Where I live Feed

A forced retreat

My son rang me this morning to say he had tested positive for Covid.  I'm still coming to terms with that.  When he was here he told us that everyone at work had contracted the virus, so in some ways I'm not surprised. (He is triple vaccinated.) Now we have to handle that.  It is impossible to get a test done unless you have symptoms and there are no home tests available to self test.  So, we will just have to wait and see what happens.  Not much use worrying about what might happen.  Both my husband and I are 'at risk'.  He because he has had open heart surgery and me because I have a problem with my immune system, so it is a concern.

We have to go into isolation for the next 7 days as close contacts so I am lining up the sewing projects.  Those place-mats and then quite a bit of quilting.  At least there will be no interruptions!  Because we live, away from people, I can still go for a walk outside.  And there are some parts of the island where you can be completely alone.  So it isn't all doom and gloom, and just think of all the work I can get done?

This morning the sea was calm and the wild hibiscus trees had dropped their flowers into the water.  (This tree is home to jewel beetles as well as having lovely flowers.)

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I am going to keep an eye on my Bougainvillea, it is growing like Jack's bean stalk and it is not going any higher than the roof.  I wonder how long it will take to get to the roof?

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Where I Live

This is not a usual summer this year.  Normally I am melting by this stage but there are some big cyclones around just now.  I got this lovely photo of the island from the mainland the other day but you can see those rain clouds everywhere hence the rainbow.  Sometimes the rain is really heavy and the winds are high.

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Where it would be bright sunshine everything is just overcast.

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My sons have got their new boat up and ready to sail, and it has pushed the car out of the carport, but Guy has a broken wrist and the weather is just too unstable to put her in the water.

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This time of year sees king tides and that, in combination with the cyclone sitting just off the coast, has seen that water levels rise.  Each year the tide seems to come up just a bit higher.  It has been threatening to rise over the beach and swamp the creek for some time.  That has now happened.

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At low tide this creek disappears and the puddles that are left are a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  No worry about that at the moment.

The water level has risen so much that waves are washing over the rocks on the shore line that are usually high and dry.

Screen Shot 2022-01-03 at 8.49.39 pmWhen I go down the track,  which runs from our home to the beach, I can see the water lapping at the edge of the bush. This is normally another 10 metres further away but there is still a bit of distance and the bluff before the water would reach us.

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What this will do to the plants and trees that live along the shore line we will have to see.  The eastern side of the island was hit by a cyclone a few years ago.  Many of the big trees were swamped and died as a result of inundation from the salt water.  We are just going to have to watch what happens this time.  There are non of those big gums down on this level.  The worst senario is that it might destroy the barge ramp.  Then no one could get any vehicles on or off the island.  I think I will move my car back to the mainland in the next few days.


Things that come with the storm

I never knew why these flowers were called 'storm lillies".

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Now I do.  The minute the storms built up and the rains came the lillies bloomed.  They are just so pretty.

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And they are covered with native bees who love their nectar.  Usually the native bees just look like little black insects,

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That black speck is one.  They look like this close up.

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But I saw a blue banded one the other day.  These are native bees also and are just so different that I had to get on line and research them.  ( I couldn't get a picture on my phone.)

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One good thing about the rains is that it will give all the trees I have planted a good start.  Even my Agapanthas are blooming.

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The bad thing is the mosquitoes.  We have Barmar Forest and Ross River Fever virus cases and some one tested positive for Dengue Fever.  My sons had that when they were small when we lived up north.  I thought that they might have died they were so ill.  The hospital and the doctors were worried about that as well but they both recovered, although it was weeks before they could walk again.

My daily routine now includes putting on insect repellent twice a day, without fail along with wearing a mask when I go shopping.  As if we don't have enough to worry about with Covid?


Feral Flowers

I couldn't find any flowers to pick this week on my bush walk.  Then, right outside my home there was this.

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Looks like they have all been zapped.  I do not approve of this spraying.    It doesn't kill the weeds but it does kill lots of other plants.

The other discovery I made this week is the Bear likes cats.  There must have been a cat in his life at some point.

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He is such a gentle little dog I'm really lucky to have got him.

The weather has been so hot and humid and now the storms are crashing on top of us.  I don't hold out much hope of the washing drying.

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I can't turn on my sewing machine and I should turn off this computer because of all the lightening.

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Feral Flowers

I usually collect my flowers from the bush on a Sunday but this week I was on duty at our Island Art Gallery.  It is only a 4 hours shift but I was busy this time, actually selling our Artisan's Art.  (The merchandiser in me saw lots of things I think could be improved.)  After this I rushed off the island to pick up a small table I wanted for one of the balconies.  Wouldn't you know, the weather changed and I can't sit outside at the moment.

But I did take a walk with the dog and collected my 'feral flowers' from the bush.

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There are lots of this type of bush on the island that produces these red berry's.  The other flower is an iris.   In fact the berry bushes are everywhere and I can see why with the amount of seeds that they make.  Pretty little berries that look great, but I don't see the birds eating them and every bush is loaded with them.

I am having fun playing with all the new apps that I am learning about.  The little china dog was given to me by my friends mother, it is special.  Mrs Veira had come to Australia from Jamaica back in the 1970's and among her possessions was this little dog. It is stamped 'Beswick England' on the base and has a lady beetle on it's nose.  My friend married my husband's best friend and moved to Victoria Mill, (a big sugar mill) away from her mother, and, my husband and I started businesses in Cairns, where Mrs Veira lived.  She became my surrogate mother when I had my first child.  When she became ill she decided to return to Jamaica to end her days where she had been born and raised and gave me this little dog.  My friend has a matching one and I have offered to give it to her but she says no, her mother wanted me to have it.

I am getting quite a collection of these photo's now, well one a week.  I have an idea to make them into something, well actually a few 'somethings'.  A bit late for Xmas 2021 but maybe 2022?


A new week

I don't know why a broken rib should effect my brain, but it has.   Thinking is a problem so I am going to try and put that aside for a few days.  I had meetings and things on this past weekend, I thought.  I turned up on both days to things that will happen in the future!!  I am not with it.

Most of the feral flowers are now finished but I did find this iris.

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Now there are lots of seed pods getting ready for next year.

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My husband told me that the boganvillia I had planted was some other plant, so I went a bought a new one, only to find he was looking at the wrong plant.  I have 2 plants climbing on the back patio.  I would love them to look like this.

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But they still have not grown too much and look like this.

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I live in hope.  But my lavender and rosemary are doing fine.  The rosemary was bought in the fruit and veg section of the supermarket and has just taken.

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And some of the other flowers are looking good.

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I have finally got Bear to go in and out by the doggy door.  Just in time I think.  I found a dogs jaw bone the other day.

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And then came upon these two wandering around.

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They are last things I need in the house.

I can't concentrate on sewing so have been confined to mending. 

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I suppose that does qualify as sewing, but it is boring.


Where I live and planning some more knitting

I am a bit stiff and sore after digging a new flower bed but it is spring and time to get things in the ground to grow. 

My 'feral flowers' this week are all from the bush with the exception of a few lavender flowers I put it for their perfume and a couple of azalea flowers for colour. The rest are considered weeds.   The crucifix orchid also come in a pink, purple and yellow but it is the orange ones that have gone wild.

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It has been a sad week with the death of a childhood friend across the border.  There was no opportunity to see her again or talk to her but that is COVID.  My cousin, who is also across the border has cancer, caused by the drugs she was given when she was treated for breast cancer a number of years ago.  Our mothers where first cousins who were brought up as sisters and my mother died from breast cancer and her mother survived.  We know that we carry the gene and Beverly has been the unfortunate one who got the very aggressive form.

Her daughter so wanted children but after years of IVF treatment finally gave up.  Now at 44 years of age she finds herself pregnant.  I just gave away all my baby wool stash thinking I would never need it again.  I should have known something like this would happen.  I can order more wool on-line to knit her a hap.

A Hap is a Scottish shawl that can be used for a babe or an adult.

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This pattern is from Shetland Traders.

The Danish Royals left hospital with their twins wrapped in haps.

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This pattern is an old Paton's one that I have used before.  You can still get it on-line.

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But we know the new baby is going to be a boy so perhaps a blue hap would be better?

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The baby is due in January so I might look at knitting it in 1ply yarn?   I can get that from Bendigo Woollen Mills or from Scotland.Screen Shot 2021-09-05 at 11.51.02 am

J & S knitting mills have a good article about haps.

And as an extra I see that Julie Williams from Little Cotton Rabbits is going to put out a koala pattern.  I must get that.

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I need to get my current knitting finished so I can get started.

 


Where I live

Not being able to get out and about, most of my life seems to be centred around my home.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, just a bit different and I am sure there are a lot of other people around the world who's lives are much the same.

I had wanted to buy the house at the back of mine to move it onto another block so I could have a big garden but that didn't happen. 

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So, I have put most of my attention into the garden I have, including the patios and verandahs.

 

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  It is small and easy to manage and I have the bush across the road and the beach, so really I didn't need a big garden to look after.  I just wanted one.  It is a steep climb back to the house from the beach.

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Every week I collect flowers from the bush for the house.  I can't pick native plants but there are plenty of 'feral' flowers where people have dumped plants in the bush.

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I planted some more bushes to make the verandah more private and at the side of the house came upon feathers.

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My little assistant, who is my shadow alerted me to them.

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Then I noticed that the PeeWees have gone missing.  The males were always attacking their refections in the windows now they are suddenly gone.

I don't think it is the eagles, although they are always flying over.

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And I know of no cats anywhere nearby.  I suspect some of those big crows that are around are the killers.

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I suppose that is just how nature works.


Moreton Bay Fig Trees

Often when I turn up for the barge or ferry they are not there.  I have knack for arriving at morning tea or lunch time, when they don't run.  I am getting better at this and if it it lunch time I will get a take-away to eat in the car while I wait.  But the car isn't a very interesting place to sit so I have been driving down the dead end streets that run off the main road that goes to the jetty just to see where they lead. 

Whilst doing this I found a small park at the end of one of these little roads and it sits at the waters edge. It only has a garbage bin and one seat but it has a beautiful Moreton Bay Fig tree to sit under.  (My husband looks like a bushranger with his mask on.)

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The same kind of tree that was in my book 'Memorial", but this one is only a teenager.  I shouldn't have been surprised because we live right on Moreton Bay but you don't see many of these giants around.  There are some here and there but like all fig trees they have invasive roots and most people do not have gardens big enough to accomodate them. This teenager spreads its branches across the width of three properties.

The trunk of this one has seen better days.  It looks like someone started a fire here, but it survived.

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The birds have dropped seeds of the umbrella tree that have sprouted at the base and up in the branches.

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The sunlight seen through the leaves is like a painting.

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The fruit hasn't ripened as yet.  I will have to check if it you eaten by the indigenous people that lived here.  It has such a huge crop you would think so.

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It was low tide when I took these pictures.  At high tide the water come right to the edge of the grass.  You look out over what some consider just a mud flat but there is lots of sea grass that extends far out.  No wonder we have Dugong living here.

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Source: https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/dugong

This will definitely be where I will sit whilst I wait for the barge in future.

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Where I live

The season is about to turn.  How do I know?  My neighbours blossom tree is in flower.

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I look for this every year and know that spring isn't that far away.  Jane, my neighbour, has adopted an old Jack Russel dog named Buddy.  He is a lovely old man and keeps the kookaburras at bay along with all the other birds who try to steal the chicken's food.

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I can see it is time to start planting my summer crops.  Jane has her's underway and her chickens are helping to prepare the soil.  We have all taken to having some native bee hives placed in our gardens as well.  Native bees have no sting and the honey is delicious.

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My vegetable garden is just some styro-foam boxes.  I can move these around out of the salt wind off the water and into the best positions.  I usually get a good crop of salad vegetables.  Jane lives one street back from the waters edge and is sheltered from the salt winds.  I would love a garden like this.

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But then I have the water views so stryo-foam boxes it has to be.