Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Alexanders are ripening - way earlier than they should?

There are 11 different heritage apple trees planted in the orchard. Most have been in action for about three years, but this is the first season we've had a crop to harvest.

Alexander (from Woodbridge Fruit Trees)
A large apple that appeared in Ukraine in the 1700's and quickly spread through Europe, valued because of its hardiness and heavy regular bearing. Alexander (or Emperor Alexander) is brilliant orange/red on the sunny side and eats and cooks well for about the month of March.

I didn't get a chance to weigh these lovely large beauties - the cook doesn't understand scientific observation and they ended up in the red cabbage/apple/currant pot. Equally unfortunately I don't know what they taste like fresh! But that will be remedied as there are many more to collect.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My first real live amegilla

While watering the tomato plants I caught sight of a blue banded bee zooming around the blossoms. This native Australian bee has the most amazing color. Here's a fantastic blog entry with movie and pics. The images don't do justice to the blue - it's way brighter in real life.

Friday, January 22, 2010

January's growth

These sweet corn are growing almost as fast as the legendary triffids. This photo was taken a couple of days ago - they are now waist high with trunks the thickness of my forearm.

And when will the hakea laurina buds burst forth?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rain and heat

Rain and heat tend to cause increased growth of unwanted plants, and a ride-on mower being repaired followed by total fire ban days mean not a lot can be done. Until now ....

Doesn't the landscape look lush and rural?

The discovery of new and impressive insects - particularly spiders - continues apace.

Claude is regularly bitten when working in the blueberry orchard - with strong allergic reactions; he swears they are spider bites.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Strange times

The weather has been amazing - high heat, high humidity and high rainfall! All in the middle of summer. The rain means new plant growth = danger when the dry heat kicks in. But let's enjoy the green while we can.

A jumping jack (ant) scored yesterday. The pain at the time of being bitten was excruciating, and it takes about 24 hours before the allergic reaction really hits. Now I have a very swollen very sore finger; with the swelling extending midway down the back of my hand. That's life.

Yesterday, following all the rain, I harvested the garlic - a lengthy sojourn in damp soil might have ruined the small crop!

The kitchen garden continues to delight.