Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

To all who come to see what is happening in Lucky's Duck Farm, I wish you a Happy New Year.

Some of the foods for 2007 in my garden.

Baby egg plant..... one of a crop to be eaten by me.

First of the pumpkins.

Roasted, steamed in the cooler months and made into pumpkin soup in the winter months.

I'm not a summer person, but I think the crops for the warmer/hot months are so exciting and make the hot days worth putting up with.

2007 also brings with it new water restrictions and with this heaps of mulching and watering by rainwater. Sprinklers can only be used on a Saturday night, after 8 pm and before 11 pm. Or 5 am to 8 am.

January brings what should be the last of the ducklings and both Amy & James returning to work on the 3rd.

So as you can see the clock stops for no one and I invite you to join in with me in 2007 to see what happens in Lucky's Duck Farm through out the year.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dangers For Animals

Gardens can look beautiful, feed a family, become a habitat for animals or a trap for animals.

This little gecko was found by me tonight stuck to the yellow sticky white fly trap. Couldn't believe it when I saw it glued to the sticky trap. First time I have ever had this happen, feeling ever so awful about it happening I was relieved to find the gecko still alive.

Then came the problem, how do I remove it and can the lizard be removed safely from the sticky sheet?

With care and using my nails to lift the lizard gradually while Pat held the yellow sticky sheet, we managed to remove the lizard without leaving any of the body or skin behind.

Next problem was the stick glue stuck on the lizard's underside. His little feet were sticking to his tummy making moving impossible. So all I could think of was to sprinkle dirt on his underside and see if this worked. By dusting him down and rubbing dirt onto his body I am hoping this will help to stop the sticky glue catching his legs and feet to his body or him to a fence.

To protect him, I put the gecko under the raspberry canes. This seemed to do the job and once he was over the shock of the whole incident he took off. When I checked after feeding the animals he was gone.

Couple of days ago we were having breakfast out the back and Pat spotted a bird hanging from a tree limb in our native frangipani tree. The poor thing was being attacked by the local magpies that haunt our area.

So out came the ladder and up Pat went to rescue it. Now I am pretty sure this is a poxy feral free loading black bird. If it's an Australian Native bird I apologized.

But either way neither of us had the heart to knock it on the head. So after a couple of snap shots for the blog, our little bird was set free to fly off without a thank you.

Closeup of the black cotton that had caught the birds around it's legs and then tangles in our tree.

So even if backyard are beautiful to look at, there maybe some danger around the place for animals great and small.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Out In The Garden Today

This afternoon Nibbles & I spent the afternoon out in the backyard playing in the vegie garden.

First job on the list was to pull up the strawberry plants. I decided that I want to grow food that has a better turn over and not sit in the actual vegetable garden for ex amount of months and then crop over a season.

This area then was prepared and I sowed a row of carrots and a row of parsnips in place of the strawberries. I am happy with this decision as there is talk of the prices of fruit and veg increasing in the early part of next year. So I want to grow more of what we eat from day to day.

I made Banjo safe in the shed as I let the chooks out of their run and opened up the gate that was separating the chickens from the ducks. Bundy is a naughty drake and likes to disturb Banjo while she sits on her eggs.

I raked out the chook pen and removed any cooked bones the chooks had stripped bare of meat. Then started to drop in their run and the duck run greens and garden waste for them to go through.

When the chooks and ducks run together, I do believe they enjoy the interaction and getting to see a different spot in their part of the yard.

Tomato plants were tied up with help of garden twine and stakes. One plant needed another stake added as the plant was laying down as one stem some how managed to escape and grow too big the be lifted and tied to the first stake.

Also I twisted off some ends of the feral pumpkin and took photos of the male & female flowers. Gave the garden a water with 2 ltrs of worm wee in a snap on container connected to the hose.

To finish off the day I even managed to sit outside and have a cuppa and read some articals from the new poultry magazine I picked up this morning from my local newsagency.

On my main website I have updated 2 pages with photos from my garden. Pages are "Whats Growing" and "Growing Tomatoes"

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Cheer

Well like Ruby my sister in law's dog, we too had a few drinks, ate some good tucker and spent our day with family and friends.

Christmas for us this year was about 5 km away at my brother's house with his family and 2 dogs.

Lunch was a hot meal of turkey roll, pork, chicken and vegies cooked out in their hooded BBQ. Followed by home made Christmas pudding and brandy sauce (home made of course). We even had home made Christmas cake.

It was so nice and moist and yummy, haven't had home made pudding in years. My Nanna used to make puddings in the cloths back in the 70's and early 80's.

After an afternoon of fun and laughter and talking we had a shared cold tea with left over meats and salads.

Also like Ruby I could have gone for a Nanna nap in the afternoon, but I would have been sleeping more lady like.

So I do hope like my family you had a FAB TAB of a day on Christmas Day and was just as wonderful as our's.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Season's Blessings

Season's Blessings from Lucky's Duck Farm to all my readers.

Friday, December 22, 2006

After A Good Rain

Yesterday the heavens opened up over Lucky's Duck Farm and we were rewarded with 4 mm in the first down pour. I was listening to the water that wasn't running into the rain water tank and so Pat got his ladder out and unblocked the gutter.

Being as it was hot and having so little rain, it was just fun to walk round the yard in the rain helping to unblock the gutter. By the time we finished doing this we were soaked and hot with the humidity that was outside. Coming inside we quickly became cold with the air conditioning on, so after hopping in the shower to clean up and get warm, we sat back and enjoyed the rain.

Once the rain had stopped I took the opportunity to feed all the outside animals. Before I was able to come back inside I was caught in a storm and while the 8 mm of rain fell, I kept Banjo company in the duck shed.

Sitting on the straw in the duck shed talking to Banjo and listening to the rain on the tin roof and seeing the rain fall, was such a wonderful experience. Banjo was looking at me from her nest thinking, I had "gone nuts".

When the rain was finished it was a wander round the yard checking on the garden and smiling when I saw the rain water tank was full and over flowing. Down the track I would love to get another tank for the garden.

It was still so humid that we kept the air conditioner on as Pat was finding it very hard to breath. Once the temperature had dropped enough, the house was opened and we went to bed with the rain still falling.

All up we had 18.5 mm of rain and my garden is soaked. Said to Pat today about the rain will give the vegie garden such a boost . Pat said the lawns will green up and the weeds will come. I don't mind the weeds as these feed the chooks and ducks.

After the low rain fall in the winter/spring seasons the rain was a welcome gift. Driving around today it was just wonderful to see people's gardens so wet and the wet land catchments full to the brim from the run-offs.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Soon It'll Be Christmas

Only 5 sleeps to Christmas and I am about as ready as what I can be.

Today I put a framed poster on hold for our son James. Some rap singer called 2 Pac. Had a girl around 10 years of age show me what I was looking for. Very proud to say I am still back with John Denver and Elvis, songs.

Last night Pat & I went to my niece's house as she & her partner put a Christmas BBQ on for family who could make the tea. What a wonderful way to greet the last week before Christmas Day. This was a chance to catch up with family members we don't get to see often.

Just in case the silly season gets more sillier, if possible.

I wish you all God's blessings and a Merry Christmas and all the best for "07"

Thank you for visiting my blogs and website this year and hope to see you next year.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Looking At My Garden

The other day with the selling of the last of the ducklings for this year, I decided to use some of the money for the vegie patch.

I love taking a trip down to Bunnings as I am able to have a good browse through the seedlings and see what is on offer. Usually I start the seedlings off at home by seed myself, but I haven't been able to work out where all the days have gone of late.

Really hoping for a good pumpkin, rock melon and cucumber harvest this year. I have dug in so much compost, bunny bedding and old sheep manure in this area. When I turned it the other night, it was full of plump worms.

To try and contain the area where the pumpkins & rock melons are I have used 2 trellises for the apple and burpless cucumbers.

On the other side to the right are capsicums, egg plant and butter beans. My Blue Lake beans aren't doing really well at the moment, I don't think the hot weather has been kind to them. They are looking a bit sun burnt on some leaves.

Chilli plant is chokka block full of green chillies. This will be the 3rd season I have harvested from it.

Nibbles ate all the lettuces, so I have now decided the vegie area is a no go zone for him.

What you are looking at here is the no-dig part of the vegie patch. This area goes from the foreground in the photo to the people fence at the back.

I am not growing corn this year, due to the water restrictions. Even though my garden is for feeding my family, I still am very aware of the water levels in our catchments.

Zucchinis just starting to flower behind the parsley and comfy. Behind them is some watermelon plants that Pat was so wanting this season.

Also in this area are some new lettuces for us and not for Nibbles. Spring onions, strawberries and just past that to the right, some carrots and beetroot and the lemonade tree.

One day I really must remove the old passion fruit vine. Think it has been dead now for 2 seasons. Like I said where are the weeks going???

Tomatoes are coming along wonderfully. Not sure if the basil is helping, but I read somewhere they do well together. Rabbits are enjoying the fresh basil and fresh parsley with their evening meals.

We won't get to eat any of the tomatoes until the new year. But at least we'll get them at some stage this summer.

Very happy with how the garden is feeding us at the moment. Lost of goodies for all of us to eat human and animal.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Rain Clouds

Yesterday afternoon we had the pleasure of seeing rain clouds skim across the sky and leave behind 2 mm of rain.

Not a lot of rain I know, but the smell of the fresh rain in the air and the coolness that came with it was wonderful. Just hearing and listening to the sound of the rain falling on the rumpus room tin roof was delightful.

Birds were out in the trees, over in the park chirping their little hearts out. Even the ducks were quacking with excitement.

Today it's sunny again and warmish.

Friday, December 08, 2006


This morning before I took them to the pet shop I took some photos of the ducklings for you to see and for me to keep a record of.

Chrizzy and one of the white ducklings.

Little white one and a black or brown & white duckling.

With the ducklings all packed in the box for traveling up to the pet shop I had a stop off for a private sale. This turned out to be a no-go and while at the shopping centre I thought I'd see if I could get some greens for the animals.

Figured I'd show the people at the green grocer shop the ducklings as they know I breed them. Well that was worth a look see, as they bought all 4 ducklings for their farm. So we didn't need to travel to the pet shop in the next suburb and I know they are staying together as a family.

With selling them to the pet shop I never know what becomes of them, if sold as pairs or on their own. Also I was able to get more money for them by selling the ducklings privately.

All monies raised in duckling sales and eggs sales, is put back in the Lucky's Duck Farm in the way of food.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

More little ducklings.

I am happy to announce that Banjo has hatched out this morning 3 little ducklings and there are still 2 eggs to go. So Chrizzy shall have some little playmates tomorrow to keep her company.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Cucumbers, Rock Melons & Pumpkins

Last year I lashed out and bought 4 iron droppers to use for stakes in the garden when establishing an area to use a trellis. I used to use wooden tomato stakes but found on a stormy night, they would snap with the weight of a plant growing all over the wires.

On the right is the Blue Lake beans which are starting to be harvested. This empty trellis was moved this morning from the same angled position as the bean trellis is on, they were next to each other. This weekend I'll buy some "Apple Cucumber" seedlings and plant them out.

I'd like to see about growing some burpless cucumbers as well as not only does Amy eat cucumbers like apples but I prefer this variety to the Apple variety. As Pat helps me in the garden when his health allows him too, I like to grow his favorites as well as mine.

This area will be for the rock melons, the self sown pumpkin and on the trellis apple cucumbers. I have been adding compost and rabbit bedding to this area to help keep the water in the soil once the plants go in.

Figured the trellis may also help to stop the pumpkin going rampant over other plants in the garden. As just the other side of the trellis is some leeks going to seed and the latest spring onion crop.

The bunny bedding and guinea pig bedding that doesn't have the shredded paper in, will be used this time round as mulch with those strawberry plants I pampered the other day and around the vegie plants, that need it.

So the cute little fluffy ones are doing their bit for the garden over this summer season as well.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Gardenship Of The Ring

The ring on my little finger Patrick bought me about 3 years ago and only after a few weeks of wearing it, I lost it.

There is nothing more heartbreaking than been given such a lovely gift by one's husband and then to loose it.

Today one of the items I was going to do in the backyard was move the pavers next to my no-dig garden. There was so much lawn growing up between the pavers that it needed to be cleaned up by hand rather than with a whipper sniper.

Pat saw me starting to pull the lawn away and took over and by doing this he did a much better job. While doing this, he found my ring, covered in mud. So a good clean up with an old tooth brush and it's now back on my finger.

This is Chrizzy the latest free loader to the wanna be farm. Born yesterday morning and at the moment the only duckling that has hatched.

Long story short, Milly collected some eggs and went broody, then Banjo saw this and took over and so I gave Milly some eggs for herself.

Sure hope some more ducklings hatch out soon as I am getting rather attached to Chrizzy.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

While Rhett was Sleeping.

Well seems like Rhett wasn't one for playing out the back today. Seems she was more interested in sleeping than getting into the gardening vibe.

Started outside at 9 am this morning in the composting area. Once this was done and out the way I was able to get stuck into the garden.

After the tumbler had been emptied ( 2 wheel barrow loads) and the compost bins had been rotated and the tumbler filled with compost from one of the bins, I was able to let the chooks out for a run. Bad enough with 6 chickens under my feet and 2 silkies without the paroles and the ducks as well.

With everyone able to bond together I made the duck shed a no-go area to keep Milly & Banjo safe and not disturbed. Which I am glad I had done, as Banjo has a little duckling that looks to have been hatched out early hours of this morning.

Strawberry plants were tidied up and all burnt and dry leaves removed. Some of the compost went round the plants and when Flossy's cage is cleaned out the rabbit bedding will be used to cover the compost.

Pruned back the wormwood plant a bit, cuttings either added to the compost bin along with some comfrey leaves or added to the hen's laying boxes. I still need to clean out and collect the parole's bedding and this will be added to the compost or spread round the strawberry plants as these plants love chicken manure.

Didn't see much of Nibbles this morning, he turned up for the BBQ that Pat cooked. I think he was happy to just lay round the place and watch me do all the work.

Other little jobs I did was to collect the spring onion seeds that I have harvested so far and pop into a seed envelope marked with a date and the variety of seed. Then I cut what seed heads that looked promising on the last of the spring onions in the garden. The rest of the plants were harvested and chopped up and added to the compost bin as they were not any good for eating once they had gone to seed.

Now I have the last of the flowering head drying and next to be saved in the leeks that are just forming flowering spikes.

Down behind the apricot tree I weeded and turned over the soil and planted out some more carrots, beetroot and a row of radish seeds between the carrot seeds. I have placed some wire netting over this area to stop birds digging in this area and for human carrot raiders not to step on the new seed area.

Harvested some more Blue Lake beans as well this morning. Staked 3 capsicum plants as well, due to them thinking about laying down on the job.

Well that is about it for what I did in the garden today. Still have my eye on a few things I want to do later on this evening. But I think it's time I had a break and recharged my batteries.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Gardening In The Evening.

After all the hot weather we have had here, it's nice to be out in the garden again. I walked around the yard and took note of all the things that have been heat damaged, over grown or past it's life cycle.

One of the things that needed replacing were the tomato plants in the no-dig garden. For some reason these plants didn't like the area and I didn't want them to become diseased and past it onto the main tomato area where I have 6 healthy plants.

So after tea tonight I pulled up the plants and planted out 4 zucchini seedlings in their place. I wasn't going to grow zucchini plants this year, but how could I not grow this wonderful vegetable. I make the best zucchini slice using duck eggs.

There are a lot of jobs that need doing in the garden and I was over whelmed at one stage when I thought of all that needs doing. Then I thought how the evening will be spent with Nibbles, furry animals, the gang and the paroles and figured I can play hard while in the garden and just work my way through the list until it's done.

Tomorrow I'll play hard in the garden as I really need to sort out my compost bins and the first thing to do is empty the wheel barrow of rabbit bedding and then empty the tumbler and go from there. Pat will cook a BBQ for lunch and this will be a welcome break from gardening and Nibbles & I will be well and due for a good break by then.

List of things I have noticed that need doing are.....

  • compost
  • weed an area and prepare for carrots & beetroot seeds
  • dead head the roses
  • clean up the front flower bed
  • harvest some beans
  • mow the back lawn (again)
  • check the new spring onion area for weeds
  • strawberry plants were burnt with the heat, need to remove burnt leaves and mulch again
  • clean out the parole's hen house (more poop for compost bins)
  • rabbit hutches to be cleaned and either composted or used as mulch (strawberry plants I think this time)
  • Sort out the older spring onion area as I am seed saving this variety

Also I will hopefully have some more ducklings this coming week. Banjo cheated and took over Milly's nest and Milly took the nest of eggs I set up for Banjo.

So now for the next couple of months I can have tea and then out into the garden until dark, welcoming the night in after a warm to hot day.

Can't get any better than this.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cake of "Our Lady" The Virgin Mary

As a Catholic I am about to enter into the time of Advent and start to prepare for Christmas. To many people Christmas has a different meaning, be it family gathering and sharing of a meal, giving of gifts or helping the less fortunate and celebrating the birth of Christ.

Today I was given a beautiful gift of a quarter of a cake dough to care for and in 10 days I too will pass 3 equal serves onto 3 other families of a religious faith to repeat the process , this doesn't have to be of a Catholic faith.

Cake of "Our Lady" The Virgin Mary

This cake is also know as "Pope Pio's Bread".

The story is told of an Italian woman had been suffering from illness all her life that she could not even do her house chores. One day her daughter asked her to bake a cake. She refused more than once because she felt she was unable to do this.

The daughter insisted so much that the mother felt like she needed to bake this cake. She asked the aid of the Virgin Mary. As soon as she had begun to prepare the cake, the Virgin Mary appeared and she herself prepared the cake for the woman. The woman was so astonished at what was happening, the Virgin Mary then told her "you yourself will eat from this bread and the whole world as well".

She asked the woman to keep 1/4 of the dough and add to it the ingredients of the recipe to make a whole cake and distribute the other 3/4 to 3 faithful people, on the one condition that they too would do the same and prepare the recipe of this miraculous dough.

So over the next 10 days as it gets closer to the birth of Christ I will begin a journey of a different kind.

Even if you don't believe, I do and from what I have been told from people who have shared in this journey... it's worth doing.

Christmas is a time to remember what was sacrificed for us to live.

Monday, November 27, 2006

About Those Eggs

Have you ever wondered why you don't see white eggs at the supermarkets as much as the brown eggs?? I heard on the radio once it was because we the consumer think brown eggs are better for you than white eggs.

Makes a lot of sense doesn't it, as brown bread is better for you than white bread. Here's the interesting part about eggs, white, brown or even blue (yep there is a chook breed that lays a blue egg) they are all as good as each other. Araucana hens are know to lay blue to a blue/green egg and even a violet colour. No difference between the white and the brown.

One thing about collecting my own eggs from the paroles out the back is the different colours and shapes the eggs come in. Check out the egg on the left from one of my isa brown hens.

Wonder what she was thinking as she was laying it?? Maybe she wanted a stick of fritz to go with all the salad scraps she has been getting from the kitchen of late?? Got all excited and out popped the next best thing.

For your interest .....

  • Isa brown egg weighed in at 66 grams
  • Fabless 4's white egg was 64 grams
  • Bantam egg came in at 40 grams.

So next time while at the shops buying those perfect shape eggs, think of us backyard poultry lovers with all the pretty colours, shapes and sizes.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Hot Days Ahead

Days are hot of late and with daylight saving and the sun setting later in the day, I have now transferred my gardening to the evening hours after tea. After the heat of a day, nothing is nicer than getting out in the garden and refreshing myself after being inside with the air conditioner.

One of the nicer things about gardening in the evening is the clouds that I can watch being coloured with the sun setting. Tonight was very pretty and there was a plane flying through the clouds leaving a vapor trail behind.

I don't see gardening as work and in the past I have referred this as playing, as I love gardening so much. Tonight I played hard as I mowed the back lawn. The cuttings were put into a box as tomorrow is compost day.

With the day cooling off, Nibbles was let out for a run. Pat busted Nibbles chewing on the prized raspberry leaves and was promptly made to move on to another area. I also managed to photograph Nibbles raiding the rainbow chard earlier on before I started the mowing.

Talking about mowing, I am so glad we don't use a petrol driven mower. Besides my mower being better for the environment and free to push round on the lawn. Nibbles doesn't have to worry about moving as I push it. And for me it's a great work out.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Christmas is coming to Luckyland.

Yes it's that time of the year again, where the boxes come out and all the fun begins. That's right, time to put up the Christmas tree again. This holds a special treat for either Amy or Pat when they put the tree up. As the cats (mostly Lucky) like to help and do their bit as well.

Me I'm not so much the trimming person for Christmas. Don't get me wrong I love Christmas, but I do object to the $$$$ value some people put on this time of the year. Pressure for parents to get their children what they are wishing for, what ever the cost in the early months of the new year when the banking statements and store cards come in for payment.

My idea of Christmas is Midnight Mass and a family gathering on Christmas Day, wandering the streets looking at the houses decorated with Christmas lights. Another great place is the SA Brewery as each year they have a stunning display of Christmas themes on the bank of the Torrens River.

Also the nicest donuts can be bought down there. Or it it the atmosphere that makes those donuts taste so much better.

Pat and Amy bond over an afternoon/evening as the outside of the house is decorated. I like to think in years to come that this will be one of those treasured memories Amy will share with her children around the same time of the year, when she decorates her own house.

And in our old age we can sit back and tell our grandchildren of those special hours spent as a family on the same level.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ist Flower Ever

Back when we bought this house 7 years ago, I took some plant cuttings from my Father In Law's garden. In the collection of plants was 3 different Zygocacus cuttings. Finally 1 plant has flowered for me. After waiting what seems a long time the flower has opened up into the most beautiful pink colour I could have asked for.

I hope I don't have to wait another 7 years for it to flower again.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fun & Games

Milly is due to hatch out 9 eggs in the first week of Dec. She's been a good mum sitting on her eggs. I caught Milly in the pond this evening and thought I would check on her eggs.

Boy was this is good idea. I found a now broody Banjo sitting on Milly's eggs and was telling me not to boot her off the eggs. So I lifted Banjo off the 9 eggs and look what I found.

An extra 11 large eggs. So I had to make a choice of what I was going to do.

I have no idea how and what eggs will be any good and what and when the extra 11 are really due. I am hoping that most of the eggs will be okay. Somehow I don't think Milly will have covered and kept warm all the eggs.

So I used the box Bonnie hatched her chicken in, placing the 11 extra Pekin eggs into this box. Hoping Banjo will hop onto the new nest of eggs.

On dusk I popped my head into the shed and Banjo is in Milly's nest and Milly is on the new nest of eggs.

So now it's a waiting game to see what eggs are going to hatch out a cute little duckling and what ones are not.

I can't believe they got this one past me, as I have been collecting heaps of duck eggs and thought Milly only had her 9 eggs. Now the other 7 ducks are separate from Banjo and Milly to make sure there is no more mishaps.

If all is okay in the morning, I'll switch the eggs around on the 2 ducks, so Milly is a mum to her original eggs, she started off with.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Say Hello to Hazelnut

Introducing Hazelnut and little female guinea pig who will be company for Rizzo, after Sandy died almost a fortnight ago.

Hazel is so tiny that to have her on the lawn safely I had to come up with the idea of putting Cadbury's day hutch inside the play pen to make the wires not so far apart.

The other day Amy popped Hazel in the day hutch and then the play pen and on both occasions, Hazel slipped between the wires. So for Hazel to graze on the lawn through the day, this was the only measure I could come up with.

I do love her rich chocolate colouring.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Updates On Chickens

The little chickens are growing and running round everywhere. The tiny chick about half the size of the others died over the weekend. It was just so tiny and compared to the others weaker as well.

But these 6 little chicks are full of beans and running everywhere now.

I have more photos of the chickens on my main website on Lucky's Nursery page.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


On dusk I was out the back finishing off the animals, returning animals to their hutches and giving them a feed and fresh water, when I came across this moth on the lawn. If I hadn't been watching where Nibbles was running round my feet, I would have either missed seeing it or stepped on it. I put on the soil in the tomato area to keep it safe.

I have no idea what sort of moth it is, as in...........

  • Night moth
  • Day moth (lost)
  • good moth
  • bad moth
If you know what it is please let me know, as I like it to be identified.

I have an Identification on the moth now:)

It's a emerald moth, a Geometrid. It grows into a looper, and then eats my garden.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New Look Website.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been giving my website a new look by moving away from using FrontPage to using Dreamweaver as my website program.

I have found this to be very exciting and challenging at the same time. My brother Mick has been helping me, by giving a few lessons and then sending me home with a list of things I needed to do.

The main pride and joy on the new site is the template with a drop down menu on every page. This is just so cool as now you don't have to go to the home page to select another page to view. Also any links away from my own website now open in a new window.

I have to be honest and say Mick did most of the work on the drop down menu. Which I am very grateful for him doing. Then like a trusting brother he sent me home to finish off some pages and that is when I did the unthinkable.

I clicked on the "Animal" link and stuffed it up big time. Boy was I upset and feeling so guilty about this. A tip here.... never send your sister home with a template and not have her sign in blood.... "I shall not bugger it up".

So back to Mick's we went and after he waved his magic computer mouse a few time (really I think it was more than a few times) we had the template fixed (well he did) and then I was asked to repeat the linking of all pages to the now fixed template.

So there you have it, 2 full Saturdays and a couple of hours last night, bonding with each other and this included sharing a meal of hot fried takeaway chips one day, as it was taking longer than what we though and another day where we had a planned lunch at his place....... a new fresh looking website was born.

I love it as I can now have the freedom to have pages structured how I want them. There are new pages added like "What's Growing", "Harvesting", "Photos" and "Flowers". I won't have to remove a page here to add a new page there, thanks to my new web hosting company I have gone with. As the new web hosting company has given me way more space for the same price I was paying for 10MB on the old web hosting site.

If you haven't been and had a look at my main website lately, you are invited to go and see it now:)

Still some updating to be done, but Rome wasn't built in a day.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday In The garden.

I have spent the better part of most of the day out in the backyard. Pottering round picking up things that needed picking up. There are days where I just run out of time and things just have to sit until I get back to them.

After the lawn was tidied up, Pat decided to give the lawn a mow. At times he was hindered by a cute little lop bunny who thinks mowing lawns is great fun. Nibbles loves to run in front of our mower. No I don't think he has a death wish as it's a push mower, better for the environment. I think Nibbles just likes to get in the road at times.

This resulted in a wheel barrow of lawn cuttings for the compost bins. So as to just throw the clippings in, I decided to clean out the hen house and collect their straw bedding laced with manure from upstairs in their housing area.

By this time the ducks had cottoned on to the fact I was going to be mixing compost. So I was greeted with happy quacking ducks by the time I was ready to turn over the first compost bin. I love how the ducks love to help make compost. They tend to get in and climb all over the compost heap searching for worms and any other composting bugs they can score. I find though with using a garden fork, I have to make sure I don't spear a webbed foot or a busy duck head getting in the way.

I also took the photo above as I am very excited as this is the first time the plant has flowered. I have had this plant about 5 years now and the cutting come from my Father-In-Law. Only thing I have been doing the last few months is I might throw it a bit of water with some seasol or worn wee mixed in the water. So not sure if this is what made it want to flower or just the size of the plant is what has helped it develop a flower bud.

I keep visiting the nursery to see the little chickens. Milly is broody and so I'll set some duck eggs under her in a couple of days.

Still no rain here, though I did measure 1.5 mm of rain earlier this month. We now have level 2 water restrictions. I only water my lawns once a week and the other 2 days I am allocated, I am leaving in the catchments and the River Murray.

So that is about it from me for this sunny Sunday.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

7 Little Chicks

How special is this? 7 beautiful little Sussex bantam chicks. Bonnie is still sitting on the other 5 eggs and I am hoping tomorrow there may be another 1 or 2 chicks. Though I am so pleased with the 7 that have hatched.

To listen to the "Cheep-Cheep" of the chicks is just so heart warming and makes me smile even just thinking about them.

I guess I'll be spending a lot of time in the nursery as they are just too cute for their own good.

Later on tonight I'll pop some more photos up on the nursery page on my main website.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Update on Chicken

Little chicken has now hatched after a long battle trying to get out of her shell. Note I am hoping for a girl.

I was worried after 12 hours of trying to hatch that time was running out for her, so I rang a friend and with a few "birthing tips" I helped her hatch. I was greeted with a strong chirp and a happy bantam mum.

Three more eggs are pipping and a couple of the other eggs felt cool to me. So I am really hoping that I have a minimum of 4 chicks.

Stay tuned:)

Mother Nature At Her Finest

It doesn't matter how many times I see this, I am always humbled at the power of Mother Nature.

About a month ago good friends from Melbourne called in for a visit and BBQ and their visiting gift was a dozen fertile Sussex bantam eggs.

Bonnie has been sitting on them like a good little mum she is and now the day has arrived. I am hoping for a few little hens from the dozen eggs.

I won't check again until I feed the animals tonight and I'll update you all tomorrow with news of hopefully little chicks safe and happy with mum.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Another Trip to the Zoo.

Yesterday (Sunday) Patrick, myself, my brother & his wife took a relaxing trip into the zoo and botanical gardens in the city. The photo above is of parts of the the rose garden and the tropical rainforest's observatory. Walking round among the rose bushes, we could smell the flowers and see the bees busy collecting pollen from the flowers.

There was so many different varieties of roses and choosing some to pop here and show you all was a tough choice. I loved how this flower was hanging and so to take the photo I had to lay on the lawn to take some photos.

Roses of all shapes a sizes, but never short of busy bees. If I was sniffing any of the rose flowers, I made sure there wasn't a bee inside the petals.

She's looking old isn't she???? Poor darling is 20 years old now. I was listening to a volunteer at the zoo and he was saying tigers live about 10 years in the wild. So this lady sure has earned her quiet time.

Giraffes are now not as shy now to when they moved in. There are two young ones at the zoo now. So this trip in we got a wonderful surprise to find the screens had been removed and this made for better viewing and taking photos.

I just love these Mandarin ducks from Asia. They are on the endangered list and I think they are just so pretty. They look like painted china statues. These little guys are like the bigs cats, I just have to take photos of them when I visit the zoo.

I was just so tickled with this photo of the 3 zebras eating together. Usually they are spread out in their enclosure.

So after days of working on my website in a new program and hopefully this will be changed over this coming Saturday and trying to fix the big PC that we now know needs a new hard drive, it was good to get out into some fresh air and see some old friends that we do so love to see at the zoo and to make some new ones.

Seeing the botanical gardens and the rose garden, finished it off nicely.