There’s a look that weeds tend to have: often spiky like a thistle,;definitely fast growing; pretty flowers perhaps; obviously not delicious to sheep (so still in existence in a paddock);and setting lots of seed for example. Continue reading
It’s that time of year again, when we happily send some young trees out naked into the winter.
The ones that seem large enough have their wildlife and frost resistant covers removed, so that we can recycle them for this year’s plantings. That’s hundreds of covers to be jerked up, flattened and carried back to the truck, then transported to our overcrowded garage for storage. Continue reading
Farming, like nature, is messy. It’s nice to see the smooth green grass of spring covering the hills and disguising the rocks. The modern golf course look. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily what you need either for wildlife or for grazing stock. Continue reading
We regularly see mistletoebirds (Dicaeum Hirundinaceum) around the house and around the hills. They’re a flowerpecker with a taste for mistletoes.
Mistletoes grow all over the world, not just at Christmas for romantic kissing purposes. Unlike the area north of us, near Lake Burrinjuck, however, our eucalypts have few mistletoes. I’m not sure why. Maybe they’re too widely spaced. It’s probably for the best given all the other stresses on them. Parasitic mistletoes are a big drag on a host tree’s resources.
It’s puzzled me what the mistletoebirds are eating around here.
Meanwhile, Lesley Peden and I were jolting around the paddocks looking at the sites I want to use for tree-planting this year. Continue reading
This spring growing season has been a big one. Extra troops in the form of certified Angus cattle had to be brought in to eat down some of the extra grass.
Now the pastures have all dried off in the hot winds, in time for bushfire season.
Ready to burn. Continue reading
What an excellent idea, lilies that smell like chocolate.
Or vanilla, or caramel, depending on your sense of smell (or lack of it, in my case, thanks to allergies).
Something to make you smile, anyway.
When I saw the first glimpse of purple in the long grass, I thought it was Paterson’s Curse ( echium plantagineum), a European exotic which we’ve been working on controlling because it’s toxic and invasive. Continue reading
According to Michael Pollan in The Botany of Desire there are plants that, just by chance, have turned out to be something we really want. Potatoes as food, apples for fruit and alcohol, marijuana for druggy highs. Those plants that we like, we promote and encourage no matter how needy and pathetic they are. We choose them over all others. The attractiveness of tulips led to a bidding war that collapses an economy (in the 17th century, but still). We move them from continent to continent, grow them under lights and in hothouses and despite all discouragement.
I was thinking about this as I hauled out weeds from the bottom of the garden. Continue reading