Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Catching Up

Firstly let me say thank you for your kind thoughts with Matildas passing. I have felt a little at a loss without her company and hence have not been motivated to write or share despite being out and about, mainly trying to fill the void.

I've been off blackberry picking again. I really enjoy taking off for a drive into the country and am most contented to play search and destroy with the blackberry bushes. I have definitely become more adept at the skill of picking fruit without totally destroying my skin. I have now a healthy tanned glow on my face and lower arms, the rest of me is lighter as I remained covered to protect myself from the brambles. I must look a sight in my bright orange shirt and baggy pants, picking away madly on the side of the road.

On Friday the Tour Down Under, cycling race was passing through the region near where I was picking. I saw the community race and actually drove alongside some of the riders as they headed through the hills. I didn't hang around to watch the race as that would have been a few hours away but I think I will plan next year to set up camp on the roadside and cheer a favourite South Aussie along. Sorry i didn't think to take photos. But I did photograph this beautiful display of natives,  a pink flowering eucalypt which was quite a sight from a distance and up close.

This little guy was visiting the fig tree with his mates and having quite a time chomping into the figs, but at least they are pretty to look at although very noisy

And lastly I realised that December never had a moment to shine
so here is the month that was...December

Sunday, 18 January 2015


RIP My dog Matilda

'you were always pleased to see me come home 
and without a word would welcome me 
a wag of a tail a cheeky rise and playful beckoning at my side.
Oh how I wish you could still be here
wagging your tail and your presence so near
without you I am bereft
A heartfelt loss . Not much else is left.
I mourn you my friend
thank you , It is the end xx

Matilda my friend xM

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Mini Vacation

If you go down to the woods today, You might get a big surprise.....Yep that would be me loitering in the meadows , bum in the air as my posterior greets the sun and my face plunges once again into the brambles reaching for that elusive berry (obviously one that got missed by other pickers). I certainly have been a determined blackberry picker of late... would you believe I have been 3 out of 3 days.

The first day was intentional when I wandered off with my girlfriend and had a day of picking and galavanting in and out of op shops, eating a decadent lunch in the Port Elliot pub. We both managed to pick a 3 litre bucket full of berries which approximates to equivalent weight of 3 kg. I was terribly excited to find another mixing bowl to add to my collection as well as others finds previously discussed.

The next days trip was also on the way to Port Elliot, in virtually the same area for picking.. I wasnt going to drive past all these bushes on my way to an overnight stay with my sister and manfriend in Port Elliot (I say man friend because he is way past the age of boyhood and as a mature adult needs a little more recognition than boy...or I could just say partner..what's in a name??) Anyway I traversed the terrain in search of berries with bramble barbs picking at my jeans and occasionally snagging the cloth and scratching the old girls legs. My arms haven't faired too badly as I have become a very adept picker and utilize my bucket to hold pesky vines out of the way. I filled another 3 litre bucket and presented them to my sister on arrival...I was very pleased with my offerings

 The return trip home afforded me my third days picking. I went back to the places I had been two days before and managed a third of a bucket. For some reason I went across the road to pick a single bramble patch, that offered a few. The real find was the hidden vines entwined in amongst the gum trees and other shrubs nearby. Yippee Obviously not visible from the road were great big fat juicy berries hanging in clumps in amongst the leaves. They are protected from the sun by the foliage of the gums, so were juicy and ripe. Of course I picked it clean! And with my bucket filled I had another three litres to take home.
So today I have made 5.8 litres of jam! Gold!~I have actually discovered jam setter and have the thickest jam I have ever made. That being said I wont be re doing my first batch of jam - that can remain runny for my yoghurt with strawberries and muesli in the mornings.

I have to make comment about this spider. I apologise for the photographic quality but my phone camera is not good for macro shots and small objects get missed during the focusing process. I really wished I had my good camera with me but my lovely daughter had commandeered it for her own purposes.
I dont know if you can see the zig zaggy line on the left but this is part of the web. Obviously this spider has had to put up with other intrepide pickers whom have damaged his web and he has done the most amazing repair job. Isnt that just amazing.! The amazing spider and what webs he weaves.

Enough of the picking stuff ( I really want to say shit - Is that too rude? I've said it now!)
Enough of the picking shit!

On to Port Elliot. What tales, what adventures will she tell. Well it really is a rocky tale, a stone cold story of trekking across massive boulders  and desolate scenes as dusks light fades.

Really what I am jibbering on about is my sister and I went for a walk. Yes we did this at dusk after dinner. I was so bloated I needed movement to digest the vast quantities of roast that we ate. My plate was very full and I ate every bit of it and then lived to regret it.

So off over the hills we went.

And here are all the granite boulders in their varying states of glory.

The walk didn't help the digestion and both my sister and I were up chatting to each other at 3-4 am in the morning.
Surprised I kept you up this long. Thanks for tagging along through this long winded drawl but I enjoyed my mini vacation away and just had to share it with you. Toodlepips!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Ecclectic Week

Its been one of those weeks where I've done a bit of everything in between working. I continue with the neutral squares blanket , but tend to get a little bored after a while. So I Have deviated with crochet and made a few stars -still in the neutral tones because I was too lazy to get out of bed and find some other coloured wools.

I made a lovely stack of jams the day after I went blackberry picking. The colour is really vibrant red  -I think because they were such early picked berries. When testing the jam the dolloped blob of jam came out looking like a bird...I just added legs
The other fella is a friendly chap we saw today at Mount Compass....the ladies in the bakery there feed him daily so he is a very friendly magpie. Yes, I went blackberry picking again and once again my arms and legs are scratched to death...what a girl will do for a decent jam!

 We picked in a few different spots and found one lovely shady area that will be great to pick under in hot weather. On a small off road / side road there was a large felled tree. Its huge base is exposed with lots of dirt still attached. Growing out of the base were these fungi...  don't they make wonderful pictures. Its almost like a sea sponge.
Fungi are not a common sight in out hot  dry climate and usually only seen in the damper weather - winter mainly.

 Bought a few flowers today - real and of the pottery kind
and added to the glass bear collection

Friday, 9 January 2015

Early Pickings

Yesterday brought a cool change in weather. After being cooped up inside hiding from the heat I felt the need to venture out and get some fresh air.I knew it was early in the season for blackberries but hoped that the hot weather conditions might have bought on an early show of berries, so off I headed to Mt Compass to try my luck

It rained the whole way there and the clouds in the sky looked ominous - threatening to rain the whole day through. I'm not complaining as the rains are a welcome relief for the firefighters and mean that the fires are now under control. In fact our whole weather pattern is bizarre . We are expecting the heaviest rains ever for the month of January in the next three days, with warnings of flooding to widespread northern areas, Never a truer word was said when someone coined the phrase " Ït never rains it pours!"

Anyway as luck would have it the skies didn't decide to deluge me and dampen my spirits. All I got was a light drizzle and because of the heat to the previous days it was almost muggy/ humid, not in the least bit horrible or cold

The blackberry bushes are laden and promise a good fruiting season. Even though pickings were scarce I still managed to pick 2 kilograms worth of berries but I had to pick over a large area and over a long period of time. I do my picking on the roadside and there is a lot of passing traffic usually but because of the cloudy conditions probably fewer holiday makers than normal. Still some ventured a hello with a toot of their horns.

Even though it is a major road the country side is beautiful and two steps off the road and you are gone from view. So here are my happy snaps from yesterday

Can you see the spider in the photo above, my camera wouldn't focus on him (I was using my phone camera- my daughter has stolen my good camera to go away on holidays with friends)

I found the one and only thistle in amongst the brambles and risked life and limb to go and photograph. I was a bit worried about all the holes in the ground which I am hoping were due to rabbits and not some other dangerous animal..too big for snakes but that is not say that there weren't any snakes about but less likely in the cool weather.
Do you think the fur in between the thistles is due to spiders or part of the plant in growth?

 The alpacas came for a nosey at the fence as I picked on the otherside