Monday, September 30, 2019

Pardalote Box

Not long after we bought this land we put up a lot of birdboxes. This is a box designed for spotted pardalotes:
It is showing its age now, but as it's about 15 or 16 years old that's not surprising. There are plans for a similar box here: Birds in Backyards nest box plans. Their plan points out, "spotted pardalotes burrow into clay or soil banks...their nest box requires a tunnel-shaped entrance which can be fashioned from PVC piping."

The spotted pardalote is a tiny bird, as seen in this post from last year:

A couple of years after we put up all the boxes, we checked them to see if they had been used, and the pardalote boxes each contained a ball of eucalypt leaves. What was living in them was not pardalotes, but something much more amazing. Today we finally got to see the critters, thanks to the wildlife camera.

These pictures aren't super-clear because they are captures from a video, but this is what made those balls of gum leaves, and lives in them in small social groups:

Not a pardalote! A common but rarely-seen creature, especially since the One Cent coin was withdrawn from circulation in the early 1990s:

It's the feather-tailed glider, Acrobates pygmaeus.

Added later -

Here's what the balls of gum leaves look like:
Not my photo - I don't climb ladders!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Four Years

Yesterday was four years since we moved in to this house.

Here is the front yard the day we moved in:


And the front of the house in December 2015 because I didn't take one from this angle the day we moved in:

Obviously not quite the same spot I stood back then, but you can see a few changes.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Garden Joys

It is pretty good to be able to leave tulips in the ground and have them come up and flower again each year:
In front of the tulips, a dwarf bearded iris is flowering for the first time:
We bought four of these at Macedon garden lovers fair in 2017, and this year they are starting to take off. This is the first one to flower, and it has a few more buds coming.

Speaking of buds, look at these:
Wisteria flower buds! Last December I mentioned that the wisterias had reached the top of the pergola posts. They spread out along the pergola a bit during summer. And this year one of them is going to have flowers!

And in another part of the garden the crab apples have started blooming:
They do look pretty when they are in flower.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ditch Stitching

I haven't decided exactly how I will quilt my Bloom yet, but I have finished stitching the ditches around all the blocks and sashing:

It's a nice feeling to finish with only 25cms of thread left on the bobbin!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Zinnia Seeds

Collecting some seed from dried zinnia flowers:
Bowl at the bottom has the dried flowers, slightly crumbled. Finding the seeds involves scrunching the flower bits between your fingers feeling for the hard pieces. The container at the top right has bits that aren't seeds, and the one on the left has the seeds.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Tulip Time

Over the last day or so, tulips have popped open all over the garden.

This is the layered tulip pot from last year:
Only this time instead of all the top layer (pale pink) tulips appearing first, it was one of the second layer (pointy burgundy and white), which opened first.

In another corner of the garden, these purple-coloured ones are new this year:

These red ones appear in a few places, and have been in for a few years:

As have these red and yellow ones:
And I really can't crop out the fact that the weeds are shooting up as well!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Australian Dream

Another trip to Geelong, this time to the Pivotonian Cinema, to see this:
A moving documentary about race relations in this country. 

More details in this article from the ABC.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Basting Bloom

The Ballaarat Quilters Exhibition is only six weeks away, and I still have two quilts to baste and quilt. Today I got the largest one ready to quilt, Bloom:
I had thought I would get two basted today, but this one is so large I had to do it in four sections, and it took all my pins.
Now to the quilting!

Monday, September 16, 2019

More Stars

I guess I am making enough of these wonky stars for a donation quilt:

They seem to have multiplied, anyway.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Garden in September

It's spring, and it seems like everything in the garden is flowering. That means there are heaps of flower photos here, so just skip this post if that's not your thing!

Nectarine blossom:
This is in addition to all the other fruit trees already in blossom: the peaches, the plums, and the apricots.

Leucodendron "Safari Sunset":

Kangaroo paw:
That's a bit of a cheat because it is not actually open yet. But it's here just in case a cocky comes and chomps it before it opens!


Unknown salvia:


Many daffodils.

Grape hyacinths:


Spring stars:


More euphorbias:

Lorepetalum "Purple Prince":


Red hot pokers:
Can you see the yellow door on the house across the road? Our new neighbours have now moved in.

Viburnum tinus:
We planted a row of these to make a hedge around one part of the garden. However something pruned (ate) most of them just as the buds were forming. A couple escaped and have flowered this year, but they probably all need some protection if they are ever to get large enough to form a hedge.

There are also flowers on the pigface, the abutilons, the thryptomene, cyclamens, some of the succulents, the fuchsia, and some other bulbs such as the snowflakes, anemones, hyacinths and even some of the jonquils are still going.

And I nearly forgot the orchid in the greenhouse:
All four flower spikes are now open.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Wonky Stars

I really should be doing other things, but today I made these:
Made purely of small scraps, using a tutorial by Bonnie Hunter, which she published on her site as a pdf back in 2013. I have it saved on my computer, but I see that it is no longer on Bonnie's site. She must have taken it down when she published the Wonky Wishes pattern, which uses blocks made of 4 of these stars. But she still has the instructions for a similar block, Maverick Stars, available here.

They were easy to make, given that no fancy triangle sewing is involved. All these pieces came out of my scrap basket, so won't count towards my fabric usage for the year. Now that I have made 4 I need to decide if I will make enough to become a donation quilt. I've pinned them up to have a think about it.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Bright Spots

This camellia:
I've mentioned before that we have not had a lot of luck with camellias here so far. But this is the second one to flower this year. Last month I posted a picture of "Yuletide" just about to open, but I forgot to get a picture of it when it did. This one is "Volunteer", and it has two open flowers and several more big fat buds.

Daffodils lining the path to the arbour:
These were the ones planted with the "garden auger" drill bit in early June.