Sunday, September 27, 2020

Day Trip

Today we took a trip to the country to celebrate a family birthday. Meeting inside houses is still banned, so we had lunch outside. Fortunately it was a fine day, if cool (I was wearing a beanie, scarf and jacket), although I still managed to get sunburnt!

Before setting off to the lunch appointment, we made a quick trip to Lal Lal Falls to look for things we could add to the iNaturalist Southern Hemisphere BioBlitz. I think it is the first time I have visited the falls early enough in the day for the sun to be shining on them:

We found a few interesting things for our observations, including this kangaroo:


On our drive later we went past a lake with hundreds of swans:

Although that observation went into another group's tally, as we were beyond the boundaries of our group by then.

I hope by Christmas the people who live in Melbourne will be able to join us. This is the third time this family have been able to get together this year, but each time half of them have been unable to attend as they live in Melbourne. 


On the other hand, next weekend is my mother's birthday, and we aren't able to visit her at all. Her nursing home has started allowing visits again, but only one person can visit (not one at a time, just one person ever), and it can only be on a weekday. So my father is able to visit Mum a couple of times a week, but the best we will be able to do for her 92nd birthday is to telephone her from out in the street, and wave through the window.

Friday, September 25, 2020


 Well this was unexpected

not normal weather for late September

apparently it was the coldest September day in this part of the world for over 50 years.

 It was also the first day of the Great Southern Hemisphere Bioblitz on iNaturalist. Areas all over Africa, South America and Australia are competing to add as many observations as possible between 25th and 28th September.

The snow (and the freezing temperatures) meant finding insects, birds, or even plants to photograph wasn't possible for several hours in the middle of the day.

Some people found other ways to amuse themselves though:

Monday, September 21, 2020


The tulips that the postoffice misplaced for a few weeks, which it seems I last posted about in August when they started appearing above the soil, now look like this:

Beautiful stripy blooms! The variety is "Claudia". 

Only two of the six bulbs have flowered; the others started to form buds, but they didn't develop properly. I don't know if that was something to do with them being at the postoffice when they should have been in the ground settling in for winter, or what. Several of the bulbs had started sprouting when they arrived here, and maybe they are the ones that didn't flower? I don't know, but these two flowers are lovely. And maybe next year there will be even more of them to enjoy.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Sixty-four Blocks

Today I made the last of the Trail Mix blocks, so now I need to finalise my arrangement so I can sew them together. Looking at a photo might help me see where blocks need to be moved around to balance the layout.

I have an 8 x 8 layout, but I can't get a photo of the whole thing. My design board is only wide enough for 7 blocks, which is why the ones down the left hand side are all hanging wonkily here:

And only 7 rows can be seen, as the cutting table gets in the way of the bottom row.

If I stand off to one side I can see all the rows, but I cut off a lot of the top row:

Anyway, that's where I'm up to. Do I move things around, or just sew them together the way they are?

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Morning Surprise

At about 6:30 this morning, just before the sun peeped over the horizon, I looked out the kitchen window and saw something moving. An echidna! I grabbed my camera and headed out (still in my nightwear) to try to capture the moment:

The photos aren't great, due to the low light and the fast movement.
But it is always exciting to see some wildlife in the wild!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Taking Advantage

As of midnight last night, regional Victoria moved to Step 3 on the state's "Roadmap to Covid Normal". Various restrictions have been lifted, most particularly we can now take a drive and meet up (outside) with a up to 10 people. The weather forecast for today was not promising but we jumped in the car anyway and drove to the beach, to meet up with a couple of family members who also live in regional Victoria. (Sorry Melbourne friends.)

We bought some take-away lunch, and sat in a small park to eat it. I didn't get a picture of that, I was shivering too much! The wind felt like it was blowing straight from Antarctica, but fortunately there wasn't any rain. After eating we went down to see the actual beach, just long enough to take a couple of photos, then run back to the car!

Not many people on that part of the beach.

Or this bit:

Or this bit:

Victorians may recognise this as Anglesea beach. But with no-one on the beach, and no surfers or swimmers in the water, it is not the normal view of Anglesea.

According to media reports, we weren't the only regional Victorians who hit the road today. Regional Victorians emerge from the shadow of pandemic restrictions   But maybe most people chose warmer destinations!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Garden in September (Part Two)

 Here's the rest of the things flowering at the moment, now that the camera battery is re-charged.


Red tulips:

One I missed in the vege garden yesterday, the blueberries:

And some chives, with what looks like a bonus little spider:


In the native garden we have this grevillea that I still haven't found the label of:

And this acacia that I should know the name of:

Along the driveway, this daisy bush is very popular with butterflies, hoverflies, and all sorts of tiny insects:

The melianthus will be popular with wattlebirds, but the flowers are only just at the beginning of opening at the moment:

The red hot pokers are feeding the wattlebirds at the moment, but I obviously forgot to take a photo of any of them.

Another daisy bush which attracts various small insects:

Treasure flowers, with bonus Australian painted lady butterfly:

The first of the garden geraniums to flower:

And some grape hyacinths still going:

I know I missed a few things, including snowflakes, freesias, leucodendrons, and maybe others. But I also noticed a few things in bud which will probably appear in future posts as they open.

Last one - a wildflower I noticed while we were out walking this afternoon. Not in our garden, or on our block, unfortunately. 

Pink bells, Tetratheca ciliata.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Garden in September (Part One)

I was at work this morning, so by the time I took the photos this afternoon the sun was not at a great angle. And then half way round the garden, my camera battery went flat. So here is the first half of  what's in flower at the moment.

Starting in the back yard, with the appropriately named spring stars:





Flowering quince:

Out the front of the house, the most striking thing at the moment is the first lot of tulips in a large pot with three different varieties in it:

The thryptomene is covered in flowers, but I didn't manage to get a decent photo of it. The lavender and rosemary are also in flower, but then, they nearly always are.

Lots of the magenta pigface is flowering, but the blooms were closing by the time I was out taking photos. So here's a yellow one which still had a bit of sun on it:




Californian poppy:

The blue stuff in the background is borage, which is flowering profusely.

Viburnum tinus:

Euphorbia (one of several different varieties):

Also in this area the abutilons have a few flowers, but they get their photos taken every month!
In the vege garden, strawberries promising some sweetness to come:

In the orchard, the peaches

and the nashi pears have started to bloom.


This hellebore did not flower at all last year, but it is doing a great job this time:

And then my camera told me that the battery was exhausted! So it is now charging up and the rest of the garden will have to wait until tomorrow.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Sad Sign

Seen along the way on a long walk today:

I don't know how long this sign has been in place. It is very faded. But anyone familiar with our native vegetation will know that most of the visible vegetation behind it a weed. Whatever threatened species are present, it seems they are in the process of being overwhelmed by gorse.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Another Week

Somehow another week has gone by without a blog post. The days blend into each other, with nothing special happening from one week to the next. A trip to the supermarket becomes the "highlight" of the week!

However if you see something like this on your way home from the supermarket, it really is a highlight:

A pair of wedge-tailed eagles.


In the garden, spring is springing:

All those daffodils we planted last year have returned beautifully.

Flowers on the "Volunteer" camellia:

I've made a few more Trail Mix blocks, filling in a few gaps:

This morning the first of our tulips opened up:

And in the greenhouse, various critters found these orchid blooms before I noticed they were on their way:

A bit chewed up, but lovely to see anyway. There is a second bloom spike developing on this one, so more flowers to look forward to.