Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Dog on my Back

This afternoon we visited a neighbour and this happened:
I ended up with a terrified Dot on my back. I'm not sure exactly how she climbed onto my back, but once she was there I couldn't stand up straight as I was afraid she would fall. And what was so scary? Follow her eyes in this photo:
A bouncy golden retriever named Ruby, who just wanted to play!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Colourful Week

Here are a few touches of colour around the garden.

 More tulips:

There are buds on both my birthday trees. Flower buds on the redbud Cercis canadensis "Lavender Twist": 
And leaf buds on the Japanese maple, Acer palmatum, "Osakazuki":
Both look like they will be open very soon. The other two trees in the charbagh, a lilac and a crabapple, already have leaves and are preparing to flower.

Our temperatures have resulted in a colourful rosette for week 18:

Last week I was excited about yellow, but this week we have orange! And only three aqua/teal days, rather than the five that the forecast last Friday predicted.

29/09/2017    15.6    green
28/09/2017    13.9    aqua/teal
27/09/2017    20.1    yellow
26/09/2017    15.6    green
25/09/2017    10.6    aqua/teal
24/09/2017    13.8    aqua/teal
23/09/2017    26.7    orange

It's not easy to select a thread for assembling the rosette with all these different colours in it. Appliquéing it will be similarly tricky!

Next week may include 2 aqua, 3 green and 2 yellow hexies. But then again, it may not. Either way, I'm sure the garden will include lots of colour to delight my heart.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Gifts from Friends

Today I went into Melbourne to meet up with some quilting friends, and came home with a couple of goodies:

The catalogue because Ikea don't deliver them way out here in the sticks. Last month after my quilting meeting I went to Ikea to get one, and they didn't have any in the store, either. So thank you to the quilting friend who brought one along for me today.

The marmalade (yum!) was because of a comment I made on the maker's blog when she spent a busy day producing 22 jars of it. Now she will only have to eat 21 jars!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Old and the New

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that my Kobo had stopped working, and then that it had been revived. Unfortunately the revival didn't last. My Kobo was dead.

Yesterday its replacement arrived:
Old Kobo on the left, new Kobo on the right. Fortunately it fits in the cover I made for the original one, although with a bit of room to spare. It has a few fancier features than the original, like a touch screen and a light for night reading. Here's hoping for years of eReading ahead!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Colour and Science

A touch of garden colour:
It is exciting to see the garden get going as spring warms up.

While out walking today we came across two echidnas!

The first was busily digging for ants under trees, although it hid when we got close:

The second was crossing the road a couple of hundred metres ahead of us, so getting a photo involved a bit of running to catch up with it. By the time we got close it had dug itself into the ground:
When I posted a previous echidna sighting earlier this month, a reader sent me details of a citizen science project she thought I might be interested in, Echidna CSI. I was interested! So I registered my earlier sighting on the project's website straight away. Today these two were were registered using the Echinda CSI app.

Monday, September 25, 2017


Our recent warm weather has brought out the first butterflies and dragonflies, flittering and zooming around the garden.  But today's cooler weather left this dragonfly unable to zoom:
It was on the outside of the loungeroom screen door when I woke up, and stayed there for several hours before the sun hit it and warmed it up enough for it to fly away.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Not a New Project

Some more beautiful tulips opening this morning:
 Anticipating the colour hexagon I needed to make today for my temperature quilt.

A couple of days ago I discovered that I need to make a small quilt to be displayed in a hoop at our quilt show in November. I began working on a design idea for it, but then remembered a project languishing in my sewing box. (Details of pattern and designer at that linked post.) After some quick calculations of the area of pieces already made, and the area of a circle, my decision was made. Today at our Sit & Sew day, I started putting it all together:

A few pieces towards the top of this picture are stitched together, but getting the rest of them done will keep me busy for a few more sewing days. Then I will need to make more pieces to fill the hoop, but it won't be as much work as starting a completely new project. Plus I will get this one crossed off my list of unfinished projects.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Week Seventeen - Yellow!

Before this week I have had only 5 days where the top temperature reached the "green" zone (15.1 - 20.0). Just weeks and weeks and weeks of blue (5.1 - 10.0) and aqua (10.1 - 15.0). Mainly aqua. But look what just happened:

22/09/2017    22.8    yellow
21/09/2017    20.7    yellow
20/09/2017    15.7    green
19/09/2017    10.1    aqua/teal
18/09/2017    17.8    green
17/09/2017    14.3    aqua/teal
16/09/2017    10.3    aqua/teal

I think spring has arrived!

Here's all my weeks so far:

Those yellows are a bit sudden. But I shouldn't get too excited, as the forecast for the coming week includes more aqua. Five days of it.

Linked to Sarah's Weekly Weather Report.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Garden Tidy-Up

The garden beds at the front of the house are looking a bit overgrown in places, and undergrown in others. Overgrown because some things which should have been cut back last spring weren't, and bare because plants which lost their leaves in the frosts have been left as bare sticks:
Western end of the garden bed this morning - all you can really see is the large overgrown scented geranium, and bare salvia branches. I hadn't trimmed back the salvias in case there was another frost. There is lots of new growth at the base of each plant.

The same bed later this afternoon:
Minus a lot of the geranium, all the bare salvia branches, and a few dead or scraggly branches of other plants. It looks much neater, and now several hidden plants can be seen. Tomorrow I will tackle the eastern end.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Grand Day Out

Yesterday a neighbour mentioned that the next couple of weeks are the school holidays. I never know these days! But it reminded me that if I wanted to see Wallace and Gromit and Friends at ACMI, this week might be the best time to do it. I imagine it is something a lot of people might take their kids to in the holidays.

I really enjoyed the exhibition. There are all sorts of sketches, models, storyboards and videos, which were all very interesting, but my favourites were the actual sets.
There are quite a few, from various films. The detail in them is amazing.
Some are quite dark, so couldn't easily be photographed without flash, but these shots are of some of the more brightly-lit ones.
By resting my camera against the glass covering, I could steady it enough to take almost clear pictures without the flash. Not as good as seeing them in real life though!

Now I feel the need to re-watch the films. I think there are a couple of DVDs still packed away in a box in the shed somewhere. Maybe it is time to takle the remaining boxes two years after we moved in.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

One Minute More

It is not the equinox for a few more days, but look at the sunrise and sunset times on the weather station today:
I don't know exactly how that works, but today we apparently had 12 hours and 1 minute of day, and 11 hours and 59 minutes of night. What will we get on the equinox, then?

Monday, September 18, 2017

Spring Growth

An actual tulip!
First one! And grown without having to spend time in the fridge. Yes, winter is cold enough for tulips here. There are lots more to come (minus a few that the cockatoos got to) planted in groups around the garden, but this was just a single bulb. The colour is quite gorgeous. The camera really has not done it justice.

There are a couple of clumps of these covered in buds. This is the first one to open.

There are a few clumps of these, too. Lots of colour still to come.

This one is not outside:
It's a nasturtium seedling. I've planted a couple of hanging baskets with trailing nasturtiums, but because there is still a high chance of frost the baskets are in the greenhouse for now.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Walk Fun

Scenes from a long walk today.

There's a lot of water lying around.
And lots of frogs. You don't see them, but you can hear them constantly.

Jack and Dot digging for something:

Jack lost interest quickly, but Dot is a persistent little digger.

Later on the walk Jack found a squeaky ball, which he carried all the way home:
Although once we got home and Dot got hold of it, it didn't squeak any more.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Native Orchids

Early this morning:
Greenhood orchids. Probably the nodding greenhood, Pterostylis nutans.

I was actually looking for the koala, but I couldn't spot it. However I think it was still up the same tree, as amongst the orchids there was a lot of this:
Fresh koala dropping.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Overcoming Annoyances

After I posted last night, Graeme managed to get my Kobo working again, and now I can read the last few chapters of my current book. And future books. Hooray!

Cockies may have chomped through some of our daffodils, but it is nice to have some in the house to enjoy:

Today I went back to Geelong to collect my quilting machine, and its service cost $50 less than I'd been quoted. So that goes some way towards paying for my shiny new windscreen!

The roses and a few other shrubs now have a bit of extra protection:
Because this morning the cockies attacked tulips, daylilies, and various other new growth.

But I still love to see all the wildlife we get here. Late this afternoon as we were walking around our block, the dogs could smell something they found very interesting. It wasn't an echidna this time:

I think the koala must have just arrived at this tree, as the dogs were sniffing the ground around it. The koala was still climbing when we saw it. I had to run back to the house for my camera to try and get photos before it got too high up:
Look at those koala claws!

Week Sixteen

In one respect week sixteen turned out just the way it was forecast; two green days and five aqua ones. But the actual temperatures each day were lower than forecast, so we just barely missed a couple of blue days:

15/09/2017   14.9    aqua/teal
14/09/2017   10.8    aqua/teal
13/09/2017   10.4    aqua/teal
12/09/2017   16.8    green
11/09/2017   16.6    green
10/09/2017   12.9    aqua/teal
9/09/2017     11.6    aqua/teal

Because there is no forecast for our town I look at the forecast for Ballarat, which is a bit over 20km away. What we experience is often a bit different to Ballarat's weather. Their forecast for the coming week looks interesting at the moment, though: three aqua days, three green days, and a yellow day!

Linked to Sarah's Weekly Weather report.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


Yesterday I drove my Sweet16 to Geelong to be serviced. On my way my windscreen was hit by a stone thrown by a passing truck. There was a loud "bang", but I was relieved that I couldn't see any damage. However as I kept driving, a crack started growing up the windscreen. It was about 45cm long by the time I got to Geelong. So this morning I've had a new windscreen fitted.

Last night as I was going to bed my Kobo refused to start up.
It hangs at this start-up screen. Now it is eReading: no time, no place. Seven years and 9 days after it was given to me, the Kobo is no more. I didn't know I needed one when I got it, but it has been fantastic over the years. I've read 58 of the 100 free books that came pre-loaded on it, and lots of others over the years. I am/was 80% of the way through my current read, so will have to find an alternate way of reading it. None of the libraries that make up the Central Highlands Library conglomerate have a copy.

Crimson rosellas have done this to several of the roses:
New spring growth snipped off. The electric fence around the garden has stopped wallabies eating the roses, but it can't protect them from flying critters.

This morning, several cockatoos were wandering around in the same garden bed, doing this:
Snipping leaves off the lamb's ears. I don't think they were eating the leaves, although when I went outside one cocky flew off with a piece it had snipped:
Hard to see in the photo, but it is holding the piece of lamb's ear in its left foot. It sat up there thinking about the situation for a while, then dropped the lamb's ear before flying away with its friends.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Weekly Weather

For the last couple of days every time I've gone outside it has started to rain. Today we went to see Lal Lal Falls to see how much water was falling:

It looks pretty impressive, but nothing like the amount of water there was last September.

Here's week fifteen of my year quilt:
And here's the data, more winter than spring:
8/09/2017     8.9   blue
7/09/2017   10.9   aqua/teal
6/09/2017   10.7   aqua/teal
5/09/2017    8.2    blue
4/09/2017    9.2    blue
3/09/2017   13.4   aqua/teal
2/09/2017   17.1   green

The forecast for the next week includes two potential green days and five aqua ones. No blue! We'll see. If you are not sure what this is about, here is the post where I explain the concept.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Nectarine Blossom

We've had snow and hail and cold cold days, but the garden knows it is spring:

Monday, September 4, 2017

No UFOs for September

Judy has chosen number 4 as the UFO for September. For me that would be Easy Street:

Easy Street is a top. I have purchased the batting for it, and have backing fabric which needs to be sewn together. However, I know I am not going to work on this quilt this month, so I think at this point I am dropping the pretence that I'm participating in the UFO challenge!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

What the Dogs Saw

What did Jack and Dot spot when we were out for a walk this afternoon?
Whatever it was, they really wanted a chance to get close to it.
However that probably would not have been a good idea:
I've been pronged by an echidna and it doesn't tickle. Although the tetanus needle I had to have afterwards probably hurt more.

Saturday, September 2, 2017


Compare these two photos:

The top one was taken on the 3rd of September two years ago. The lower one is today. Of course the sunshine helps, but it is nice to remind myself that the garden was a sea of mud just two years ago.

Daffodil-eye view:
The new arbour is hiding in the trees at the top right of the photo.