Silly memories.

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.20.57 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.21.09 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.21.23 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.21.40 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.22.00 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.22.40 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.23.00 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.23.08 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.23.28 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.23.36 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.24.02 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.24.15 amScreen Shot 2018-05-09 at 7.24.37 amThe past few weeks there have been a number of special little moments that have made me smile and laugh with Wesley around the home and beyond.  Here are a few of them:

  1. He loves crabs and sharks and well basically all sea creatures.  I was cooking dinner when I felt a little hand sort of pluck the material on my pants.  I looked down to see Wesley wearing the red oven mitt.  He looked up at me and said “craaaaab” which was adorable and so funny.  He loves the mean crab from moana and sort of sings along with the song whenever it gets the part where he says “shineeeey”.
  2. I saw he was about to play with our heater, when I called for him to stop he held a rag at the wall and pretended he was washing the wall instead.
  3. We’ve discovered an area in the woods that has a really cool dirt hill (almost like a bmx set up) and so were scrambling around on it yesterday.  When we were just about to walk back to the car I nearly stepped on this blue mouse spider (related to the dreaded Sydney funnel web!).  Gingerly I tucked it into an envelope and brought it home for identification and photographs.  The experts are looking at it right now and will be back with more info soon!  The blue colouring is exquisite.
  4. We’ve joined a playgroup in Jurien bay which is about 45 minutes away – there are so many kids.  It’s been awesome meeting new people.
  5. Wesley is ever adventurous but there have been a few moments in the past week when he comes back and seeks cuddles.  He’s also given a few kisses (of free will) and that just melts my heart.
  6. We read an illustrated compendium of the sea and he’s nearly memorised the names of all the sea creatures.  He’s really that into the ocean!
  7. It was wee mans first ever time out in the rain to splash in puddles and he took to it so quickly!  We were both soaked by the end!  It was so much fun.
  8. The freaky looking (and ugly) mantis creature is actually not a mantis at all.  Crazy right?  After some investigating and eventually emailing a scientist friend – it was discovered that this thing is called a mantis fly.
  9. Wesley loved running naked in the garden beds after his bath a couple of weeks ago as the full moon was rising.  It was such a warm night so we all sat in the grass enjoying the view.  Tom was with us again for the night too!

Native Flora of Western Australia

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.28.08 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.28.30 pmHere is Tessa scouring the ground for signs of orchids and other plants.Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.29.05 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.29.38 pmA native cockroach eating some bird poo.Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.29.53 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.30.09 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.30.32 pmThe stunning spotted leopard orchid.Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.30.49 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.30.59 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.31.08 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.31.16 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.31.30 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.31.39 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.31.58 pmHere is a little toad bug.  Can you see him?Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.32.37 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.33.02 pm

These are a few images from a morning out in the bush a couple of weeks ago.  Tessa took me out for roughly 3 hours to several spots along the farm to take a look at what was currently flowering.  The verticordia and leschenaultia were both incredibly diverse with both plants showing several species.  The pale creamy leschenaultia might be my new favourite flower, the colours are muted but at the same time fresh and almost peach like.

I did not prepare for the sun exposure, and subsequently morphed into a lobster come evening.

It was worth it.

 

Aunt Stacey & Uncle Rayden

Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.16.04 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.15.24 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.16.20 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.15.47 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.15.55 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.16.26 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.16.53 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.18.11 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.16.41 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.18.37 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.18.28 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.18.47 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.18.54 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.19.05 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.17.54 pmWe have just had a really magical week with Rayden and Stacey.  They travelled to the farm from Melbourne and Adelaide respectively to come and spend time with us over 5 days here in Warradarge.  It was clear that right away there was going to be a super show down for top Aunty/Uncle title as deemed by Wesley.

They were hilarious playing with him, dressing him, bathing, changing and for four long nights they tended to his every need through the night.  Mike and I both found it a treat to have had the help round the clock and honestly to lay in bed just a little longer than usual in the morning was the best thing ever!  Sleeping in is rare these days.

We did quite a bit over 4 days…

  1. We devoured some really delicious home cooked food.  An epic lamb roast with roasted veggies and some home made pear and blue cheese pizza as well as some super local pork for dinner – Mike also spoiled us all with an egg and bacon breakfast which was gobbled up in mere minutes.
  2. We spent time at the beach in Greenhead.  This was where Wesley proved that it would take at least 4 adults to keep him from getting into the ocean.
  3. A little hike at Mount Leseure to enjoy the wildflowers and check out the landscape
  4. The gang even went to tennis for a hit on the courts (I stayed back to garden and also head to the bush).
  5. Risk was played rather competitively, with Mike being the ultimate winner!
  6. Rayden transformed into a professional TV chef teaching Wesley how to make chocolate biscuits for us all to enjoy during one afternoon when wee man was getting a little cranky it was such a great activity that perked him up.  He was such a diligent little helper!
  7. Rayden and Stacey helped me set up three large (50 foot) garden beds in our front yard, and brought in his expertise setting up a compost heap for us in the yard beyond the house.  It was so good to have the extra hands and energy to really crack into the work.  This also involved shovelling sheep poop from under the shearing shed for an hour – we did a huge amount of work!
  8. Mike spent some time managing some bee hives and caught one more on the last morning (we now have 5!!)
  9. Stacey and Mike went for a hike and enjoyed some nearby caves and Lake Indoon while Rayden and I stayed with wee man baking.
  10. A trip to the garbage dump haha was a memory for all to cherish too!
  11. Video chats with Great Grandma Izzy, Aunt Valerie and Great Uncle Andrew also topped off a pretty magical week.

Stacey takes some top points for changing some poopy diapers – and on that alone she should probably take out the lead, but there was a lot of love shared between the 5 of us and Wesley would be hard pressed to choose his favourite.  He was laughing, running around and being his curious little self during the trip.

The help over 4 days not only with Wesley but with some major jobs around the house was so appreciated.  We’re so lucky to have such incredible family and will cherish the times we share with them for years to come.

Today Wesley and I are back into the swing of things – we hiked to the top of Leseur this morning and have had a really chill afternoon.  We’ll be hosting a friend for dinner this evening and have a few dates out this week with some new local friends from Germany and Canada.

I’ve also got to plan out how much more manure will be needed for the gardens and work with Mike on how we will plant and grow food for us and for the markets in Jurien.  Big plans!

It’s going to be a great week, even though we miss Mike – we have plenty to keep us entertained and dive into the adventure of life on the farm.

Till next time!

Ps: red spotted jezebel butterfly and jewel beetles feature above if you’re curious.

Today I killed an emu. It was horrible.

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 3.40.14 pmScreen Shot 2017-09-09 at 3.40.37 pmWesley and I were on our way home from Jurien Bay and were halfway home (it’s a 45 min drive) when suddenly in the blink of an eye a teenage sized/aged emu dashed out in front of the car.  It was only maybe 10 feet ahead when it chose to that exact moment to run across.  I didn’t have enough time to stop before we collided.

This is the only thing I’ve ever hit with a car.  On the way this morning I’d stopped to pull a dead kangaroo off the road and slow down for about 3 separate bobtails as they scuttled across the road.  I was one of those people saving the little creatures or giving them a more dignified resting place (sparing other drivers having to swerve as well).

They say when a moment impacts you emotionally it can slow down and time can feel as though it has come to a stand still – though science explains this is just you reliving the moment.  Today it’s fresh and it only felt like a flash of time maybe 2 seconds – but if I recall this moment and the 25 minutes after I hit the emu in a year or so it might seem like every millisecond can be accounted for.

What plays over the next 25 mins will stay with me for the rest of my days.

I was driving 10km below the speed limit which significantly spared our car from any damage.  We were very lucky.   The bird was not.  It had hit the ground severely and as I cut the engine and pulled over to the side of the road I could see it was sadly still alive and very badly injured.

It was very stressed, breathing heavily and every so often it would thrash and kick it’s legs.  I opened the car door so Wesley could have fresh air as I decided what I was going to do about the dying bird.  I knew I couldn’t leave it in this state.

It would be a long slow death on the hot pavement.  The underside of it’s torso was torn open showing it’s yellow fat and red flesh both exposed through the feathers by the impact of the pavement.  It made me sick to my stomach.

Sadly it also couldn’t walk, but it was trying so hard to get up.  I couldn’t get close but it was going to cause an accident if it stayed where it was.  I called Mike to see what I should do, but no answer.  Then I rang Tessa and she suggested the ranger.

At this point a number of cars had slowed down, and a couple of them had stopped to see if we were ok and took a look at the car and watch the bird closely.  One younger guy was really kind and stayed with me the whole time as we tried to track someone to help the bird.

Eventually a police car rolled up and then two officers came out to see what they could do.

For anyone who deeply loves animals like I do perhaps this is a really good time to exit this story.

The male officer asked if there were any babies, and I said no.  At this point he whipped out his baton and extended it.  I realised he was going to try and stun or kill it with the weapon.  I looked away and said to myself “Jesus christ!” as I heard the dull thud of the two crashing together.  I thought it was all over when I turned to see the officer dragging the bird from the road into the gravel and then bush.

Making sure Wesley was still comfortable I was partly distracted when the sound and shock of three gunshots went off.

There was silence, and then the cars all left.

I got in the drivers seat and sobbed for the dead bird.  I felt just awful.  I know there was nothing I could have done to prevent it from happening and yet I was also relieved that Wesley and I were ok.  If we had come or gone any sooner or later this might not have happened.

Emu’s are beautiful and yet oddly stretched out and quite terrifyingly dangerous if you ever manage to see one up close.  They are not known for their intelligence, and I just wish it had seen the car approach and decided to wait just a second longer.

Have you ever hurt or injured a large animal in your car?  How did it go?  

Obviously I did not take photos – but as I often post pleasing colourful images – I thought I’d include these donkey orchids from a few days ago to sort of soften the horror of what’s happened today.

Fluffy Bums?

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A few months back I saw this creature online and I wondered if I’d ever be lucky enough to see something similar here in Western Australia.

Well, today was that day.  I went out with my camera hoping to find something new and discovered a large crop of these “fluffy bums”.  Techinically called “scolypopa australis” they are found all over the planet – and at this stage they are teenagers yet to morph into their adult form.  In New Zealand they can secret nectar when feeding on a specific type of plant – which in turn is actually quite toxic.  Bee’s collect the nectar and unfortunately can poison the honey…which has lead to some illness.  These little creatures – oddly are not native to New Zealand but come from Australia.

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This I believe is a fly – but what type exactly I’m not quite sure.  There are ‘bee flies’ but they are a bit hairier…Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.21.47 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.23.51 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.21.40 PM

I know I had promised it would be a little wait until I revealed my big secret…but we must wait just a little longer.  I should be able to tell you when Mike is back in just under two weeks time.  For the time being I hope these dainty flowers will suffice.

xo Holly

ps: totally unrelated – I’m looking to do a Canadian/Australian “treat” swap – If you’re in Canada and would like to receive some amazing Australian goods… please let me know and I’d be happy to ship some over.  I have a couple of items that have been front of mind the past couple of months… and I’m so (desperate) keen to get my hands on a couple of inexpensive yet classically Canadian items.