Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pygmy perch and minnows.

We finally got some little fish to eat the mosquito larvae that breed in our barrel size tubs. They have done a great job in a v ery short time. Upon release into the water they swam around stuffing their little faces with many mozzie larvae. Excellent.
I'll be able to be outside around sunset now without getting carried away by little bities.
The fish have little mouths so they won't be able to eat the frogspawn, if we get any more this year.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Camping in the south-west.

A cute crab at Yallingup.

We spent a very relaxing 3 days in a few spots we'd not been to before. Spent a night at Yallingup Caravan Park, as it was the only place we could stay near the coast with a dog in tow. It was very noisy with a steady amount of traffic going past until just after midnight, then starting again at 5 am for the early surfers.
In the morning we went and wandered about on the rocks up the road from town, pretty amazing. Very good way to wake up.
From there, after a great beefburger at the Yallingup shop near the tav we went just up the road to Ngilgi Cave. I was amazingly relaxed about descending into the cave..thought I'd be more nervous but I think learning a bit about geology has made me well assured that the area we were in is very tectonically stable!! It was beautiful in there and about 21 degrees C, a pleasant coolness after the warmth of jumping around over rocks a little earlier. It has a very easy way around inside with handrails and lots of spots to stop.

Our next place along the way was to Conto's. Paul had visited a rocky coastal area there few years ago that he wanted to get a better look at. Our good ole car took us along the bumpy road out to Merchant Rock where we spent a good hour or more checking out some fascinating chunks. There were some intrusions (in the rocks) that were quite interesting. People have died there rock fishing so we stayed well clear of the slippery rocks near the edge.
I love rock pools so I did have a bit of a nose around some of those.
I was pretty impressed by seeing anemones in some of them - it's the first time I've seen them since I was 9.
One rocky pool we saw had hundreds of mosquito larvae but also plenty of crabs. That seemed odd.

Finally we made our way to Sue's Bridge, on Sue's Road (between Brockman and Vasse Highways) to spend the night. It was a well set-up campground, private car bays with fireplaces (not to be used in this extreme fire danger period), tables and nearby toilets. The river was quite close so we took our water-loving dog and ourselves down for a dip. Poor Gruntle had been in the car a lot as we weren't allowed to take him into any of the national parks so he was very pleased to get in and have a good swim around. The Blackwood River is still looking pretty good in this area. Some of the trees are very big, very tall and pretty amazing to look at.

Next day we slowly packed up and went to Busselton with the idea of going to the Busselton Jetty fish gallery at the end of the jetty but the timing was all wtong so we took the dog for another swim, this time in the ocean and headed for home.

Not a jot of gardening in site..heh.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Australia in shock.

The state of Victoria has had an incredibly tragic few days with nearly 200 people dying and hundreds of houses lost as large areas of the state were consumed in what amounted to a firestorm that swept through the mountains wiping out entire towns.
It's been a horrific few days for those involved and I feel it's affected Australians strongly. It's a similar feeling to watching 9/11 when it happened.
Large amounts of money have been donated to help those who have lost houses to get back on their feet. One town has lost 1 in 5 of its community. It's just unimaginable to be going through such an event.

The long drought had dried the forest, which combined with strong winds and no humidity to make the whole area tinder dry. Conditions were very much in favour of bushfires. Incredibly, many of the fires appear to have been set by arsonists. They will be done for multiple murder when they are caught, which I am sure they will be.

It has come in the same period of time that much of Queensland has been flooded. The climate seems to be misbehaving.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

News flash: Gruntle caught a rat!!

Amazingly the dog of his own decision caught and bit a fairly decent sized rat while we were sitting outside trying to cool down after a Perth's summer day. We congratulated him with a chunk of chicken frame and lots of praise.
I saw him whoosh past me and grab the rat. He bundled it up a bit, then it ran but got trapped by a bag of potting mix. Gruntle quickly lunged again and caught it again, quickly killing it.

Hmmm, this blog has little bits of gruesomeness in it, sorry folks. Sheesh, dead rats, dead 'roo's.
Well, you know, lief n death, they go together.

On a brighter note..
I have finally succumbed to rescuing a sad looking rose that would have been ditched otherwise. It is called Sir Donald Bradman, is a beautiful dark red and has many petals. It also has an excellent fragrance. Beautiful. I intend to experiment on it in terms of organically dealing with pests and diseases.
Roses are actually quite waterwise plants and they thrive on a fair amount of neglect as long as they are pruned regularly and have plenty of sun. They don't need much water and non-climbing varieties don't become weedy.
It's okay though, I am not going to become a collector of silly exotics..just the tough ones.