First Deadly Encounter for the Season!

Hello Weekend!
First of all a quick show & tell… my new bag! I like the heftier padding at the back, so now when I stuff my camera, three lenses, lunch, drink, extra clothes etc etc in there, they won’t dig into my back forcing me to repack once or ten times!

I took it on a walk today – happy with it as its very comfortable. Its going to make a good day pack when travelling Japan (in a month! Gulp)

And a duckling update:

I rang the wildlife carer today – I was a bit nervous asking if any of our little bats survived. But apparently the last three are not only surviving, but thriving! And they are Mountain Ducks – not what I reported before.
So that’s pretty fantastic! So glad we had some success in ‘Operation Chase Ducklings All Over Flowerdale’

In between the rain & wind today, we got a bit of sunshine too… so we escaped out for another hike.
Jeff decided to load up and test out his travel bag to see if it would make a good extended hiking pack

Along the top of the first part of the track we encountered our first snake of the season! It mostly wriggled away, but left its tail hanging out of the grass so I could get a photo.

This is a tiger snake bottom.
I think they reside within the top 10 venomous snakes in the world (said with a note of pride in voice) but I pretty much trust them to move away when they feel you approach. I have never had a hassle with them even though I have accidentally come quite close (not least the bathroom incident!!!)
I think they are beautiful. If we see them we stop and give them every chance to glide away before continuing our walk.

“So husband dear, in that ridiculously large pack you are lugging about, is there a medical kit handy?”
“Nope”
“Oh good… so glad I am hiking with a Nurse”

Small beach things…

A different sand pattern

Tiny wildflowers are also popping out

Back home, I had let my lettuce out for the day!

I seem to have lost another random plant, but overall I am REALLY pleased with their progress!

The remaining lettuce seedlings in the original container are fabulous and really needs a home. Or I will be eating them soon!

My green manure has appeared too!!

I think there will be plenty of time for it to grow up a bit before I dig it back in so I can plant the corn!

Snow peas…

Chooks…

Rhubarb-knowledgeable people… is it too late to transplant this?

Also, in exciting news… I see the start of some cherry plums!! yay!

The final garden related task of the day was to get into the shed and salvage the last of the potatoes.
Tentacle city!

Despite the poorer harvest last season, we have been eating our own potatoes for 10 months. Not too shabby!
I knocked off the sprouts and took the ones that weren’t too wrinkly and pathetic. I suspect the chooks will get some leftover potato mash from my reject pile over the next few weeks!
Soon comes the terrible wait for the new potatoes! (I love potatoes!!)

Hope everyones weekend is amazing!

Cheers

A New Day Pack & $100

Hello – this is pretty terrible!
Second time in a week with no photos of the days adventures!
And my goodness did it POUR down with a vengeance for a lot of the day!!

Jeff and I took several of those boxes of books to the dealer in Ulverstone, offloaded a lot and added $100 to our kitty!!

But I then had to buy a new day pack. Really – I am a bit excited about my new bag. I might even take a photo tomorrow! haha – no-one else will be quite that excited over it, but I am a bit chuffed to have something new for me!
My other day pack that I have used to death is a hand-me-down of Jeff’s anyway. It gets stuffed full of camera gear, food, drink, spare jackets etc every time we go hiking. One zip has died and one strap is torn from the base of the pack. Probably only a matter of time before the whole thing gives way.
This new bag has a spot for the camel-back drink pack, a bit more capacity than the old bag. Lots of pockets and places to tie things on the outside if need be.
And even better it has a hip strap to distribute weight better.

Now -just for the weather to get a teeny bit less feral so I can go use it properly for the first time!

Cheers from wild and woolly Tasmania!

All About Wood

 

Hello! It didn’t continuously pour today which was awesome in my books! Other parts of the country are pretty much in drought – would be great to swap some sunshine for the rain!

Our wood pile was almost non-existent. Cousin Jeff has run out of available wood so I went to the local nursery to buy some off them.
First I had to scrape the last of the mushroom compost out of the trailer and bag it up for later.

I did a bit of an experiment… I can’t really tell volumes of items (like wood)

They had these crates of bits and pieces of wood – the non-pretty stuff selling at (seemingly) a lesser price. I don’t care if wood is weird shaped so I thought I would buy a bin.

While there was a reasonable number of good sized pieces, a lot of it was splintery small chunks/rubbish.
I took it home and divided it up to store

My ugly wood pile cost $55. There was a lot of other stuff I chucked in my kindling box – while I will use it, to be honest, we really don’t need more kindling (esp we don’t need to buy it)
SO… to compare I thought I would buy a metre of the usual wood.

I wasn’t sure the little trailer could hack the weight so some of it went into the back of the vehicle too!

I really really really didn’t want to make a third trip. Each time I have to go out, I have to unhitch the trailer, move it, turn the car and rehitch the trailer back up!
This is because I cannot back the trailer up in a small space like our front yard and out onto the highway! Nup uh.
I was reasonably good backing it with our other car, but this one I haven’t had any practice bar going forward!

I think its a much better deal to buy the decent wood. I think there was more than twice the amount of usable sized logs for $95

I think if the ‘ugly wood’ had of been more about the bigger chunks and not the wood chips, the price still would have to come down considerably to make it worthwhile.

Kind of an expensive experiment to make at this point, but at least now we know. I couldn’t really take it all back and fill the box back up at the nursery!
Over summer I will be pouring my gardening money into Cousin Jeff’s pocket to get as much wood as we can stock!! Then come winter I don’t have to think about it!

And yup, I have sore muscles tonight! Thats a good thing! Feel like I have done some proper work today – with minimal amount of being rained on!

Cheers

 

 

Wednesday of Nothing

So… here it is. Nearly 11pm and I haven’t gotten out of my nightie yet.
Its going to save a whole lot of time when I go to bed… won’t have to find my nightclothes. I can just tumble in.
Can you guess what kind of day it was?
My motivation levels bottomed out.
Happily, Fiona dropped around after work and we had a great couple of hours having a cuppa, cheese & bikkies (and sweet chilli sauce) and a general catch up. (And she never judges about my attire!!)

Roast lamb leftovers… so no dinner dramas.
Dishes are done and I pretty much achieved nothing today!

I now have a slight plan in place for tomorrow to get on with despite weather to avoid the whole grouchy attitude about the never ending rain.

There are a heap of things I can do… but somehow after a month of dark wet days, enthusiasm levels start to wane. I think a few lists might help me focus!

With luck, I will be able to blog with some actual photos and a real story!

I am going to end my day on quite a positive note by being a bit naughty… there is a fresh loaf of bread baked this afternoon and I am going to indulge in a slice and go to bed with a book!

Cheers!

A Long Overdue Hike

Hello – first of all an update on the little bats (ducklings)
They went off to a wildlife carer this morning as another one didn’t make it. ๐Ÿ™ The lady assured Gudrun that she did everything right… but its just luck of the draw sometimes with these things. A whole batch might make it or die. But we can be a little comforted by the fact they would have had zero chance motherless next to a highway. The last three have a chance.
They are a wood duck – which go up trees which would explain the little bats climbing tendencies!!

Anyway – after a little running about doing this and that today, ย the tide and weather were about right to get out for a quick circuit around Anniversary Bay.

After several weeks of not doing this I very much felt every step of the uphill bits!!

The skies were dramatic and threatening, but no rain!

Lots of new patterns on the beach with the recent heavy rains.

I love the sand art so much!

The runoff cut a deeper trench into the beach on its quest to the sea!

Occasionally the sun popped out too!

Time to put the camera away and slog up those hills and get home. I had a lovely leg of lamb given to us yesterday by our neighbour (lucky us!!) so I had to get back in time to roast it up… and mmmm dinner was good!

Hope you had a great day too!

Puddle selfie or looking into the Underworld??

A Day of Not Rain!

A day without crazy rain! Bliss! Even got Pip out and about for a while!

Bit different from the last time I photographed this view hey?
Jeff took a risk and got out there on the mower and cut the long overdue lawn

I went out and raked and filled all my compost bins up

The chooks had a lovely day – but I don’t think this quite qualifies as three eggs do you?

I went out into the main veggie patch and did some haphazard weeding

Its very gluggy and slow going, but I enjoyed it

I think I want to try to move this rhubarb… I like this little plot as a carrot patch. I think I can find it another spot where it can spread out happily and not be in the way.

The obligatory worm photo…

The first of the cherry blossoms are out! One side of the tree has these small little blossoms. Later on the big fluffy ones will explode out!

Back in the hothouse lots of pots are looking quite hopeful. I am especially pleased with the cucumbers

The zucchini and pumpkins are also doing fine

Lettuce bouncing back beautifully

Spindly little tomato plants

The tomato seedlings I bought are thriving. They are developing some nice little laterals that I have my eye on!

If I get some nice days, soon I will be able to put up a stall at the front and see if I can sell off some extra seedlings

The snow peas are charging ahead… the beans are only just starting to make a move

Duckling-bat update… Sadly one little chap didn’t make it this morning. Not sure why. The others are full of beans – very fast and still climbing walls! Gudrun tested them on some foods. Clover, grass, duckling food, lucerne… nope. Worms and slater bugs – a big hit!
Guess what I will be doing tomorrow? Scouring the yard to capture bugs for my little bats! Gudrun will collect them Wednesday! lol – the weird things you end up doing.

It was heartening to get out in the sun! Hope your day was great

Cheers

Surprising Things About Ducklings…

Firstly – the most surprising thing was getting five of them today!
Honestly… this was how my blog was going to go:
“Weather, which has been dark, gloomy, wet & miserable has just spiraled into feral. Stayed in my nightie & dressing gown all day.” The End.
I was going along pretty well with my nightie wearing plan, when of course someone knocks on the door.
Friend of mine, Ellen has spotted a duck that has been killed on the highway and needed help as there were a bunch of ducklings in danger of also dying of squash.

So I hurriedly drag on clothes, get box and gumboots, yell for husband to come along and start trotting up the highway
I wish I had more photos from today!!
No sign of ducklings. We took the body of the mother duck off the road as we figured the babies would want to be where mum was. And we were too late for one duckling. (By the way these are not the photos I would have been talking about that I wanted)

Baby ducklings jump REALLY high!! (And bounce pretty well when hitting the ground)

Jeff is with us – in sandals and shorts??? Seriously?
Mad.
We located the ducklings eventually – which was hard as the area is so overgrown. Jeff got right into the scrub to shoo them back off the side of the highway…. which is straight into a paddock of blackberries.
My – that was fun!!

Time to put the jumping ducklings into the cat carrier (and yes thats a teddy bear in the back… hot water bottle underneath haha)

So – we have an undisclosed number of speeding peeping ducklings racing around in and under the blackberry canes and us with a box, enthusiasm and no idea how to catch them.
Lady on corner house comes out to see what the commotion is – happens to be work mate of Jeffs and as luck would have it – owns a net!

Um… ducklings seem to have little hooks for climbing like bats!! Surprising!!

So – because I am the sensible one with boots & long pants, I am in the blackberry bushes trying to dissuade ducklings from returning to the highway while the others move to shoo them where Jeff can net them!
Eventually we got them all (oh I hope we got them all!!) and popped them peeping and squeaking into the box.

Jeff by this stage is covered in scratches and blood and we are both soaking wet as the rain was really coming down (naturally!)
Said “see you later” to Ellen and took our new pets home.

They were SO adorable!! I have always wanted ducks!
They are funny and naughty. Very keen to get out. Opening carrier door to put some food in was problematic… it was like juggling ducklings trying to toss them back from the opening to get the stuff in!! (They just boomerang back to the gap!)

Luckily with a post on facebook one of my local friends, Gudrun, offered some food and warm lamps or a home as they are used to raising feathery babies and have a bunch of goslings at the moment under lights.
I sadly decided they would be better with someone that knows what they are doing – plus since we are leaving soon for a month I thought it would be unfair on our young house sitter leaving him with five little Houdini’s!

So I take a little drive into the country. Gudrun was most amused to see the teddy bear. She thought it best to tell me up front that the ducklings were not going to be pampered and brought inside etc – survival of fittest and all that! haha Gave me the option to take them home with some gear.
I figured whatever happens they have a much better chance than on the highway overnight without their mother!
So we put them in with the goslings which were twice their size – but ran to the corner in terror of the invasion of the little fuzzy ducklings!

Of course – the ducklings eventually aimed for the gaps in the shelter, so we patched them up and I went to have a look at the shelters that they had for chicks. (Ideas for the future!)

This is where I REALLY wish I had photos.
Two Houdini-bat-ducklings got out and squeezed through the fence into a big paddock!
Hungry keen dogs on one side, hungry pig on the other!!!
If you have not had ducklings – you have NO idea how fast they can run!!!
Gudrun ran to get some netting while I headed them off from being first course on the pigs nightly buffet (heart stopping moments as I am bolting through the paddock in my gumboots waving my arms about)
Gudrun returns with netting… ducklings split up. So undignified running about trying to fling nets over them… and with all the rain – no traction whatsoever. Naturally I fell over

Gudrun got hers, mine went helter skelter into the adjoining paddock (no pig)
I thought it best to take the duckling and zip it up in my pocket while we got the next one.
Gudrun was the next to fall over ungracefully in the mud! (She is NEVER going to invite me back I am sure! haha)

We finally got it between us and she flung the net out and just caught it on the edge, then dived in before it could detangle!
Duckling unceremoniously dumped into my pocket with its sibling (My windcheater pockets are at the front so I am now feeling a bit kangaroo-like)

Plan B. They have quail with mouse-proof wire.
I said I was filthy already so I could crawl into the gosling shelter and fish out the remaining ducklings.

Gurdun set up the heat lamp and put fresh hay in and we poured in a few handfuls and a pocketful of ducklings.
They then spent the next five minutes flinging themselves at the wire to test for weaknesses:

I did get a message later saying that her husband had put a slightly warmer lamp in and the ‘Little Bats’ were all heaped together in a puddle of feathers trying to sleep!! Nawwww

So lucky to have good friends around! (And probably lucky ducklings in the end that Ellen spotted them and we somehow managed to catch them!!)

Hope you enjoyed the Duckling Tales!
Cheers!

A pale rainbow in a brief glimmer of sunlight!

 

 

End Of The World Cake

Quick everybody – put on your surprised faces! Its raining in Tasmania again!!
Since it never got properly light today, I thought the most cheering thing I could do was bake a chocolate cake. (I know – I was an over-achiever today!)

I then found out the world was meant to end today. The 23rd.
This begged the question… did I have time to ice it properly before scoffing it all down before it went to waste??
And time zones … which time zone does the end of the world fall in with all these ‘calculations’ ??
(Can you tell I am a wee bit of a skeptic?)

So… lets look outside:

Pretty normal Tasmanian spring weather

Gutters overflowing, but not end-of world-level tragedy…

A distinct lack of fire and brimstone in the sky.
5.30pm… no end in sight. Best ice the cake.

Advice from all my facebook friends is to scoff it as fast as possible, just in case. Would be a scandalous waste if I had leftovers at the end.

Well – I survived the 23rd September. I hope all of you now entering the 23rd also sail through your day with no mishaps!

Cheers!

Lucky me! Flowers from one of Jeff’s workmates!!

Potatoes Are In

So happy today to finally get my potatoes in the ground!
It wasn’t the best spring day – I had resigned myself to housework tasks as it rained off and on all morning. But then it seemed to clear somewhat and even be reasonably warm… took a risk and went outside!

Normally I would like to dig this in and leave it a week… but I am too impatient now to just get stuff done.

I redug the plot and sprinkled the blood and bone in

Then made a bit of a grid pattern with an old broken gardening tool

I tend to leave my potatoes uncovered until I have planted them all – basically so I know where they are and I don’t trample them

I used up all the seed potatoes and moved on to the leftover potatoes in the shed that are trying to grow

Plot number one held 54 plants.
Moving on to plot number two…

I had to rake back all the seaweed then weed a little bit – but not much as the seaweed did a grand job of suppressing most of the weeds.
Then had to dig it over, then dig in the blood and bone before planting

I managed to squeeze in another 40 potatoes here.

I was digging up magnificent worms!

The sad little peanut gallery waited in vain for worm treats. (I only threw them worms that I accidentally broke – I prefer them in the garden working for me and the chooks get enough good food anyway!)

We really need to mow! Beginning to lose chickens! I suppose we will get around to it when we get a few days of sun in a row so it dries out a bit!

In a fit of enthusiasm I dug up a third plot and dug through some more blood and bone. I think my beetroot will eventually go here.

Happy to do a decent days work… although I am feeling it now in my limbs!!
Hope you all had a great day too!
Cheers!

Slugs & Sprouts

The unpruned Guelder rose will be quite a sight when it blooms this season! (I like to call it the snowball tree)

I think I have to confess to going slightly stir crazy. Starting to feel very whingy & whiny about the constant miserable weather!
The potatoes should have gone in, but I don’t think it will hurt waiting a few days more – you know… for an actual warm spring day!
Finding motivation to leave the house is becoming a lot harder.

Pretty much forced myself into cleaning up this mess… put most of it through the mulcher for the compost along with some whizzed-up kitchen scraps and a few lucky worms

Yesterday I found about four good sized slugs living under some of the pots in the hothouse… and one decapitated cucumber ๐Ÿ™

I must admit I was excited to see the first of the tomato seedlings popping up

There were two yesterday, but today I saw a lot more – so ‘Yay’

Yesterday one pumpkin almost there

Today – two!

Zucchini also put in an appearance today:

The silverbeet seedlings are going along really well:

And I have a number of fennel too – I have never actually tried to grow it. It just appears. Its the first time I have seen what the seedling looks like!

Lettuce seedlings a LOT less dead looking:

I put a couple in the dirt in the hothouse – just because I could. The space is for the cucumbers but I reckon I might be able to get a feed off the lettuce before the cucumbers get big enough to be planted and take over.

The lettuce outside under their little lids seem to be doing quite well on the whole…

If we had of had some nice days I would have taken their covers off during the day… but its been hopeless so I have left them alone.

I think the tomatoes are bigger?

And all of a sudden all these pots of cucumbers started looking successful!

Snowpeas (sprouted) & beans (not sprouted yet) sprinkled with blossom leaves! These are destined for my market stall…

Happy with my outside snow peas – both patches are looking good.

Somehow out of the gone-to-seed celery I have a nice new plant ready for use! Sometimes the garden does things by magic!

I have been contemplating on this raised bed. Its the one I layered with newspaper before dumping all the seaweed onto it. Seems like its done a fabulous job of keeping the weeds at bay!
Now I just have to decide what I want growing in here.

Well… fingers crossed for a decent day tomorrow. Who knows? We might get lucky!
Hope your day was great!

Cheers