Wednesday, August 23, 2006

paintbrush lily

paintbrush lily

I've been having a busy week with work to finish for my art quilt class, then the Stitches and Craft show in Sydney today and tomorrow I'm off to Parliament House to sit with the ATASDA textile exhibition, but on Saturday I had a lovely lunch in a friend's garden and took lots of photos of her spring blooms including this unusual paintbrush lily - a south african friend tells us she had them growing in SA and they are either Haemanthus coccineus or Scadoxus puniceus either way they belong to the Lily family: Amaryllidaceae

paintbrush lily

paintbrush lily

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The last rose or the first...

Everyone has been commenting on the strange behaviour of their plants.

Do we blame global warming ?
(I refuse to call it 'climate change' - that just sounds like moving to Nimbin)

Here in Sydney it's the last month of winter and my roses should be bare or at most just starting to shoot little leaf buds, but this miniature rose couldn't make up it's mind if it was late or early

the last rose of winter or the first of summer

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Travel : The Pinnacles, Western Australia

In 2005 my daughter and I went on holidays to Western Australia, I was going through the photos tonight and added some to Flickr, so I thought I might write them up here. I don't think I have the energy to write up the whole trip chronologically, (although I have it all in a travel journal that I wrote up during the trip) so these are just a few snippets from the trip. I'll add more over the next few weeks.

I haven't reduced the size of the pictures on Flickr so you can click to go to the very large size

One of our trips out of Perth was on a 4 wheel drive tour to the Pinnacles.

The Pinnacles, Western Australia

The Pinnacles are in the Nambung National Park, 245 kms north of Perth (about a 3 hour drive from the centre of Perth)

Thousands of huge limestone pillars resembling tombstones, rise out of a stark landscape of yellow sand. Some are up to three and a half metres tall.

The raw material for the limestone of the pinnacles came from sea shells broken down into lime-rich sands which were brought ashore by waves and then carried inland by the wind to form high, mobile dunes.

The sightly acidic winter rain dissolves small amounts of calcium carbonate as it percolates down through the sand. As the dune dries out during summer, this is precipitated as a cement around grains of sand in the lower levels of the dunes, binding them together and eventually producing a hard limestone rock.

Sub surface erosion from decaying plant and animal materials eroded the limestone bed until only the most resilient columns remained.

This erosion would have happened over thousands of years - Aboriginal artefacts at least 6,000 years old have been found in the Pinnacles Desert despite no recent evidence of Aboriginal occupation which suggests that the Pinnacles were exposed about 6,000 years ago and then covered up by shifting sands, before being exposed again in the last few hundred years.

This covering and uncovering by the sand is still occurring.

Some of the outcrops have been given names, this was Casper the Ghost:

The Pinnacles, Western Australia

and this is Batman:

The Pinnacles, Western Australia

On the way back to Perth I saw my first emu in the wild

Technorati tags:

Friday, August 11, 2006


I really need to start using a tripod for my macro shots in the garden - balancing on one leg and holding my breath while I press the shutter just isn't cutting it.




tag: flowers

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Full moon

Went out and braved the cold tonight to watch the brilliant full moon, the wind was gusty and the clouds moved so fast across the sky.

I haven't done any night photography before and didn't do too well with the settings which is a pity because the whole scene was special, and fruit bats were flying over but they were too fast for my camera.

......full moon and bats, what more could an Anne Rice fan ask for.

full moon August 2006

reflecting in the pool:
full moon August 2006

full moon behind clouds

a prickly bed

The first ray of sun after a week of cold and rain and the little skinks were all out soaking up the warmth.

The first little fellow scampered off his rock when I got close but soon came back and the second time I got the camera near enough for a shot, he just turned his head and watched.

His friend didn't have such a warm solid spot, he was contentedly draped over the cactus, must have been a fakir in a past life missing his bed of nails.


prickly sunbed

Sunday, August 06, 2006

more Aussie gardeners

In Brisbane Queensland, Roy has the Frog Garden
nice photos of his plants, hints and some local gardens

Also found Dirt Under the Nails from Perth Western Australia
Neil Cameron from Melbourne Victoria has Enjoying My Garden

the last two haven't been updated for a little while but are still interesting

I've added them all to my Aussie gardening links in the side bar

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

rusted Victorian ironwork

rusted Victorian ironwork

When we moved into our house 38 years ago, my father-in-law was in the process of throwing away these pieces of Victorian wrought iron which came from the balcony of the old terrace house they lived in - it was in the era when renovations ruled and balconies were being closed in - we weren't sure what place they would have in our new brick veneer but we took them anyway and they have lain propped against a wall in our backyard for all that time, gently rusting and peeling paint with the ivy slowly fixing it in place, I think the texture and rust is more interesting now than it was thirty years ago, it's more like us now, old, rusty and flakey.

rusted Victorian ironwork

Pregnant onion

This would have to be the most useless plant I have in my garden, I have no idea why I keep it, you can't eat it, the novelty value has worn off, the flower stalk is uninteresting and the rate of reproduction could quickly turn it into a pest except that the young plants stay close to mum and are easy to remove.

So what was the novelty value that initially endeared it to me:
the bulbous 'tummy' swells and swells until the skin splits and the baby onions pop out

I've had it growing now (not the same plant) for over thirty years,

which means about the time I was given the plant, I was popping out my own little onions, maybe that's why I can't bring myself to rid my garden of it....just one mum relating to another

Do you have a plant you can't bring yourself to remove? and why do you keep it?