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Weather watch

OK it's another blog post about the weather ...  but the transformation with the rain is just too exciting to miss.

After the big rain we have had continuing showers one of which delivered this spectacular light show during my customary sunset watch as Rose Orchard Haus.

And look at what has happened to the grass - remember it has been brown for many many months.


The roses that steadfastly refused to flower all summer have now they burst into life. It's so nice to have them on the hall table again.


And I had given up hope of having any oranges this year because the fruit created by the spring flowering all fell off the tree.   Now nature has delighted me with a second flowering.


I said to my husband, all we need now is bees and they turned up too.  Talking of bees and orange trees here is:

A book I have read recently


I loved Melissa Ashley's debut novel The Birdman's Wife so was immediately tempted by this new one I saw in the bookshop last week.  It is another explora…
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Neighbours new and old

One of the delights of living in the country is the variety of animals we get as neighbours.


At Christmas time I was surprised to find this brown hen in our garden at Rose Orchard Haus.  She had flown over the fence and would not be persuaded to go back home so stayed for a couple of weeks before choosing to go on another adventure - we don't know where.

This week I heard a rooster crow and looked over the fence to find this new neighbour along with a couple of ducks.  Those feather "boots" must make walking difficult.


And here's the other neighbour I love to watch from my kitchen window.  I believe her name is Francesca.




And all of these reminded me of the various neighbours at bush block at Whistlers Rest I have shown over the years.  I had fun digging through the archive to find some of them.

An assortment of cattle.



A pony


Sheep and goats


And occasional native animals.



Just add water

It is like a fantastic chemical experiment.  Add water and fog rises.


And next there is an amazing explosion of green.


It has been bucketing down with rain for several days at Lawson with this old disused thing now an essential accessory.


As recently as Tuesday I could see the smoke plume of the Erskine Creek fire which was burning 5 kms from our home at Lawson.  I suspect it is now well and truly doused but it's too foggy to tell.

I am not sure how much of this bounty is reaching Kandos (definitely not as much as this). I will find out this week.

NEWS UPDATE: The mountains are said to have received 1/4 of our annual rainfall over the weekend (250ml+).  At Kandos I have just read the rain gauge, over the last week we have had nearly 100ml with more storm clouds in the sky.  How good it that ... I will be mowing here soon too.

Skywatching

We drove over to Bathurst from Kandos yesterday to take a long drive in an air conditioned car and then go to the movies as a way to beat the 40C+ heat.  It's nice to see a little bit of green in the grass over that way.  And it's great to see clouds forming in the sky on a regular basis at the moment.
I have become a keen skywatcher of recent months.  When we are out at Kandos I head to my dining room window at Rose Orchard Haus to check out the vista. The sun is now tracking back to the north, having reached its most southerly point to the left of that tree at the end of December.

And for several nights earlier this week the sky was wonderfully pink and blue. I love a crescent moon.  It's is now much higher in the sky at sunset so not possible to get a shot like that now.

Despite the implied promise the storm clouds didn't reach us this week.  As you can see some local farms were getting good falls which is great.  We all need whatever rain we can get.

Optimism

Unlike at Burnbrae (our Blue Mountains garden) the rain is taking its time reaching further west.

I have been watching this newly dug dam beside the road between our home at Kandos and our bush block at Clandulla.  Some light rain last week started its first puddle of water, I wonder how long it will be before it fills right up.


Here is the current state of Whistlers Rest, our bush block - very dry and cleaned up of bark and undergrowth in preparation for the bushfires.

We have been seeing rain storms skirt around us.   Yesterday at Mudgee we experienced a big downpour so were watching these grey clouds on our way home hoping they would deliver. The result was a very short sharp storm.  Maybe today will be our day.


Windamere Dam is currently 26.9% full which isn't too bad and the good thing is many parts of Australia are now getting welcome rain - we are optimistic for good rainfall sometime soon.


Dancing puddles

Throughout this very hot dry summer our Kandos garden has been stressed but the mountain garden was doing OK (it still had greenish grass). But when we returned  a week or so ago I was shocked to find many of the plants suddenly in a bad state -- big trees and shrubs were going brown, had their leaves turned down or were dropping their leaves.



With tight water restrictions only allowing watering with a watering can or bucket it was going to be impractical to get around our large garden.

Then this week everything changed.  The heavens opened.


And the puddles danced with joy - our prayers answered.  The rain is also helping to put out the fires.



P.S. I am going to try and post to this blog and visit your blogs on Sundays.

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…