Posted by: Mindy | June 17, 2010

Fox #2

Things caught in the fox trap:

One white cat (lives around here somewhere)

One black and white cat (ours)

One black and white collie dog (friend of neighbours)

One (now deceased) fox.

It doesn’t bring the chookies back, but it won’t be taking anyone else’s chookies either.

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Posted by: Mindy | June 15, 2010

The Long Weekend

Lots done this long weekend, but of course I could have used a few more days to get even more stuff done. The base of the chook enclosure is now wired up and most of the wire covered with dirt. Hopefully this will keep nasty foxes out in the future. The new peach tree and almond tree have been planted and survived two nasty frosts, the pizza oven is moving along apace and a general tidy up of the yard has been done. There may even be pictures soon. Winter is generally supposed to be a quiet time in the garden but I think it’s going to be busy because I’m still catching up on work I should have done in autumn. Then spring will come, everything will start growing again and I’ll be back to square one. Quite happily I suspect.

Posted by: Mindy | June 13, 2010

Theatre in Yass

Last night I went to the Yass Rep. Society series of Three One Act Plays. I was invited by a friend from work, for a mini girls night out. I’ve been meaning to go to one of their productions for ages but never got around to it before so I jumped at the chance.

I’d been warned that the theatre was cold, so I rugged up (okay I wore my ugg boot slippers) and sat down in a seat made for less amply padded people; the theatre seats are the original seats from the art deco cinema; managed to tip most of the contents of my handbag onto the floor which took a lot of rustling and key jingling to put back and then the show began.

The first play was four people sitting in a waiting room, waiting for something that they weren’t even sure of, and generally behaving badly. It was quite good and featured one of my neighbours who was excellent. It also made me feel uncomfortably like I could easily be one of the characters.

The second play was just two people and two chairs, a cafe table,  a Patrick White book and a bell, one of those round ones with the striker in the middle. Whenever the conversation took a turn that either of the people didn’t like, they hit the bell and the conversation could start again from a particular point. It was amazing, learning the lines must have been a right pain, but they delivered it beautifully. I didn’t want it to end. I also wanted to know where the lady on stage got her gorgeous knee high boots and where I could get one of those bells.

The third and final play was a pantomime complete with fairy and stagehand to hold up signs to say boo and cheer, which the audience did enthusiastically. The acting was beautifully hammy and just perfect. Another of my very talented neighbours featured in this one. He has a beautiful singing voice.

It was so good I’m planning to go again before the run finishes. I’m going to get one of the crocheted rugs that they hand out at the entry to the theatre seating this time. It really was cold in the theatre.

Posted by: Mindy | June 10, 2010

Steps

Anyway the show must go on. While we were building and for a while after we moved in we used a set of metal steps to get in and out of the house. They were a bit dodgy since they weren’t made for our house and were propped up on bits of wood and not secured to the house. So with our first Easter in the house almost upon us and carloads of friends coming to visit we thought we’d better actually make it possible to get into the house safely.  So we put on steps on the front and back. Again the pictures are a bit all over the place.

We did the back steps first because they were smaller.

So the stairs are fixed to the house and also concreted into the ground. Very secure. Then they were painted, hand rails attached and finally people could enter the house easily. Which was nice, since we still had reasonably small children and going up and down the metal steps with babe in arms was sometimes a bit scary.

Posted by: Mindy | June 9, 2010

Plan of action

I am hiring a fox trap from the Tablelands LHPA to see if I can catch me a fox. If so, I will then call someone to come and humanely deal with it for me. For anyone concerned about the fox, the traps aren’t always successful so it may come to nothing, but at least I will have tried.

In order to protect future chookies, I am going to spend a large part of the weekend putting fence wire around the base of the enclosure then covering it over with topsoil. There is plenty of grass seeding in the paddock at the moment, so getting grass to grow over it shouldn’t be a problem and it won’t be a trip hazard. Then I will make the enclosure secure by taking out the chookie flap which will mean that I have to let the chooks out each morning, although they will still have a small yard to walk around with food and water if I forget, but I will still have chooks to let out. So either way this fox is not getting any more chookies of mine if I can help it.  The only problem is that if I’m working on the chook enclosure the kids are going to ask where the chooks are. There are going to be some tears this weekend.

Update: the fox trap is now in place. I’m expecting to  be letting out either one of our cats or the neighbours’ cat each morning, but I live in hope of finding a fox.

Posted by: Mindy | June 7, 2010

Fox

Seems that a fox came last night. There is no trace of my beautiful chookies. The neighbours lost theirs last weekend.

Update: definitely a fox. I found Beryl and Sarah-Jenny. They are buried under their favourite dust-bathing tree. There were some feathers, but no Madge. I spoke to Scott at Livestock Health and Pest Authority today – he said a fox will come in and kill a whole yard full of chooks, even if they only eat one. No reason why that anyone has been able to figure out.

Posted by: Mindy | June 6, 2010

More mucking around in the garden

It was such a nice afternoon again that I tackled some more long overdue projects in the garden. We took out masses of rocket that had gone to seed, and left one batch to seed – it was only one plant last year that I got seeds off and put all over the garden which resulted in about 10 plants. I also cleaned up the last of the tomato vine and rhubarb which uncovered a whole nest of slaters. So I let the chooks out and spent a fruitless five minutes trying to get one of them to come and see if they liked slaters. Of course when I walked away she found them all by herself. When I came back she was making the chookie equivalent of mmmmmmm noises, but very quietly so the other two chookies didn’t hear.

I also did some pruning and chopped away weeds from under the drip lines of the fruit trees. Then we trooped off into the paddock to find some horse poo to put on the garden (neighbour’s horses, they just eat the grass for us) which according to our four year old should make the horses very happy. She also told us that the dung beetles that we found told her that they just wanted to be left alone.

Then I amused myself in the garden by pulling out weeds and saying ‘take that you monocot!’* I did learn something on that four days of training in plant ID afterall. After that we did a bit of wandering and looking at trees and stuff around the place.

Finally when it was getting dark I opened up the gate to the chook house and all the chookies trooped in to go to bed. I love how they get tame enough to follow you around. Cupboard love for sure, but still nice.

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon really.

*monocot: plant with one big tap root. Plants with lots of roots are dicots.

Posted by: Mindy | June 5, 2010

Up to my elbows

I had a lovely afternoon in the garden, chopping away weeds from around the citrus trees (all two of them), watering, feeding, cleaning out the straw in the chook house and putting it around the citrus, putting fresh straw in the chook house, picking up horse poo to put around the citrus trees. Looks like we might get a good harvest of lemons again this year. If we remember to spray the nectarine for curly leaf we might also get a good crop of nectarines. Now I have to find a space for the new almond tree and the Chinese peach tree.  Not a bad problem to have really.

In pizza oven news the shop selling the fireclay needed for this weekend closed at 4.30pm on Friday, as hubby discovered when he arrived at 4.50pm on Friday. So the long weekend will be pizza oven making weekend.

The first Farmer’s Market was on today as well. It officially kicked off at 11.30am, but by the time we got there at 11.40 the place was packed and a lot of the produce had already sold. Friends of ours who got there earlier talked to the baker, who had only a couple of baskets of bagels left, who said he set up at 10am and people were around then so he started selling his stuff. By the number of plastic bread trays around he bought a fair amount of  stuff with him too. Next time I suspect he will bring a lot more. The guy selling Batlow (an apple growing region in NSW) apples packed up at around 12.15pm having sold out too. I hope the good turn out continues and that producers keep coming. I’m looking forward to fresh bagels for breakfast.

Posted by: Mindy | June 4, 2010

Tiny Spidey vs Goliath the Fly

Well the fly wasn’t really that big. Just one of those annoying houseflies, flitting around the bottom of the windscreen. I think it was still warming up because it was pretty slow. I was driving so I didn’t try and swat it. But it kept moving and attracting my attention. Then it got caught in a tiny web in the corner of the windscreen, got free, then got caught again. It buzzed for a couple of seconds, then a tiny tiny spider, probably about 1/3 the size of the fly raced out over the web and jumped on the fly. Then ensued a mighty battle which lasted from the Gunghalin Drive Extension to Woden (about 15 minutes drive mid morning) and which was still going when I parked the car. Fortunately I managed to keep enough of an eye on the road to get us safely to our destination. When I got back about an hour later Goliath the Fly was deceased. I imagine Tiny Spidey was having a big feast.

Then on the way home another, slightly larger spider (but still tiny) was running around the dashboard and got stuck in the web too. Tiny Spidey didn’t appear. I’m assuming it was either too full or too frightened. I think I might be growing fond of Tiny Spidey. Anything that eats those annoying houseflies is a winner in my book.

Posted by: Mindy | June 3, 2010

Four days away…

… and the housework is still waiting for me when I get home. Not as bad as it could have been, they did try and keep it clean. But the cats nearly chewed me off at the ankles when I came home, the washing machine instructions didn’t get used, and there is just lots of ‘kid’ stuff that needs to be put away. So glad I’m having tomorrow off work. Some of that housework might even get done in between wandering around on the internet.

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