Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Michaal's bees

Michaal is a pottery friend.
She is into growing and using herbs but doesn't have her own place yet.
 I offered our forest to get her started with her dream of keeping bees.
It's really hot here today
I went to walk the dogs and check on Michaal's bees
We planted these trees 20 years ago thinking we would sell fire wood.
It was our superannuation paddock. 

This is about 8.30 am and they are shaded for the most of the day.
The sun rising in the east which ahead and to the right of this photo.

There were a few problems in the beginning.
Local ants invaded and there was a bit of a massacre,
M put some oil tins under the legs and installed a landing runway.
This has sorted out the ants. Thank goodness.

I have noticed an increase of bee activity in my vege garden.
I have also noticed an increase of native bees which is interesting.
They may be fanning cooler air into the hive here.
I am looking forward to the honey.
I do keep my distance from the hive as I don't want to upset them.
This is proof that it is very hot today.
I worked down at the seedlings until 1pm then came up for lunch.
The thermometer is inside at our front door.
The top reading is the inside temperature.
45.4 outside.
Thank goodness for low humidity and a light cloud cover.
I keep checking the weather radar in search of rain.
We might get lucky in a few hours but I would not be surprised
if it all evaporates before it gets here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Leek Flowers

I particularly like leek flowers.
I think they are beautiful, architectural,
unlike most commercially grown cut flowers

I once gave them to fellow staff members as a thank you
for their extra work on a performance.
Everyone was taken by their unusual shape
nobody guessed what they were.
Some of the impressedness was lost (hows that for a word?)
when I told them the truth.

Red French Shallot flowers are even better.

They are white white white.
Like a firework
Very similar to the leek but crisp in their whiteness, no pink tinge.
I never know whether to save the seeds or sell the flowers.
$2.00 a bloom.
The seeds saved would be way more than a packet of seeds.
This bee didn't even wait for the flower to hatch!
Gladys coming on, they are not liking our heat wave.
38 degrees C today and 43degrees C predicted for Thursday
These dahlias were bought as seedlings.
I couldn't resist and have been rewarded with colour.
I wonder if they will form corms or tubers for next year.
I'm inside avoiding the heat,
Clearly avoiding house work by playing on the computer.
Oh well!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Oil Lamps

I always think of them as citronella oil lamps.
We have a lot of mosquitoes here.
Any oil would work and a few drops of essential oil
will customise the smell.

I had to try a lady bug,
they seem to like flowers more than vegetables
I have seen more of them since I put more flowers in the circles.
I have some work to do on the design it's looking a bit like the dreaded
pumpkin beetle, that orange rogue that eats every thing.
I have a new camel design also
I have just noticed I can see my reflection in the glaze.
It's very shiny.
This one is much is much more fiddly to make, 2 bowls put together then cut in half,
Bottoms on, saddles on, blanket wick holder,
oh and don't forget the head/neck.
I enjoyed finding this site 
 There was an encouragement to join in so I just had to, jump on the link
and have a look to see what some other potters are doing.
I am pleased to see there are other potters out there doing their own thing.
I couldn't resist this cute leek flower with it's little hat still on.
I hadn't noticed the bee until I uploaded the photos onto the computer.
A friend has just realised her dream of being an apiarist with a box of bees in our forest.
More on that later.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Market preparation

This is our Thursday pick for the Sunraysia Farmers Market
Buckets and buckets of flowers.  
A box of ranunculus corms.
Coriander roots for cooking
This is after I raided Mum's garden on Friday morning.
30 bunches of flowers later I was ready to pack the car.
I had spent much of the week before packing seeds
Its a messy time consuming job.
Lots of brown paper bags with seeds of various plants.
Looking at this photo I am wondering where my workspace went.

                                                    I managed to pack a few spares too!
Took 60 packets to the market and brought 60 home!
Oh well, maybe next time.
I cant resist this little black puppy. Stella.
She needs something in her mouth all the time so we got her
a yellow puppy called "Digga"
This may protect some of my things from being chewed!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's so good to be out in the garden again
A bit daunting, lots of weeds
Circles that need to be totally cleared and replanted.
I still have to take it easy and not over exert myself
Mr Flowersandveg helped redo a whole circle while I was out of action
Now planted with egg plant, capsicums, globe artichoke
Silver beet and some basil

Salvia Hormium
This is a new favourite
Salvia Hormium
It has a grey leaf with a delicate purple and white flowers up the stem
It is the leaves at the top of the plant that have the most colour
They turn from grey to purple
masquarading as flowers.
I love it!
The poppies were spectacular
now I am just growing seed and thinking of baking bread
to put the seed on.
The wild rabbits ate many of these seedlings
I should know better than to have them on the ground.
Space in the nursery becomes a bit of a problem over spring.

These are Aster seedlings
I am hoping to sell the flowers in my bunches at the market
It will be a few weeks before I am picking these ones.
They are safe from the rabbits anyway, and should survive until I plant them out.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

New camera

To celebrate my newly restored eye sight
I bought a new camera.
Stella (puppy)  had crunched the old one.
I was in a shop replacing the phone cord she crunched through yesterday
(there is a pattern forming here)
when I saw a Nikon happy snapper on special
So i snapped it up.
My sister Annie always took great photos with hers
I had considered a DSLR, a digital manual camera however for what I want
This is light and convenient.

The Maltese Cross are flowering all over the garden at the moment.
I have been making buttons
They are fiddly but they do come up all right.
I will have to do some sewing to make use of them.
I made some over sized buttons to convert into camel eyes.
It is hard to put the eyelids on!
Tenmoku, the traditional Japanese glaze
is quite a colour match for camel eyes.
These are for the replacement head of my sweatbox camel sculpture.
I wanted to show you that but the uploading of photos today
 is just too long and I have mucked up a couple of times so I am over it!
Gives me something to talk about another day.
Thank you to all who helped me survive the cataract operation
and the subsequent enforced rest.
You know who you are and I am truly grateful.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The fog has lifted

I do believe I am better off for my walk on the blind side.
How quickly I lost the sight in one eye!
I now have a much better understanding of the difficulties experienced by
those who have vision problems.
I am so happy to be living in this day and age
where cataracts are regularly operated on successfully.
The hardest part of this whole experience is doing nothing for a week
post operation.

It is surprising just how easy it is to put pressure on the eyes.
Bending over for example puts pressure on our eyes.
Putting shoes on, patting the dog, lifting anything heavy.
Gardening is totally out for a week at least.
If not two.
I can't even move the hoses as that is a lot of bending.
Last month we had 6mm of rain
when the long term average for October is 30 mm
so there is a fair deal of hose moving on a regular basis
just to keep it all alive.

 I have been banished inside,
and I will just have to stay there for a few more days.
Mr Flowersandveg has been great, very understanding and very helpful
He even hung a few new/old drawings for me.
One that was given to us by a dear friend and artist from New Zealand
Robyn Gibson. 20 years ago.
Just recently framed. Its two fish sleeping.
It was a wedding present,
the other one, a camel we bought ourselves about 10 years ago

I am so pleased they are finally on the wall, where I can see them.

And I can see them!
Thanks for all your kind thoughts regarding the operation.
So far so good.