Sunday, August 30, 2009

Duck the architect

Found on a boundary fence on the way home from a delightful few hours at Ceres today. For those who missed a very funny article - Duck the architect was the result of translating a phrase into Japanese and then translating it back into English. Can you unravel it?

Lunch at Ceres was a must have - it's one of the few times that the much misused word "option" applied to the carnivorous and not the vegetarian menu. Ceres appears to be in a state of flux - winter weeds everywhere - just about as many weeds as chooks; buildings being constructed; and today the art of bicycle maintenance kept many quiet as they studied and repaired their bikes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The sounds of spring

Waking up before dawn to the sounds of birdsong. One of the many pleasures of spring.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Plants are such glorious things

Seemingly out of the blue:

Nature shines again.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunny Sunday in the Sydney Botanical Gardens

The Sydney Botanical Gardens and surrounding lawns and structures are an ideal place to hang out on a sunny day - even a sunny day which is rather cold.

Birds, as always, offered much entertainment. There were about 40 sulphur crested cockatoos in one location - silly humans were feeding them bread and the birds were so used to this that they sat on the donors' hands, arms and heads. It was a hard sight to take in for someone whose crops are under potential threat from these birds.

An ibis helping itself to water, in the cafe. The staff get extremely irate with these birds - an ibis landing on the table to eat scraps is not quite like having a sparrow hang around. They - the staff - are waiting with great anticipation for the day they - the staff - get netted in! Soon apparently.

An old dracaena draco was felled in May by the contrast of long drought and lots of sudden rainwater. It was interesting to see the pragmatic prognosis given by the gardeners.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is Australia's most unusual urban park - a heritage-listed island in the middle of Sydney harbour. It's currently undergoing revitalisation and in a few years will, I'm sure, be a great place to visit. Just now it's no big deal. It's interesting to wander around the buildings

and see some amazing chunks of metal.

There are also some weird structured sleep-over opportunities!

These signs were fun - and because they were nesting the seagulls were extremely noisy, but not aggressive.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dough mojo is back

Work has been all consuming for over a year now. The downside is that there's not been time or energy for all the life-affirming activities like baking bread and growing vegetable seedlings. Hopefully that's changing (although those around doubt that).

Whatever - my dough mojo has returned, and for that I'm truly thankful.

Second proof just before baking.

Just out of the oven.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A little ray of sunshine

I'm making glacé cumquats. I'd picked the cumquats weeks ago from trees next door; then left them in the fridge because I didn't have time to make cumquat marmalade (my favourite). They had dehydrated to the point where they were pretty much just skin. Making glacé fruit takes several days - only five to ten minutes a day, but over several days as the sugar dose is upped every 18-24 hours. Each time the cumquats are boiled they blow up like luscious little orange balloons, then deflate back to sunken skin when the cold air hits them. The process is not quite finished - another couple of days before they are ready to be dried. In the meantime, I'm accumulating a vast amount of the most delicious smelling/tasty citrus flavoured sugar syrup. Next challenge - find a use for the syrup.