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Showing posts from May, 2019

Projects and a short break

As I am running out of photos so will take a blog break for a while but before I do I thought would show a couple of my recent restoration projects.

The table above was a rusting frame left out in the garden by the previous owner.  A spray of paint and a new table top has given me a nice table for our entrance foyer -- a place to neatly store logs for the fire and the perfect spot to see if the rose vase needs another bloom before taking it inside.  We need those logs - winter arrived with a big blast this week.  I am glad we bought and stacked our annual wood supply last week.


This seat fell apart years ago and the metal ends have been junking up the yard.  So too have the verandah slats my brother gave me to use for firewood but I didn't use because they had paint on them. Drilling holes, a few new bolts and a lick of leftover paint and hey presto a pretty seat for under the apple tree.  Soon there will be no more leaves on the apple tree so it will be a place to bask in the …

Fox

It's time for a break from Autumn leaves. This beautiful creature is an introduced species and a pest but I can't help liking it right now. 
I took this photo through the window of Farm View Cafe at Running Stream* where we often stop when travelling between Kandos and Lawson. The cafe under previous owners was called Foxwood Farm - perhaps this is why.

* Running Stream is a tiny hamlet on the road between the Blue Mountains and Mudgee.  It is nothing more than the cafe, a closed one teacher school, a community hall and a little stone union church.  

Windows to Autumn

I thought I would end the Autumn series by taking you on a tour of the windows at the back of Burnbrae to give you an idea of why this season is so special at this home.

I am currently sitting in the lounge room by a log fire while watching the play of the evening light on the maple leaves through this southern window ... bliss.





Autumn in the Gardens - Whistlers Rest

Garden number 3 is our bush block at Clandulla, a quick drive from Kandos. Autumn in the Australian bush is much more subtle as all but a small number of our native trees are evergreen.  Here at Whistlers Rest a sign of autumn is this native shrub flowering - I haven't found it's name yet.


And in the garden and the forests the gum trees shed their bark.


These are archive photos (hence the rain of which we have seen little for a couple of years).  I have been too busy cleaning up the block to run around with a camera.  We have mowed for the first time in two years but there has not been much grass to worry about.  Many of the understory shrubs have died and there are fallen branches and bark all over the place - a fire hazard that I cannot continue to ignore so we have been making the most of the lovely autumn weather for a working bee.

Autumn in the Gardens - Rose Orchard Haus Flowers

We have had a few light frosts but I am expecting heavy frost any day now.  For the last two years the tree dahlia has flowered and within a week there has been heavy frost that turned the whole plant black.  I will enjoy it while it lasts.

The bulbs of the moment are nerines - in white and pink.


The gazanias have been flowering all summer and are still holding strong as are the marigolds.


Down in the meadow the Californian poppy is looking pretty.


And there are still enough roses to fill my vases.


Autumn in the Gardens - Rose Orchard Haus Colour

Now for our second garden.  Autumn at Rose Orchard Haus (our Kandos garden) doesn't put on a grand display but there are pockets of beauty. The little walnut is looking pretty and the citrus is beginning to ripen.


The big walnut seems to just drop its leaves.  But there are other spots of pretty colour.  Like the Apricot's golden shower.


These bronze leaves on the plum.


And these yellowish fronds - I don't know the name of this plant.



Autumn in the Gardens - Burnbrae a week later

Here are the big Japanese Maples as of today.  It's pretty but there has not been enough cold weather for this year for Burnbrae garden to be its spectacular best. 

Check out these years 2014, 2009 and 2009 (front).


Autumn in the Gardens - Burnbrae Flowers

One of the special Autumn delights at Burnbrae is the flowering of the Queensland Firewheel tree - I am fascinated by this odd flower.


Every year I have lived here I have looked over the fence at the neighbour's mature camellias and envied the beautiful carpet of petals below.  This year I have a little flower carpet of my own.


And for the not so nice.  The pine trees at the front dump and enormous load of small pollen filled cones at this time of year.  The verandah, paths and our cars are smothered in yellow.


Autumn in the Gardens - Burnbrae Colour

Over the road from Burnbrae (our Blue Mountains garden) the Liquid Ambers have been beautiful for a few weeks now.  In my garden Autumn unfolds more slowly.  The cherry and small maples are now bright but the big maples in the background have a way to go.  I will come back in a week to show you the change.


A poem for today
Autumn is a little melancholy with the fading of summer's exuberance to the cold bareness of winter.  Today's poem Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare reflects on Autumn as a metaphor of life and death.

Autumn in the Gardens - Glorious Colour Everywhere

This week I am going to take you on a tour of my three gardens to enjoy the colours and delights of Autumn starting with this awesome sunset.

Reflection:
Psalm 113:3 New International Version (NIV)
"From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised."

Gold seeking drive 7 - Back home

I grabbed this last shot on the road between Clandulla and Kandos, back home from our lovely drive.
We drive along here very often and never notice that tree other than at this time of year when it has its 15 minutes (days) of fame (flame).

Gold seeking drive 6 - Cook Park

I was disappointed to find we are were too early for the best colour in the park but found a couple of nice images anyway.


I was particularly pleased to find the Begonia House was filled with blooms as this is the time of year for the tuberous begonias to flower.



And one other surprise.  A large colony of bats hanging in the trees.  I have not seen them in this park on other visits so I am hoping they are just migrating through rather than making it a permanent home like they have in the Sydney Botanical Gardens.



Gold seeking drive 5 - Street trees

The city of Orange was resplendent with Autumn colour.  I was keen to return to Cook park where I got a lovely Autumn shot 10 years ago.  I will take you on a walk through the park tomorrow.

Gold seeking drive 4 - Donkeys

After our failed search for donkeys on Palm Sunday I had to grab a shot of these seen at the small town of Wattle Flat even though there is no gold in the shot.

Gold seeking drive 3 - Rural love

There is lots of gorgeous rolling rural landscape between Kandos and Bathurst and with wonderful spots of gold to be found.


Gold seeking drive 2 - Making an entrance

I thought I would start by checking out the entrance to Kandos which I have shown you previously.  It's pretty but not quite as awesome as I hoped.  I notice the vineyard has already lost its leaves.


Gold seeking drive 1 - A bright idea

This is the view looking North from the deck of our Kandos home.  Recently my eye has been caught by the yellow poplar burning like a flame against the mountain backdrop.     This gave me an idea, to go for a Sunday drive seeking out more of this beautiful autumn colour.

We "commute" regularly between our homes in the Blue Mountains and Kandos. Poplars colour up beautifully west of the Blue Mountains whereas in the mountains they just drop their leaves without putting on an Autumn display.  So for our Gold seeking drive we headed further west from Kandos to the regional cities of Bathurst and Orange.  Over the next week I will show you what we found.

Life in the Village 14 - Transport and Pubs

Down at the end of the main street you pass by a mechanics shop, the Kandos Hotel, the Men's Shed, the rotunda park and reach the railway station. The rail line is now only used for occasional historic tourist trains.  Over the railway line is the rather attractive Railway Hotel.

That's it for this tour of our main street where most of the action happens.  Sometime in the future I will explore the other things like the museum which are off the main street.


Life in the Village 13 - Eating Out

A town is incomplete without a Chinese Takeaway.  Over the road is the other staple a Country Bakery.  There is also a takeaway fast food shop over the road. 

I have posted earlier the Quoll Cafe and Wildflower Lounge which is up near the clock and the church which is also on the Main Street.

Other eating places are to be found at the golf club, bowling club, and local hotels.  Or we could take the short trip to Rylstone or perhaps to one of the local wineries.

Life in the Village 12 - Gift Shopping

Looking for a unique gifts to buy or make.  How about Shady Lady Hats run by award-winning milliner Willy Hoffman.   That's her rather unique mail box above.  Other options are Wattle it Be gift shop (shown below), Kandos Crafters (for hand crafted items), the Community Shop (for second hand treasures), a Craft supplies store and the Art Box Gallery I have shown previously.  These all cater nicely to locals and tourists.

There are more gift shops, hardware and ag supplies stores in Rylstone but for anything else we go to the bigger towns.

Life in the Village 11 - Professional Services

Here are two services not seen in lots of towns these days ... a local bank and a post office that is still a post office!

Also in the main street is a hairdresser, a solicitor's office and a real estate agent.

Life in the Village 10 - Medical

Here we are in the local pharmacy.

Whenever we talk with city friends about moving to the country the first issue they raise is medical facilities. A number of blog friends have also asked about this important topic.

Fortunately Kandos is not in the remote outback.  We currently have three doctors and a pharmacy. We share a small hospital and ambulance with Rylstone just 7 kms away.  There are three towns/cities with bigger hospitals and specialists within a 100 kms radius and of course transfer to the big smoke is organised when things are really complicated.

If the number of healthy older folk around us is anything to go by I reckon a quiet country life may be worth more than many pills.

Life in the Village 9 - Community Services

Next to the Art Box Gallery is the community radio station KRR 98.7 FM and a little further up the road the Kandos Community Centre which includes the local library and War Memorial.

I don't listen to radio very often and am still getting my library books from the Blue Mountains library so these are things for me to explore in the future.

There are other community services like meals on wheels, weekly community buses to the bigger towns of Bathurst and Mudgee for shopping trips, a daily bus service connecting to the Sydney trains and no doubt a plethora of other things I don't know about yet.