Autumn Sunset…

Autumn has arrived, the temperatures have dropped to the mid 20’s. Yesterday it was a drizzly day, the sun hiding behind grey, wispy clouds. Light showers came and went. A day to be inside feeling slightly sorry for myself after a dentist visit. But time spent visiting my lovely WP community lifted my spirits.

Then the sky slowly cleared and I sat out on the back deck to watch this gentle sunset.

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The night cools to a comfortable 18c degrees. Good sleeping temperature.

As a gardener I welcome any rain in autumn as “traditionally” (what is that these days?) autumn is the dry season.

This morning the sun is peeping through those wispy clouds. Time to take a walk around the garden and say good morning to my plant community.

Then I will take a cyber trip around the world to visit my interesting blogging buddies. 

Categories: garden, photos, sunsets | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

Our snail exterminator…

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Along this western side of the house it is very hot. Jack has created a habitat for our blue tongue lizard. On the right hand side, under the rocks, he put down drainage pipes.

Every morning we share our breakfast fruit with him.

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He is quite shy and if we get too close he will quickly back into his home. So Jack uses a length of wire to pass him the offering.

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Here he is munching his banana. In this close-up you can see his bright blue tongue.

Because we have this little fellow on snail patrol we have very few slugs and snails around, so I don’t give him too much extra tucker as I think he can find plenty for himself.

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I’m linking this to Jude’s “garden photography” that for April has been macro or close-ups in the garden.

Categories: blue tongue lizard, Garden photography challenge, photos | Tags: , , , | 37 Comments

Koroit Opal Fields.

Recently I was left home alone to look after the garden while Jack went outback with his son and 2 grandsons. I have never been to the opal lease and these photos show another part of Australia that not many people get to experience. I still long to go there but for the time being I will just have to experience it through Jack’s photos.

I have reblogged this post from “Jack’s Jottings”. Follow the link at the bottom of this post to see the rest of the photos and experience the hot, dusty, red outback…

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The house in the early morning golden light. The house in the early morning golden light.

Jason’s Out Back Getaway House.

Sun peeping up on the other side of house. Sun peeping up on the other side of house.

 Out in the country, in Aussie referred to as the bush or outback, I see and experience a feeling of boiphilia, an affinity with the natural world. Some would say the outback is desolate and ugly.

The children decorate the walls with love. The children decorate the walls with love.

 If you are not observant, hurrying, wanting to be someplace else you never notice the wonder of nature. Amazing things never experienced in the city. Different to what you can find in the lush green rain forests of the coastal areas and highlands of this vast island continent of Australia.

Feral goat on track to water hole. Feral goat on track to water hole.

 It is an 800 km/500 miles from the city of Brisbane to the town of Cunnamulla via Toowoomba, Dalby, St George. Then another 80 km to my son’s opal…

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Categories: travel | 28 Comments

Caterpillar update…

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Remember this caterpillar that was in yesterday’s post? Well Desleyjane (DJ) from “musings of a frequent flying scientist” has identified it for me. In fact she did a post about the trials and tribulations of her lime tree and this strange fellow a year ago. Do go over and check it out

It is the larvae of the Orchid Swallowtail Butterfly, commonly called the Large Citrus Butterfly. Such a pretty thing and I have seen the butterfly fluttering around the garden, but never been able to get its photograph. I’m pleased I didn’t squash it.

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Taken by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au Canon 20D + Sigma 150mm f/2.8 – Own work

This is an image I found on the Wikipedia site with more details.

Thanks DJ for the information…

Categories: caterpillar, garden, photos, vegetable garden | Tags: , , | 10 Comments

Mini backyard veggie plot…

When we finally settled back home after 6 years of roaming around I made two decisions

  1. I would not have a vegetable garden…
  2. I would not grow things in pots…

I would keep the garden easy care…

But 3 months later just look…

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If you have seen previous posts about my garden (here and here) you may remember the front garden is a tropical style with lots of trees and palms shading a large area. Ferns, bromeliads and other exotic species cluster in the shade. It is riddled with tree roots and tends to get very dry. Not the best conditions for growing vegetables.

But, the back garden’s smaller and gets the sun most of the day, especially near Jack’s fish ponds. I’ve suggested we take out the ponds and turn that area into raised beds. But Jack loves his fish and water lilies.

So the solution : veggies in pots standing around the fish pond…

Above is my tomatoe forest, planted 6 weeks ago with parsley and rocket to keep them company.

This is the second crop of lettuce. Autumn and winter are the best time to grow vegetables. Summer is just too hot and humid and all the pests and diseases proliferate and consume or kill the produce before we can.

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Tish over at “Tish Farrell” did an inspirational post about growing her radishes in pots, accompanied with mouth-watering photos (take a look). So here they are Tish only 6 days old. The garden in pots is expanding in all directions.

Another cluster of seedlings sun themselves under another tomatoe. Waiting to be potted on into larger permanent pots. Silver beet, land cress, more parsley, the radish sharing the container with coriander and at the front pansies being hardened off before going into a garden bed in the front garden. My nod to spring in the tropics.

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But just a minute what can I see…

Let’s look closer…

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Oh no!!! Some thing has been nibbling.

I look around and next to this tomatoe is my lemon tree in a pot and the lemons are starting to colour up.

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But then I see it. I have never seen anything like this before. I imagine it will be a beautiful butterfly. So I am happy to share some of the tomatoes with him.

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I’ve also put a mild chilly plant in a pot.

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Spinach does not like the warm tropical climate. To grow well it needs a colder winter. But I have found a species called Ceylon Spinach ( Basella alba is an edible perennial vine in the family Basellaceae) It is not a true spinach but tastes similar and is used in the same way. But most importantly it thrives in the tropics. It is a vine and I have put it beside a post it can climb up.

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So I guess I have tied myself to the garden for a while. Winter is traditionally the dry season in this area, so I will need to be here to keep pots watered.

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I have included some close ups to join in with Jude’s “garden photography challenge”. This is the last week for her close up theme.

Categories: Australia, garden, Garden photography challenge, photos, vegetable garden | Tags: , , , , | 54 Comments

Thursday Doors : Mooball…

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Can I put this in Norm’s “Thursday Doors” challenge? Technically I think it is a gate. But I couldn’t resist taking its photo and I had to go through it.

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I’m sure all Australians will know where I am going, but I wonder how many other people who visit this post from around the world will know where I am hurrying to.

Today we went for a country drive and I am in the quaint village of Mooball. With a population of approximately 300, they have embraced the idea of the cow in the name of their village and everything that doesn’t move has been decorated with the black and white splodges of the Friesian cow.

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Even this old tractor has been given the treatment.

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They also have a collection of motorbikes in a shed alongside the café. Jack was quite taken with this one…

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But he had to leave it behind, it was too big to get on…

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Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time)

Categories: photos, Thursday Doors | Tags: , , , | 43 Comments

Wordless Wednesday : Big, Bad Banksia men…

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Categories: Wordless Wednesday | Tags: , , | 20 Comments

Chinese New Year Dinnertime : Weekly Photo Challenge…

The Gold Coast China Town precinct has only been established for a short while, but it is expanding and now extends through 2 streets. Just in time for the celebration of the Chinese New Year the first set of traditional Han gates arrived.

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“And, as befits an auspicious addition to the precinct, a consultant ensured the gate’s feng shui was appropriately adjusted. We had a feng shui master examine the gates and his analysis showed we needed to put a lucky charm in each of the gate’s towers,” Cr Crichlow said.

“So we buried a set of eight Chinese coins connected with red Chinese knots in each tower.

“Eight is the luckiest number in China and because the towers are twins we had to get two sets of eight.

“We also had to bury them at a particular lucky time and date to maximise the feng shui.” (Gold Coast Bulletin)

It was February 20th 2016, Chinese New Year, the year of the monkey. China Town was crowded, parking was at a premium, so we went there on the G:Link, the new light rail system.

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The stall holders were busy preparing the food.

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And the hordes of people, locals and tourists, tucked in…

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On a stage traditional Chinese dancers entertained the crowd.

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I even managed to get a photo of a very rare 2 headed Chinese lady…

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Meanwhile round the corner a magician was enthralling both children and adults with his sleight of hand.

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It is getting darker but still the food stalls are supplying dinner for the crowds.

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The fairy lights are twinkling and some people find a seat.

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Others squeeze on to whatever they can find to sit on…

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While others have to be content with sitting in the gutter.

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But everyone seems happy.

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This week, Michelle asks us to focus on dinnertime: share a meal with us, or shoot during your dinner hour. Blogger’s choice!

I hope you enjoyed sharing dinner in China Town and celebrating the start of the year of the monkey.

Categories: photos, Australia, Weekly photo challenge, Goldcoast, Chinatown, dinnertime | Tags: , , , , , | 39 Comments

7 Days of Nature photos : Day 7…

How quickly the 7 days have whizzed by. For this last day I am going to indulge myself with a walk around my garden to show you what is in flower and thriving as autumn sets in.

We had a reasonable amount of rain at the beginning of the year. Summer is usually the wet season, but, of course, you can never rely on weather patterns. Now the dry season, autumn and winter, is here and it is still hot, so I am watering most days.

I’ll start with a wander along the western side of the house, it gets all day sun and is very hot This is were our resident blue tongue lives. But he is hiding today.

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Through the gate and into the front garden.

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The Brazilian Red Cloak provides a lovely splash of colour and you can see I have just finished watering and not put the hose away.

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The small raised herb bed is starting to fill up.

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The trees in the next photo are young paw paw trees. Unfortunately it is not possible to tell which is male and which is female until they flower. I have been carefully nurturing 8 and was quite disappointed when 2 produced male flowers so I pulled them out and put them in the compost bin, so now I have 6 and I am keeping my fingers crossed.

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Past the front of the house. Notice how the Grevillia is still flowering.

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Round to the cooler eastern side of the house and you can have a sit down in the Bali Corner for a while.

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Did you notice the small ornament on the table? Jack designed and made him. He is blowing his own trumpet.

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Do you remember the blue ginger had just started flowering a month ago? Well look at it now.

The Spanish moss, or old man’s beard, loves the hot humid weather.

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So does the crucifixion orchid.

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I did say I would not grow vegies or put things into pots. But just look what I have been doing!!!

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Yes those are tomatoes in pots. I couldn’t resist. Winter is the best time to grow tomatoes in this climate, not so many pests and diseases affect them. But wait that’s not all.

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This first crop of cos lettuce are getting past their best, but look behind them and you will see the second crop coming on.

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Thank you for the nomination Gilly (Lucid Gypsy) I’ll now sink back into less regular blogging habits. For my last nomination I will throw the invite to anyone who is left that has not taken part in this challenge yet.

 

Categories: 7 day nature photo challenge, garden, photos | Tags: , , , | 46 Comments

7 Days of Nature Photos : Day 6…

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I’m woken at 5-30 by the maniacal, cackling call of a kookaburra. Have you ever heard them?

I found this clip on You Tube

They have not been around for quite some time so I was pleased to hear them, really I was, but would prefer they did not wake me so early.

I peered out of the bedroom window. But it was too dark to see them, or take a photo.

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Just a slight tinge of pink on the horizon. So I went to the archives to find some other photos I’ve taken of these crazy looking Aussie birds.

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Look at that fearsome beak, they do not hesitate to capture and eat snakes.

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Here he is sitting on the deck rail hoping for a hand out.

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I’ve forgotten to top up the bird bath and this fellow looks a bit fed up about it.

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Finally this kookaburra was bathed in the beautiful golden glow of the rising sun.

After being woken up and deciding it was too early to get up, I went back to bed and listened to the dawn chorus. In the background I could hear the cacophony of cawing from the crows, the chattering of the lorikeets and countless chirping and cheeping of other unidentified birds. Then the clear sweet melody of the magpie rings out. A lovely way to greet the day.

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Gilly (Lucid Gypsy) nominated me for this 7 day challenge and I have enjoyed being part of it. Today I would like to invite Gwennie (Gwenniesworld) to join in. Gwennie is another very keen gardener and loves cactus and succulants, her posts are filled with beautiful photos of nature.

Categories: 7 day nature photo challenge, travel | Tags: , , , | 48 Comments

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