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Fires near me

Like most people living near native forests we have been kept on our toes this summer wondering if the horrible widespread fires will reach our homes.  Fortunately, the nearest I have actually been to the fires thus far is sitting in the Katoomba Library watching the billow of smoke rising from the Ruined Castle fire.
For me there have been surprises.
1. How a tiny fire many miles away can creep (or speed) in closer and closer. Take this one for instance I would never have thought a fire as far away as Palmers Oakey would end up at Brogans Creek and within the 10km zone for Clandulla.  

2. Becoming obsessed with the Fires Near Me app, checking regularly to see if any of our properties are at risk. Here is how things currently look in the mountains.  Again there are now fires within a 10 km radius of our home in Lawson but the weather is being nice this week giving the firefighters a chance to manage things.

3. Checking the Weather App to see what direction the wind is coming from and…
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New Year, New Path

Happy New Year.

I hope have had a lovely Christmas, are safe from the fires and the New Year finds you eager to enjoy all that is in store.

Here the grass is as dry as it was in winter/spring so there has been no mowing and no fruit either (the fruit shrivelled and dropped). This has meant a very relaxed, hot, dry summer because even the weeds are not growing.  The bushfires have been keeping their distance thus far. The closest is to our bush block at Clandulla where we have put in a lot of effort cleaning up the dry grass, leaves and sticks in case things get close.

During my blog break I have been thinking about what to do and have decided to take a new path this year.  Instead of this traditional blog I will be posting regularly to Instagram with perhaps an occasional post here.  Maybe I will see you over Instagram at

Pretty nice

I must confess to enjoying my recent blog break so will be going off the air for an extended period while I decide what to do. In the meanwhile enjoy the roses which are now flowering in great abundance at Rose Orchard Haus.

Old Pianos

Last weekend we visited the Golden Era Piano museum at Neville, a small village not far from Bathurst/Blayney.  It was amazing to hear all of the different pianos, have the ins and outs of their mechanisms explained and see their beautiful woodwork.  A surprisingly interesting visit.

It as great to see recent spring rain has turned the countryside a lovely green though further west they are still waiting for rain.

Last blossom

This is the last of the spring blossoms at Burnbrae.  I think these Cherry Blossoms are about the loveliest of them all.  They appear so much later than the rest of the spring blossom it was many many years before I even noticed them!  Having discovered them I now look forward to their appearance each year.

It's Aztec

The image above is just part of a much larger work (seen below) at Katoomba Street Art Walk.  It is done by Mexican artist Peque imagining Katoomba as a ruined Aztec temple.

Participating in Sami's Colourfulworld Monday Murals.

Feeding the Birds

This photo of a Willy Wagtail feeding its young is from my archive, taken at Rose Orchard Haus about this time two years ago.

A book I have read recently
Feeding the Birds at Your Table - A Guide for Australia by Darryl Jones.   In Australia feeding wild birds is frowned upon and yet many many people do it.  This book explores whether feeding wild birds really does have the bad impacts we are told about and concludes it is fine to feed the birds provided we take a few precautions.  I found the book very interesting and readable and decided on the following for my gardens.

At Burnbrae I will stick with watching the birds that the neighbour feeds. I get a good view of them from my kitchen window. Feeding has tended to attract the bigger birds.

At Rose Orchard Haus I don't feed the birds but there are lots and lots of little birds that I can readily see if I sit quietly in the garden.  I don't want to encourage more of the big birds because they will attack the fruit trees.

At Whi…