Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Soaking Up Summer

I've been very lucky to have enjoyed the past few weeks away from work to spend time at home with the Sonofaguns, the weather and the garden.

Our tomatoes are producing quite well. The Diggers Heritage breeds do much better than the standard ones. 
Tomato 'Black Cherry' (and a few blackberries)
And this Lebanese zucchini (also from Diggers Seeds co) is pumping out heaps of produce.

The strawberries are growing in a large patch but despite bird netting, the cheeky buggers are still finding their way in the devour most of our delicious strawberries! Any leftover strawberry carcasses go straight to the guinea pigs!
I absolutely love my blackberry plant. The real fight here has been with the weather.We have had an occasional horrid hot day where the temperature flies up over 40c and a hot wind blasts through turning almost ripe fruit into desiccated lumps.
At some point the Bear threw some seed potatoes in. I kind of ignored them. They didn't seem to do much apart from a bit of green above ground. But the other day he did a bit of prodding around in the soil and filled a bowl with these wonderous treasures!
The Mariposa Plum tree put on a lovely show of flowers in Spring followed by a profusion of baby plums. But most of them dropped off leaving just 3 to keep growing. Every couple of days I would check to see if they were still there. I watched them grow.

And grew they did! A few days ago I finally thought, "YES! It's plum picking time!" Which would last only a few seconds because there was only 3 but it would be 3 GLORIOUS SECONDS of PLUM PICKING!

Some little bastard bird had already destroyed one plum leaving the mashed remains on the ground. The other 2 looked ok. 
I picked them and discovered to my horror that little bastard bird had a go at both remaining plums on the other side!
Now I know it sounds a bit gross but I cut them up anyway, threw away the picked at bits and we sampled the 'good' leftover bits. They were delicious and sweet! 
Our pergola outside is now mostly finished. It's lovely out there now. The Bear found a 2nd hand projector and screen as well as a proper pool table. I been reliving a youth well spent in pubs playing games of pool, and curling up on cushion filled chairs watching movies on the big screen.
I have been making Amazona Parrots, Stevie Birds and Pearly Hummingbirds using the Scheepjes Catona which I was gifted for Christmas. They are much larger than the originals but look gorgeous in the bright variety of colours!
This morning I took a little drive with a very dear friend and her daughter to The Garden at St Erth in Blackwood, just 55 mins out of Melbourne. 

 Would you like to come for a little walk with us?

 This beautiful Clematis was near the cafe where we had coffee, Elderflower Sodas and scones.
 I love this gate made out of garden tools.

 Lots of New Holland Honeyeaters and this pretty Eastern Spinebill drank nectar from the flowers.
I loved this beautiful Copper Beech tree. It wasn't as 'coppery' as you expect.
A magnificent Copper Beech
 Check out the bark!

Tromboncino squash
Too. Much. Pollen. Can't. FLY!
Hellebores growing under apple, pear and quince trees.
Lichen on the apple and pear trees
Apparently these are a type of sunflower!

If you know what these are, let me know. They didn't have a label...

 So that's what I've been up to lately. What's been happening in your part of the world?

Red Haired Amazona

Friday, 4 January 2019

Summer Holidays

I've been looking forward to Summer all year.  

Flowers in the garden, vegie garden produce and Christmas!

The weeks leading up to Christmas were chaos. I was not organised AT ALL! My Christmas shopping wasn't finished until the 22nd of December. 
That was my deadline as the 23rd of Decemember after a 10hour drive found us here...

 On the NSW South Coast at a place we call Paradise. It's not actually called 'Paradise'. It's called Mollymook and it's where the Mothership and the Fatherdom live.

This Christmas was going to be fun as my brother the Red Haired Viking and my Sister the Blonde Amazona were both there with their families. 

We took up our trusty camper trailer and set up on the front lawn.
 My parents have a Maltese x Shihtzu called Koko. We brought Chuck Norris the pugalier with us and my sister brought her miniature Schnauzer Phil Collins.  

I was really looking forward to us all walking our dogs on the beach and the general doggy chaos. All pups got along very well, except Chuck Norris and Phil Collins had occasional fights over food. 

To add to the zoological bedlam, my sister and her daughter showed up with this tiny creature.
Isn't she adorable?!?!  They were on the highway 45 minutes out of Melbourne when they saw her all alone on the side of the highway. No farms nearby and no sign of a mother or litter of other kittens. So they bundled her up and brought her along. They stopped at the nearest town for kitten milk and food which the starving little cat gobbled up immediately.

They realised she was only 4 weeks old and had possibly been dumped. 
The PLAN was to bring her to Mollymook and give her to a shelter or vet.

Over the next 5 days, she grew strong and playful. She was protected from all the curious canines and cuddled by everyone.

But PLANS change, and now little Sabrina lives happily with them back in Melbourne. They tried calling her Stevie (Nicks) as they already have another cat at home called Lindsay Buckingham, but Sabrina seemed to suit her better.

Christmas Day! This magnificient house was a few streets away from my parents. A blurry pic taken from the car window as we lined up with a stream of other cars to take a look.
 I would have liked to take a photo of all our delicious food, but as you can tell from this photo of my trifle taken at about 5pm, we cooked and we ate.
Yes, it was my usual highly boozey Xmas food contribution covered in fresh cherries, blueberries, raspberries and cream, full of sherry drenched cake and jelly.
 Most evenings we sat on the back deck drinking the wine and playing the games. Our favourite is Celebrity Head.
Have you ever played Celebrity Head? Basically someone writes the name of a famous person (real or a character) on a post it note and sticks it on your forehead. 
You don't know who it is and have to ask 'yes' or 'no' questions to determine their identity.

For example:
"Is it a female?"
"Am I a cartoon character?"
"Am I married to another famous person?"

Each time you get a 'yes' answer, you can ask another question. If you get a 'no' answer, it's the next persons turn. Obviously the first person to guess their celebrity wins.

It took AGES for me to work out who I was this time...

 Remember what I said about zoological?  One day an extra dog arrived. A little Sheltie turned up ownerless and collarless at our front door.

All dogs happily welcomed each other, but his attendance was short lived as the Bear and I took him up to the local vet. Fortunately he was microchipped so the veterinarian contacted his owners for us!
Chuck and Collins say hello to the Sheltie's butt.
 Chuck was completely at home at the Motherships house. He discovered his favourite place on top of the back of their sofa. Sometimes he sort of 'melted' into it...
 At 6pm nearby Narrawallee beach is available for dogs 'off leash'. So we'd use code as Koko understands key words.  Instead of saying, "Let's take the DOGS to the BEACH for a WALK,"  we'd have to say, "Let's take the D's to the B for a W."

There were lots of cicadas on the beach from the surrounding forest. Some were already dead. Some like this little guy were waiting to be rescued.  I'd pick them up, dust off the sand and they would fly back to the trees.
 One day I was lucky enough to visit the garden of one of the Motherships friends'. She has a beautiful garden filled with scultures and interesting plants. Would you like to take a little tour?

This plant actually smells like popcorn when you rub the leaves! Cassia didymobotrya (Popcorn Cassia)
Cuphea platycentra (Mexican Cigar Plant)
A type of Ginger Lily
Brugmansia suaveolens

 The Mothership and the Fatherdom are members of the Ulladulla Garden Club. Their flower and vegetable gardens hold delightful finds...

Eucomis sp. (Pineapple Lily)

So Christmas was done and dusted. And what do you think showed up in the supermarket on Boxing Day?
Yes. Hot Cross Buns. On Boxing Day.
On New Years Eve we drove down to Ulladulla Harbour for the fireworks. And I figured out how to control the shutter speed on my phones' camera.

The Bear did not quite figure out how to spell his name with sparklers... 
 We ran out of sparklers so tried again with glow sticks. Can you read it?

My Nana lives nearby and these toadstools popped up one morning. This photo was taken that afternoon!
Here's another fun name to say fast 3 times after 2 G&Ts: Leucoprinus birnbaumii
 The day before we left for home, we took our final evening walk on the beach. I tried to take a selfie but didn't realise the 'beauty' enhancement was on and added mascara to my sunnies...

The budgies are gonna love this....
 Just quickly, we arrived home to some delicious garden produce... Not pictured (because I ate them) are blackberries and loads of tiny tomatoes.
We also arrived to a Christmassy house which needed to be packed away for another year...
 And this AMAZING Christmas present which arrived in the post from my best bloggy buddy Vicki from Off The Hook via Snufflebean Yarn.

Have you ever received one of these massive colour packs from Scheepjes? 

109. One Hundred and NINE different colours in cute little 10g balls! What am I going to do with these? 


 Today it's supposed to hit 42c (107.6f) today so I think I'll stay inside with the aircon surrounded with these little skeins. What will I make? I DON"T KNOW!
Red Haired Amazona