Sunday, 1 March 2015

... I hope to do the same ...



by Simone McPherson
Last week we had some wonderful rain that swept across the landscape turning the Blue grasses a soft ocean of pale green.


… even the ‘Veined verbena’ – verbena rigida – which is a perennial herb here and classified as a “pest” of which it can be … had taken on a lovely purple hue in the late afternoon overcast light …

…the leaves on the Eucalyptus trees became a washed, soft silvery green, the bark became that wonderful colour you get when mixing Payne’s grey and Yellow ochre rich and earthy and almost a black on some of the Ironbarks.  I love walking the country after rain and seeing the colours of the cleansed countryside in all its splendour …


With the rain it gave me the opportunity to get into my little gardens … 


… I potted up some little succulents that I found …


… and planted out some bigger succulents … 


 … I also potted up some wonderful Begonias … 


… and I pruned what I had been wanting to prune for a while 
… I completely cutback the Basil as it was very much in seed, and I also received a surprise! … by the way that is not an OIL slick …. It’s a …

…. MOLASSES slick! … I got given an old drum that used to be used for molasses for cattle, and I was told by El Ranchero, that, “ …it’s empty, and if there is any left in there it will only be a couple of litres … ? “ I think he meant to say a couple of Hundred litres … so now I have a huge big drum that has been hooked up to the veranda roof and I have molasses water for the little gardens! 

… I pruned the Kaffir Lime; took the fruits off the tree and cut the Thyme back.  The Kaffir Lime leaves I cut up finely for drying … and to use later in cooking …


… the Kaffir Fruit …


… I grated and it too I will use in cooking ….

… the Thyme was stripped of its leaves and along with all the others I put them out to dry along the 'old shearers' bench in the kitchen …

… I also baked an “Egg and Bacon” pie as “ … real Men don’t eat Quiche … “ so El Ranchero tells me … and it may look more yellow than usual, that's because I use Turmeric in the egg mixture … the ‘Real Man's' egg and bacon pie will be then cut up and stored in the freezer for later …


Whilst out and about checking one of the mobs the other day



 … and not before making a ‘Pit Stop’ for Lily-pup …


 .. and Uncle Max, the Black dog …

… we also came across this little fellow sunbathing … a Frilly-neck Lizard …

And this incredibly ‘Huge’ Snake orchid – Cymbidium suave – It would have to have been one of the largest I have seen … I would have loved to have seen it a few months back when they were all flowering … what a sight that would have been ... My Goodness!



We also came across this beautiful Old Box Eucalyptus …


 … now this splendid old tree had some markings on it …
… that I thought may have been markings from perhaps the Aboriginal Peoples who once lived in this region … I contacted my lovely friend “J” who has knowledge of these things and I emailed her some images that I took … 

The markings on the old Box tree turned out to be just a mutation in the bark … What I was told by “J” is that there are trees found throughout Australia which have had their bark removed by Aboriginal Peoples – Indigenous Australians – The bark is removed for fashioning canoes, shield and even shelters and ofcourse many of the trees were markers indicating boundaries and signs to signpost where water could be found as well as Spiritual and Ceremonial uses.

The trees are called “Scarred Trees” the bark would be removed by making deep cuts into a tree with a stone axe … 


“The area of bark removed is typically regular in shape, often with parallel sides and slightly pointed or rounded ends, and the scar usually stops above ground level. Australian native Eucalypt species such as Box and Red Gum were commonly used, and the scars remain in trees … “ from Wikipedia

 Now this marking here … I do believe was made by the ‘White fellas’ and not the ‘Black fellas’ of this country … it is a marker made back in the 1970’s indicating the Flood depths of the Dam, to which we have a boundary on the creek that feeds the Dam … El Ranchero is wondering about the 'marker' …

The story that “J” passed on to me about the ‘Scarred Trees’ I found totally intriguing and now …
… as we are out and about doing our work I have become more vigilant with what I see around me and I have become more aware of my surroundings. I have also become more respectful of “Those Unseen” who, were here long before my Forefathers were; living on and taking care of this beautiful country of which I hope to do the same ....

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

... kept pushing me ... gently ...



by Simone McPherson
With this wonderful almost subtropical weather that we have been having here the plant life is doing its utmost to get all its new growth on the way no matter what.

… I read only recently in a newspaper that we get, an article titled “Warm seas drive up temperatures” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA – NOAA … amongst other things that the article was drawing my attention to - I read the following which I found quite interesting with the conditions that we have been experiencing here of late and which have been occurring in other parts of Australia.



“ …. Last year was the 38th consecutive year that annual global temperatures were above average, with all of the 10 warmest years occurring since 1998.  Anyone born after February 1985 will not have experienced a cooler-than-average month globally … “… NOAA said.  “… Australia’s warmest year in records dating from 1910 was 2013 … 2014 was Europe’s warmest in at least the past 500years, beating 2007 by 0.3 degrees … not all regions … had a warm year … central North America was among the areas posting cooler-than-average conditions with Canada having its coldest November-March since records began in 1948 …” NOAA said.


 It was something that I thought about as we drove around the paddocks the other day …


… picking up the troughs for the cattle …


… yes that is Maxi boy there putting on ‘perfume’ … not the kind I would wear but definitely the kind, where he can get up close to the cattle and they are not sure if he is of their kin or not …


… we have been moving the troughs  to other paddocks that can now carry a small mob of cattle on them …


… my attention was drawn to the trees and even the … 


… old Grids that are brimming with growth coming up between the rails, which I will have to poison as the cattle then get the inclination that they can jump those grids and we don’t want that …


… and the many, many …


… many … 


… many gates that …


It must be good for some to have their very own ‘gate openers’? … 


… and let me tell you …


… there are a few, and when the days are glorious where else

... would you rather be? It’s just been gorgeous of late and I love being outside.


The lovely big - Eucalyptus melliodora – Honey Box – this species occurs mainly on our gentle slopes and foothills in our woodlands …

… and at the moment they are shedding their bark revealing a beautiful hue of Naples yellow …


 … then there is the old - Eucalyptus fibrosa – Broad Leaved Ironbark – with its almost cork like bark that is so tough and rugged – 


 ... living in the open woodland … 

… along with the Box Gums … this one here with its bark peeling away …

 is an inland Grey Box – Eucalyptus macrocarpa

Last week we had some visitors on their way to Tasmania and my dear friend brought me down some lovely … Lemon Thyme
… some Cress and some more Continental Parsley as you well know; one of my favorites …
… and along with my Thyme they are making themselves at home …
… and I won’t mention the Basil …
… as of late it has been mentioned numerous times already … one would think that I have nothing more to talk about except for Basil? … isn’t it just beautiful …
I can hear El Ranchero outside - back from ...


... bringing some cattle into the yards ready for marking tomorrow … I have not been on the horse now for two months.  I had a rather – very bad fall back in November and El Ranchero said “that’s it! You’re not to go onto a horse until we get an old plodder for you …” … well I did hear my helmet crack as my head hit the ground and I became winded with my face in the dirt and the rubble, this time she flung me off – I realised after a day or so once I recuperated  and got  my composure back though still hovelling around and now black, purple and even yellow I realised that; that  could have been the finish for me too … and after a few days on my horse El Ranchero did happen to mention that … 
Lily pup and El Ranchero having a "Tate au Tate" of the days events ...

“ ... it was a wonder you were able to ride Porky at all – she is such a handful, and playing all these little tricks on her rider … and as for her shying … “ and I thought that I was just a novice rider … phew … perhaps I should tell El Ranchero to …”control your mare” … Mmmmm boys?  
And I did walk home that day too … only about 200mtrs in tears with Pedrocitto in tow and he kept pushing me in the back gently with his nose … I think he knew that I was a little upset that day … El Ranchero rode Porky girl, giving her all these beautiful Dressage exercises all the way back, I had lost interest at this time and payed no attention to them both...