Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sign of autumn

Love this japanese anenome.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Unidentified flying objects

These curious creatures have made a home in the neighbours' eucalypt tree.  Despite having wings, they appear to prefer to scuttle - except that they must have flown as a couple of days after these photos were taken they all disappeared!

(Later: these are common jasids.)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The beautiful flower of the jerusalem (f)artichoke

Otherwise known as the sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour (Helianthus tuberosus).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Autumn generosity

We are experiencing the best autumn - cool sunny warm days with green green everywhere - it's ages since there's been green at the end of summer.

The damson plums are falling, so now it's time to consider the outcome: 6 kg - frozen, stewed, jam ... ?

The strange weather pattern has brought forward by about two months the growth of lacterius deliciosus (otherwise known as Saffron milk caps), found in the surrounding pine plantations. So off we go to forage.  Surprisingly there's lots of yellow fungi, white wonders, Saffron milk caps, the odd boletus but no amanita muscaria - their gorgeously dangerous presence on roadsides is usually the signal that edible fungi are there for the finding.

When cut, they leave hands, chopping board and knife bright orange. So I boiled up a couple for dye liquor - which was so washed out it's unlikely to leave any impression on the silk soaking/solarising in the solution.  We'll see.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Time to preserve

End of summer vegetables are ripening at a great rate - tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini mostly.
Cucumber pickles
The few apples are also starting to fall from the trees.  The first are prinzenapfel from Woodbridge Fruit Trees.  Here's what they say: Literally translates “Apple of the Prince” but known by many other Germanic names, widely grown in Europe. It has a characteristic long shape, orange/red in colour with rich dense aromatic flesh. Keeps well. On dwarfing M26 rootstock.
These apples are each about 11cm in diameter.