Still warm enough to be swimming in the home pool and for Ian to need to keep grass and weeds constantly in check (mowing and spraying). Anzac Day brings the first cool weather. I think I like Autumn best out of the seasons. It is such a relief to feel the heat subsiding so that we can work outside for longer and enjoy morning and afternoon teas sitting in shade looking at our beautiful surroundings. Some dry periods when we need to hose and use sprinkler with dam water but at the end of the month 2 more wonderful dumps of rain (32 mls overnight from 27th to 28th and 50 ml over 24 hrs from Sat 29th to Sun 30th ) that will set the plants up for a long period leading towards the winter.
Re-claiming the grassy northern slope for native vegetation. Everything is grist to the mill – cardboard, blinds, sheets, curtains, bedspreads, doonas, even the occasional old pillow!
Lots of planting ( e.g. natives from SGAP meetings, our own transplanted wattles and axe-handle trees) at this time of year as we remember how everything flourished when we planted in late summer through autumn last year and virtually everything survived.
Removing horrible Horned Melon vine and glycine from pontoon bank and across fenceline near northern slope.
Slashing back grass, glycine, balloon vine etc. on cottage bank. Planting in their place silky oaks, sandpaper figs and 2 more rubiginosas that were all transplants waiting in our nursery. The silky oaks thrive in this situation and they had been a great at retaining soil when they were submerged (some fully, others partially) during the flood.I plant about 30 lomandras in front of cottage bank where we had pulled off glycine.
Cutting back 4 rubbishy trees on side paddock fencline so that another new plant can take over. Cutting down feijoa in triangle garden – always riddled with fruit fly and there are 2 other bushes – as part of our effort to change this garden into only natives or herbs. Plant a cycad and native waratah there.
Planting 7 Kauri along driveway ( 3 are northern kauris). We buy these at an SGAP plant sale at Grovelly TAFE. Also buy and plant 2 paperbarks and several pittosporums and lilly-pillies and a native holly – mostly in various front gardens. Moreover we plant lots of our own potted lomandras in these gardens A few tuckeroos and a Crow’s Ash are planted on the northern slope.
Ian prepares pool garden for new plants by removing most of the vegetation and spraying the nutgrass which is rampant.
Identification of plants
Hideous grass is Bahia Grass – the upside is that responds well to the spray we use for Nutgrass leaving the Couch to re-establish itself. (Herbarium)
Crinkly weed is actually a native – bearded grass (SGAP)
Identify a yellow 4 petalled flower vine which Ian found down near river : Ludwigia octovalvis. (SGAP)
The Channel-billed Cuckoos have well and truly departed. No sign of any paralysis ticks for many weeks.
The Currawongs have come back (if they have been away) and their singing is hauntingly beautiful.
Another type of duck visits the dam. I am standing higher than the dam and can see the tops of the wings as a group flies onto the water – a surprising white band across the wing. I use Wildlife of Greater Brisbane (Queensland Museum)to identify them as Grey Teals.
Another sighting of the turtle in dam.
White Ibis poking around front lawn areas (had only noticed black-winged Ibis up til now).
See small Green-banded Blue butterfly.
Gathering macadamias and potting up several that have sprouted under the trees as well as putting single nut pods into pots.
Ian plants onions and beetroot in top of egg carton. Zucchinis ripening although only recently planted. In vegetable garden Ian plants peas, carrots, parsnips, corn, eggplant, beetroot and broccoli in vegetable garden. The broccoli plants (not seeds) quickly come under attack pretty from bugs (like last year) and need spraying with pyrethrum but still some are lost and the rest look sickly. Lebanese cucumber vines virtually finished – why don’t they last when put in fridge??
The guineas are even more brainless than the chooks. When we move their feeder from one end of the top of their cage to the other (close to a ledge on the fence which will be their final feeding place) they get hysterical. They start to harass us for food and come over to the house and even fly onto the roof…we put the feeder back at the other end and move it incrementally closer to ledge. Even then unless they see the green plastic on the ledge they don’t associate it with food. But by end of month they seem to have adjusted – only once more do they create a ruckus when we remove the cage and they lose their bearings!