Saturday, July 19, 2014

Winter down in the valley

 Winter has finally arrived down in our lovely valley in the South West of Western Australia.  Lovely foggy mornings herald in lovely sunny days with a bite in the breeze.

 Blood is stirring in the two bulls, don't want to be friends at the moment, doesn't help that the cows are in the paddock across the road.  Very entertaining lots of pushing and shoving, then they get up the energy to be a bit more serious and push and shove becomes a little bit more, this went on for hours then decided it was a better idea to go back to eating grass, so lazy.
                                                      Sun rising in the west
 And of course all that pushing and shoving takes a lot out of you, this big boy was resting right next to our boundary fence.
                     Was time to buy the gumboots, love my gumboots, good heavy duty ones.
         With the winter came the rain, this is after a couple of days solid rain, a little bit of flooding.
 Can you see the steps on the far side of the river, they lead down to what they call a basketweave bridge.  Which is a lot of rocks contained in diamond wire to hold them in place and a concrete path on top, so under all that water is my bridge where I usually cross on my morning walks, the river is running very fast.  So walking across is curtailed for a while.
 For the first time we can see the river in amongst the trees from the back where we rent and down the bank, we are in no danger of being flooded although if it came up high enough we wouldn't be able to get across the bridge into town.  Lots of water lying around too, but it went down quite fast the next day.
 silly chooks in next doors chook run, have to all squeeze into the same hole, keep us entertained when working on the block.
 Son in law Peter made me these beaut vege beds out of old corragated iron, they where a little bit high so we dug a trench and dropped them down in.  Half filled with mulch from trees we had cut down and mulched.  Beds way to big to buy in soil to fill them.  Directors chairs I got from the dump for a dollar each for necessary breaks.  In the background is the South West Highway and the railway line that hasn't been in use for about ten years.  The conifers on the back fence are likely to cack it due to some disease they get here, so thanks to a birthday present from my sister I have planted a claret ash and liquid amber trees and have some wattle ready to plant on the fence line so if and when they go we will still have some privacy and in autumn I will be able to enjoy the beautiful autumn leaves from my back veranda.
 Mulch is all spread out and the garden along the fence line in the orchard will be planted with shrubs for all the little birds as it makes them feel safe to flit in and out of the branches.  Now that we have moved all the mulch and soil it is time to turn the soil and incorporate the mulch through before planting shrubs.  Will wait before pruning fruit trees until I know what I am doing.
 Have planted lots of bulbs throughout the orchard and this is my favourite the dainty snowdrop.  As you can see we have a lot of soursop or as I know sourgrass that we used to chew on as kids, has yellow flowers.  Yesterday was lovely and sunny, John took his whipper snipper and chopped it all down.  I dont want to use roundup or any other chemicals, think if we keep cutting it down before it flowers we might get rid of it.
The reason I won't have a cat here is because of the beautiful birdlife.  Can you see the beautiful robin redbreast.  I thought you only got them in England like you see on Christmas cards, but no, we have one in our orchard along with several females whose breasts are more of an apricot colour.  There are many tiny birds, blue wrens, silver eyes, fan tails, willy wagtails the only ones I can name and it would be such a shame to have a cat kill them, so, no cats.  Can you see the pallets up the top, have started lugging them down to the bottom of the block and stacking most of them one on top of the other, I am making a place for the native bees to make a home.  You push in small branches, pinecones etc and face them a certain way and the native bees will make their nests in it.  Apparently native bees make solitary homes.  This way they will pollinate my garden, neat aye.  I will make an A frame of two and using shade cloth make shapes to grow strawberries in then the fruit will hang down the sides instead of the ground where the snails and slugs get them before I get a chance.  Next is to make some lower beds to grown my raspberries and logan berry in so they don't get away from me.
Well its been busy here down in the valley, enjoying working on the block.  We are waiting for our house plans to be approved which should be in a couple of weeks and then the house will be started, how exciting is that, aye.
Well this has been a marathon catch up on my blog.  I buy my wifi internet by the month and if I havent used it up I lose it, tomorrow is my last day and I have $15 left so here I am at 20 to 9 in the cold trying to get the most out of it.
Hope you are all well and enjoying the lovely winter weather, feel so much more like doing things in winter, it is energising.
love to all

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Display at Art Geo Busselton

 The history of this wonderful building, the Old Court house and Jail is fascinating in itself. This is one of the open cells, note the rings on the wall and the wood flagstones on the floor.  At least the prisoners in this cell had company and a view of sorts.
 Walking down the long passage with the cells on the left, would have been freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer.
 Stretching out your arms your could touch both side walls at once, window is too high to see out.  This cell has been lined with timber so the prisoner could not scratch his way out of the limestone walls.  Tin in the corner would be the toilet so you would sleep with it next to your face unless you slept the other way around. Nowhere for the smell to go, pretty barbaric in those times.

There are about 6 rooms of varying size for exhibiting art, looking through these two you can see down to the cells.  See how thick the walls are in the window sill.
 Down a couple of steps into the space we had for our exhibition, Robins rag rugs hang on the wall.
Glass showcases where perfect for my book art, preventing them from being handled.  More of Robins beautiful rugs in vibrant colours.  One of Claires mosaic birdhouse on the window sill.
 Claires beautiful mosaic teapots, Robins art rugs, isn't that one with the cockatoo's truly amazing, and my art journals that where for sale.

It was a lovely experience and we got a lot of positive comments on our first exhibition, was good advertising.