Tag Archives: drought

Drizzle; Precipitation; Rain. Whatever you call it, boy is it welcome!

rain drops hang from the windchimes

It is finally raining !

After having had something in the order of 0.2mm of rain for the year to date (compared to our usual 77mm), and after the record temperatures and devastating fires of early February, today Melbourne is wet and cold.

It is delicious – cold enough to make you want to put on your favourite hoodie (I have), and run to the shop for a new umbrella (will do this later), and to feel happy sitting inside, drinking hot cups of tea.

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The rain is refreshing everything –  giving the garden a welcome drink as well as washing the petals clean of the soot and dust of the past month. I heard a whisper, too, that the fire-services are hopeful that this cool, wet weather spells the end of the fire season for this year. We can only hope…

Our hearts go out to them, and to everyone who has been touched by the fires.

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This brave little avocado tree –  a Christmas present to my husband that we planted on B0xing Day – is making a valiant effort to recover, having lost nearly all of its leaves during the heatwave, and having had to be protected by a portable beach shelter for the last three weeks.

You have to wonder, with the way that the drought is going, if it will ever really end. I heard someone from the Bureau of Meteorology speaking on the radio last week, and was depressed to hear him ask the same question. As he said, we are in un-charted territory: the drought has gone on twice as long as ever before; we’ve had the highest temperatures ever recorded and the lowest rainfall for this period since records began being kept. We can only wait and see, I guess…

Sorry about that; I didn’t mean to get depressing. To lighten the mood,  I have another couple of unrelated pictures to share with you.

These were taken at the Melbourne two weeks ago when we went to the zoo for a wander. By sheer luck, we were in time for a ‘keeper’s talk’ at the giraffe enclosure.

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This giraffe (above), with the very long tongue and a taste for carrots, was born at Perth zoo, and was made famous by the photograph below (he was the little one):

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Now he lives at Melbourne Zoo and has fathered a number of babies of his own.

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This meerkat isn’t famous, as far as I know, but it was very cute as it stood sentry.

Stay safe and well – and if you are in Melbourne, enjoy the rain!

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In my garden

Here we are, November has come around again and the countdown to Christmas has begun.

Apologies for my extended absence. A couple of days away from the blog to work on assignments and book keeping tasks ended up taking five weeks!  Everything is finished for the year now, though, so I’m back in the saddle, and will do my best to post regularly.

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While I was away, Spring came into full force, and the garden is looking magnificent. We have two nests in the trees in the back yard, one of which is at eye-height. I’ll hopefully be able to get a photo of mother and babies over the next couple of days to share with you.  Right now, they are so tiny that they don’t even make any sounds (they only hatched on Tuesday).

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The vegie patch got planted, too, with three types of peas; golden nugget pumpkins (which already have fruit on them); butternut pumpkins (squash); capsicums; chillies; eggplants,  watermelon,  and, of course, tomatoes – lots of tomatoes.  Unfortunately, the silverbeet has gone to seed, so I”ll have to work out how best to replace it.

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The rhubarb re-shot…

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And the fruit trees are laden with so much fruit that it promises to be a bumper harvest. The plum tree, below, is in its third year of fruiting, and looks to have matured fully now. It has so many plums that it will look like a Christmas tree when they ripen. It looks like there might even be enough to make blood plum paste this year! Yay!

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I’m so excited that the garden is doing so well, despite the on-going drought, and despite the fact that the only water it gets is from the washing machine or shower (or the rain, but we can’t really count on that, even though it is raining as I type). The fact that we have birds nesting in it, and other visitors like geckos, means that it is healthy, and that is good for everyone. The fact that it is still so productive despite the drought, is a miracle!

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Filed under Christmas, gardening

A cold start to the day

 This morning, when I went to drive Meg to the station so she could go to school, this is the sight that greeted us:

 Now, I imagine if you live in an area where snow is common, this would seem tame, but in Melbourne (8km from the CBD) this has become unusual over the past couple of years. The drought has meant that there hasn’t been much water around, and it simply hasn’t been getting cold enough to completely ice the car more than once or twice a year.

I love Winter, and I’ve missed it – the milder weather is barely cold enough to make your ears pink, let alone make your nose run!

 When I got back from the station, the furniture in the back yard was steaming as the sun rose high enough over the houses to start to warm it.

Speaking of the back yard, we’ve decided to do away with the last of the grass, and put more fruit trees and vegies in, with just a path leading to the clothes line and main vegetable patch. As you can see, this small patch of grass gets quite unruly during the wetter months…

And, when the rest of the garden looks like this:

a ratty, overgrown field waiting to be mown, can be an embarrassment.

So, one new apricot tree; the black fig tree I got as a baby last year, and the lime tree that currently lives in a pot, will go in, and the weeds will be a thing of the past. I’ve started saving newspapers, and next week hope to get a load of mulch that I can use to prepare a permaculture-style garden. Then I’d better get on with some weeding, or we will never be able to plant the vegie patch again.

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It finally rained!

Meg

It has been raining on and off over the last 24 hours, for what seems like the first time in weeks, and last night Meg and I couldn’t resist getting out in it and going for a walk. Here she is with her new umbrella – bought weeks ago but only getting its first use.

The drought has meant that even Winter was very dry, although it started out with promise.  Now at the start of Spring, Melbourne’s water catchments are still only just over 39% full and stage 3a water restrictions have just been confirmed for the remainder of the year.

Bucketing water out from the shower and the washing machine will ensure that everything remains alive, but comes at the cost of ‘bucket back’ and splashed floors.  I’m not complaining – three minute showers have become long enough (any longer seems like a terrible indulgence) – just noting the changes from the way we used to do things. As long as I can keep the garden alive it is worth the extra effort, particularly as the vegie garden really gets going with the summer crops.

While I’ve been preparing the garden for the new season, it has been fun to watch our dogs play.  One of them – Cher – has only been with us for eighteen months, and although she is six and a half, had never been allowed to roam around in a garden before coming to us.  Her first home saw her kept as a trophy – only allowed out of her trolley to eat or go to the toilet – and harrassed by her owner’s son and his dog.  Her second home was back in the breeder’s kennel and although she was well looked-after, she was kept in a pen and not as a pet.

With us, she spends hours exploring the garden and chasing the doves away, and thinks that vegie patches are great places to investigate – especially once blood and bone is added to the mix!  At the end of the day, she even gets to sleep on the bed.  What more could a dog ask for?

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