Frosty

As I mentioned in an earlier post it has been cold here. This morning as I waited outside for my ride I snapped a few pictures with my phone. We had a really big frost this morning which didn’t clear until well after 9 am. These were taken at around 8:30 am. In fact, when Donna arrived to pick me up I was unable to close the car door after getting in. Neither of us had ever seen that before.

Frosty Photinia

While I was waiting I caught the local garbage recycling van in the act of emptying a bin. Mine were not out as there was not much in either rubbish or recycle bin. On my own, I find I don’t need to put them out every week.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Flowers of any kind

Since I started to play with Cee’s black and white challenge I’ve found it a lot of fun to experiment with editing my photos using different filters, desaturating or sepia for different effects. I also love to photograph the flowers in my garden so although I still like them better in colour it’s quite fun to see how they come out.

Flowers

Dark Clouds Gather

I looked out my window this afternoon and I thought it must be raining but the ground didn’t seem to be getting wet. I went outside and the sky was full of black clouds. I think that for just a few minutes it was trying to snow. It was cold enough outside but it didn’t settle and in less than five minutes it was over. As long as I was out there I thought I would take some pictures of the clouds. Despite the threatening appearance, it didn’t rain this afternoon.

Winter

It’s 5pm and I’m sitting in the living room with my laptop on my knees typing. I haven’t yet drawn the curtains but outside it is almost dark, in this room, never bright at the best of times it actually is dark, the only light is coming from the TV. I need to put the lights on. It’s a good thing I touch type.

5pm on a rainy afternoon. 2 June 2019

The weather has been wet again. It wasn’t all that cold during the day but as the late afternoon showers set in it has got a lot colder so I put the heat pump on soon after I got home at 3pm. I do most of my blogging on the laptop in winter as this is the warmest room in the house.

Saturday, the first day of winter, was a beautiful day, the sun was out and the sky was blue. It didn’t last though, the next day was grey and showery and that seems to be what we can expect for the next week or so. There may be some snow falls at higher altitudes. Luckily I got all my washing dry on Saturday so no need to use the clothes dryer.

I have a sausage hotpot in the slow cooker so will stop in a moment to peel some potatoes. Winter means more casseroles, curries, and pasta for dinner along with the old favourites of stew and Shepherd’s pie. They are warm and filling and use the cheap cuts of meat too.

Sausage hotpot and mashed potato
Baked rice pudding and strawberry jam.

I don’t really mind winter most of the time but sometimes the lack of sunlight can be a bit depressing. I prefer the crisp, bright days of winter. There will be frost and fog in the mornings. The rain can be exasperating when it goes on for days and you can’t dry clothes outside and it’s too wet to walk to Geeveston to do errands but at least it’s cosy indoors and there is always the possibility of seeing snow. I know some of my blogging friends see way too much snow in winter but we only get enough to look pretty but not enough to be really inconvenient.

View from the front porch. Not even enough snow to be pretty.

Meanwhile, in England where it is early summer, the Cricket World Cup is being played and later there will be the Ashes Test series.

The Survivors

My plants have had a tough summer. It was pretty warm and dry and with all the fires in the area, people were being asked to conserve water so I didn’t feel like I should be using it watering the garden. I did water my pot plants with a jug but then at the height of the danger, I left home for three weeks.  I wasn’t sure if I would see my house again let alone my plants but I gave all the pots a good soak before I left and the ones on the front porch I placed in a shallow tub of water.  Nevertheless, after being gone for so long I expected to come home to a garden full of dead plants.

English Lavender
English Lavender. I recently bought a couple of pots of this.

The ones I was most upset about losing were several plants that I’d bought in late 2015, two pots of English Lavender, two rose bushes and some Marguerite Daises. I’d bought them not long after David died and I planned to keep them in pots so that when I eventually moved I could take them with me.

The original pot of daisies.

When I was able to visit home again the plants were in a sorry state but they were not completely dead. The ones in the front which were mostly in plastic pots which dry out faster had been saved by the tub of water. Some of the ones around the back were in terracotta pots but they were all dried out and I wasted no time in giving them a good drink and cutting some of the dead stuff off. It was another week until I came home but I hoped that would keep them going until then. Luckily we had some rain that week which helped a lot.

Once things had started to get back to normal I had time to look at the plants properly. I am no gardener but I decided that the best thing to do was first to cut off all the dead parts of each plant and secondly to re-pot them. I had been planning to do that anyway as they had been in the same pots for three years. I had to wait until I could arrange to get some potting soil, it’s not the easiest thing to carry a big, heavy bag of potting soil home in your shopping trolley or on the bus but luckily I was able to tag along with a friend who was renovating and while he was getting his hardware I was able to go and get my bags of potting soil.

English lavender and part of the daisy plant.

I decided to split the daisies into two pots. it looked as if one half was going to die anyway. The rest I returned to their original pots with fresh new soil. There was not a lot left of the lavender. The French lavender in the garden has always been more prolific but I like the English ones, the scent reminds me of summer in England when I was a child.

I had bought some pansy seedlings, marigolds, lobelia and pansies as I like to have flowers around the house, it makes it look welcoming to potential buyers but more importantly, I like them. I put some pansies in with the bigger half of the daisy plant. We had some good rain in March and in between times I kept them well watered.

I’m pleased to say they all lived, even the dodgy daisy.

I didn’t rate this one as having much of a chance but here it is coming back.

A red rose on my rose bush.2016

I was pleased to see the roses looking more healthy after a few weeks in the fresh soil, they started growing a few new shoots and leaves. When pruning time comes I may cut more branches off but for now, I’ll just give it time to recover. It is quite late in the season for flowers, they didn’t flower much this summer at all but I’m hoping next year I’ll see some nice ones like the one in the photo above taken a couple of summers ago.

I was pleased to see new leaves.

regrowth on the rose bush.

A Photo A Week Challenge: Three of a Kind

Third Time Lucky

This week’s Photo A Week Challenge again uses the number three, this time three photos of the same object from three different angles. I headed out into the back yard on a cloudy Saturday afternoon to see what I could come up with.  I had a couple (or three) ideas and in the end, decided to share them all.

I had been meaning to take a photo of my potted marigolds and lobelia as the colours are so pretty together.

I also found a different way of looking at my beloved apple tree.

Finally, I took some of Cindy. What are the chances of getting your dog to sit still for three photos? Especially as I had to walk past her for the last one. Usually, she gets up and follows me when I move.

There’s No Place Like Home

Since I wrote my last bushfire update things have improved a lot. We had some good rains and that along with some cooler weather enabled the firefighters to do some back burning and mopping up operations, finally dropping Geeveston and the surrounding areas back from “Watch and Act” status to “Advice”.

http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId=colCurrentBushfires

The fires are still listed as “going” but many of the other areas around the state where there have been fires are now listed as “Patrol” or “being controlled”.

I haven’t said a lot about the fires in other areas because I was telling the story from my own point of view but they were all as serious as the one we were facing and there was some property loss. Also, many hectares of World Heritage listed forests have been burned, Tasmania’s honey industry has taken a major hit due to the loss of leatherwood trees and who knows how much wildlife has been killed.  We are extremely fortunate that there was no loss of life and so few homes burned. It could have been much, much worse.

The worst of it is we may find ourselves in this situation again next summer or any summer. This could be our new normal and that is a scary thought.

But:

I am at home. I could have come home a few days ago but I picked today as a good day firstly because it was more convenient for Naomi and secondly because of my trip to the Wooden Boat Festival yesterday.

Apart from smelling a bit stale and needing a good vacuum and dust my house is fine. I will have to get on to the cleaning bit because the real estate agent rang to ask if she could bring a potential buyer to have a look at it on Monday.

A day to laze around at home enjoying my own space would have been nice but it will have to wait, there are dust bunnies to hunt.

Photinia Hedge 2018