Tag Archives: roses

A month has passed ….

and so much has changed. We are back to the cold mornings but hot days. Mornings where you need the fire for about an hour or two but no longer. Which means you just put on a layer and cope. it won’t be long before 8am arrives and it is already short sleeves weather.

We have finally identified this wonderful mass of pink flowers as something called “Pig face”. It comes in a variety of colours including yellow, red, orange and pink.

By 8am it is too warm to be in the sun. It is already burning you (assuming it is not one of the days that starts off foggy of course). By 8:30am, the UV warning is already on red alert and will stay that way all day.

The lovely yellow rose that is usually a mass of tiny yellow flowers with the most amazing fragrance fell victim to one of those 4°C mornings and didn’t flower. It was may be one day off flowering. So we have taken advantage of this late frost and cut it all the way back leaving only a few main branches roughly 50 cm high. We’ve finally found its roots literally, and the main stem has a diameter of nearly 1 foot. It is very old.

The other roses (the camelia rose) are later and longer flowering, so whist they were in bud, they were not showing any colour and nowhere near flowering when we had that late frost only 10 days ago. Both of them, sorry, all 3 of them, are now in full flower and so laden with petals that they are bent double and touching the ground. When we get the chance, we will cut them back as far as possible as well.

The camelia roses are very well laden with flowers!

The same applies to the grapevine. It is a mass of buds and leaves and only this morning I have cut off all of the branches/stems that don’t have buds/grapes on them and those that do have been cut back to 1 leaf joint before the first bud/grapes. We are still trying to work out if we missed it flowering. If only the leaves removed were bigger, I would blanche them and preserve them to use in cooking!

The fushia was going to also get a ” hair cut” but we believe we have an Eastern Spinebill (nectar feeding bird) nesting in it, so it will have to wait until a better time.

The 5 chicks we got at the end of August are almost bigger than our smallest chickens. But it will be many months yet before they come to lay. It is hard to realise that they are still only less than 12 weeks old and with heritage breeds, they don’t normally start to lay until they are 40 weeks old! But that is one of the reasons that they lay for longer and live to between 8-12 years. Talking of which, one of our girls is now starting her 7th full season. We don’t know when she was hatched, but she came to us 4 years ago at the end of her breeding life. In other words, no longer of financial value to a breeder because she wasn’t laying enough quality eggs to hatch. She’s surprised us by getting through another winter as top chook, so she’s still strong enough to hold that spot in flock. But sadly we lost 2 chooks over winter. One came as no surprise but the other was.

It has also rained and rained and… flooded us out several times now. Well the garden has been standing water. Sadly this has mostly been in areas we didn’t want, such as the chicks’ enclosure.

Lake George has water!

We’re due more rain this weekend and into next week.

Finally, a surprise. Perhaps I should have left the cooking to Stuart around the time we moved out here over 4 years ago.

For the first time ever…

But he definitely needs a lot more practice. The burger was barely warm and ended up in the microwave. 2nd time around was not much warmer. However, it is the heat that has him out of the kitchen. He decided it was too warm to be cooking in there and summer has not even arrived yet.

A meal out. The starter is deep fried tofu.
A vegan stir fry with veg, tofu, cashew nuts and a blackbean and garlic sauce served over rice noodles.
A new (vegan) dish on the menu at another café we occasionally need to eat at.
Chickens playing dead… almost
The new chicks area. We’ve since had to move them out because it flooded and most of that area was standing water. Since this picture was taken, the full sunshade has had to go up and a naughty girl has been moved in permanently. She appears to be eating a lot of eggs and up in the main coop we can’t keep an eye on her. But since moving her out, the egg count has changed from 2-6 eggs a day to 9-10 eggs everyday. We frequently found her sitting in the nest boxes and often with her front covered in egg.

Prelude to Christmas

So we find ourselves on the downhill approach to Christmas and waiting for the weather to get hot, scrub that, hotter.

We’ve not had any rain sadly this Spring and that means everything is tinder dry and the fire season has been really bad. There’s a fire not far (3 miles) from our old home on the outskirts of Bungendore. Sadly the Talleganda National Park had been pretty much burnt to the ground. It has been confirmed that it was a lightning strike that started the fire. And that storm was largely a dry lightning storm. Something we seem to get a lot of here in Australia. Over 38,000 hectares have been burnt but that’s less than a third of what is on fire down the road at the coast where 90,000 hectares is on fire and not likely to be brought under control any time soon. Thankfully the Talleganda NP fire is being brought under control now by back burning. There simply is no water to use to put these fires out. But both of these fires combined don’t cover a quarter of what is on fire around Sydney where air quality is very badly affected.

We’ve had some eerie mornings where you can see the smoke approaching and as such end up with interesting sunrises in apricots and reds. The moon at night had also been affected and I’ve often seen it hazy red and even just opening the window blinds has produced the smokey smell despite the windows themselves still being closed. Needless too say this isn’t much fun because the weather is now very hot during the day and at night you want to open the doors and windows to cool down but you simply can’t. Everything has to remain locked up tight and you can’t get any fresh air. It’s been playing havoc with my asthma as well. Plus you can’t get the washing on the line to dry because of the smell of smoke in your clothes and bedding. Curiously, the smoke haze we are getting isn’t from the closest major fire either. It’s from the coastal fire 100km away.

Driving along Lake George can sometimes be quite eerie when you get smoke doing this.

Then quite suddenly you’ll drive out of it.

Spring came and went very quickly this year because of the dryness and total lack of rain. But the rose put on an amazing display as ever.

These images are all from the one rose bush. The flowers start off yellow and “fade’ to red as the day goes by.

We’ve also had excellent weather for something known as Sun Halos. The clouds in the upper stratosphere must be of a particular type and formation for the halo to form.

I just love watching the sky to see what will happen next. We’ve had a good many dust storms recently as well which have turned the sky brown and filled everything full of dust and dirt. Keeping the house clean is exceptionally hard work at the moment because of it.

We’ve had a few nice sunrises and sunsets as well but they haven’t been as good as early spring or winter gives. But they’ve been nice to see and watch before the day gets too hot.

Finally it is that time of year… advent calendars and Christmas tree hunting…

And chicks… let’s not forget those. The first brood have arrived, broods 2 & 3 are sitting and a 4th will start sitting on suitable eggs Sunday after record breaking temperatures have passed. Saturday is going to be officially very hot at 44°C, though Thursday is also trying hard 42°C and tomorrow and Friday forecast to be 40°C.