Friday, November 05, 2004

Spring Still Dominates, Summer Struggles

The weather is still typical Spring, warm one day, cold the next. And the rain persists. We have had another 50mm (2in) since the last report. It looks as though the area to the south of us which has been in drought for three years is finally getting some relief. They do not get the same high falls as we do being in the shadow of the Snowy Mountains but they have had sufficient to revive the pasture and give some hope to the farmers there who have in most cases sold off all their stock to survive.
Our garden looks good. All the exotic trees are in leaf and the orchard is full of developing apples, plums, peaches, pears, nectarines and nashis. Whether all will survive the usual bird life enslaught, mainly parrots, is another question. We have netted the early ripening peaches in the vain hope we will be allowed to share.
All the native trees are in bloom, especially the bottle brush, grevilleas and the black wattles.

The Biggest Bottlebrush Tree in the World?
The bottlebrush in the backyard is a huge tree. It is a "weeping" variety that continues to get bigger every year. The tree is covered in red brushes and is a haven to parrots, honeyeaters and other birdlife.

Bottlebrush Flower
Most of the grapes continue to do well. I have started a fertilizer program for the new plantings now that the roots have started to grow. Will be giving them a feed of nitogren via urea applications of 2 x 3g each a month until well into next year. Hopefully this will push along the slower varieties.
The infloresences in the cabernet have separated and flowering cannot be too far away. This is the first time you really see evidence of the upcoming grape crop.

Cabernet Sauvignon Inflorescences
There was some excitement in the backyard the other afternoon when quite a large red bellied black snake decided to visit.
While I leave them alone in the bottom paddocks, and it is illegal to kill them, they are not welcome around the house. So a chase with my weapon of choice, a hoe, ensued. But he was quite quick to move and stayed close to the house so it was hard to get a good shot. After some abortive swipes, he managed to hide in some thick bush in the garden....minus a few cm of his tail. Hopefully this encounter will send him looking for greener pastures. The sharpened hoe is now at the ready by the back door for the summer season just in case he or any of his mates return.

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