Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Another Leaf, Another Quilt

The leaf I posted about on Saturday has grown:
And now it looks like two leaves.

But look what I found this morning:
Another leaf! This one is from a plant with large flowers that look blue in my photo, but may have been more of a purple colour?

This afternoon I finished quilting another of the charity quilts:

Number sixteen done! Zooming in on the quilting:
I didn't get fancy with this one, just big diagonal squiggles.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Morning Tea with the Birds

We had our first frost of this winter today, with the temperature falling to -1:
It is surprisingly late for the first frost.

After breakfast we drove to Geelong. We made a few purchases at the Friends of the Botanic Gardens winter plant sale, then had morning tea at the kiosk in the gardens.

There are signs around the kiosk asking people not to feed the birds, but the kiosk staff are not very fast at clearing tables, so this happens:
Probably a Little Raven, Corvus mellori, but who can tell the various species of raven apart? There wasn't much in the way of food left on that table, but the raven spent some time shredding paper serviettes before it was joined by a red wattlebird, Anthochaera carunculata:
The wattlebird didn't find much of interest at that table, so came over to ours to see if we had anything good:
It got very close to my food while I was messing round trying to take photos.

The raven hit the jackpot on an adjacent table:
A couple of left-over scones with jam and cream.

It was slurping up cream when we left:
If the gardens really want people not to feed the birds, perhaps they need to ask people to bring their plates back inside when they have finished, or the staff need to be much quicker about clearing the tables.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

A leaf?

A couple of days ago I noticed a tiny green bump appearing at the base of one of my African violet leaf cuttings. It is very hard to photograph, as the camera doesn't want to focus on it:
However, it seems to be a little larger each time I look at it, and now I'm sure it is a leaf developing. If so, it should get easier to photograph as it grows.

This leaf is the one at the bottom right of this photo from May:
One of the two with a dark red flower. The other from this plant has had a root appear above the surface, as have the two at the bottom left in this photo, so it seems at least 4 of them have taken. But the first leaf is pretty exciting!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Finished quilting the fifteenth charity quilt:
These tops I am quilting are the results of a charity sewing day I arranged last year. I volunteered to quilt all the tops that were made. Fifteen so far, and several more to come.

Back view so you can see the quilting more clearly:

Saturday, July 20, 2019


More than half of our wind turbines are operating now, so this morning we took a drive to see how loud they are when you are close to them.
This one is well away from traffic noise, but close to a back road. That means you can get quite close to hear just what noise it makes. The blades made quite a "whoosh" as they turned. However, the wind was blowing so hard that the noise of it rushing across your ears and through the nearby trees was the dominant sound.

Since our waterfall trip two weeks ago, we have had some rain every day. I'm sure all those falls look much more impressive now. We popped in to check out Lal Lal Falls, which is flowing well:
You would probably have to visit at about sunrise to see it without the shadows.

The cool wind was bracing, but it was good to get lungfulls of fresh air. It definitely blew out the cobwebs! The dogs enjoyed a run around too. Check out Dot's ears in the wind:

Thursday, July 18, 2019


It is a few months since I did any quilting, so to get myself back into practice I will work on some of the charity quilt tops that have been sitting round in my sewing room for too long.

Today I got a couple of them basted:

Both these tops have been waiting for me to quilt them since April last year, so it really is time I got them out the door.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Garden in July

Winter this year has been milder than previous ones (so far). We have not had any frost yet, so a few autumn-flowering plants are still flowering. There are lots of winter flowers, and the beginnings of spring as well. Warning - That all adds up to a lot of flower photos!

The tree dahlia is just about finished, but at least this year it is finishing naturally, not because the frost destroyed it:

Salvias have usually been knocked down by frost before now, but they are still going strong.
And even the red one is flowering again after having been stripped by crimson rosellas last month.

The white Japanese wind-flower still has lots of buds to open,
but I have given up on the pink one flowering this year. No sign of a bud anywhere.

Plants normally in flower at this time of year include the bergenia:

Flowering quinces (Chaenomeles), pink
 and red

Red hot pokers:


Correa "dusky bells":

A grevillea I couldn't find the tag on:


Senecio blue chalk sticks:
Other plants currently flowering include lavender, rosemary, abutilons and euphorbias.

I thought the cyclamen wasn't going to flower this year, but under the leaves the flowers are almost ready to open:

The first flowers are appearing in the orchard. This is the catkin, or male flower, of a hazelnut:
 The female flower is very hard to photograph. It is a tiny red tuft:
I hope this means we will have some home-grown hazelnuts!

Jonquils, yellow
 and white:
are signs that spring is coming. But the ultimate sign of spring is this:
A little spot of pink which is my newest peony, "Lady Bird" beginning to emerge.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Morning Visitor

This large male kangaroo spent an hour or so this morning eating grass out the front of our house.
He looked at me when I went outside to take this photo, then went back to the grass. However he hopped off when we took the car out.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Temperature Top

The third quilt top completed in four days, and another dash out to the clothesline between wind and rain to get a photo.
The real colours are probably somewhere between the slightly bleached out version above, and the shadowed one below.
Now I really have to start doing some quilting.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Bloom Top

Borders on, ready for the next step:
Actually sewn yesterday, but it was too dark to get a photo by the time I finished. I was lucky to get a little bit of weak sunshine this morning. The whole quilt looks brighter in real life than it does in photos though.

I picked this border fabric up at Spotlight last week. It had been originally $25/m, but was on the clearance table for $10. However that day all the clearance fabrics were marked down to $5/m, so I grabbed this one and bought everything left on the bolt.

Thursday, July 11, 2019


Yesterday I finished assembling my cut-down "Sew Many Strips" quilt, but I didn't get the chance to photograph it until this afternoon. I dashed out between the wind and rain squalls and managed to get this shot:

Today was a sewing day with a few friends. I took along my Bloom with a couple of border fabric options, and we spread them out to see how they looked. Once I'd seen the options it was obvious what I needed to do, so I hope to have the borders on that quilt very soon.

The heading for my temperature quilt, which I started over a month ago, is just missing one "Lal" after today's sewing:
Hard to see the details in this poor lighting, but I think it will be more readable on the actual quilt.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Four Falls

Our July field trip was to visit five waterfalls. All the falls were created by lava flows in our volcanic past, and each features basalt columns. We made it to four falls before heavy rain made walking around outside a bit less pleasant. We will have to visit the fifth another day.

The first stop was Corinella Falls, near Eganstown. The internet doesn't seem to know much about this waterfall, but I did find this mention, and this photo which is much better than mine. The falls are a bit of a walk from the road. Getting there involves walking through a cemetery, climbing through a barbed wire fence, walking through some bush,
then around a large expensive-looking house in the middle of nowhere.
The falls are in front of this house.

Creek leading to the falls:
 Actual water falling:
There wasn't a lot, and you have to look hard to see it. You probably get a better view from below (as did the photographer who I linked to above). But it was a lovely walk.

I didn't know mistletoe grew on acacias, but can you see the lighter grey patches in this tree?
There are about five mistletoes visible in this tree. Here's the mistletoe flower, nothing like the yellow balls you would expect to see on an acacia:
 Grey mistletoe, Amyema quandang.

Have you ever seen a grave and wished you had known the person whose grave it is?
Amongst all the grey slabs in the cemetery was this grave decorated with painted pebbles and possibly a little birdbath. The headstone has the name, dates of birth and death, and the song title, "What a wonderful world".

Our second waterfall was Dyer's Falls at Glenlyon. This time we had to cross an electric fence, then walk through a rock- and cowpat-strewn paddock to reach the falls.

The creek at the top of the falls:
Intrepid photographers for scale:
But not a lot of water was falling, and it is very hard to see from the top because of the trees and the general lie of the land:
There really is water falling in the centre of that picture! Very difficult to see. However you can see a much better photo here of the falls with more water, and taken from the bottom rather than the top.

Our third waterfall was Loddon Falls, also at Glenlyon. This time there were no barriers to overcome. The falls are a short walk from an actual carpark, and there is even a sign explaining them:

I can empathise with the locals about wallabies destroying their re-vegetation efforts!

Tree growing out of those basalt columns:
 The actual falls:

After lunch at the Glenlyon Recreation Reserve we headed to the fourth waterfall of the day, Trentham Falls. The forecast rain was just beginning as we arrived. The carpark was full and despite the rain there were many people at the falls.

Now that is a waterfall:
That's a 32m drop if you want some idea of scale.

The rain became quite heavy as we got back to the car. Some of our fellow adventurers were proceeding to the fifth falls, but we decided to save Sailors Falls for another day.