Saturday, 24 July 2010

Driving out past Garibaldi

Midwinter is well past. Days are silvery-grey with mist or quiet rain. We drove out past Garibaldi to see friends.

Through green paddocks full of sheep and magpies.

Along roads with kookaburras strung along the powerlines. The kookaburra pics did not work out, but here is the road.

I feel so peaceful travelling through this cool, damp countryside.

I made the pics very big, so if you click on them, you will find the whole photo to look at. I rather like having a bit more to discover in the images.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Psychidae case(ment) moths

Here's a link to a good site on these insects. Case moth makes more sense as a name, I  don't know why we called them casement moths when I was a kid . It's clear they are not just native to Australia, but the one in Grace's picture looks very like the ones I find everywhere I go at the right time of year.
If you can get hold of an empty case to play with you'll find the moth's silk is very tough, almost like silk and elastane in texture. Quite pleasant to touch.
Psychidae is a most elegant name for this moth family, and I shall use it for them from now on.


Grace at Windthread found a caterpillar in her garden that is a native here. It shouldn't be living on the other side of the Pacific ocean and in the opposite hemisphere. Here's one in my garden last year. How did its cousin get over to Grace's place?

I've always loved these little creatures who travel around in their camouflaged sleeping bags. I don't know if these Australian insects are desirable residents overseas, however, and I assume they hitchiked over to the USA with the eucalypts.

Here are some pics from the wonderful book Snugglepot and Cuddlepie written in Sydney in the 1920s and an Australian childhood staple ever since.
It struck me, looking at Alicia's summer reading list on Posie gets Cozy, that while Australians read the great books from the UK and the USA, very few people outside Australia know about the fantastic, marvellous books that get written and read here. Pity really.

If you watch the beastie for a while, Grace, you may see it poke out it's head and front legs and haul itself off to a gum tree - or a rose bush. They seem to like rose bushes as much as the old gum tree now. They are completely harmless to people. Don't know about rose bushes.

I took the pictures from my very old childhood copy of  The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, so the pages are torn and faded. I hope they worked out well enough.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


I was given this book, a retelling of  Longfellow's Hiawatha, when I was seven, and I adored it until I lost it, but I never forgot it.

I found this battered copy at the Clunes book weekend.

I feel just like this now - floating, waiting. Maybe something will surge up from the deep waters.

Monday, 19 July 2010


Lovely winter vegetables from Buninyong farmers market. Cauliflower, kale, parsley, parsnip carrots and walnuts, all grown locally, just around Mt Warrenheip.
Luxuries from Mildura from Larry and Monica's farm, mandarins, dried peaches from their  orchard and sultanas from a neighbour. 
In this mild and wet winter it's easy to ignore the continuing drought. Larry thinks his peach trees will be dead in two years.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Gathering bits

It's lovely walking now in the cold freshness of midwinter. I took the dogs for a slow circuit of Victoria Park.

Soft walking on the dirt tracks and puddles to look into or splash through.

We enjoyed every puddle.

Loreto College was all misty through the trees. What a pleasure to be too old to have to go to school. How lucky to be able to wander through the park instead.

I gathered lichens for dyeing cloths, a whole bagfull of branches and twigs broken off and tossed through the park by the squalls of wind over the last few days.

Now I just have to find a glass saucepan or two.

The dogs were so grateful to get home they curled up at once and have slept through the day.

Monday, 5 July 2010


I'd like to say that our kitchen is brim full of good taste, but it has a few quirks that Yin stoically puts up with.
I confess to being delighted by the nostalgic good cheer of 1950s and 60s Aussie kitsch. Look at this koala teacosy from Bendigo. Doesn't it just warm the cockles of your heart - even without any tea in the pot?

And what about these beaut little budgies from the Anglican Opshop in Sydney Road? Just waiting for a frame or a cushion.

Until recently I've had Aussie souvenir tablecloth curtains over two windows, and I've had a sheet up for two years over the third window, waiting, because these cloths have suddenly become too popular with people who cut them up and transform them into (possibly) more beautiful objects. They are really quite hard to find.
Knowing my weakness (but not actually sharing it) a good friend found me the third linen tablecloth, while cruising Benalla, to finish curtaining my kitchen windows.

So I'm pinning and tacking and hemming (but not measuring because I never do that).

I may show you the whole set when I've finished. I'm still looking for kookaburras, swans, kangaroos and assorted cockies, galahs and rosellas because there are more rooms and more windows in this house.
Not that I'm obsessed in any way.