It’s after 10pm on Monday night. Nightlife with Tony Delroy is streaming over the Internet through the satellite connection and I’m editing photos for this blog post. Nightlife is a radio show that I’ve been listening to on and off since the 90s. When I drove trucks and short notice courier runs down in Rockhampton, I’d often be awake and driving at this time of night somewhere in Central Queensland. As is the case with rural and remote areas, often the only radio station with any decent reception and continuity was ABC radio. Getting stable reception sometimes involved flipping between AM and FM bands, looking for the strongest signal. But most of the time you could pick ABC up. So nowadays I tend to listen to his show late at night and listen to what people are talking about, and listening to the quiz.
So yeah, here I am on another Monday night, jazzed up on caffeine, spilling ascii across my screen and listening to a talk show.
I started to tidy up and put away all the things I’d been playing with over the past couple days today. I’d left the box of Sapphires on the bench with my free (+$5.95 P&H) Magnifying glasses with LED lamps and my tape measure. I thought, “I’ll take a photo of that and call it a Still Life.” So I did. Then I thought, I might just take some more random photos that give a little insight into my days and what I do.
So, what *did* I do today? I decided to action an idea I had a few nights back while thinking about Watermelons. I had an area at the bottom (downhill) side of the vegetable patch earmarked for Watermelon and Rockmelon, but didn’t want to plant there without having some sort of barrier to stop Bella and Floyd barrelling through there on one of their crazy fast games of ‘Chasey’. I knew there was some old shade-cloth and other stuff up the hill near the water tank and figured there might be enough to make a fence/screen to stop the dogs and keep the melons somewhat contained. My first trip up the hill… the hill… the walk up the hill starts gently, then as you pass the couple of coconut palms, it gets steeper. And steeper. After about 30 or 40 metres, the track begins to level out and the rest of the walk to the tank and timber store is relatively level. Anyway, I picked up the 2 folded bundles of shade-cloth and made my way back down the track, sidetracking to pick up another thick log about 4 metres long to chop up for the fire.
I dropped off the shade-cloth near the garden and headed back up the hill to pick up some star pickets that I wanted to save from being buried under mounds of rainforest leaf litter. I also grabbed some lengths of poly pipe that were once part of a Pumpkin irrigation system in another paddock. I dropped that stuff off and started to make the screen. I would have had more than enough shade-cloth to make a screen all the way ’round. However, one of the bundles was a large, 4×4 metre square, so I decided to save that for a future project. There was some Black plastic up the hill, so I headed off for my third trip up the ridge to collect it.
Rather than ramble on, I sorted all the stuff out, used the older plastic to make the rest of the screen, then used a sapling to help support the plastic on one side, and a length of roof strap to brace the other side. Once the boundary fence was done, I dug some holes around inside the enclosure, mixed in some compost from the old satellite dish and planted Watermelon, Capsicum, Cabbage and some more Snow Peas along the shade-cloth side. I also dug out and cleared the grass for about 60cm on the outside of the shade-cloth to slow any encroachment down, and to make mowing easier.
(Stop rambling on and show me photos):
Here are a few pics of the garden and the new extension. It’s good enough for the bush, as they say up here. The white stuff you can see is shredded office paper. I remembered that there was a big bag of it in the old fridge at the side door, so raked away the hay, spread the paper and replaced the hay. It’ll rot down well and I’ll turn it all in a few weeks.
This shot is looking uphill towards the Southeast corner of the garden. The short section of shade-cloth on the left is the entrance to the melon patch.
The seedlings are powering on now. As soon as the tomatoes and other vegetables are big enough. I’ll show some pics. Meanwhile, these are the Snow Peas and Lebanese Cucumber seedlings again:
So that’s the gardening update for now. The Sunbirds haven’t come back yet. They will though, in a week or so.
We’ve had some rain at night here. Enough to settle the dust and help the gardens along. The downside is, I need to go to Wujal Wujal and get some fuel for the mower tomorrow. If I don’t mow, the grass will get out of hand again & I’ll be back to mowing a jungle again.
OK, so…yesterday I showed you the photos of the gemstones that I have hoarded for years. Here is my first pile of stuff to put away. Oh, when I measured the little boxes that the gems live in inside the plastic box, I realised that the Bird-Eating spider from a previous post was more likely 10cm long from the back of the abdomen to its fangs, not the 6cm that I’d estimated. This one:
On with the still lifes:
In the background is the box containing my super cool, geeky, modern LEDpunk magnifying glasses. Here is a closer view:
Note the box. One of my childish joys is reading poorly translated English. I don’t care, it makes me smile. For example, the box that contains these Uber Cool glasses has the following description/s:
‘Two CR1620 batteries can completely ensure the voltage required by LED lamp’
‘It is not required to add bulb to this product’
‘One LED lamp has enough brightness and can ensure better magnifying effect’
‘It is not required to replace the LED lamp of this product’
‘Eyeflap can be overturned freely!’
‘Turn on the light source if insufficient light’
Circuit board and printing industry
Coin and stamp
Home and office
Um, yeah. No. These are fun and sometimes handy to magnify stuff. However, I wouldn’t rely on them for anything too critical. They have an extremely shallow depth of field and can’t be focussed. In order to get a focussed, full magnification, you need to have the lens about 5-10mm from the subject/object. But hey, they were free besides the postage. Can’t whinge (they magnify trichomes nicely). OK, here. This is kinda what they look like on. I was trying to take a selfie at arms length with my DSLR, while wearing glasses that essentially make you blind. I did well. Don’t laugh 🙂
My next tidy up was the table we sit at in the morning or whenever. I’d been reading up on Wagtails in my Slater’s Field Guide about a week ago and had left it on the table. I also had my Reptile and Amphibian reference there from when I was trying to identify the skink in a previous post. Then there was the grinder stuff from when I sharpened the axe a couple days ago. Some seed packets I didn’t put away and my GPS. The seed catalogue and magazines will stay on the table. There is also a half-finished crossword. I like to do a few in the morning while I have coffee. That fruit is a Kaffir Lime.
I took a few shots of the dogs tonight. I noticed Bella has an arrow pointing to her head between her shoulder blades.
She is growing bigger every week. Bella is now nearly 9 months old, but still growing. She towers over Floyd and can outrun him without effort now. She is also just taller than Jack. Her feet are huge, and with all the running around that her and Floyd do, they’ve both gotten very fit. In the photo below, you can see some pale spots on her coat. They’re bite marks from when the neighbour’s dog attacked her a few weeks ago.
In this photo, if you look closely at her leg, you can see the puncture wound that is still healing. The bit of green hanging out of her mouth is a strand of Lemongrass that had fallen on the floor.
Here is Floyd doing what he does if he isn’t sleeping or chasing Bella around the yard. He will be 4 years old in August. He may look overweight, but that’s his dwarfish legs that make him look like that. He is all chest and very healthy. Runs around these paddocks like a little bullet 🙂
Jack. Jack is chilling as he usually does. Jack will be 10 in July this year.
I was looking for some thing to do with my hands this evening, rather than roll a cigarette. I had some Lemongrass strands hanging to dry from last night, so I did a really, really rough weave around my Akubra hatband. If you look closely, you can see the rabbit felt that the hats are made from. Akubras are made to last. I remember once hearing that one hat contains the fur of 10 to 14 Rabbit skins. The hatband itself is leather, and only 5mm wide, but I managed to do a bit of a wrap job. If anyone asks, I’m going to tell them that it deters Drop-Bears. Drop Bears don’t like Lemongrass, so they won’t take you by surprise when you walk under one of their trees.
Well, that’s my day. A bigger garden, some firewood, a screen, and some ideas for a drip irrigation system using that old poly pipe that I got from up the hill. Bed beckons me, but i’ll probably be awake for another hour or more as per usual. This is my bedroom door from across the courtyard thingy.