Sunday, 20 March 2016

... are just splendid ...



By Simone McPherson


With the ending of summer and the coming of the autumn months the country is looking rather sparse ...


... though the dramatic colours of Payne’s Grey and Naples Yellow are magnificent in their contrast across the countryside.



At this time too we get a number of visitors to the house not only human …



… however animal too, looking for that extra bit of sustenance, the ‘Pretty Face’ Wallabies are looking for Protein in the form of seeds and grains which they get from the ‘Wild Birdseed’ mix which is a mixture of black sunflower seeds, millet or sorghum, oats and corn? Not sure why that is in there.  And ‘Wild Finch’ mix that we liberally toss across the dry ground in front of the veranda.  Even so this mix is not only for the Wallabies but also for the many tiny Double-barred Finches Taeniopygia bichenovii, the Diamond Firetails Stagonopleura bella, the two beautiful species of Ground Parrots Pezopours wallicus, the many, many Galah’s Eolophus roseicapilla with the beautiful pink and grey colourings as well as the numerous wood pigeons and other grass feeders that shyly and quietly visit us at this time of year in the early hours of the morning.



Rocky too has taken to visiting me at the house for a lovely cold apple or a carrot from the fridge that he amusingly relishes as the juices dribble from his mouth.



We also had this wonderful moth appear though only for a day and not to be seen of again …



On my late afternoon walks the colours in the countryside are pleasant in the hues though the country is rather dry at this time of year, however it still possesses its own wild and rugged beauty.



On my walks we come across the horses – Luigi, Blondie, Rusty and Katie’s gang … 



… there is  Pedro and Rocky too in another paddock along with  



… little Dominga who is getting a little more daring in how close she comes to me though still keeping a good eye on where Mum is if she needs to make a break for safety 



The Grey Box Gums have been magnificent this year and I have been eagerly collecting up their fallen leaves, small twigs and bark for my little gardens in fact I have raked up 12 chaff bags of leaf debris …



… 10 bags of humus from down the Creek, 8 bags of cattle manure from the cattle yards – the horse manure is hopeless just full of all these terrible weeds.  I do believe that having two stomachs makes a difference in the amount of weeds that I get from cow manure, just about nothing.  I have also collected 4 half bags of dry clay grit as I could not even attempt to lift a full bag, from a number of dams that are close to the house …



… all for my little gardens that I have completely overhauled this year, digging through all that fresh and new compost 



… the Villa Franca lemons are doing superbly, though they were badly damaged in a terrible hail storm a number of months ago that swept through the landscape … 

 … the little Cumquat's too are doing well after the damage …



I have also planted some Oak leaf lettuces for the change in the weather along with Kale, and Thai Basil though I do think that it’s the wrong climate here for this lovely Tropical herb … 



We have been busy feeding out the cattle too …



… along with some helpers who prefer the comfort of the cab on these hot days.



We have also been checking the creek boundaries …



The paddocks that make up the creek boundaries have been closed up for the summer months ready for the cattle for autumn with fresh pick the pastures down there are just splendid to say the least …



… so much so that some of us just almost vanish amongst all those blades of grass, but what an unspoiled wonderland to get lost in …