The challenge this week is to share some of the attractions of ones home town and play Travel Guide. Our town is tiny – hamlet might be a better word for it – but we do have a lovely old Hall, recently upgraded with nice new toilets and a storeroom, which houses a collection of photos of district pioneers.
I was walking down that dusty road this afternoon when I noticed that the neighbours were out and about at the bottom of the lane. There were two kookaburras also, but by the time I’d hurried home and back with a camera, there was only one.
For seven long years we were without a shop, and had to remember what we needed in Ararat, or do without. Now we have it back, and it has transformed into a cafe with excellent coffee and above average food. The deck was built several years ago, and I for one have been waiting (as patiently as possible…) for the Saturday morning when I could walk a couple of blocks for coffee and the paper out there, overlooking the oval and the passing traffic.
Science tells us that coffee taken before exercise is a good thing, and if you are going to the Gramps, obviously you’ll be taking a walk or two, maybe climbing some rocks. So, if you are on your way through here to Halls Gap and the Grampians, I advise you to stop at our shop (Moyston General Store) and enjoy a leisurely coffee first, for your own good.
Appropriate, considering my long silence this week – yet another almost over before I get to making a post. It’s been hot, which I find very enervating, and no rain for ages, so every evening is spent outside watering in an effort to keep the garden going. There are gangs of cockatoos around, so it’s not absolutely quiet, but it’s very pleasant to be out under the sky and out of earshot of the doom, gloom and nonsense spouted by the tv…
We are just into the new year, which seems a good time to focus on growth.
Growing things is the whole point of gardening. Growing things to eat is great, but I also love flowers for their own sake.
As for the cactus garden (more of a wilderness at present…), which my eldest son planted as an 11 year old 30 or so years ago, rain at the right time plus lack of management means that the cacti have grown upwards and outwards, obliterating the central pathway that is supposed to allow access for weeding…Since Simon assures me that there are bound to be tiger snakes in there, I think it can wait until winter!
I had two weeks, and still I’m late, but I’m not the only one ambushed by Christmas and New Year. I’ve been thinking about my favourites for the year, and of course that means grandkids.
Juniper, construction Queen
We started the year with two, and finished with three. We haven’t seen Juniper and her little brother for months (maybe not quite as long as it seems, though!), but thanks to social media, we get to see them and their antics almost every day on one screen or another. Young Tilly lives further away than she used to, too, but we’ll make the most of it whenever we see any of them.
And then we get to hand them back to Mum and Dad! Stirred up, if Grandpa has anything to do with it.
Our grand daughter Tilly will be two on Christmas Eve – she loves to ascend anything climbable at every opportunity whether it’s meant to be climbed or not. Two Christmas’s ago she was a serene little sleep champion who didn’t even wake up for a hearing test, let alone her heel prick. How things change!
So sweet! Now look at her – still sweet, but with more than a touch of spice (chili, not nutmeg). In the first three she was prancing around on a stone table top, feeling triumphant, while the adults sitting around it were on high alert in case she fell…
In the second pair of photos, she is watching the flames and ash ascending from uncle Alex’s latest bonfire. Thankfully she is more wary of fire than she is of climbing !
Matilda has yet to meet her new(ish) cousin Banjo. I’m looking forward to “Family Christmas” in about six months, when our kids and their kids will all get together for a few days. It’s a fairly rare event, thanks to the long distances between us, but social media keeps everyone in touch in a way that would astonish my grandparents.
Here are the other two grand kids, Juniper and Banjo, photo by their mum, via social media. They were wearing their Christmas outfits from me – I made the shorts and bought matching t-shirts, which delighted Juni, fortunately.
Every photograph captures a fleeting moment, but some subjects are more temporary than others.
Flowers that put on a brief show are often celebrated (Cherry blossom time, for instance). The brevity of this floral show, however, is something to be thankful for – it’s spectacular to see, and the aroma is sensational, but not in a good way. The common name of “Dead Horse Lily” says it all!
I was trying to capture an image of the pollinators (assorted flies) but only managed to get one, as they are experts at being temporarily in one spot! I didn’t breathe much…
To provide a little balance to the spectacular and stinky lily, here is a rose – it will be lucky to last a day, as our weather has suddenly warmed up and things are wilting. Weather is temporary, too, so “this too shall pass”, and then we might get some rain, followed by more roses.
I do like a good grid, or a good angle, but there’s something innately pleasing about rounded shapes, especially in flowers. It’s spring “down under”, so there are plenty of flowers around my garden just now. The poppies and ranunculus are rounds of many colours, but the spring onion’s flower is (almost) a perfectly rounded globe. It’s quite big, too! There are some spectacular alliums grown for flowers rather than their tasty bulbs, and this flower head is making me think I should grow some of them.