27 May 2019

R.I.P. Flash

Not the post I thought I would be adding today. Flash seemed to become unwell quickly from Saturday afternoon and then she stopped eating, though she would drink water and seemed quite alert.  She couldn't rise without help yesterday evening so she camped in the kitchen on her hammock bed with a blanket over her.

This morning we took her to the vet and our fears were confirmed. She had a swollen liver, and her lungs were somewhat congested. Classic signs of a dog reaching the end of it's life. PC and I gave permission for the vet to put Flash to sleep, then we brought her home to bury her. She was just as much PC's mate as mine for the last couple of years.

Flash was my shadow and my best friend, for most of the nearly 15 years of her life but, as I was always the one with the camera, I don't have any photos with both of us in them. Not that it matters as she will always be "with" me. 

The only dog that belonged to just me. The only dog that wouldn't work for anyone but me.
My "bestest" dog I used to call her....and she was. 

So long Flash, say "Hi" to the others animals who have preceeded you, from me, all of whom hold special places in my heart and memories. Shame animals don't live as long as humans.  

Robyn Louise

24 May 2019

Timber recycle

Yesterday the tree removal contractors  that the council uses, came out and cleaned up the fallen tree and other fallout where it had crashed through the surrounding flora.

They started at about 8 am and finished around 11.30 am. I was amazed at the size of the branches the industrial wood chipper could consume.

There was expected damage to the fence that we will insist the council repair.

The manager asked if we would like to keep the remaining large logs and woodchip or have them remove it. We have friends with woodfires, and apparently this is a Blakely's Redgum, so has good burning qualities, low sparks and excellent coals. It will need to be split soon, though, as it has a reputation of being difficult to split. Considering the drought in progress and the cost of buying mulch I decided to keep that too! There wasn't as much as I thought from so much tree but it will be useful.

Being impressed by the way they worked I also asked for the company's card as there are a few trees that can be a problem, at the front of the house, that we will need to remove in the future.

Stay safe everyone, and always keep an eye on trees that creak as it may not be branches rubbing against each other!

Robyn Louise. 

17 May 2019


About 2 years ago PC sent a letter to the local Council requesting that some dying trees on the verge be removed. He followed up with a phone call a few weeks later when no reply had been made and no action had been taken. The answer given was that it was being looked into. A few weeks after that a council team ofworkers came out and cleared a few branches that were close to the roadway and we were given the impression (verbally) that a more major tree clearing was being organised for the area when a professional tree maintenance group was contracted.

Yesterday afternoon, around 5pm, I was cutting branches off a Peppercorn tree that overhangs our property fence. I heard a creak, stopped working, and looked up at the nearby trees, noticing there was no wind disturbing them. Then after I looked away I heard another creak and a soft whooshing sound and my memories of trees falling, whilst horse riding in the bush, kicked my flight or fight adrenaline response into top gear and I bolted.

I heard the thud and crack of tree branches crashing down behind me, and felt the wind they created, but I didn't stop running until I was halfway across the one acre paddock. I had to sit down until my legs stopped shaking and I could breath normally. When I studied where the branches had fallen I saw that I would have been underneath a heavy side branch, which had broken down the peppercorn branch I was cutting back, if I hadn't moved.

It's midday now and, even though I rang the emergency number and reported the incident within an hour after it occurring, the lane has not been blocked to traffic and no one has appeared to evaluate the situation. A phone call to Council this morning hasn't prompted them to send a clearing and evaluation team either.

Where the bright green squashed Peppercorn tree branch, in almost the centre of the picture, is where I was standing prior to the tree trunk breaking.

The fence is approx 165cm high, or 5' 6" so the main trunk that broke off is about 50cm (20") thick. That is a good few tonnes of wood. I would have been blood and bone if I had no idea about the way a tree creaks before it breaks. An advantage of having lived in the bush most of my life.

In the centre of the group of trees the lighter coloured broken trunk can be seen at the top of the photo. 

Fortunately, there is a smaller paddock that the grazing animals can be contained in, for the time being, as I don't want them near this corner of the property until all the dangerous trees on this end of this lane - see photo below - are removed by council. Our fence is to the left of the photo. I'm going to make a nuisance of myself, with council, until this is done.

Stay safe everyone,

15 May 2019

Something new

I haven't grown Sweet potatoes (kumera) before, and I'd just about given up, as each time I checked under the lush vine there were only scrawny little roots.

When I was watering them this morning, after not doing any checking for almost a month, I saw that the soil was raised in heaps. I dug into the soil and unearthed this (my size 7 boot is for comparison)

which was a huge surprise as I thought the whole project had failed. On quick investigation I discovered there are quite a few other tubers around this size available.

Maybe it just needed a cool change to the weather to encourage the vine to store more energy in it's roots, making them larger!

I'll harvest as required as I don't need the garden space they are growing in. Considering the current price of these at the shops I think it's worth it to have these home grown.

Robyn Louise

26 Feb 2019


It's not often, now, that I refer readers to another blog but I read an inspirational post that is worth sharing this morning.

It is on a blog I have followed for years, written by someone I admire for their energy, their lifestyle and their attitude on life.

Enough of my preamble. Read it here. 

RobynLouise XO