Sunday, October 31, 2021

WOOFA Report

I made a little bit of progress on a project this month, and had one bright idea.

I basted my Plaid-ish quilt top 3 weeks ago, then in the week after that I stitched in the ditch between the blocks, but didn't take any photos of that.

I couldn't really decide how I wanted to quilt it, but yesterday afternoon I thought I better just jump in and do something. So I started quilting some circles:

I'm using my Westalee "Circles on Quilts" rulers. These rulers rotate around a pin, which goes in from the back of the quilt, leaving the sharp pointy bit sticking up. No matter how careful I am, I always manage to stab myself on that pointy pin. But can you see my bright idea in the photo above? The black thing is a rubber pin back off one of my enamel pin badges. No more holes in my fingers! It was much easier not having to constantly worry about where the pin was. I wonder why the company never included any protective stopper for that pin?

I've now quilted about 20% of the quilt, so it will be a while before I can cross this one off my list:

Didn't stab myself once while quilting these circles!

Linked to Cheryll's WOOFA Link-up Party. I'm sure other people will have achieved more than me this month, but I have made some progress, and also solved a problem, so the month wasn't a write-off.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

The Rest of October

 October has flown by.

A couple of weeks ago we visited a new section of Woowookarung Regional Park, where a wildflower trail had been set up.

We enjoyed exploring a new place

and so did the dogs:

Notice the "egg and bacon" plants in the background? Here's what one variety looks like close up:

Golden bush-pea, Pultenaea gunnii.


This month there were two big events I was planning to be involved in which were cancelled when it became obvious that the covid outbreak wasn't going to allow them to happen. Maybe next year we can plan to do things without fear of them having to be cancelled?

One thing that we could get involved in was the Great Southern BioBlitz on iNaturalist between 22nd and 25th Oct. Cities and regions all over the southern hemisphere "competed", although Cape Town managed to win by a mile:

We visited a different local spot each day of the BioBlitz, photographing as many species as we could.

At Lal Lal Falls

we got caught in the rain, but Jack found us this amazing fungus:
It is called "Devils Fingers", Clathrus archeri, and apparently smells like rotting flesh, which is why a dog was interested in it! I didn't get my nose close enough to experience that for myself.

Near the Gong Gong reservoir we saw two swamp wallabies:

And then after the BioBlitz was over, we found two different varieties of sun orchid flowering on our block for the first time ever:

I'm sure it's not the first time they've been here, it is just the first time we have noticed them flower.

Almost 6 months after my father died, I have just about managed to get Mum access to her money. Dad did all the banking and bill-paying, with Mum not having even an ATM card. There is a Power of Attorney document naming me, but it had a condition in it which has been very hard to fulfill. But I think soon I will be able to get Mum some cash, and also pay her bills. It is incredible how difficult this has been every step of the way.

We had a big storm a couple of nights ago. Trees came down all over the place, although at our place the main thing that came down was two baby ringtail possums whose drey blew out of their tree and landed on the road. We took them to the local vet so that they could be collected by a wildlife carer:

Our covid numbers this month have been higher than ever, but because we now have 80% of the population double-vaccinated, lockdowns have lifted.  People from Melbourne are now allowed to travel into regional areas, but I think I'll still be staying home and avoiding any crowds for a while yet.

And that is about it for October. This afternoon I entered my sewing room for the first time in a couple of weeks. I'll save that for the end of the month tomorrow.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Garden in October

Warning: There are way too many pictures in this post. Feel free to either scroll through very quickly, or give it a miss altogether!

October flowers in the back yard.


The wisterias haven't completely covered their support yet, but they are looking pretty good anyway:
The snowball bushes are still a bit green:

On the western side of the house, first this orchid which has been flowering for months, but is coming to the last of its many flower spikes:

Jerusalem sage - Phlomis - Just starting to open:
Borage, and a few Californian poppies in the background:

I mentioned last month that the abutilons had been extremely pruned, but here's one of them starting to grow again, and flower:

Camellia "Volunteer":
Echiums reaching for the sky:

Crabapple almost finished:

North of the house, the first of the daylilies, looking a bid sad in the rain today:

Rosemary-leaved grevillea:


The directions from the house break down here. The next few are east of the house, but further on we'll go back to the north. 

Daisy of unknown name:


A miniature iris:

Rugosa rose:
Hypocalymma angustifolia:

Now we are back on the north side of the house. Columbines:

And if the photos had loaded in the order i wanted them to, these ducks would have appeared after the lavender:
Here's the lavender. Can you see the ducks in the background?
Doesn't matter, you have already seen them.

Back on the east of the house, ajuga is blooming in the concrete pots:

Why does blogger sometimes swap the order of photos? It is one of life's little mysteries. These cliveas were going to be my last photo, but they aren't:

Acacia glaucoptera:
My big rusty ball which once sat in a bare patch of the garden, is now almost hidden by leucadendrons and digger's speedwell:
And last of all, an aloe:

I know I missed a few things, and there are a few where the photos just weren't clear enough to include. October seems the most "flowery" time of year in this garden.

If you made it to the end, well done.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Open and Shut

First a bit of spring from the garden - columbine flowers:

This afternoon I got my Plaid-ish quilt basted. Open pins:

 Closing the pins:

I tend to take photos when the pins are open - probably just because I pause at that point, so I think of grabbing the camera. But then people ask me why I don't close them. Here's the proof that I actually do. I'd stab myself constantly if they were left open!

Friday, October 8, 2021

Sights of October (So Far)

We've been in lockdown for the last week, and still don't know if it will be lifted at midnight tonight (as I was typing that it was announced that our lockdown is lifting. Hooray for us, bad luck for Mildura, who are heading back into lockdown.)

Here are some very random photos of things from the last week. Particularly random as Blogger has loaded them in no order whatsoever.

Crabapple tree glowing in the sun this afternoon:


Deciduous azalea:

We have (or had) 3 of these from memory, but they failed to thrive and were moved to a different spot then overgrown and forgotten about. But one of them is still with us, and popped up a couple of flowers for the first time!

A house we walked past this morning, that I haven't seen before. Their garden looked great, so I snapped a couple of photos to try to work out what plants they had that were doing well in our climate:

This one isn't very informative.

My redbud is flowering. This photo was some days ago, and more flowers are open now. I missed getting a photo in the sun today, so this one will have to do for now:


The yellow flowers here are several species of plants common called "egg and bacon" plants:

They cover parts of our block and look great at this time of year. For the rest of the year you hardly notice them.

This is a photo of something you don't often see:

Not a great photo, but it is the back end of a baby seagull testing its wings. I've heard people ask, "Why do you never see baby seagulls?", and the standard answer is that they breed on off-shore islands. That might be the case near the coast, but seagulls that live a long way inland have to improvise. There is a seagull rookery on the roof of a building in the centre of Ballarat. How did I see that while locked down? I was able to go to work on Tuesday as an "Authorised Worker".

And last, but a long way from least, a wild animal seen on our daily walk on Wednesday:

An echidna!

Now that we are out of lockdown again, I will be able to visit my mother tomorrow. This afternoon I finished some pressing tasks that were hanging over me, so I may even be able to get back into my sewing room soon too.