On my walk I saw… – number nine

I think this will be the last post in this series, unless I find something amazing to share. I will keep walking as often as I can with the dogs (I do enjoy it), but I have shared most of the treasures that will hold still to be photographed. Todays focus has definitely been fungi and lichen. With all the rain lately, the bush is taking the opportunity to produce fungi and lichen of all shapes and sizes.

The fungi and lichen is growing on the ground, on wood laying on the ground, on standing trees, on rocks, wherever you look there is lichen and fungi. Nature is amazing!! The purpose of fungi is to break down materials into plant food, when it rains they can really get a lot of that done. I am hoping that the fungi will hurry along the decomposition of the fallen wood on the ground on our block (left over from logging) so there is less fire hazard for next fire season. Even in the rain, we are thinking about our next dry period.

On my walk I saw… – number eight

It is still raining, I don’t mind though (better rain than fire). I took Melvin for a walk today in a rare gap in the drizzle, but we were two kilometres out on our walk when the rain began to pour down. We both got very wet and needed a towel before we were allowed back in the humpy. I didn’t see a great deal of note on our walk, but we both enjoyed it immensely. I managed to take a few photos of interesting things (to me anyway).

I think this is some kind of pincushion moss. It is beautiful and makes everything look magical.
This little flower is tiny, I had to get really close to get a photo of it that didn’t just look like a white dot.
The wattle is flowering too.
More hardenbergia, but with a slightly different colour.
The lichen on the rocks are spawning. Those little black dots are spores (I think).
I’m not sure what this little flower is, but I love it’s cheery yellow.
This is a white ant nest that has lost it’s protective layer of clay. I thought it looked a lot like an exposed brain. You can see the channels that are the hallways of the nest.
This causeway is on our road out (not the driveway). It is flowing really well and is full of frogs and insects.

Melvin and I are enjoying our wandering so much. I remembered to hit the ‘Workout’ button on my watch today and apparently my usual walk is about four kilometres long (there and back), It doesn’t feel that long at all.

On my walk I saw… – number seven

It has been raining for a few days now, and I missed walking, so I went for a walk in the rain (between showers really). I didn’t see very much of note on this walk because all my focus went to keeping two dogs untangled on their leads (one at a time from now on), until I was on my way home.

I skirted around some puddles in the driveway and saw some dog prints in the mud at the edge. Not remarkable in itself, but the tracks didn’t belong to my dogs and they weren’t there on the way out.

This dog has been passing by our humpy fairly regularly for years. We leave food for her on the path she always takes (especially when she has pups). She is a dingo (mostly at least) and belongs in the bush, she has never taken any of our animals and seems to raise her puppies with this knowledge too. She just passes by the humpy every few days on her search for food.

Today she followed us home, which makes me nervous. Not because I fear she will hurt me, but because our dogs are walking on ground she considers hers, without permission. I know she would attack our dogs if she came across them on their own in the bush and she may do the same if they are with me. I hope she will see that they will not harm her and are not hunting on her land (just passing through), but if she doesn’t, I may need to carry a big stick. This may seem like aggression on her part, but really it is just the way Nature works. We (humans in general) are not above or apart from it, we are part of the great dance that makes the world go around and as such, we must do our part as best we can.

I also took a quick walk around the garden and took some photos to share this rare lushness.

This is moss growing on a piece of cement a friend gave me, because I love lichens and mosses.
The Elder has berries (I am waiting on these for making syrup and tincture and dye, such a useful plant).
Dragon fruit flowers are amazing. I think the little yellow tongue bit, that looks like a flower inside the flower, is the male part of the flower.
The Dragon fruit are flowering again, I am hopeful that it will set fruit this time.
Passionfruit ripening nicely.
Many, many paw paw on the bisexual paw paw.
Baby lemons on the dwarf lemon tree.
Beans, carrots, zucchini, pak choi and weeds galore in the trailer bed.

Less waste lifestyle review

Gratuitous Melvin photo

Over the last twelve years or so, I have been moving towards using less packaging and making more of my own products (dragging my family, crying and whinging, with me). During that time we have managed to swap a lot of usual products in plastic bottles for home made or zero waste products.

Laundry;

Detergent – we now use soap nuts and essential oils

Fabric softener – we don’t use it

Soap nuts being turned into washing liquid.

Kitchen;

Washing up – we use fully compostable brushes for washing up and homemade dish washing tabs for detergent

Surface cleaning spray – I make a spray from vinegar, detergent, peroxide and essential oils for wiping benches and use home made unpaper towels for mess cleaning

Reusable zip lock bags – I have been gradually increasing our store of those silicon storage bags that we use in the freezer and to hold leftovers in the fridge. They save so much waste.

Dish washing tabs, saving plastic.

Bathroom;

Toilet paper – we use a bidet and family cloths to dry our nether regions

Soap – I make soap from used cooking oil every six months or so, that is the only soap we use

Shampoo – we use a shampoo bar and sometimes a conditioner bar when washing our hair

Toothpaste and brushes – we use a bought (sometimes home made) tooth powder and compostable toothbrushes

We are making a difference to our world. I needed to make this into a post (with photos) to be able to fully appreciate the many things we have accomplished. Our achievements disappear in the mass of things we haven’t done yet, leaving us feeling helpless and frail. This is my celebration and a reminder of how far we have come on our sustainable journey. Now time to look forwards.

Future projects;

make bath bud scrubbers

make my own scrubbing brushes and toothbrushes

On my walk I saw… – number six

Today’s walk was definitely about fungus and lichen. We have had some good storms and rainy weather recently (an inch of rain in a storm just last night) and everything is fresh and new. The lichen and fungus are all taking this opportunity to grow and spawn to their heart’s content.

This fungi is in my compost pile. I have no idea what it is, but it’s fascinating.
Lacquered Bracket fungi ??
A seedling small leave fig, on our property!
Strawberry Bracket fungi

The pool under the fig tree is full today and the frogs are happy.
Heterodea muelleri
Blue Billy Goat Weed, which is a good poultice for wounds, stings and boils.
Austroparmelina pseudorelicina, I pass this patch all the time, today it is green and fresh around the edges.
The Gilled polypore has put on fresh colours to celebrate the rain.
Not sure what this lichen is, but I love the close up view. It is a tiny forest of trees, a microcosm.
Geranium buds in my own garden
Even the succulents are having a growth spurt.

Coffee tree update

When I planted out the first coffee tree (read that post here), I didn’t count on rain (that being a rare occurance here these days) and the cement troughs got flooded. The poor little tree didn’t make it through the water logging (the black sugar cane beside it loved the experience). So the second little coffee tree was planted out into a big pot with a deceased guniea fowl in the bottom of it.

This is now a swamp garden. The Black sugar cane seems to enjoy it.
The coffee tree is growing up nicely. It has a few volunteer tomato seedlings under it at the moment. I will move them to a new place when they are a bit bigger.
A gratuitous Melvin photo (just because).

On my walk I saw… – number five

Today it was hard to get myself going to go for a walk, my legs are sore and I am tired, but I went anyway. Melvin was expecting his walk and I hate to disappoint him. I think I will rest tomorrow, my muscles need a break. I am glad I went though, I saw a White Headed pigeon and found some beautiful plants.

Today’s discoveries;

White headed pigeon Blurry I know, he was a long way away. This is a juvenile, ready to leave home.
I don’t know what kind of fern this is, but it is beautiful.

Melvin, loving his walks.
Can anyone identify this plant? The flowers are tiny, but beautiful when you take the time to look.

The top two photos are of the top and underside of a fungus I found on a piece of dead wood. I think this one is a polypore and may be true turkey tail, because the underside hasn’t got any gills.

The bottom two photos above are of what I think is an Amanita ochrophylla. I think the pattern of the gills is so satisfying.

On my walk I saw… number four

I’m at it again… taking the familiar walk down the driveway to the road and along the road for a bit. I am struck by something new each day (today I was struck by how sore my legs feel after a couple of days walking) and I want to share it here.

Purple apple berry
I don’t know what this shrub is, but I loved the texture of it’s flower buds.

I wonder what I will see tomorrow?

On my walk I saw… – number three

This morning my walk involved both dogs; I took Val for a short walk first (her arthritis doesn’t let her take long walks) then I took Melvin for a longer walk (in an attempt to wear him out, just a little). I am really loving having the time to go on long walks with the dogs, there is so much beauty and interest to be enjoyed in the bush.

There are White winged chouffs in that Bloodwood tree. The sky was amazing this morning too.
A baby eucalypt tree. I love the change from baby leaves to adult leaves.
Melvin exploring all the smells.
These look like bachelor’s buttons, but they aren’t.
I have noidea what this one is, but I love the little circles of buds.
Guinea flower
Wandering Jew
Meadow grass (not sure of species)

On my walk I saw… number two

The last post about what I saw on a walk with Melvin was so much fun to make I decided to make it a series. Maybe I can capture some of the beauty of our home and store it here for everyone to enjoy.

Today my daughter and both dogs started out with me, but Chloe and the dogs went back about half way down the driveway (due to lack of interest) so I carried on alone. I am really surprised that this walk, that I completed twice a day every day for ten years (down the driveway to the bus stop) can still throw up new and interesting things to see and hear. Here are todays offerings.

Hardenbergia

I noticed today that the purples of the tiny flowers in the Spring bush are giving way to the yellows of late Summer.

Pleated inkcap (I think)
Variable groundsel
Cortinarius australiensis (I think)
Wombat berry
I have no idea what this flower and the following two climbers are, do you?
Ants cleaning up the path. This unfortunate spider (I believe) is being put to good use.
Not Turkey Tails… Gilled Polypore
More Hardenbergia, I was interested in the colour of the fading flowers

Small leaf fig

The last two photos above have a little story attached to them. I pass the Small leaf fig on my way to the bus and on walks all the time, it is on a neighbor’s property, but right beside the road. I have never noticed the small, but deep, pool at it’s base. Today I noticed because a frog was calling from the pond and I went in search of the sound in an effort to get a photo. I didn’t find the frog, but I did find this enchanted fairy lake, hiding behind a shield of fig leaves.