Bull ants and the rain.

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.25.43 pmIt was looking pretty dire here until last weeks massive rain storm rolled through.  A week on and the ground is starting to look almost 50% green.  It’s incredible how quickly the germination has rooted and begun to bring more sustenance to these hard working mums!Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.25.29 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.25.19 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.25.09 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.27.12 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.27.36 pm

This is the shell of a woman who’s not slept deeply in two years… worth it though! Wesley is the happiest little person I’ve ever known and I’m feeling so grateful to be his mum.Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.27.51 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.28.03 pmThese are some pea flowers that were open a couple of weeks ago.  The road is starting to awaken and it’s looking like the rains are going to keep coming… hurray!!Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 6.20.53 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.24.50 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 6.18.12 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 6.18.24 pmFound these two lovers this afternoon – they are bull ants and god I’m horrified by the fact that they can also fly.  The male is clinging to the females back here.Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.26.12 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.26.22 pmScreen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.26.31 pmHere is evidence of some of the rain we’ve had recently.Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 5.26.37 pmThis is on the road just south of Amboseli.  It was here that frogs could be heard calling to one another – a sign that winter has finally arrived!

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!

Flat Jumping Spider, Lycidas scutulatus – Western Australia

Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 11.36.00 amScreen Shot 2017-11-10 at 8.24.13 pmScreen Shot 2017-11-10 at 8.25.02 pmScreen Shot 2017-11-07 at 8.03.41 pmScreen Shot 2017-11-07 at 8.04.23 pmScreen Shot 2017-11-07 at 8.05.09 pmEach day (or nearly each day) I’ve discovered a number of curious little bugs that live near our house.  The West facing side particularly has yielded a number of jumping spiders and strange critters.  It’s a bit like a treasure hunt, Wesley will go down for a nap and I have limited time to get on my knees and start peering at the sand and soil.

The images above are only from the past couple of days.

The grey flat jumping spider looks almost like his tush was squished.  It was found by Mike in the kitchen.  Keeping it safe from harm (Wesley) I transported it to the yard and took a few snaps as it scuttled away.

The lycidas scutulatus was found in the front yard on a warm sunny morning. I think it might be a female, but it’s an uneducated guess at this stage!

Heating our little home.

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Last night it rained heavily.  We lay on the couch listening to it pound on the roof and I felt some comfort knowing the rainwater tank we use will be filling up quickly.  Our house is not actually heated (well, only with firewood) and is also not connected to council water, so we are conscious of our usage, and have to be careful when showering.   Often we just shower together (though this is proving to become more challenging as my belly’s radius takes up more and more space – ahah).

Winter is just around the corner so we won’t be worrying about it much longer…there will be buckets of rain!

We did manage to sort out a load of wood when we first moved in, and have stacked that on the front porch, and now two more loads will be turning up.  Mike’s dad has been an advocate on behalf of the baby, and assured us we needed much more.  He’s gifted us with two loads.  It was such a thoughtful gift!

We’ll be stacking the next lot over the coming few days – and I know someone whom will be thankful….for the heat…

My dad will be here in 6 weeks for a months stay, and despite being a bit of a miser on home heating as a teenager – he does complain when he gets cold!  We’ll all be toasty warm this winter, and our baby will probably be grateful as well.

Here are a few tracks I’ve been listening to lately…they all have a similar relaxing feel:

Atom – Stay

Wanderflux – Aubade

Droeloe – zZz

I wasn’t sure I’d be lucky two days in a row, however I did spot this colourful little jumping spider rather quickly up our driveway, yesterday.  I ran back inside and grabbed my tripod and thankfully was able to capture a slightly closer image.  I’m still trying to find a reliable source for identification…but for the time being I think it might be a juvenile trite auricoma?

Also because I’m still obsessed with this film – please check the trailer out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8Xvsjy57X0

My first week with Tess.

Normally when Mike is away at work – I find the time goes by particularly slowly.  This has not been the case since our dog Tess has come to stay with us in the city.

I find watching her amusing… very amusing.

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Corymbia ficifolia, a stunning red flowering gum tree.

She has had a fairly “event” filled week, though there had been periods of time where she’s probably not as stimulated as normal.

Her second day she spent with me at work.  She was very shy and lay at my feet the entire day apart from a brief moment when I found her gingerly pulling the CEO’s garbage out of a bin – piece by piece and placing it into a new pile.  She was looking for treasure.  My co-workers were surprised by how mellow she is, as they came around for a quick pat.  Whilst it does seem like she’s an old dog by the way she behaves, she is only 4.5 years old.  She was well attended to at work, and gave us all little distractions… I think there is something really nice about having a dog in the office – they can remove stress and give people a welcome bit of affection that can brighten their day.  It’s something that’s quite common in Vancouver actually, many offices have a policy that allows them to bring their dog to work, most days.  It’s awesome.

Have you ever had the chance to bring your dog to work?  How do you feel about bringing a dog into the office or work space?

She’s been asked to come in again by one of the directors – and I think at some point this week I’ll have her in for another day of petting and attention and “slothing” about.

As I write she’s pressed into my side sleeping.   No wait – she’s moving away now.  I must be annoying her.

I do have some guilt about keeping an “outside” dog inside – but at the same time she looks so cozy and happy, that I think while she might not be getting as much exercise she’s safe and somewhat content.

Back to why I originally started writing this piece.  My observation this morning…

I was just waking up from a deep sleep when I groaned and stretched.  It’s Sunday morning, so we slept in till 7.  Tess was sleeping beside me and turned to greet me.  She shook her little tail and brought her nose close to me (thankfully she never gives kisses, it’s not her style).  She loves to have her chin stroked so I gave her a few pats.  She was enjoying this immensely until she caught the reflection of another tan, black and white dog in our closet mirrors.  She stared at it intensely.  So intensely… then leaned her head back ever so slightly in horror.  She moved her neck back another inch.  She did this for about 4 minutes.  I tried not to laugh as I was waiting to see what her final reaction would end up being.  Eventually she turned her head really quickly to hide her face and pretend she couldn’t see “the other dog” and hid her face in the blankets.

It was adorable…and so amusing.

Mike also teases her on Skype when we talk at night – She just about loses her mind trying to figure out where his voice is coming from.  She looks like she’s nervous he’s about to catch her inside or sleeping on the couch (a no no) and  he’d not really be too happy she’s sleeping in bed with me!

All her freedom vanishes when “Mean Mike’s” around! ahha…

  • She loves people – total strangers especially, but some more than others.
  • She’s terrified of buses
  • Children scare her and also perplex her, mostly scare her.
  • All the local birds try to swoop and attack her
  • She grumbles to me when I grumble to her – kind of like muttering and we “talk”.
  • In the middle of the night she comes close and cuddles with me when I say it’s bed time (she’s not normally much of a cuddly dog but I think she’s changing her ways).