Work in the garden has been hampered this week by occasional call outs to work and the priority home project of repainting the interior of the house. The latter is a slow work in progress, one room at a time, with us using the opportunity to get rid of the things we don’t use anymore. Despite not much work being done in the garden, there have been some interesting things happening out there.
1. Last week I mentioned that we have three little helpers. When we are out working in the garden, three Pied Butcher birds (the photos are of the female and/or juvenile. The males are black and white) hang around waiting for tasty morsels.
2. On Saturday we went on trip down along the Obi Obi Road, down a short stretch of twisty dirt road that clings to the side of the mountain range, and into the Obi Obi valley towards Kenilworth. This is one of my favourite local country drives. Our destination was a dairy farm, where, after a chat to the farmer, we loaded up a ute load of composted cow manure for the garden. What a great start to the new week!!
3. Once we arrived home Mr S got stuck in and moved some of the manure into the vegetable garden and beds and left a pile under the tree to use on a new vegetable bed. The three Butcher birds then arrived, delighted to find a pile of manure harbouring curly grubs and worms, and began flicking their beaks from side to side looking for more grubs.
4. Work on my winter project continues very slowly. I manage to do a few hours work on it every week. The additional garden beds have been created, demarcated with bricks and planted out with some of the plants I have propagated from cuttings. I have started to dig out the grass from what is to be the pathway to the back garden. As the pathway will be slightly lower than it is now (to accommodate the bark) I have been mixing the excess soil with potting mix and composted cow manure and using the mix to top up garden beds and fill new planting containers.
5. Over the past couple of weeks there has been a surge in the number and variety of butterflies in the district. Over at work (only 4km away) this ground cover (no idea what it is) has attracted the Australian Leafwing Butterfly. I have never seem so many of these butterflies in one place. Their outer wings provide excellent camouflage against predators, while their inner wings are really prettily marked. Their wings only open intermittently when they are feeding, so you don’t really notice they are there until you see the flash of colour.
6. Morelia spilota subspecies mcdowelli. Now I know you will all probably think I’m crazy, but I just had to share three photos of our Monday (Labour Day) visitor. Needlesss to say, social distancing was practiced!!
Our 3m resident carpet snake put in an appearance at lunchtime (they are normally nocturnal) on Monday, heading for the front garden….and the road! With the recent relaxing of restrictions to visit the National Parks, there has been a steady stream of cars along our road. While most people will not purposely hurt a carpet snake, there are unfortunately those who have total disregard for nature. I was so worried that she would attempt to cross the road, that I spent a fair portion of the afternoon keeping an eye on her. Carpets do not move quickly. She knew I was there, and the only way to avoid me, in her opinion, was to go up – right up the tree fern and onto the roof! She spent the remainder of the afternoon up there and only slithered down the wall when it was dark, before heading back the way she had come.
That’s it for my contribution to this week’s Six on Saturday. Curious to see what is happening in other gardens around the world? Then head over to The Propagator’s blog for more information and links. Have a lovely gardening week!