So, it’s been another 2 months or whatever since my last post. Time just floats away.
I had plans after TC Nathan went through to post a long story with animated maps, and lots of techy trickery showing how the cyclone teased us for nearly 3 weeks. But I got as far as sorting the hundreds of screenshots of the cyclone track and radar captures, then I kind o’ got distracted by other stuff. Maybe I’ll do it for fun one day or on an insomniac night.
On the subject of Tropical Cyclone Nathan, the bugger was worse the first time it scraped the coast, a week before it actually crossed. The wind wasn’t as strong the second time. We got buckets of rain over the whole period though. Of course, buckets of rain means mad growth up here. Check out some of the pics below.’ You can click on the images to get a full size view. The panoramas especially.
On the SE side of the house is our old outside fire. I’ve planted Rockmelon, watermelon and cucumber in the ash rich soil, but the poor light on that side has restricted their vigour.
This is a view across the garden to the Kaffir Lime tree. When both the Kaffir and other Lime trees have finished fruiting, I’ll carefully prune them back so they bush out a little more. They’ve been neglected for 10 years that I am aware of.
After the cyclone, I got the old once upon a time self propelled 21″ cut 5HP mower running properly again. I also took the cutter bar off and ground an edge onto it again. It cuts really, really well. However, the grass in the paddock down from the house was long. I’m, talking strands of grass up to 2 metres long, laying over each other. In places the grass was 20cm thick in flat slabs, like you see in hay bales.
I got into a rhythm after a while; push the mower with the front wheels held up in the air a bit over the layer of grass, pull back. Push over again, then pull back. It took about five runs like that to get to ground level. My trusty mower chewed through it though, throwing 10cm, long wads of grass out the back, creating a mulch that was nearly 10cm thick. Sometimes the strands of the grass would wrap around the blade shaft and stop the mower. I’d restart it and rip into it again. Clogging of the grass chute was a problem too. A lot of the paddock was still wet under the layers.
It took a week of mowing for a few hours in the afternoons to get it all down, and it wasn’t until later that I realised how far I’d actually pushed and pulled that mower. When I did the last 20m x 10m patch, I had my GPS on my belt, and it showed that I’d walked 2.2km (1.3 miles) in just under 2 hours. The paddock, or the area that I’ve mowed around the house is now over half an acre.
There is an old raised vegetable garden in the paddock, surrounded by Black plastic. I’m going to put some old timber that we can’t burn inside onto it and sear off all the grass that is growing through it. After that I’ll plant some more Watermelon and maybe some corn.
The other gardens, and the plants that I’ve saved from fallen trees are all doing well. We have Five or Six Mulberry cuttings that are now growing mad. This one in the pot has only been in for 4 weeks.
These epiphytes were put up before the Wet season started. They didn’t do much until the rains started in earnest.
The Elk Horn is slowly surrounding it’s support rope. Eventually it will attach to the tree and the rope will be redundant. I’ll cut the rope away once it’s fully attached to the tree.
This time of year is also when the insects go nuts. We haven’t had Mozzies since the end of that small plague a few months back. We’re lucky in that respect, up here in the valley away from the brackish swampy spots on the coast.
This is some kind of wasp, feasting on what I think is either a Native Bee or flying ant. I think they are a burrowing wasp of some kind.
Oh, I finally had a visit from a male Goliath (or Emperor) moth.
Anyways, enough for now. I have a heap of images to edit or resize into a web friendly format.
Meanwhile, here is a night shot taken a while back when the lawn was nearly all mowed.