Thursday, 30 April 2009

Hay, worms, happiness

We drove the trailer right out of Ballarat and halfway to Daylesford to get twelve bales of hay for my garden. We didn't really have to drive so far but it was lovely to travel out of town.

The next day at the Farmers Market I bought a worm farm. I know that worm farms can be put together out of anything lying around, and I'll make a big, sit-on -the-ground, out-doors one in spring, but this is an odour-less, recycled, Aussie -made marvel.

And I can keep it in the bath. (We only shower now because filling a bath for each person is too wasteful). It's too cold here in winter for worms in a thin container, and we won't want to carry food scraps outside in freezing, sleety weather.

It will look uncouth, unchic and not pretty, but my bathroom is as much storage and work room as bathing place.

Paints, pastels, glue, etc are all to be found by the bath anyway, so what's a worm farm or two ? Yes, I plan to have more!

Here is the first delivery of worm food, which my team of one thousand will be turning into soil and worm tea over the winter.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Autumn walk


I went for a walk down this intriguing hilly street, enjoying the gentle autumn sun.

When I came to this old house where someone had been up on a ladder fixing the roof.

He'd painted all the old lace ironwork silver, and was cleaning the red paint off the corrugated iron roof.

He must have just gone in for lunch. The whole street was quiet, no one around as I took these photos.

I fantasised about living there and lighting a fire in the fireplace under that ornate brick chimney as the nights got cool.

Then I crossed the little walkway across the bluestone gutter made for winter rains that haven't fallen the last few years.

All the gutters in this town are are full of dry leaves.

Across the road was an even older, more magical house of bluestone and brick, and I wanted to live in that one too for a while.

I'd like to have a study on the second floor looking out over the town and the hills beyond.

I walked down and round the corner, and along some back fences.

Finally I saw someone else out enjoying the day.

He'd been cleaning his gutters or painting his roof too, but had found a better way to spend this gorgeous day.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Summer's going

Today the rainbow lorrikeets have gone with the last fruit, leaving a thankyou note behind.

I've found a couple of new visitors. This one surprised me, I hadn't noticed her before, yet she's huge - as big as my hand when she stretches her legs out. She seems very exposed, sitting in her web stretched out in the open between two bushes, a feast for any hungry bird, yet her web has lasted a week now.

This last visitor, a casement moth grub, has crawled down from the gum tree in the front garden - the twigs on its travelling home are most distinctive - and is living next to the letter box. It cheers me up every morning, reminding me of adventurous Gumnuts and evil Banksia men.

All this coming and going is a sure sign that autumn is here.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Just flowers

The last of the Easter lilies. The've been opening out all week and filling the house with fragrance.

Eggs and Flowers

Jake painted the violets on this egg when he was six. That was the last Easter my mum was able to share with us.
This egg always reminds me of her. She taught me to paint eggs, cook cakes and to create fiendishly tricky easter egg hunts, and she loved violets.

Usually this is the time of year when violets start to flower, but it's been an extraordinarily dry April and I could only find one violet in the garden.

Easter Week

Easter was very welcome this year. We are secular celebrants and Easter is a family get-together for us. Both boys came home and cleaned gutters of autumn leaves, cut up prunings and took them to friends with open fires, fixed the letterbox and generally helped out.

Their rewards were hot cross buns - strictly Good Friday only, chocolate eggs in a nest of rose flavoured fairy floss and the chocolate animals that they still look forward to even though we are all too old for the early morning easter egg hunt. We've always liked to hunt for chocolate wombats, koalas and bilbies as well as bunnies.

For the first time since the boys were old enough to dribble watercolours from a brush, no one had time to paint or decorate eggs. I put out some baskets of our old eggs, but I missed this part of Easter. We used to have egg painting parties on our front porch and have enough eggs to hang on a tree as well as fill bowls and baskets.