This is really interesting, this little pot has violas in it an two brassicas. It has never been under the netting and up until this point in time, no white cabbage moth damage at all? I wonder if the scent of the violas is deterring the moth?
My attempt to fix a broken limb well part of it is still healthy. Not sure what happened to the broken bit at the bottome of the tape there. I need to check if there is scale on this plant again. I have recently given it some iron water, not sure what is going on withthe older leaf. I need to look that up.
This is a happy lemon look at the new growth yes.
I am so thankful for today. It was lovely just to be able to spend time in the garden. My back is getting better, and I am hoping next week I will be able to begin to stack my wood. I am thankful that I did not hurt my back severely. I am thankful that I am getting produce from my garden, and that I have been outside for most of the day. I am constantly tired, and a bit flat, but spending time enjoying nature, watching the birds, bees, butterflies, meditating and just enjoying the sunshine have all been good.
thankyou all for your support blessings to you all Tazzie
We may feel under the weather. We all live under the weather. I am feeling a little under the weather, I have pulled a small muscle in my back. It is fine just needing some rest. So today I decided to share some photos of my life under the weather.
Above: Sunset over the Huon River
The above photo of the mountain range between the Huon Valley and Hobart. It is known as Sleeping Beauty. If you look at the photograph to the right you can see the mountain range.
You are never far from water when You live on an island.
The above photo is a night shot. A long exposure and the clouds effect is great. If you look just above the copyright you will see a line of bright blue in the water. This is called bioluminesence. Bioluminescence is light produced by a chemical reaction within a living organism.
Above: This was the only cloud in the sky this evening. Is it a single cloud? I am not sure what sort of cloud it is.
Above: Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Most of us who live in the Huon Valley Tasmania think it is at the end of the rainbow, in the magical land of OZ.
Above: now that is a lovely view
Above: Moon rise over the river. It was a still night, there was a potential aurora forecast I sat by the river shooting and waiting. I did not get the Aurora I did get this wonderful moon rise. The green glow is light haze from the acquaculture industry.
Above: Kingston Tasmania full moon rising Kingston is between Huon Valley, and Hobart.
Green grass in the afternoon looking towards Huonville. Tasmania
Above: Sunset if I painted this I do not think anyone would believe it was real. Totally unedited.
Above: Giant footsteps in the sky. Lenticular clouds. We do get some wonderful cloud formations here.
Above and below: Storm clouds with refraction ice crystals above Kettering Tasmania.
With the strange weather patterns we have been having here in the Huon Valley, Tasmania, it is good to know I am not alone in not having tomatoes ripening in the garden. In fact my garden is slow in many areas.
I forgot to mention I picked some plums that had to ripen off the trees, as the birds were getting too interested in them. I was happy with the plums as this is the first year that I actually managed to get some. They have never produced as they did this year, and it was not a huge volume, about 3kgs for four trees. I obviously am not doing something right with them.
I am delighted with aspects of my Three Sister Bed, Corn, squash and beans growing in one bed. As you will see below the corn and beans are flowering, sadly the pumpkin is only just producing some flowers now. I have a feeling that I will be buying pumpkins this year. I may have planted to many beans. I put in climbing and bush. All the plants look healthy, the corn has a few swelling cobs. Fingers crossed I will at least have succeeded in growing edible corn.
I harvested some things from my garden today Yipee! I picked some beans, tomatoes, silver beet and kale. They will go into my dinner tonight.
In my vegetable garden I grow flowers along with veggies. Sea Holly which I have no idea where it came from. I had this weird plant growing in a veggie bed, and thought I shall let it grow as it looks like no weed I have ever seen. I did and the first year nada/nothing well just green leaves flat on the ground. This year it has grown and I love it. Great for cut colour just watch the spikes, and as I said the bees love it! Not just our huge bumble bees. (above photo).
Bumble bees are not native to Tasmania or Australia. They were imported from UK to pollinate tomatoes in poly tunnels but escaped and are now found here. They can get massive here. When I moved from the mainland 20 something years ago, I had never seen a bumble bee. I loved them and would watch them flying about pondering how something so chunky could fly. I was told you could stroke them, and they did not sting.
You can indeed stroke them, but be warned Bumble bees do sting. Unlike honey bees and native bees (I think) they do not die after stinging you.
In the photograph above is a Honey Bee I assume from my neighbours hive. Similar to a bumble bee with a lot less hair.
Which makes me wonder how Bumble bees keep cool in the extreme temperatures we have been having this summer. Yet I see and hear them buzzing about the flowers on my deck.
I make sure I have water in small shallow bowls with some pebbles to help them access the water. I also put a rock and stick or some thing to help them access water in my other bowls and bird baths. I have Blue Banded Bees but have not been able to take a clear enough photograph to share here. I also see dragon flies, butterflies, hover flies and most delightfully frogs.
The little frog in the photograph above was rescued and just popped into the jar for a minute or two for safety as I was moving pot plants about the deck and he/she had been contentedly sitting about between them. I popped a bit of shade cloth over the top of the plant where I sat the jar as I moved it to its new location and the other three I then let the frog out and it hopped in behind the pots. I see frogs regularly when I am out watering the pot plants on the deck. I also see geckos.
A sad lack of sun ripe tomatoes growing on my vines out doors. I do have tomatoes, and some small ones have reddened the majority remain small and green. I am not having a good season with getting bigger tomatoes. Last year I grew cherry tomatoes. This year I am not but I may as well be.
Tomato Timing Hurry up and turn on the red The sauce must be made before retiring to bed
The garlic, basil, and oregano are waiting the jars sterilized and warmed there can be no time for hesitating.
Mother can slow living down to a trickle choices I honor, but please be fore warned, you will soon be a jarred green tomato pickle. https://allpoetry.com/Brownisk
Now onto the deck first order of the afternoon was to get all the brassicas together, then began the search and destroy mission. The enemy had succeeded in landing, and dumping leaving eggs behind. Which in turn ate and ate my brassicas! No option but to find these green blighters and leave them for the birds.
It was a task to gently rub my fingers over ever leaf, every nook and cranny of the plant to find eggs, cocoons, and caterpillars of the white moth! As you can see the mission bore great success.
I realised my current method for stopping the white moth from laying her eggs was not working. I decided to move all the brassicas under the netting I had put up to keep the birds from getting to my tomatoes.
Now in thinking about this I have come to realise that this may not be so great either. As during the day I usually drop two areas of the netting to create openings that hopefully will not let birds in but bees can come in and pollinate. (I have done some hand pollination). If I leave these openings the white cabbage (thought her babies eat all brassicas so she will lay her eggs on any) moth can also enter. Sigh. Back to the planning board.
A lot of people do not like leaving their gardens to self seed. I am quite happy doing this. I do not let everything and I do pull things out as I need to. I love letting any of the Allium family flower and go to seed. The leek flower heads are also attracting so many bees.
Capsicums (peppers) these were in a punnet that for some reason I just grabbed in December from the local hardware shops nursery. I usually do not purchase any vegetable seedlings from them. The one on the right is in the asparagus bed which is more shaded than the other two which are in the tomato bed, They are only about six feet apart, but such a difference. The one on the left is twice the size of the other two and has capsicums forming well. The other two have heaps of flowers but I am not expecting huge if any capsicums to develop.
Along with the capsicums, in another bed where the Sea Holly grows are some chiles. I have no idea what sort, nor what is going on with them. See photo below. It looks like something has been having a try at eating it. On the other side it has scratch marks. Mystery plant mystery as to what is going on.
When I was in the vegetable garden I realised that some of the tomatoes were beginning to go a bit reddish. That will mean the birds will be wanting to get them. I popped tow bird wire cylinder around them and I am pondering if the birds will still try and pop on down into the area. I may have to cover the tops with some netting and hand pollinate the flowers that are still appearing. You can see the protection below. I have used bent wire to pin them down.
In the right of this photo below you can see the self sown sun flower. It is growing and I may end up with at least one. Which would make me so happy.
In the back ground You can see the brassica bed. The Kale on the left of picture the dark green is tall and very healthy. On the right is silverbeet going to seed. The green bending plant is seed of the silverbeet.
On the 9th Feb I sowed some beetroot seeds and carrots in areas of the vegetable garden. I also sowed several cabbage seeds. I left them in small seedling pots on the deck. I was so pleasantly surprised to see some of them have already germinated. I am hoping that they can go in the garden and perhaps the cabbage moth will not be about to lay eggs.
My intention is to sow some carrots in pots on my deck and perhaps some carrots too. I am going to plant more in the veggie garden.
I cleared out the garlic and coriander bed, putting some old manure on it. I have to work out what I will plant there next.
I noticed this week in one of my smallish pots on the deck a couple of broad beans are growing well. I intend to plant more about so will put some about the vegetable garden
I am so thankful for my garden, and to be able to spend time with nature. I am grateful for the bees that come in to collect pollen for their own needs. That the insects, spiders, lizards, frogs, all the creatures that make their home in and about my gardens are here.
I am thankful for the garden producing food some of which I had for in my dinner tonight.
With the addition of garlic and spring onions from my garden, the only purchased items for my meal were two eggs. So my delicious meal cost me a whole $1.10.
The blackberries grow on my boundary, in a hedgerow. It is a wonderful season for the blackberries this year.