Friday, October 31, 2008

Dew Drops

Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me. This pic is just another one of those special moments that we come across & realize just how special this world is, if only we just take the time to stop & take notice. This is an early morning shot of my strawberry plants. So what you all ask? Well, on close inspection, the little dew drops are visible on every peak on the leaves. So my question is this, why do they accumulate on the points? Why do the drops not run down the leaf, or accumulate somewhere else? Only Mother Nature would know the answer.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rose Weevil?

Check out this bug that I found crawling all over my lovely pink roses. Friend or foe I had to ask myself. So I did some research & came upon this site, which describes the weevil as 5-6mm in length. My beetle is more like 1.5 cm in lenght, but it looks just like all the pics I have seen of adult rose weevils. It appears this little creature is a foe to my flowers. I always wondered what caused the little holes in my rose buds, now I know, & will have to take action.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Old Friends & New

These magpies have been nesting in our area for years. When we first moved into our house, they used to nest in the park (pictured) just down the road, then one year they nested in the gum tree in my neighbours yard. They nested here for a number of years until the crows came & took over the nest a few seasons ago. Now they have nested in a large gum tree in a property adjoining the park, just out of camera range to the left.

We have got to know these magpies very well over the years. One year we watched over their babies as they learnt to fly. They had fallen from the nest & landed in our yard, so to protect them from cats, we bundled them up in a box with a wire top, patially covered with old towels, & put them on top of our carport roof. They would be in this box of a night, and during the day they had the run of our yard, with their mum & dad flying in to feed them. The babies became very tame, and my sons used to pick them up & let them fly down to the ground. It only took a few days and they were strong enough to fly high enough to get away from any predators.

So now every year they come back to say hello & introduce us to the next generation. Below is a baby from this year, not sure if he is watching me with the camera, or himself in the mirror in my neighbours garage.

Magpies have a reputation of swooping & attacking humans if they come anywhere near their nest. As you can see, their beaks are quite large & can cause some serious damage. Personally, I have found that if we are aggressive to them, they will be aggressive back. These particular magpies know that we will not hurt them, & quite often come looking for food.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Christmas Is Comming

The weather in Sydney over the last few days has been nothing but dismal. Cold, wet & windy, it has been more winter than spring. I believe it even snowed in the Blue Mountains which means it was really cold here. The up side of all this is the rain we have had, 17mm, or well over half an inch in the old scale. My garden is singing again.
The pic this morning is of my NSW Christmas Bush which is in bud. Just a reminder that Christmas is around the corner with hopefully warmer weather to come.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Eggs to What?

These eggs were found on a leaf of my lemon tree. I figure they are the eggs of some pest of some kind so they have been removed. I tried to do a search to find out what they might be the eggs of, & could only find the "bronzed orange bug" or "stink bug". In the pics I found, the eggs were green, not brown like these, and somewhere I read that they always lay 14 eggs, which I find hard to believe. There is also something called the "Horned Citrus Bug" which also is a pest. Anyway, whatever these eggs are the babies of, they are no longer on my tree and can do no more damgage to it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More Daisies

Some pics of another daisy in my garden this morning. This one came from a packet of seeds labelled "cottage garden" that I threw over the garden some years ago. I think it is a "Cut Leaf Daisy", as it always has flowers. These flowers start off pink, then go white as they open out. They are only tiny flowers, and sometimes I pick some of them to add as fillers to a small vase of cut flowers for inside. It is also another hardy plant as it has survived the drought of the last few years.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shasta Daisies

Signs of summer are arriving in my garden, even though summer is still officially about six weeks away. This is one of the buds that has appeared on one my shasta daisies. These dasies originally came from my Mum's garden, and have multiplied over the years. They were all across the front garden at one point, but with the drought and water restrictions , I have lost quite a lot of them. Over the last year we have had a little more rain than the previous few years, and the dasies are starting to spread again. I have about 4 little pockets of them scattered throughout the garden, and may be able to transplant some cuttings to make them spread faster, once they finish flowering. I look forward to seeing the butterflies they attract when they are in flower.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Channel-Billed Cuckoo

Yesterday I noticed a different bird in the gum trees in my neighbour's yard. There were two of them actually & they were so noisy. I recognised their call as the one which I sometimes hear at night. Over the last few weeks I have started to hear them again & I was really happy to finally see who or what has been to blame for all the noise.

I was not quick enough with the camera to catch a pic, so this one is from Waratah Software, and pictures the channel-billed cuckoo with a kurrawong.

I have also learnt this morning that this bird migrates to Northern & Eastern Australia from New Guinea & Indonesia each spring, & goes back in late summer & early autumn. Their calls can be heard here, just scroll down to the second on the list & click on the sound file. Oh joy, I have six monts of listening to these calls at all hours of both day & night. The kurrawong song I can handle any time.

Colour Differences

This is another gazinia flower from my garden. Note the colour differences to the last one. In this one the stripes are more defined because of the lighter coloured petals. There is also much more yellow in this one, and I just love the yellow spots at the base of the petals. Obviously this plant has been a product of the bees playing in my garden & has come from one of the seeds.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Subtle Colour

A gazinia for you all today. This is just one of the many colours of gazinias in my garden. They are not my favourite flower, in fact when we first moved into this house there were yellow/orange gazinias in the garden sitting above red pebbples. Yuk! So over the years I have slowly got rid of the red pebbles, built up the soil and planted other things. Over the last few years of drought, I have lost a lot of plants in my garden, so I have had a serious look at what has survived and to make the most of those plants. Gazinias were on the list. The horrible yellow/orange ones have gone and instead I have got more sublte shades of pink & cream. They seed very easilly & have started to spread, giving a great carpet of colour, blocking out the weeds, and forming shade for the roots of my roses.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My "Jennifer" Rose

Another rose today. This one is called "Jennifer", and was given to me for obvious reasons. It is supposed to be a miniature, and while being about half the size of my other roses, I think it is a little larger than what I would call "miniature". Not that I am complaining at all, because this rose is just beautiful, and would be one of my favourite colours. This is the first flower on this bush for this season.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Crab Catus In Flower

My crab cactus is in flower. In the background of the pic can be seen all the buds that will be in flower very soon, putting on a wonderful display.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Asparagus Fern

It was a cool & wet day yesterday with 14mm of rain, that's over 1/2" in the old scale. How nice is that? My garden is breathing a sigh of relief and so are my two asparagas ferns. Both are sending up new fonds like the one pictured above.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Frond

Warmer weather followed by a cool change & rain, perfect conditions for my birds nest fern to put up some new fonds. This is exactly the weather that we have been getting over the last few weeks and my fern is reponding beautifully. Above is only one frond of about ten new ones. I just love the way that they curl around when they are new & gradually open right out.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Crab Cactus

My crab cactus is ready to flower. I tried to get a good close up of one of the buds, so the rest are a little blury. I am sure you can see however just how covered in buds this plant is & how good it will look in a few days.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Working Hard

This morning a pic of the bees at work gathering pollen form my wygelia. It is good to see the bees active and still around. I have heard stories about the bees dying out and the disasterous effect that this would have on our world. No bees, the plants are not pollinated, therefore no seeds are formed, therefore no new plants to provide us humans with food. They forgot to mention that other insects like beetles, butterflies, ants etc, also pollinate plants, though I am not sure whether each plant has it's own helpfull insect for this process. Probably they do. I did hear at one stage that Australian bees have not been affected by whatever is happening to the bee population in the rest of the world, and our bees have been sent overseas to help with the problem.
My wygelia flowers have different stages of colour. They come out very light pink and gradually get darker as they age. The bush is nearly at the end of it's flowering season already.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Recovering Strawberries

With the hot weather last week and then a few showers of rain, my strawberry plants have been getting a hiding. The rain however has let them recover & they are producing flowers again already. I just have to keep the snails away.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Roots?

Last week I noticed this new growth on my bush orchid. At least, that is what I have believed this orchid to be called. This morning in my searching I have found this site, which actually calls it a "rock orchid".
I was uncertain as to what this this new growth actually was until I read this page. It appears that it is new roots, and that they will be looking for food. So this means that I have to either re-pot this orchid, or divide it up. Something I will have to look into doing very shortly.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Unpredictable Spring

The weather over this past long weekend has been typical spring, with temperatures reaching to the 30's then quickly dropping back to winter type ones complete with rain. The heat did affect my roses & I cut over 50 shrivelled up, heat affected blooms from them, but not before I managed to sneak this bunch of glorious blooms to adorn my dining room table. This bunch is made up of just pink roses & wygelia & smelt divine. There are still some pink blooms left, with more buds on the way, and with the help of the rain, the white roses will follow very shortly. Enjoy.

Friday, October 3, 2008


This is just a close up of one of my roses before the heat got to them yesterday. It got to 32 degrees yesterday, which is a little high for this time of the year. Today it is actually hotter, currently at 34 degrees and rising. The wind is also very prominant today which will also destroy my beautiful roses. Bring on the change.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Roses Bloom

Just thought I would share one of my rose bushes with you this morning. I have four of these pink ones in my front garden & at the moment they are spectacular. After today they will be a little worse for wear as the temperature is supposed to get to 35 degrees today. Now that is seriously quite warm, verging on hot, and I know these roses will not like the heat.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Space

The birds have been making so much noise in the way of squawking I just had to go & investigate. Believe it or not the Myna birds and the Crows were fighting over space on the overhead wires. At least that's what it looked like. It was probably more like fighting over some scrap of food or some other life threatening problem . ( Like my cat was watching them!)
In my search to find links for you about these birds, I discovered that what I have always called "crows" are actually "Australian Ravens." I have always said that we learn something new every day. Today I definately did.