Boinga mating

So our little princess boinga was in the paddock with not one, but two suitors. It was easy to tell the female because: firstly she was the one being chased after and secondly she wasn’t really hopping, but bouncing around in a very delicate manner. The boys chased after her and then did the standing up really tall and straight stuff. She hadn’t made a firm decision one way or the other when she was in our territory. What happens is that when the female is ready, she will lick the neck of the male she has chosen. They will then have a small boxing match and then get down to business. After this, the male will nick off and the wallabies will go back to their soltary existence. Anyway, I’m guessing we shall see a baby boinga in the not too distant future. Here’s a pic (sorry about the quality)boinga

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Daylillies

Crikey! Don’t know what it’s like at your place, but the paddock is about as hot as Mount Vesuvius on eruption day. At least the summer flowers are coming out. There are a few daylillies around the place to cheer up overheated paddock workers. These flowering plants originated in China and like all chinese plants, thrive in Oz. The name daylilly was an easy choice as the flowers last for a day. But, in flowering season, there are plenty of buds so you get a new flower each day. The daylillies I have were gifts from various people when we first moved here. They tend to make a new plant every year or so and can then be divided. People who are mad keen on these things hybridise them to try and achieve a new flower which they can then grandly name. So if I were to hybridise one, (which I surely won’t), I could call it Responsabilis Puberus for the Responsible Adult. Anyway, back to when we got here. So there was much fuss over the growing and particularly the selling of these plants. Unfortunately, the growers appeared to tackle competition as something to be smothered rather than joining together to make us the Daylilly capital of Oz or something. Prices got quite high – not quite like the great tulip bubble in the 17th century, but still very pricey. These days, you can buy very nice ones for about a tenner, but your best bet is to find other growers and swap your divided plants. Costs nothing. Here’s a pic:

daylily

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Moving mulch

A paddock workers best friend in the paddock is mulch. Obviously that refers to inatimate objects and not to the Resposible Adult who is this paddock workers best friend in regard to humans. Mulch helps to retain moisture in the soil and to keep that harsh Oz sun from heating and baking the soil. It brings worms and micro organisims into the garden and eventually breaks down and becomes humus in the soil. So having established an area in front of the groovy pad for a garden, it is time to mulch and plant. The cheapest mulch is called forest blend. Forest blend is the chipped remains of trees that some other person wanted removed. If I ever have a tree removed, then the resulting forest blend stays on the paddock, but some people actually want it removed! So, you just phone tree removers and ask them to bring you someone elses unwanted mulch.

Having had your bloody big pile of mulch delivered, it then needs to be moved and spread on  your garden beds. The easiest way to move this, or any other big pile of stuff is to lay your barrow on a low angle and start raking the stuff in. You can get a fair bit in this way without having touched a shovel. Then stand your barrow up and shovel until absolutely full. Obviously, if you were shifting somethin heavier, say gravel, then half a barrow load is probably heavy enough. But with mulch, you should go really full so as to save a few trips.

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Kangaroo Paws

Don’t fret – this has nothing to do with gruesome dismembering of Australia’s national animal the boingaroo. As well as being something that boingaroos use for boxing matches, kangaroo paws is the name of a flowering plant native to Western Australia. Normally in the paddock, I grow only species that are endemic to our specific location. I figure the wildlife will appreciate those plants the most. But around the groovy pad, I am happy to plant other Australian plants. And lets face it, birds in particular travel great distances. Lots of them are nectar feeders and love plants like grevillia. Anyway, kangaroo paws don’t necessarily look that great, but if you give them a bit of love, they will flower profusely and provide a nice bit of colour. Here’s what they look like:

kanga paw6

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Old Boots

As a fashion concious Paddock Worker, I always insist on wearing Blundstone Boots. These very chic boots originated in Oz specifically for our tough conditions. For the clumsy oaf, they can come with steel caps. After making the boots in Tasmania for 137 years, the company sacked its 300 staff during the Christmas break in 2007 and their product is now made somewhere else – India? Indonesia? – who knows? Anyway, after this act of business bastardry, they still produce the best boots for manly workers. Unfortunately they don’t last forever but you should expect about 5 years worth of rabbiting around your paddock. So, then, what to do with the old ones? See pic:

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The Boinga had a baby

Our resident Red Necked Wallaby turned up with a friend a while ago. I couldn’t get a shot of the friend as he was very timid. He was also bigger than our resident thus solving the question of gender. Our wallaby being smaller has turned out to be a female. The big male turned up for a couple of days then disappeared. This is typical behaviour for the species. Red Necked Wallabies are solitary by nature so it wasn’t hard to guess why he popped in for a sleepover. Sure enough, our dear little boinga has had a baby boinga. The joey grew quite quickly and once out of the pouch, like his Dad, only stayed for a couple of days.

These wallabies have enjoyed settlement. Since humans no longer hunt them, they have benefitted from land clearing that turns forest into pasture as well as construction of small dams etc which provides water. Of course the other side of the coin is that forest dwelling species such as paddymelons are dwindling.

Here’s a pic:

joey5

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Bringing back from Bali – little Temple

Almost everywhere you go in Bali, you will see a little Temple or offering box. Each day, some incence is lit and small offerings like flowers are put in the box. I picked one up for about a fiver. I decided that I would like a Garuda in mine which I found for about $30. Most days I remember to light up a bit of incence, but I can’t quite get into a daily ritual. Still, it is nice to burn a stick sometimes in rememberence of things. Like a couple of days ago when Jack Bruce died, I lit up some incence and played the old Cream songs at volume. Here’s a pic:

temple2

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Kookaburra and other dicky birds

Watching dicky birds has become a bit of a pasttime down at the groovy pad. The old cubby house was surrounded by trees, so it was a bit can’t see the dicky birds for the forest. Down here, we can see far more of the lovely little feathered friends. It is particularly nice of an arvo to sit on the deck with a nice coldie and watch them travel up and down the valley. There’s a mob of kooka’s that like to spend the night on a deceased wattle tree in the paddock. The wander in about half an hour before sunset, have a good laugh or two before tucking their heads under their wings for the night. Anyhow, one of them popped over for a good gawk at us before going to bed. Here he is:

kooka

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Herbs in Strawberry Pots

Geez. Long time no blog. What happened is that the Responsible Adult and I finally moved into the groovy pad. Part of the idea of building our little retirement home was to, well, retire. I figured that house maintenence would be a snap. Just a bit of landscaping and I could lay back and enjoy with minimal weeding perhaps 5 minutes a month. Well, the landscaping has been keeping me busy, busy, busy. And there’s a whole lot more to go. But, in between mixing loads of cement, I have been having fun with container gardening. Over the years, starting about 37 years ago, I have bought strawberry pots with the idea of growing herbs in them. Well, long story short, I never got round to planting them until now. Hope you like them. From left to right – the bay tree (see earlier blog), thyme with a rosemary top, strawberries, oregano with garlic chives top. And a minature rose just to be pretty.

herbs

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The Gamal by Ciarán Collins

The Gamal is an Irish term which seems to equate to the village idiot and this novel is narrated by the Gamal. For the village idiot, he is pretty bright and also, happy to say, quite witty. He is writing this book as an exercise for his psychiatrist and as a way to deal with a trauma that has badly affected him.
While it is hard to trust his narration of a series of events, he is definitely worth reading. The tale borrows a bit from Othello and Romeo and Juliet – so you can probably tell it won’t be a happy tale, but the telling is full of humour. The writing is fresh and rather unique. Perhaps it is a bit over long and the Gamal can wander down some navel gazing paths that may have been best edited out but it is a bloody good read.
Give it a go – you will be glad you did.
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