Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Practical or Pretentious

As we will probably be spending another year in 'Ourgunyah' some more improvements are called for.
We have lovely chocolate soil here, courtesy of an ancient volcano. The lava has been eroded and laid down as alluvial mudstone deposits. The soil is really rich - just add water and you can grow fence posts BUT. . .
The deposit is really really fine and makes dust, more a fine powder and it gets everywhere.The cars stir it up, the wind blows it around and the Kelpie Express suck it behind them in a Mach2 vortex as they tear in an out.
Now that our creek has almost stopped flowing, banks of river sand are exposed each side of the causeway.
Jim collected a couple of trailer loads and spread them on the ground around 'Ourgunyah'
This seems to have reduced the windblown dust greatly. But living at ground level, when it rains, the dust becomes mud.

So on the weekend we built (from stuff other people would throw out)this.

A timber deck! It is lovely to sit on a level surface, with a table that doesn't wobble.
Then we made a .....

Fenced area for the dogs, which means we can leave them safe and sound when we go out.

So, who's up for a 'deck warming' party?

Monday, August 22, 2011

One Whole Year

Twelve months ago to the day, the sun came up and shone in exactly the same place, just as it has this morning.
That long-ago morning was filled with left over stress, tension and wondering what the future held and if we had made the correct decision. The daunting task of making something comfortable to live in and what the outcome of the legal problem would be.

What a difference a year has made.
This morning was relaxed, calm and moved with the rhythm our life has developed during the passage of time. 
A cup of tea/coffee, walk the dogs, admire the blue of the mountains from the ridge road, or, walk the steep road to the creek and stand in awe in the deep mystery of our own patch of rainforest. The delight of watching a pair of Red-tailed Black Cockatoos in the wattles, following the drag marks in the dust made by the tails of last night's wallabies. A leisurely breakfast and watering the vegies.

Do I miss my 'old life'? Sure. I miss having my family close, I miss the support and friendship of a wonderful, dedicated band of wildlife rehabilitators, I miss shopping and a the aroma and taste of a good cappuchino when ever I want.

The legal situation has been resolved - cost us a lot of money, so the house we planned to build has been through the razor gang department buy have managed to keep the character. 
We are now waiting for our son to finalise his finances so the sale of our old house can be completed.
Then our life rhythm will change again. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Daft about Doves

We call these the 'Sorcerer's Apprentice' birds, Bar-Shouldered Doves.
They come out of the bush in single file, rather like Walt Disney's cartoon broom sticks. (All we need is the sound track.) And like the broom sticks, they just keep coming, sometimes up to 30 birds, and scour the ground around the aviaries for dropped seed.
They are very shy and melt back into the bush at the slightest movement.
The males take the opportunity to court the ladies with lots of tail fanning and calling.
Listen HERE

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chuffed about Choughs

Every day we are provided with free entertainment by 2 groups of White-Winged Choughs. Whata HOOT! 
With their long curved and very mobile tails, they're kinda like those dipping birds that sit on the edge of a drinking glass.
The adults have red eyes and they live in groups of around 10. Our groups are 'Legs Eleven' and 'The Dirty Dozen'. Their feeding pattern is to march along in line all abreast turning over the leaf litter. They build mud nests and cooperate in laying, incubation and raising the chicks.
Choughs (pronounced 'chuff') are very gregarious with lots of playing with each other and inanimate objects and call constantly right outside our door!
Listen to their calls HERE 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Terrible Trivia

Today I mulched the vegie patch. 
What? you were expecting something more exciting? I did warn you the title said it all!
But I digress.
There is something about breaking open a new pack of finely shredded cane trash that smells sweetly of molasses and diving your hands into the golden brown texture.
The patch is so massive it took me ohhhhh about 20 minutes to finish and I must admit, it now looks much more loved.
 Here is a bean flower. (we know what it's bean but what is it now boom! BOOM!)
And a newly 'hatched' baby bean
The peas are covered with snow white flowers and the pods should be be starting to pop out anytime.
I feel that I may have have planted to broccoli too late, but we may score some, provided the @$%# grasshoppers leave them alone.

 This year I planted cherry tomatoes. So far so good. Last year they just rolled their eyes and turned up their toes with all the rain. Also have a few 'ferals' from the compost bin spring up. Will probably be hip deep in 'matos this year. Checking under the wee furry hats for the start of the tiny green fruit.
Weather is starting to warm up here and the Southern Oscillation Index has jumped. I have the feeling we are in for another wet summer. Hopefully not as devastating and extreme as last year. Mind you, a nice 25mm of rain would be very welcome.