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Excavating

 For the past several days I have been excavating some stone steps at Burnbrae garden.  They had become overgrown by pineapple sage on one side and on the other side I "temporarily"  dumped some mulch  6 years ago! Moving the mulch (now compost) is a big job especially as it is now riddled with tree roots.  Plenty of worms there too. It has been a delightful spring.  Gorgeous green, wet and warm with enough cool weather to get lots of jobs done and bid winter a gentle goodbye without having to order in another load of firewood. The garden is looking good with the Acanthus currently in flower. Summer starts this week so the hydrangeas are now beginning to make an appearance. It's been a scorcher today with a very strong hot wind blowing. On the train coming back from the city this afternoon we saw the smoke and beginnings of a bushfire which is still burning but "being controlled".  I hope this is not the start of another horror season. The wind is now blowing co
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The end of the line

One our recent holiday I was keen to visit the town of Gwabegar, partly because it seems such a strange name but more because it is at the end of the railway line that passes through our town (the line is mostly inactive).   This is what I found. Gwabegar is a tiny town (population 160) that has clearly seen much better days.  Nestled in the heart of the Pillaga Forest it apparently once boasted 12 timber mills, perhaps this was one of them. The mills were making sleepers for railway lines cross-crossing the country at the time. The housing is old and eclectic as is often the case in country towns.  Here's a sample of what I found. There were all of the expected community things, a school (1 teacher, 12 students), police station, community hall,  church (now a home), CWA (building gone), rural fire service and local park. Funny thing is I don't remember seeing any shops or pub. I guess they travel the 30-40kms to the next town for supplies.

A little holiday

Last week we took a break from gardening, camping at Coonabarabran.  This is a nice spot close to the Warrumbungle Range, Pilliga Forest and Siding Spring Observatory so plenty of things to see and do.   Warrumbungles, interesting rock formations Pilliga, a large cypress forest (and other timbers) There are nice dark skies, perfect for the observatory There were lots of wildflowers and it was also interesting to see the recovery from big fires up that way in January 2013.   The farmers out west seem to be having a good year with healthy crops and lots of haymaking going on, though I understand some of them are having difficulty getting in their bumper crops because of rain. Sorry I didn't visit your blogs last week .... I run out of mobile phone data allowance.

In your work be neat and careful

This week I received a letter from my 99-year-old Aunt, in reply to the handwritten note I sent her recently .  Her closing comment made me laugh out loud. “Yes Joan your writing isn’t so neat you better visit me again so I can teach you.”  (No chance of that with Queensland still locked off to we diseased southerners). Anyway, that set me thinking about learning to write so I dug into the boxes where I knew my old school books were to be found. Among these ancient treasures I found my Grade 4 copy book.  I was 8 years old and those were the days when pen and ink were still used.  Being left-handed, I was not good at writing.  Left-handed writing smudges the not-yet-dry ink, and it is also difficult to get the right leaning slope. The only choice a left hander has is to use a hooked wrist so as to come at the script from above, or to twist the book so it is near vertical to the desk (I chose the latter because my Mum would not have me looking awkward when I wrote, though I am sure writ

A year on

When I looked out the window this week and saw the line up of clouds I remembered how a year ago each day I looked across the brown grass to a cloudless sky and prayed for rain. This very week last year a lightning strike in the great Wollemi wilderness was the small beginning of the Gospers Mountain mega blaze which burnt an astounding 1 million hectares of drought parched land. Our  district was on edge for months. Then rain began to fall it has continued steadily so today 97 per cent of our state (NSW) is now declared to be drought free. Who would have thought a pandemic would follow! Today at Church at Home with the archbishop of Sydney we prayed. "Our heavenly Father we give you praise for the answer to our prayers.  When our land was suffering drought and famine, we brought our prayers before your throne … For the abundant crops in NSW we give you thanks. For the joy of fruitful harvest, we give you thanks. For the opportunity of labourers to work in fields we give you thank

Good and bad news on weeds

We saw this pretty purple field on our drive to Mudgee this week. The ABC ran an article recently saying that the warm wet Spring has been particularly favourable for its growth so there are plenty of photographers out taking snaps, that is the good news. The bad news is that it's Patersons Curse, a farmer's headache. It is highly competitive in pastures and is toxic to livestock, particularly horses, though sheep can graze on it a little bit.  Now back at home.  This Spring my Kandos garden has lovely green terraces. That's the good news.  The bad news is it is nearly all a clover like weed called Burr Medic. The whole town is covered in it!  The locals say the seeds blew in with the dust storm towards the end of the drought. It is a lovely green so I would not much care but as the weather gets warmer it will go brown and is already starting to do this. And a final piece of weedy good news, the council inspectors at our Blue Mountains garden have given Burnbrae the all cle

It's the little things

I have read newspaper articles where people say Coronavirus restrictions slowed down their busy lives and now they are enjoying the little things more.  In my case I think it was photography that helped me to notice the little things. Here are some of the little things that caught my attention this week.   The serendipity of this sign at Wentworth Falls after I had already decided today's topic.  A newborn foal next door at Whistlers Rest  The cherries beginning to grow at Rose Orchard Haus. A blue tongued lizard sunning at Burnbrae garden. The floral carpet below the snowball bushes at Burnbrae. The clean swept paths at Burnbrae. This is also for Shirley who wanted to see my rhododendron in flower. I hope you also found lots of little things to delight you this week.