Monday, 6 August 2018

Each day brings plenty...

As I started today, I heard the most exhilarating shrill cry of a group of birds. Nick and I had long thought they were eagles as we’d see them high above. Amazingly today — I was surrounded by a group of six giant (over two feet tall) yellow tailed black cockatoos. I’m not talking about a small bird — as each one was nearly as large as Jaffa the dog. Its easy to see how they are so powerful (and sometimes destructive). They watched from above as I tended the garden. Sadly, this picture doesn’t do them justice — but here is a link to more detail.

IMG_7894-2018-08-6-17-10.jpg

Speaking of the garden, its been doing very well following a wet Autumn and warm Winter. I am amazed at how green and full of life it is — SUCH a joy!

At the moment, the garden is full of:

  • Capsicum (bell peppers)
  • Heritage, Roma & Cherry tomatoes
  • Italian & Purple Basil
  • Majorum
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Coriander
  • Beet root
  • Chicory
  • Collard greens
  • Mustard
  • Broccoli
  • Nettle
  • BirdsEye, Scotch Bell & JalapeƱo peppers
  • Carrots
  • Daikon radish
  • Dandelion
  • Eggplant
  • Borlotti (cranberry or pinto) & Bush beans
  • Celery
  • Spring onions
  • Garlic chives
  • Chinese cabbage

Tree seedlings:

  • Avocado
  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Lyquat

IMG_7903-2018-08-6-17-10.jpg

 

IMG_7911-2018-08-6-17-10.jpg

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

At long last -- our containers have a covered roof!

Since we moved in, Brett has been keen to have a covered roof across the containers near the garden. The first year here we lost a new large sail tarp which held up well — until Cyclone Debbie dumped 16” of rain in several days. It ripped apart yet also highlighted the amount of rainwater that was lost and made getting a solid catchment roof a priority. Sadly, as all goods things seem to take time, it took another year or so for Brett to accumulate the materials to build, and for a strong helper to return for the construction. Lockie was a real Hercules himself and we strong armed the steel across the containers then began hanging the 12” purlins and later snap locked the tin roof in place. Amazingly, we still have a fair amount of tin left for other projects remaining in the forest.

IMG_7835-2018-08-1-15-13.jpg

The roof is a modular design that uses the cam locks that containers all have which are stone enough to lift the entire loaded building from. We vastly overbuilt the roof using re-cycled steel angle iron 6”x6”x3/8” thats 150x150x6mm so it has great weight and strength — It would take quite a wind to lift them now! Its also increased our water catching capacity significantly — just need to gutter and pipe it into the tank…

IMG_7858-2018-08-1-15-13.jpg

IMG_7845-2018-08-1-15-13.jpg

Now we have a safe area to park our ute and RAV under when storms come and the occasional hail falls. Its also a great workspace which we’ll eventually level, gravel, then brick with the pavers we gathered last year from Wille and Jen.

 

IMG_7866-2018-08-1-15-13.jpg

Cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have the roof done — our simple accomplishments, as they’re done through frugal collection, minimal expense, yet great efforts — truly are rewarding and makes us proud as ever of our simple place we call home.

IMG_7890-2018-08-1-15-13.jpg

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

In preparation for Sping....

We plant many trays of seeds to start seed-stock ready for planting in the garden or trees. This year we have planted dozens of gooseberry trees, another dozen avocados, numerous citrus trees, and a few other natives. We’ve also been eagerly awaiting development of a tree near the tip which we though was a Cherry tree — yet seems now it may be an apricot or peach. We never cease to be amazed of the variety of trees we’ve found from the previous owner. What an amazing amount of effort — and luck that many survived!

IMG_7814-2018-07-25-11-08.jpg

IMG_7804-2018-07-25-11-08.jpg

 

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Across the valley past Cooran

Our friend Philip lives on the hillside we look towards from Forest Lodge. Each day we see his silver shed capture the light differently either glistening or changing hue… its always nice to visit and look back towards our place. What a different perspective from his broad perspective…. seems he’s on top of the world!

IMG_7797-2018-07-22-14-50.jpg

2018-07-2214.01.21-1-2018-07-22-14-50.jpg

 

2018-07-2215.16.05HDR-2018-07-22-14-50.jpg

Speaking of visiting… its ALWAYS great to have Lockie around. We enjoyed the views, some nature hikes, and Philip’s amazing bromeliad and other native collections. He’s quite the horticulturalist and a very accomplished landscape designer.

2018-07-2215.19.42HDR-2018-07-22-14-50.jpg

Friday, 13 July 2018

Ready to go!

Nick has been keen to have wheels since I surprised him with his little RAV4. After a bit of prep and rego — she’s all road ready! It didn’t take he and his little dog to load up and head to our Sister’s place nearby. Jaffa and his mate Andy have a great time - every time!

IMG_7828-2018-07-13-08-55.jpg

 

And with the wet Autumn now past, our road was a bit tracked and rutted so its another effort of stone work… usually Brett will get a ute load (about 2/3 a cubic meter/yard) of stone and unload it directly into the ruts from the tray top. This time, since we had a touch of money, we elected to get a tipper (dump) truck load of 5 metres/yards of ~70mm/2.5” drainage stone. Its taken some time to put into place — yet our upper flat paddock now has a fully stoned track ready for the dry season ahead and should be well settled as rain returns (hopefully soon!) Things remain green, for now, yet we’ll watch them brown soon….

IMG_7810-2018-07-13-08-55.jpg

Monday, 9 July 2018

This time of year has the most stellar skies!

From a setting sun over the Noosa beaches….

2018-06-0610.18.5507.54.03-2018-07-9-17-46.jpg

 

To our place with the Western sunset glowing like a the clouds are on fire…

IMG_7713-2018-07-9-17-46.jpg

 

Or perhaps, the cool dampness of a Winter morning, before the sun has prevailed and burned off the night’s grey…

IMG_7756-2018-07-9-17-46.jpg

 

Every day is magical here and much enjoyed. Here, Jaffa is keeping guard as he hears a neighbour’s dog bark — its a pretty good place to be (especially for dogs!)

IMG_7732-2018-07-9-17-46.jpg

 

IMG_7808-2018-07-9-17-46.jpg

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Canyon Cabin near completion

Its taken many months longer than we’d expected — yet our Canyon Cabin (started for Jill’s visit) is near complete.

 

2018-06-2516.22.37-2018-07-3-08-36.jpg

Jaffa is always nearby and watches progress — sadly, he’s never really able to help!

IMG_7708-2018-07-3-08-36.jpg

With the pecan tree bare, it allows Winter sunshine to hit to roof keeping the cabin warm as the sun sets. The Paw Paw thrives nearby too. We’ve used over-sized timber and where close to the ground, galvanised steel posts to keep it strong, steady, and durable.

IMG_7729-2018-07-3-08-36.jpg

Volia! Decks done and move-in ready…. it took some convincing to get Nick to move into the Canyon Cabin — he really feels Forest Lodge is “home” so we use the Canyon for sleeping. Canyon Cabin has a magical outlook over a canyon with near 70 meter (210 feet) drop to the floor below — and at the same time, a view of the Black Mountain ridge and peak which rises near 50 meters (160 feet) above. Its is simple phenomenal to wake up to the majestic pink/gold sunshine warming the hillside — all the while thousands of wild birds sing a welcome to another day. It truly is a slice of paradise!

 

2018-06-1611.35.28-2018-07-3-08-36.jpg