The smell of Christmas

Posted in Plants and Gardens on September 18th, 2012 by Coffee

From her:
Don’t worry, we haven’t got our Christmas decorations up already or started the Christmas baking. The massive pine trees we have out the front got a bit of a haircut, as did the neighbour’s smaller ones down our boundary fence.

If you have ever seen the tree trimming machines in action you will know that you don’t really want to stand in line of any falling debris or anywhere near the machine. And the debris can spread quite widely! Think helicopter blades attached to something out of one of the Mad-Max movies. Although they have quite a blunt instrument attached they are still pretty lethal (well they have to be to cut through the size of some of the branches). So if it accidentally flew off I am sure I would not want to be in the path of the blade! To make the event even more interesting to watch, when cutting the big trees out the front was it was blowing a good ole norwester (and for those of you that have not experienced one here they can be pretty damn windy), which made for hard work lining up the tops of the trees.

But with any tree trimming comes the cleaning up, and when the trees have not been trimmed for at least six years that’s quite a lot to pick up. Most of somebody’s Saturday morning was spent moving all the fallen branches from the road-side to inside our boundary. Luckily the neighbours came along with their trailer and a helping hand to help us pick up the smaller branches (not any good for firewood) and then let us kindly dump them onto the fire they had already got roaring on their land. Then we did the same down the boundary line, loading up the trailer and then dumping on the fire. And we didn’t even remember to get the marshmallows out. Although not sure how pine-smoked marshmallows would taste anyway.

Next job is to cut all the wood that remains into firewood. But that’s another weekend’s job hopefully with another helper who wants the wood. Not looking forward to that one. Anyway will leave you with this interesting fact or myth: did you know that apparently pines can grow during night time?!

The photo really doesn’t do justice to the HUGE pile of trimmings and wood there that all need sorting out. But we’ll get there! And hopefully we’ll get a better photo of the wood pile too!

From him:
When someone says “Most of somebody’s Saturday morning” just who do you think they meant?! I hurt. Everything hurts. If it doesn’t hurt, the thing next door hurts and so it makes it seem like everything hurts!

Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow. Even typing hurts. I give up.

Strawberry fields, but forever?…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on September 16th, 2012 by Coffee

We’ve been donated strawberry plants from 2 sources over the last wee while, and to date they’ve been hanging out in the tunnel house suffering various amounts of neglect. As they’ve been the only living plants in there it’s been easy to forget about them. I don’t count the seemingly dormant lemongrass, but it could just as easily be dead lemongrass. (We’ll no doubt work that out sometime soon!)

So since we’ve managed to dispatch the weakest, the rest should be winners, right? Deserving of a home under the open skies? So today we made them one out of the slightly concrete tinted old boxing timber the builder left stashed up the front.

Despite careful planning, measuring and generally looking like I knew what I was doing I still managed to screw the construction up slightly by putting one end inside the edges, not on the end, if you get me (and I’m sure that you do). But the strawberries aren’t going to care, and frankly today I don’t either (more on the reason for that later). It’s likely to be only a temporary bed anyway. But then we said that about the ones we made quite a while ago now, and they’re still going strong, even after being relocated.

As soon as the plants look like they’re happy we’ve even got the straw on standby to mulch them with. I’m sure it’ll last right up until the first nor-wester! Maybe next weekend’s construction project might need to be a netting lid for it. I’ll just have to remember to screw things up in exactly the same way!

Spring has definitely sprung.

Posted in Plants and Gardens, Rants And Rambles on September 9th, 2012 by Coffee

Yup, all the signs are there… Fruit trees covered in blossom:

Or about to be.

Lone daff in flower up by the gate waiting for its mates to pop.

Neighbours paddocks are filled with yummy looking lambs frolicking…

Willows down by the river have suddenly turned green.

Outer regions of the place are covered in dandelion flowers. And I have some radishes and peas up. Yup, it’s spring.

Of course what you can’t see and it’s difficult to get a picture of is the very strong gusty winds that we’ve been having that have made it not so enjoyable to be outside to enjoy it all. But this morning’s a pearler! Off to enjoy it.

Out on parole…

Posted in Animals on September 3rd, 2012 by Coffee

Here’s the girls. The regular readers among you will notice that there are three of them. All together. And that’s all we have. Sooooooo, that does indeed mean that the lass that’s been in solitary for a week or so has been released back into general population.

There have been conditions imposed, of course. If you look very closely at the photo above you’ll notice that there has been a very hi-tech tracking system attached to the inmate. Let’s make it easy for you:

So far so good. She’s remained out of the nesting box, except for laying us an egg or two. Yes, that’s right. We’re back to about three eggs a day again. Whew!

Although one of the other chooks seems to recently be taking a very long time to emerge from the coup after laying her egg. Might have to install another tag, I suspect. We have got a few other colours available if need be. Let’s just hope we don’t need them!

Another line of trees, just like the last line…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on September 2nd, 2012 by Coffee

Yes, it is another line of small, spindly, hard-to-see-against-green-grass trees, and yes, it does indeed look like the previous line from the other day. But it does, in fact, run in another direction, honest!

As we’ve been promised some rain soon this morning’s task was to get a few more of the cyprus in. As we’d no better place to put them they went in down the next fence line. Let’s hope that’s where we want them!