It’s Betty 2s birthday and the nice Government has given Paddock Workers a day off. It isn’t really Betty 2’s birthday, but the nice Government thought we had too many holidays at the start of the year and wanted to get one into the later part of the year. Hang on, that’s Betty 1 in the picture – or is it Helen Mirren? Royal families can be confusing. Anyway, Betty 2 was crowned Queen Betty on 2nd June 1953. I was born on 14th July 1953. This was very inconvenient for my dear old Mum as she was a froggy and wanted to go out dancing and boozing on July 14th to celebrate the day the Frenchies decided they didn’t like their Government. So when I was a boy, my dear old Mum tricked me into thinking my birthday was the 2nd June and I was born on Betty 2’s crowning day.
There, that’s a better pic. Hang on, it’s Helen Mirren again. Oh well, I always had a thing for Helen. Anyway, I finally caught my dear old Mum out as not only did she tell me I was born on the 2nd of June, she also told me I was born under the same star sign as my dear old Dad who was a Leo. 2nd June and Leo was not a match, so I gave her a grilling and elicited the truth at last. It just goes to show that everyone is out to fool you. Betty 2 was born on 21st April, not the first Monday in October as the Government would have you believe. My tip is to only ever trust Wiki and me.
Mulberry Season has happened at the house paddock. There is now a 2 week window of opportunity to get as many Mulberries as I can – then the tree will grow like crazy and can only be controlled by hard pruning four times a day. Don’t ever be tempted to buy a Mulberry tree. If you want one, just cut a bit off mine and stick it in the ground. You will have a tree in no time. Caring for your Mulberry tree is easy. Ignore it. I have found five uses for the Mulberry tree. Jam, Pie, feeding the Dear Little Chaps silkworms, tempting the cow to the bails (cows love Mulberry leaves) and mulch, mulch, mulch.
I know what’s worrying you – what about the evil dicky birds knocking off your fruit? – you ask. Don’t worry. For some reason they only knock off the fruit that grows above my head height. This means, I don’t need a step ladder to fall off and there are plenty of Mulberries at my height to feed the humans. Now that my first harvest is in, will it be jam or pie?
No, they haven’t started fracking the paddock, a Noisy Miner is a dicky bird.
These are very common around the paddock as they are a species that has benefited from human development. They like the types of plants humans tend to like and grow. They hang around in organised mobs, terrorising smaller dicky birds and ganging up on bigger dickies.
Don’t be looking out for elaborate mating rituals – they’re into occasional orgies for reproduction. There is also a very good and hopefully self explanatory reason they are called noisy.
Categories: Birds, Wildlife
The Responsible Adult recently took me to our favorite Organic Store which also has a fancy Organic Cafe attached that sells fancy herb seedlings and plants.
I took a fancy to a Bay tree which was $8.95. Shocking, I know – I could have had a bottle of not fancy, but passable Shiraz for that. But there was a Bay tree in the home paddock when we moved here. It died soon after and ever since, I have wanted another one. So I used the Magic Plastic Card and have brought it home. According to Google, it will grow well in a pot in full sun or partial shade. It needs frequent watering as it is shallow rooted and should be pruned in spring. My normal fertiliser routine with fish emulsion should keep it happily fed.
Nearly wasn’t going to post today. Not because I’m not doing anything – still digging holes and mixing cement. It’s just that the retaining wall job is going to go on for a while yet. Anyway, I usually come up to the Cubby house at about 2pm when the Responsible Adult is amenable to working the coffee machine. Anyhow, today when I came up, she told me that I was the proud winner of four and a half kilo’s of chocolate from the local IGA. Yep, I won a competition. Now here’s a big tip from your Paddock Worker – Chocolate goes really well with Shiraz.
So I came to John Irving late in life, starting with Last Night in Twisted River – a ripping yarn. Moved on to Hotel New Hampshire and the fabulous A Prayer for Owen Meany. Thought I might try his first novel published in 1968. This is one for the true fans. It is a bit rambling which is in the authors style, but without the interest that is strong in his later novels. As usual, there are stories within stories and people come to amusing but rather nasty ends, but the whole thing seems disjointed. Can’t recommend, sorry and didn’t find a particular quote for this that I liked. But here is a quote from the author that he uses regularly in interviews:
“For 12 novels the last sentence has come first, and not even the punctuation has changed. From that last sentence I make my way in reverse through the plot, because there always is a plot—I love plot—to where I think the story should begin.”
So I am installing a Magnificent Retaining Wall at La Studio. Only about a quarter done and already my manly Paddock Worker biceps feel like steel. Anyway, as I was happily digging along, I saw a Dickie Bird dart into a hole in the dirt. A few seconds later, it was out again. A few minutes later it was back. So, I figure I have the rare spangled feathered timid tit wren or some bloody thing nesting where I want to excavate.
What’s a Paddock Worker to do? It was about then I started thinking on the old Builders Laborers Federation and immediately downed tools. I went straight up to the Responsible Adult and convinced her to have a couple of coldies with me.
I have sent pics to Professor Mate who will hopefully identify this little bugger and let me know how to deal with the situation. I shall keep you posted.
|The rear end of the Rough Faced Shag
|The Front end of the Hoary Honeycreeper
Categories: Birds, Wildlife
Before setting out for a few hours hard labour at La Studio yesterday, I took time to smell the bottlebrush (and Lillypillies and Grevillias). These are all native plants that I put around the home paddock over the years. The good thing about them is that you can plant them and then just ignore them. No need to talk to them or play music to them, they just mind their own business, grow and flower. Time saved by planting these stoic Aussie plants may then be spent lovingly serving the needs of the Responsible Adult – which all good Paddock Workers should do.
But first, an update on yesterday’s outing to the Junk Shop. Didn’t happen. We got just down the road when the Responsible Adult got a text from her Good Mate offering a girly day out at the beach, shops and cafe’s. Any reasonable Paddock Worker would obviously agree to giving up his day out under these circumstances, so the Responsible Adult had a day out playing and I got to spend a fun filled day mixing cement. Wahoo for me.
You may already know that I buy my paddock tools second hand as the old ones seem to be much better than the new ones. How the planet got to this I don’t know. But its not only paddock tools that may be purchased second hand but all sorts. You see there are these Old Boys who are giving up their suburban retreats in favour of Units, Town Houses, Grey Nomad Vans and even Old Boy retirement homes. When doing this, Old Boys also wish to exchange their tools for cash as their days of being Handy Men are over. Some Old Boys have particularly good tools and only want tiny bits of cash in return. So here’s my new best tool a 14″ Makita Compound Dropsaw. Wahoo. Look at that big old sleeper sitting there. The Makita will cut it like a chainsaw going through a birthday cake.
It was a shame that the Old Boy didn’t have a table bench for it so I bought a nice Chinese one from Bunnings.
Anyway, it’s Sunday morning and you know what that means – Weeding!! – O yes.
It’s Saturday morning and I’m feeling a bit knackered. After a couple of days concreting in posts and building the new sleeper deck at La Studio, the body is weary. The Responsible Adult has 3 days off work and I will join in the non work fun for a while. So after cooking her bacon and eggy bread for breakfast, it’s down to a bit of kindle time and then we’re off to the junk shops. Weeds may grow for another day – they are on my hit list and will not escape.