Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bruny Island Bird Festival, part 3!!

Oh, so much to show and tell….

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The yellow throated honey eater, in all its glory, at last seen, not in the forests, not on any walk, but out in the garden where we stayed.image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The red apronned cake cook, below,….. whose raspberry cream cake and hazelnut, morello cherry cakes were unbeatable….. easily found at the CWA stall in the Saturday Market at Adventure bay! image

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The superb blue Lenny, patiently trying to fit 2 bags of sheep manure and half a dozen plants into the car for the return journey!

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Nearly home….. Where else can you end your holiday with a view like this?! My house is just near the water in the middle of the picture.

Bruny Island (Bird?) Forest Festival, part 2

I saw much of the weekend with a plant lover’s eye. While everyone else scanned the tops of very tall trees for very small birds, in a world of bird sounds, I was excited by the beauty of the Tasmanian bush and the amazing flowers now in bloom.

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This is the Tasmanian Laurel, a large shrub dotted throughout the forests and now covered in masses of white flowers. I had my big zoom lens on to capture those elusive bird and could not get far enough away to get good photos of the whole shrubs.

 

It is truly a sight to see, the Tasmanian forest, in flower!

 

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The floor of the forests, and even the paths, were dotted with various tiny orchids…. if only I’d had my macro lens!

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The Tasmanian clematis is also in full bloom, climbing trees and cascading in masses of white stars.

The clematis and laurel are readily available to home gardeners and I look forward to planting some in the understorey of damp areas of my garden soon!

 

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Of course, wallabies watched us with interest. A white (not albino) wallaby remained shy, with a young one in tow.

 

 

 

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The scent of these plants, when in flower en masse, carries across the land on the breeze. Sadly only a few flowers were left this day.

Trickling water, ferns and moss, tiny, tiny things, enormous tree trunks and soaring leaves…. peace for the soul…

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Bruny Island Bird Festival, part 1

The Bruny Island Bird Festival started on Thursday…. as a storm brewed across the water. Then the sky opened and it poured all day and into the night but we braved it and attended the welcome BBQ, in marquees around the Adventure Bay hall. The food was wonderful and the speakers made us enthusiastic to join in the guided bird walks and various talks on Friday.

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Luckily, Friday morning saw quite a bit of sunshine, making our shore birds walk a delight. On the foreshore at Adventure Bay there are many flowering gums, perfect habitat for the Swift Parrot (a threatened species), which we frequently saw, but failed to capture in a photo, on our walk.

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While Lenny continued on the shore birds walk, I left halfway through to head off to a talk by Chris Tzaros about photographing birds. It was very inspiring and not too advanced for amateurs like me. Here is a photo Chris took of a Swift Parrot.

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However, the best chance we had to photograph some interesting birds came when I did not have my camera with me! A raptor hovered above the beach scrub, a flock of plovers took off from the beach in front of us, a late flash of light making them appear brilliant silver and a beautiful, large sea bird flew overhead, with the setting sun illuminating its coloured under sides, while we walked on the beach this evening….. Never go anywhere on Bruny Island without your camera!! Small compensation was this little (blurry) Scarlet Robin on a fence post, I photographed at the Bruny Island Berry Farm earlier in the afternoon.

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Then, just as we returned from our walk this evening, front after front sped down the mountains, bringing rain and wind across the sea again.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Great Disruption

This book by ex CEO of Green Peace, Paul Gilding, pulls together research, interviews and history as well as Paul’s own business perspective to create a masterpiece of understanding of where we are, how we got here and where we must go.

I will need to re-read some parts to be able to talk intelligently about the facts, but I am much more of a gist person. Interestingly, many of us already understand the gist of our current predicament, simply by taking a by-stander’s eye view. Those of us in our 50’s and beyond see so many facets of our world turning sour. A world previously understood is becoming chaotic, from chemical residues in the depths of the sea to mega-melting of polar ice caps, from alarming increases in climate related catastrophes to huge political upheavals related to economic collapse, from foreign ownership of our Australian farmlands to coal seam gas ripping our food bowls apart, from epidemics of depression and anxiety to a world full to overflowing with plastic consumables. We all know something is not right.

That this ‘something’ is about to explode in our faces, this century and in the life times of most of us reading this, can make us bury our heads further in the sand and soldier on. Many people have not grasped the fact that we, the human race, chose our path of economic growth not long ago. It has worked well but it is past its ‘best before’ date and we must make a new model for the future. If we wander along this same path, not looking where we are going, we will fall over a cliff and tear civilisation apart. If we stop a moment and take stock now, facing up to the fact that we have choices and now is the time to make them, we will have time, brief and intense it may be, to lay down the foundations of a new path.

Many such thinkers and movers have come to live in and around Cygnet, including Paul Gilding himself! We are a loosely connected band of people seeking something beyond consumerism and a huge mortgage. Many do not know why it feels right here but right it does feel and eventually I hope we will be able to pull together to reassemble community, sharing and a less introspective lifestyle.

I am only just past half way in my reading of The Great Disruption but I have now come to the ‘roll up your sleeves and get started’ section of the book. I can’t wait to read about and put into action, as an individual at least, the construction of a new, firm path for our future and I am sure it will include saving our own seeds!

I am reading it on Kindle…. I feel it is better to buy a product like an ebook reader, once, than it is to keep cutting down trees to make paper for every book I read.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Come and cook with me, from my garden

I cannot get anyone to come. I can’t understand why!! Have a look at what I picked for dinner last night….

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…..have a closer look….

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….. and then there was an optional salad, left over from lunch…..

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I had lots of ideas for cooking them…. with or without added meat or fish…. with rice or home made bread….. and eggs from the new white chooks…..

So, what do I have to do to get people to come? Probably charge them more!! I see The Agrarian Kitchen charges $350!! Same thing happened with my sourdough workshops. Now it is $45 people are queuing up, but for $20 I could not find any takers.

Everyone wants to do my pastry workshop but I said no, I want you to learn to eat well, eat local….. cook and eat in my kitchen…..The only person who put their name down did not turn up on the night!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Carnevale in my garden!

And so it was that the ABC Gardening Australia crew arrived on time at 9am yesterday to film a piece on seed saving with me; producer, camera man, sound man and Tino Carnevale, all exceptionally nice people, who treated my inexperience in such things with lots of smiles!

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The filming started with Tino doing an introduction in my driveway…..

Then we moved into the garden, walking, talking and re-walking and re-talking now and then. That is the part I found hardest – thinking up a brilliant explanation in answer to one of Tino’s questions, then sometimes having to remember and repeat it!

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It was wonderful to spend an entire day talking about what I love most, with Tino, who has the same way of thinking as me. It was like a spring board; allowing us to cover more ground than I thought possible, whilst at the same time doing the filming.

It was interesting to see the attention to detail that the producer, Albert, had. He made sure that every possible angle and shot was covered, before moving on. We had to contend with the raucous sound of hundreds or maybe thousands of frogs in the pond, 2 broody and upset geese and a chook yard full of chooks telling us they had laid eggs.

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But, lets step back a few days…. when, over the weekend, 13 friends from our seedsavers group, SeedSaveUs, turned up at various times to get my garden looking its best. I cannot thank them enough!

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It wasn’t all work though…. I made sure there was coffee, cake, soup and bread on hand at all times!image

Gosh, 2.5 years here and soooo much has happened.

 

And here is Lenny, the man behind all the photos; the kind and gentle man who has helped me through….. a special thanks to you.

Life certainly is good.

ps I will put the screening date on here when I know!