Weekend Reading

11 September 2020


Yesterday afternoon, I'd just planted some snapdragons.

I've never grown Californian poppies before but some were in a bee and butterfly seed mix I broadcast over the garden a couple of months ago. I was surprised and very pleased when I saw these charming, buttercup flowers spring up right in the middle of the cottage garden last week. But when I saw about 20 stingless bees in that yellow cup, I decided that California poppies would be a part of my forever garden. We need flowers such as those poppies to help provide pollin for visiting bees. We have a lot of bees here, many solitary bees like blue banded bees, teddy bear bees, leafcutter bees, resin bees and some more social bees such as our native stingless bees.  Stingless bees produce honey known as Sugarbag. We buy our raw honey from a man down the street who keeps hives and I'm pretty sure his bees come here too. The honey bees we're all so used to seeing are an introduced species from England.


Mary Rose starting to open.

During the week Kerry came over and cleaned our solar panels, solar hot water system and skylights. The solar output went from 900 to 1200 watts after the cleaning.  We sent him home with a bag of our backyard passionfruits and ginger.  It feels good to share what we produce here and knowing we have the support of our family to do the things we can no longer manage, well, that's priceless.  A couple of months ago, Shane helped us transplant fruit trees, dig the garden and tidy up the backyard. Having a close and loving family has always been important to us and now that we're older, our sons' help gives us the opportunity to continue living here on this large block of land.

Yesterday, I posted a video of Gracie searching for geckos. I didn't realise how easy it is to post videos on Instagram so I'll do more in the future.  I'll do some test videos next week and work out what works and what doesn't.


Pink Princess lavender. 

South of us in New South Wales and Victoria, there have been Coronavirus hotspots, and particularly in Melbourne, thousands of people are in an extended lockdown. I'm not sure of the situation overseas now because I haven't been reading the news much lately but I'm sure millions of people are affected by the Coronavirus worldwide.  I remember when we isolated here for about three months and by the time it was over, I was so happy even to go to the supermarket and drive along the road, it made me aware of how much I took for granted before these harsh conditions became part of our lives. If you're in a lockdown situation or how you live has been significantly changed, I send love and warm wishes to you and hope you'll be liberated soon.  Hold on! 

I'll be doing my normal chores as well as gardening and sewing over the weekend.  What are you doing?

~~ ๐Ÿ”ต~๐Ÿ’›~๐Ÿ’›~๐Ÿ”ต ~~


At 31, I have just weeks to live. Here's what I want to pass onSmรธrrebrรธd: The choose-your-own-adventure sandwichThe remarkable ways animals understand numbersOf Owls and Roses: Mary Oliver on Happiness, Terror, and the Sublime Interconnectedness of Life

20 comments

  1. Love the story about rewilding! We have just purchased a block that backs on to bush land, in fact 1/3 of our 600m2 block is bush land, and I’m talking with our kids about how we are now the guardians of this bush, the plants, the rocks, the birds lizards and resident wombat that were here long before us!

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    1. I loved it too, Hannah. That is such a good lesson for your children to learn and take with them throughout their lives. Are you building a house there?

      Our land backs onto remnant rainforest with a creek running through it. I've always believed we don't own this land, we care for it and hopefully when we no longer live here, the land will have benefited from us being here.

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    2. Yes we are building, hoping to break ground within the next month, been a big process with the builder and they are just finishing all the quoting. Hoping to be in this one for a long time!

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  2. Just a brief thank you note, Rhonda. I so appreciate you taking the time to search and post these weekend reading/watching recommendations. I enjoy coming to them each Friday evening, knowing there will be something of interest to browse.

    Also, that Pink Princess Lavender is so pretty - not one I've seen before.

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  3. Love the weekend readings, Rhonda. Thank you. And good luck with your poppies, there is a reason that California poppies are our state flower. They are gorgeous, hardy, and yes; they do attract many bees. Once established, they like dry conditions, too. Don't feed them; they will resent it!

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    1. Thanks for that feeding tip, Hopflower. I didn't know that. xx

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  4. I must be one of the few people that has actually enjoyed lockdown, haha! We live in a popular tourist spot on the north Norfolk coast and at the beginning of lockdown the silence was deafening...we could hear the birds, the wildlife returned and there was no roar of constant passing traffic along the main road outside our house. I didn't have to go shopping, had it all home delivered. No barking dogs, no chattering hordes, it was lovely. And then they all started creeping back again...with a vengence. Campervans all over the place, people camping in tents wherever they wanted, bags of dog poo chucked in hedges, you get the picture. We knew it would go back to 'normal' eventually, but it was nice in lockdown while it lasted!

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    1. I'm pleased you enjoyed lockdown. Pity the campers are bringing some disgusting habits with them. Our lockdown was about the same as our normal live but without the freedom to go out when we wished. In truth, we don't go out much at all but knowing we couldn't go out did my head in a bit.

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  5. Thanks for all the interesting links Rhonda. The fact that a chickadee indicates the threat level of predators they see by the number of "dees" at the end of its call is amazing! Hope you and Hanno have a good weekend. Beth in MN

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    1. It was such an interesting article, Beth. There is SO much we don't know about other the animals surrounding us. xx

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  6. Your rose is absolutely stunning! I love that color! We can't do roses here, because of the deer. I don't mind feeding them a treat, but we have four dogs to protect our property and they see deer as a threat. I don't want the deer hurt; so no roses to entice them closer. They have free reign of our back pasture where the dogs aren't allowed.
    We are still building fences in preparation for a dog training facility here. What an undertaking. We had hired local handymen, who claimed to be perfect for the job only to be disappointed by their work ethics and quality. We bought a tractor (that we needed anyway) and set out to do the fences ourselves. Now the smoke from all the fires surrounding us are keeping us indoors, so no fence building. It's a good time to clean out some cupboards and closets inside!

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    1. Hello Claudia. I hope the fires die down soon and you can get back to your project.

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  7. Good morning Rhonda and Hanno well the lock-in here was starting to get to me too this week,I had to take a deep breath and get on with it. I have been doing some touch up painting jobs and trying to help my husband understand that although we are still very independent we will have to call in help to do the high/heavy maintenance jobs in the future. He is very clever,like Hanno,and struggles to realize new limitations.I really enjoy the photos of your garden, we to have The stingless bees who love our pottager garden and the spring antics of the blue wrens has been never ending! We have had torrential rain overnight and it continues this morning I have had to take my tiny dog out with an umbrella to do her 'thing', lucky no one can see us lol. Hope everyone has a safe and happy week๐Ÿ™ƒ

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    1. Haha Jenny. Your little dog has you wound around her tiny paw. Yes, the transition to less work is tough on us doer types but like everything else, it clicks in soon enough. Take care. xx

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  8. Lockdown hasn't really affected me much as an essential worker at a power plant. Not as much to do when I finally get some time off, but going to stores and other places doesn't bother me like it seems to bother some people. Be well everyone!

    Pat

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  9. We're 6 months in to lockdown here. Feeling both the joys of being home and the constriction of not really being able to leave it. We've been thankful for the focus we gave our home before the pandemic because it has made things more comfortable (and given us the skills to try to make things better when we're feeling confined), but I also feel a bit trapped and itchy for change. I find myself shopping online more than usual (fortunately, so far, it has mostly been for food and books, things we can actually use and enjoy) and inventing projects to do. It has been a struggle to separate what our home actually needs from simple lockdown fatigue.

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  10. I always enjoy the photos of your garden.

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  11. Hi Rhonda, So happy that you are enjoying our California poppies. That's our state flower. They reseed beautifully, too. I just love them, and have them all over my cottage garden. Their orange color is so vibrant. That's wonderful that your sons are helping you with all of those chores. How nice that you can remain in your home, where you are grounded and comfortable. I packed up the car today because of the fires. I am lucky to have a place to go, but am not sure which one is the safest bet at the moment. I watered everything really well before I left.

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    1. They're certainly beautiful and useful flowers, Stephenie.

      My sister lives in a bushfire area and so I know secondhand about the anxiety of packing up and leaving home, unsure of what will follow. Be careful love and come back here to give an update when you're safe again. xx

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    2. It's getting old this packing up and being ready to go and not knowing where one will end up, isn't it? I live northern Cal and it has not been a good year for us. Good luck to you and will keep you in my prayers and thoughts. It does look like things are calming down a bit now.

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