Friday, November 30, 2012

Beautiful sunset last night

I never tire of watching nature showing off her beauty and yesterday evening was such an occasion. We sit in our living room, which doesn't have any window coverings and when the sun begins to set the glorious light fills the room and it almost feels like it has you wrapped up in her arms.
 This is an early shot, actually it is a reflection of the sunset as the sun is setting over my shoulder
and here, having turned a quarter circle, you can see that the sun is going down to the right hand side of the picture

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Family reunion at Mallala

Last Sunday, the 13th. of October, we attended the annual reunion of the Veitch family at the Mallala Football oval and club rooms. It was a very pleasant day but a little short on numbers as (sadly) quite a lot of the older members of the family are finding it just too tiring to make the trip.

I wont bore you with the details of the family but I couldn't help myself, being a lover of old  buildings, I took time out to take a couple of pictures of the GRAND STAND which would seat approximately 100 people, but only if they were all skinny (lol)  It is built with stones collected from the fields and a few red bricks for the quoins and decorative features, as were many of the old farm houses in the 1800's.

I love to dream about who built these buildings, maybe some of my ancestors were involved, after all the two brothers that migrated from Scotland about 155 years ago (yes, that's right, no convicts in my family tree!) were stone masons, one of whom built the wall around the Adelaide Botanical Gardens, the old wall around the Adelaide Prison and the (now demolished) broken glass topped wall that surrounded the old building at Glenside that housed  the "insane" .......(glad things have changed since then)
But putting that all aside, don't you think this is a GRAND old building? I don't know who owns the old gas guzzler standing at the back, but it adds something to the picture. The door at the side I think would be the entrance to the players change rooms.

They certainly knew how to build something to stand the test of time in the "old days".

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Here are a few of my favourite things

A  quick walk around my garden and I realise that the plants are flowering a little earlier this year. I expect the experts would say that its a sign of global warming. However, these are a few of  my favourite things ...... why do I hear Julie Andrews singing? lol.
The first picture (above) is Stellatta Magnolia. There is a beautiful example of this shrub in a garden in the next street to us. Sadly mine only ever bears a few flowers and I would be grateful if any of my readers could tell me what to do to encourage it to perform better....without showing it the axe !! Ha-ha


This one is a Leucadendron "Harvest" a new comer  (just bought it last Wednesday) I couldn't leave it in the garden centre, don't you love it

The pic below is a close-up.

Its great that colour can be introduced to the garden display without there being flowers

Now this Pacific blue doesn't usually flower here until late October/early November. I'm surprised to see it so early. I know it is in bloom in other parts of the hills but our place is quite high and 2 or 3 degrees colder.

Last, but not least this bright blue ground cover (name long forgotten) has more flowers on it than I've ever seen.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cherry Blossom time


As pretty as a picture this weeping cherry tree is in full bloom.
 It's a pity though that the fruit it sets is inedible even to the scavenging birds. The cherries are dark and VERY bitter, not suitable for anything.
         It wont be long before the wind comes and blows all the petals to the ground, it happens each and every year, then we have to wait until autumn for the leaves to colour up and put on another beautiful show.

Very aptly named it is called Snowfall

          I've never been sorry that I planted this little beauty just outside our dining room window.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A glorious day of warm sunshine

 The first two days of spring have been lovely and warm, and although I have been working in my vegetable patch I couldn't help myself....the flowers are looking good and now they are established, almost take care of themselves, all I have to do is pull a few weeds that always seem to find their way to my garden.

The Jonquils are still happily bobbing their heads in the breeze,
they are the first to bloom, letting us know that spring will soon be here.

Although I'm not a lover of yellow flowers, these daffodils are so bright and cheerful, they brighten up the whole garden.
The reason I don't like yellow flowers is....the colour  is a WEED  colour!! I can think of only one  common weed that is not yellow and that is Salvation Jane, better known in the eastern states as Patterson's Curse.(and what a curse it is)
The Rannunculi  have gone a tad feral, not a bad thing, I think. They come up from seed drop and form a
flowering corm in their second year. The good thing about that is they work as a weed suppresant.
I will have to move my Iris  from the raised bed, they don't appreciate too much water. They are rather badly affected by all of the rain that has made this bed too soggy, it collects the rainfall that runs down from the rock-face on the far side.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A sure sign

 Its a sure sign that spring is just around the corner when the young pullets begin to lay their first eggs.  This tinsy-winsey egg could be from a starling sized bird but NO its from one of our chooks. We try to time our laying seasons so that we can keep up our supply for our "farm gate" customers and this time we seem to have got it right. No shortage of eggs this summer.
Just for comparison I took a shot of the small egg along side of a small to medium sized egg, one that has been sorted out for our personal use, we keep all of the large eggs for our regular buyers (they love the huge eggs) The small one weighs 6 grams and the larger one 42 grams'

Friday, August 10, 2012


Best friends cute when they are young.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Spring is just around the corner

 Say hello to this little cutie, one of the three calves born here this last week. It is a cross breed, mother is a Hereford type (?) Father is a Murray grey crossed with a Simmental. Strange to see that the Murray grey is always the strongest, it doesn't matter where the MG comes into the breeding, it is always the most dominant.
Its lovely to see these three playing catch me if you can, running around in the paddocks berfore they settle down for their night time sleep.
Its been so cold at night, I feel rather sorry that they are outside in the  freezing weather.

These little fluffy little bundles are some of our new Marans chicks. The first time we have incubated any of these, they are quieter than any of the other chicks we have bred, content to eat and sleep, hardly hear a peep out of them. They will stay in their warm enclosure for about 6 weeks then we will transfer them to a shed with  a heating pad where they will have more room to move around in until they are fully feathered. They will then be allowed to wander outside. The only draw back to these chooks is.....they fly!!

We will probably have to net in the yard or cut one of their wings feathers to over come this problem, the first option is the most favoured (by me)  I love little chicks, they are so pretty at this age with their feathery legs. Its the 3rd. to 4th. week that they begin to look ugly as they develop the fully feathered stage.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Maran Poultry....our first eggs

These lovely dark shelled eggs are the first from our Wheaten Maran chooks, I have placed an Isa brown egg  in for comparison
There are several different varieties of Maran birds some of them are Black Copper Maran, Cuckoo Maran and Copper Blue Maran. The darker the hen the darker the egg shell. They are known as the black egg layers. (Google Maran poultry, have a look)
Maran are named for the town where they were first bred, Marans in Southern France.They are a good heavy bird, lay well and are said to be good eating as well but I very much doubt if we will be eating any of these, they were NOT CHEAP !! Fertile eggs are sold at $100 per dozen and that  is the cheapest I could find. A game of chance when you buy eggs because almost always, not all of them will hatch out. I prefer to pay a bit more and get week old chickens. That way you know if they are healthy, they have survived the first week and from there on its up to you.

This is a picture of some of our hens, aren't they pretty? They have feathered legs and feet.
For the time being we have them running with
our Australorps but now they have started laying they will need to be separated so that they  don't cross breed.

In the middle of this shot you can see the rooster, a very handsome fellow and to the right hand side, one of the Australorps.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Some things make me REALLY angry

We live quite happily here in the serenity of the hills district, but then something like this happens........we heard from one of one neighbours   that the people that own a vineyard nearby were looking for ways to boost their business while the tasting rooms were open, using one of the other neighbours old (and dis-used) landing strip. (the landing strip was built during the last war for emergencies but has never been used as such)  Well, I thought, that will never get off the ground because the said landing strip is no longer registered or insured...and they  haven't  as yet got permission from all concerned. Case closed, or so I thought, because this airstrip runs the whole length of our boundary fence, and we would definitely say NO !!

Well last Sunday this motorised hang glider took off from the airstrip, buzzing all the local farm land around here, scaring all of the animals and disturbing our peaceful day in the garden.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not against anyone trying to build their business or youngsters having fun, but when they do so, dis- regarding the welfare of others with highly pregnant cattle.............oh !! I GET VERY ANGRY.!!   We  (and our neighbours) have cows about to give birth and the terrain of our place is very steep, imagine a frightened cow, high in pregnancy trying to run from the side of a steep hill. She might slip and fall down the slope or mis-carry, which would cause the loss of either the calf or  both the cow and calf.

I know that I probably sound like an old grump......well in this case I AM!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Colours of the Season

 I am in awe of the beauty that surrounds us here in the Adelaide Hills. These pictures were taken late in the afternoon almost at dusk so they are not as bright as they would be if taken during the sunshine of the day.
This first picture is a Japanese maple, sadly (due to my neglect) a blackberry has taken hold of it. *note to self:, try to get down there and cut said blackberry out and poison the stump. The silver dollar eucalypt on the right side of picture has grown from seed planted by myself. Isn't it amazing how a tree of such a size will grow from a tiny seed, so small it looks like a speck of dust?

Now this next shot is the foliage of the same Japanese Maple from a different angle, the light (what there is of it) now behind me, playing tricks, changing the colour completely.

    Simply gorgeous!!

The little Maidenhair tree on the right has already lost most of its foliage, but the colour really stands out with the Silver Birch behind which hasn't (as yet) caught up with the seasonal change.
The Maidenhair has suffered greatly, I had it growing in a pot for a couple of years, waiting to plant it out in my "park" and the crazy dog that we had bit it in half (hence the strange shape) It has been in this position for about 12 years and the Birch behind for 10 years. Maybe it has the sulks.

I don't think we will eat this one !! HUGE,,,about dinner plate size.

Another Japanese  Maple further down in the park.
Very slow growing, this one is a grafted variety while the first one was a seedling. Much brighter.

Another of the Silver Birches, this one has realised that winter is on its way and decided to show its beauty. Altogether we have 20 or so Silver Birch trees, I love them but my husband (being a European) hates them, only good for fire wood in his eyes. He tolerates them because of me :)

The Liquidamber (Sweet Gum) is also slow to put on a show while other trees of the same type around the neighbourhood (I've noticed) are already bright red, orange and purple, what a variety of colours on one tree !

Last...but not least, the weeping Cherry tree that is growing just outside of our dining room window. Looking a tad bedraggled now but much better in real life.

I love this time of the year.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Apple time !!

It certainly lifts one's spirits to drive through the Adelaide Hills (aka Mt. Lofty Ranges) with the car windows down and take in the delicious aroma of the apples ripening in the sunshine. This picture shows Pink Lady apples almost ready to pick. They are at their best in April.
Look closely (bottom left of picture) and you can see the white plastic sheeting placed between the rows  to reflect the sunlight up into the trees so that they redden up before harvesting.

         Happy Easter every one

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Here it is.........

..........ready to eat !! Yummo

Friday, February 17, 2012

Nothing much happens around here...except....

...for frogs jumping out of the vacuum cleaner !!!
The story of our day starts with a quick clean up...a lick and a promise type of clean up, if you get what I mean (lol) Our grandchildren from my husband's side of the family have decided to come for a visit at lunch time, so, what do you do? Spend the morning making pizza and apple and blackberry pie while Willi cleans the dead millipedes from the sun room floor, the vacuum is kept out there for that very reason and after all that is where we will be dining.

He came into the kitchen area saying "guess what I found" holding his hands cupped together.
Well, inside his hands was the cutest little frog, he must have sucked it up while cleaning with the bare pipe (no brushes attached) and as soon as he switched it off out jumped froggie, it must have been hiding amongst the pot plants on the floor. He picked it up and we relocated it to the fish pond and placed it on a lilly pad where it obliged me by posing while I took a few pictures.

I am still trying to figure out just how I get the pictures to download in the order they are selected. Rather that trying for the next couple of hours to correct it I shall leave it as is for you to figure it out. (lol) The pizza in the picture, by the way, has not been cooked.

Monday, January 30, 2012

What happened!!!!! ????

I don't know what happened to my post about the Purple dragon Carrots but if you take a look at the last post the pictures are there without any explanation. Grrrrrrrrhhh
Last night I decided to have a salad for my dinner and on searching the garden for the ingredients, here's what I came up with. Purple monster carrots sliced paper thin, mizuna salad greens, basil, avocado, baby tomatoes, grated beetroot, all from our own garden put together with a small amount of mayo and some grated cheese. It was very tasty indeed. Oh, and I almost forgot some chopped chives and onion marinated in Magi.
The colour of the carrot is extremely intense, so much so that it stains the fingers purple too.
I have been (in the past) blogging from Picasa but now I have the new computer, it doesn't seem to want to do it the way I know how, I comes up with a page full of "gobbely gook" and its almost impossible to find where one picture ends and another starts. You know what they say ???? You can't teach an old dog new tricks....well the same applies to Me. (lol)

Purple Dragons

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

On such a stinky hot day......

......its hard to find anything outside in the sunshine that looks as cool and as pretty as this waterlilly. I missed the first few flowers by being in hospital, and this one has opened up for me today.


Don't you think she is beautiful?
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