Friday, April 30, 2010

Information is Beautiful

Yesterday I heard about this website that turns everyday information into graphic forms that are easy for us all to understand.  I had a look and want to share it with you.  This link will take you to a graphic that really gives meaning to the meaningless figures we are given about sea level rises to come.  You can click on the smaller graphic and it becomes larger and names the cities on the steps.  Far better to be living in Lower Manhatten than LA, but if you're in Venice, better move now!

The other graph I liked was about the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland and a question about which is sending up more CO2 the volcano or air traffic! Look for "Planes or Volcano".  Think I'll add this to my blogosphere.  Happy days, Cheryl

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Merrilyn's Story

Merrilyn has quite a story.  She came into my life 7 years ago as a tiny, fur less joey.  Her Mother had been hit by a car and had to be put down, but amazingly Merrilyn survived it all.  She was quite sick when she came to me and for the first 3 weeks I either fed or medicated her every 2 hours, 24 hours a day.  Here's the first picture I took of her.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Planting Seedlings

Ever feel frustrated by the loss of the beautiful seedlings you purchased at the garden centre?  Here are a few tips that might help out.

First thing I do is soak the punnet, briefly in a bucket of very mild seaweed solution. (Maybe a cap to a 5 litre bucket).  This makes them easy to take out.  Make some holes for them and then squeeze the base of the punnet.  NEVER grab a seedling by its stem, if you squeeze it won't be able to daw up water and nutrients and will die.  Pop the seedling into the ground and pack in firmly around it.  Then water with the seaweed solution, carefully and

Friday, April 23, 2010

Beetles and Leeches

Some nights you just don't sleep well, am I right?  I'm betting your disturbances aren't quite like mine.  Last night I fell into an exhausted sleep at 10pm.  About an hour later I'm woken by frantic scratching sounds accompanied by squeaking.  My brain vaguely registers that the cats are trying to get at something and I turn over and pulling up the sheets.  Suddenly wide awake.  The squeaking means the cats aren't just frantically scratching the glass to try to reach a small frog or insect on the outside, something is in the house.  Lovely sleeps on.

So up with the torch, (though why I think light will wake the sleeping Lovely when the noise doesn't is beyond me), and there's Simba, about a metre from Lovely, scratching frantically at the bottom of the sliding door.  You know, that impossible to get all the dust out of properly, part of the door frame, where the door slides back.  He wants something that's hiding in there.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Save Dollars - this is easy

So if you know me, or have been reading this blog for a while you'll know I'm about leaving something behind for others and especially the animals, (who have no voice of their own when it comes to saving their environment.)  So I was thrilled to hear of yet another great way to save on power usage, (read save on your power bill).  It's cheap and easy and I can't believe I didn't think of it before.

Go out and buy yourself some timers.  You know, the type you use when you want a light, radio, TV to come on in your home at certain times, when you are away to keep unfriendly visitors at bay.  Then hook them up to your fridge, freezer or anything else you can think of that cycles through constantly day and night.  Set it so it turns the fridge/freezer off at midnight and comes on again at 6am, (or whatever times suit your lifestyle).  As long as the doors aren't opened in that time your food is quite safe and your power bills will decrease!  What an easy idea.  I'm off to buy some timers. Ciao!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pesticide Poisoning, Two Headed Fish and Withholding Periods

I am regularly reminded why I grow alot of my own fruit and vegetables and why I prefer certified organic if I don't have my own.  Last night an item on ABC's 7.30 report caught my attention. "Two headed fish"!  It seems very likely that pesticides, sprayed by a neighbouring macadamia nut farm, are the cause of fish deformities at a fish farm in Queensland.  A full analysis is taking place,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Compost Making Extraordinaire

So Lovely has now really become the compost making champion of the world.  Well he had thought so before, with some seven huge bays being organised, plus a tumbler in the veggie patch.  He weighed and measured proportions of organic material to dry material and even created a goanna proof bin for the kitchen scraps to ferment in.  This last bin needed as birds, and any other passers by,  were tempted to help themselves to yesterday's kitchen scraps meaning they didn't stay there long enough to compost.  Once he created the bin idea, he just had to keep the goanna out of it and a piece of our home grown bamboo did the trick beautifully!
One goanna proof bin

One goanna

Some of the seven compost bays.  Each with compost at a different stage of development.

Now all was going well until we visited the local Organic Producers Organisation where Lovely discovered that their President is another world expert on compost making.  He declared that our missing ingredient was manure - yes poo, dung, droppings, of the animal variety of course, and most usually sheep or cow.  Not only that but each bin needed at least 40% manure to ensure it reaches a heat sufficient to decompose seeds and even pine cones, (not that we have any of those).   Now we try hard to provide everything from our property where we can and pride ourselves on our level of self-sufficiency.  Once upon a time,

Monday, April 19, 2010

Glossy Black Cockatoos

It’s a quiet noise. Click, click, click. I love it, as it tells me the glossy black cockatoos are enjoying the nuts from my she-oaks, (allocasuarina species). Unlike the English oak tree, there is nothing mighty about the Aussie she-oak, well at least not to a human eye. Many people see them as scrubby, rubbishy trees and they feel their patch of “nature” would look much better without them. So sadly they remove them, which is threatening the poor old glossy black.

Unlike the yellow-tailed black cockatoo, which dine on many tree species, including the introduced pine tree, the smaller, (about 50cm), quieter, red-tailed glossy black cockatoo feeds almost entirely on the seed cones of she-oaks.

I managed to gain a shot showing just a peak of the red feathers that make these birds so spectacular.  I have three I see fairly regularly and I do hope I keep seeing them into the future.  There are in great danger as not only are we removing the she-oaks they love, but too frequent fires are causing more trees to die and many of the large trees they need to breed in are being removed.  I sometimes hear people say that twice as many trees are being planted in forests as are being removed.  I don't know if that is true, but I do know that a glossy black needs a hollow several metres deep to breed in - that makes a breeding tree 150-200 years old - hmmm, not sure my guys will live that long.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nature-Deficit Disorder

Well at last some one has coined a phrase for something we've been thinking about for a long time.  I know when I moved back to the bush I gained a new peace and happiness, and Lovely, who only really moved into the bush last year has said the same.  He went further to say that he believes much of the unhappiness and "missing" people feel is because they are now totally disconnected from nature.  So imagine our surprise and delight to hear a radio interview on ABC this morning with Richard Louv who has written a book called "Last Child in the Woods".  It talks about the very real problems that are growing

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Phascogale - is this a blood thirsty killer?

I'm considering adding a "Lovely's question of the day" to this site as he asks his questions so well and helps me understand what I need to include on this blog.  A property not far from us if for sale and it includes about 100 acres of bush.  Now Lovely is fast becoming a tree hugger but still has a bit to learn and he knows that eastern grey kangaroos need open grasslands, as well as forest, to survive and so he was musing whether it might not be good for some of the forest to be turned into grasslands for the roos.  "But there are phascogales in there." I cried.  Well his look was something to behold.  He turned and said "What are they?"  Now Lovely is an intelligent man, so it's not my intention here to send him up, it simply occurred to me that if Lovely has never heard of a phascogale, then probably most Aussies don't know what they are either, let alone anyone from overseas, and this is probably part of the reason

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Furry alarm clocks and healthy nuts

I must be the luckiest person in the world.  My wake up call this morning was a small kangaroo bleat.  It was Tomasina, who must have been split from her Mum, Merrilyn, in the night.
This is Tomasina.  She is Merrilyn's 5th joey and is easily recognised by the scar on her nose.  She took a major tumble, (well that's what we assume, she may have been being chased by a stray dog), a few months ago.  She took a huge lump out of her nose and twisted a back leg and for a while I wondered if she would make it, but she's a fighter and

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Making books work

I mark my books.  Yes I take to them with highlighter pens and biros and I make sure I can easily find the good bits again.  This horrifies my mother who thinks I'm a vandal and it makes my partner jealous because he'd love to but just can't make himself do it.  The thing is, that unless you highlight the pieces you want to remember, you forget them, and it's all too hard to read the whole book to find them again. 

I'm reading a great book at present.  "The Breakthrough Experience" by Dr John F Demartini and last night I found two gems that I simply have to share. 

The first is the Law of Lesser Pissers.  Yes you read that correctly.  The Law of Lesser Pissers.  It states,