Beat that storm!

I'm taking part in a Great Race - a southerly is forecast, with rain, arriving this morning. I have plans to beat the storm - planting, laying bricks by the hen house, and continuing my autumn clean up - before the weather gets nasty.

 One of the few remaining plants in flower.
Bengal Tiger Canna Flower

Tuesday 17th April

Regarding the Trap Neuter Return programme - yesterday I was a cat courier, taking a small black female to the vet. Another grey kitten - Harvey's sister - has been trapped, and she may spend a week at Mooseys for compulsory socialisation. Harvey is settled into his new home, and has spent the weekend purring and smooching his new humans. A great result - twenty adult cats have now been trapped, neutered and returned, and all the kittens are finding good homes.

 This photograph was taken while snoozing underneath one of my big gums!
Gum Tree Branches

Today I'd better get outside - I think the wind has already changed direction. Some southerlies are dramatic - the sky suddenly goes dark grey, the tall gum trees whoosh fortissimo in the wind, and the rain pelts down. Aargh!


Then again, some southerlies are gutless, all puff and promise, just a bit coldish - an energetic and highly committed gardener is able to ignore the discomfort and keep on going! Ha! I've been zooming here and there - shifting compost, building up more of the Dog-Path Garden's stone wall, re-digging a few more of the curves of the gardens over the water race. My friend's hostas are now planted in the back of the Willow Tree Garden.

Matters of Colour

There's not much flower colour left in the garden, but there's a distinct golden glow to many of the deciduous trees. Nice! I've dug out the clumps of scarlet red dahlias which were waging a colour war on my beautiful Burgundy Iceberg roses. They are now planted by the Car Bridge.

 Another late flower. What a beautiful blue!
Blue Asters

I've finally planted all six hundred of my big bag of mixed daffodils. It's been a cold morning, though - sniffy nose, numb feet (I've been standing in the water), so I am momentarily snug in clean, warm, lunchtime clothes. Not for long.

Jurassic Poultry Park?

Regarding Henworld, my theme park/playground for my chooks, which seems to be amusing my forum friends - I will lay the brick paths later today. They'll go through the existing brown tussocks, making a big curvy letter 'H'. The centre of the garden is getting a brick tower with a rooster sculpture on top. H is for Hen, of course, and seems a better choice than my other random brick idea - a yin-yang symbol shape. I remind everyone that my chooks are DNA-related to the dinosaur T-Rex.

My Friendly Rooster :
I am really enjoying the company of my chooks. This does not mean that I need help - I have six and a dog to talk to if I get too lonely! Hee hee.

Good news - my rooster hasn't attacked me in weeks. Sitting on my dusty bottom weeding I am no threat - he might even think I am a giant hen enjoying a dust bath. The big plastic rake I scratch around with does look a bit like a giant chook's foot...

Tomorrow I might be cat couriering again. I have decided not to go walking - I am too busy! My most favourite day walks are into the mountains. Instead of a dribbly wander into a (dribbly?) waterfall on someone's farm, I will swim and bike home, then keep on with my garden.

No Grumping Allowed

Finally, a promise. When I finish gardening for the day I will play my Albeniz, and not get grumpy. I love this music, and I love playing the piano, and I am jolly well allowed to play it a little slowly. Composers who over-direct, with every nuance of tempo metronome-marked, deserve to be ignored completely!

 Such an eccentric cat.
B-Puss Thinks About Autumn

Wednesday 18th April

I wouldn't say that Henworld, my latest project, is a complete success - but these are early days. My chooks were very keen participants while I was busy laying the brick paths and building the four perching towers. But as soon as I wandered off, so did they. I tried to entice them back by scattering wriggling slaters (woodlice?) over the soil, but chook eyesight let them down. Serves me right for cruelly manipulating the food chain. They probably thought I was dancing?

After swimming, biking, and working on Henworld I burnt a trailerful of gum tree rubbish. And there's more! I've just played the piano for two hours. And cooked tea. What a super-productive autumn day!

Thursday 19th April

Today I've been continuing my great autumn clean-up, working my way along the Hump. It's taken me five hours to half fill the trailer - but I was reshaping the curve of the Hump, digging and weeding, as well. My white cat B-Puss raced around climbing trees - he often hunts in the Hump.

 Gnome is pictured here with my very fabourite hosta.
Hosta Gnome

Poultry Sculpture

Tomorrow I'm going to buy some rooster and/or hen sculptures for the four brick towers in Henworld, though 'sculpture' is possibly not quite the right word. Kitsch statues? Folk art? Hopefully my local big-store-that-sells-everything will have some - after all, they have shelves of gaudy garden gnomes doing all sorts of disreputable things. Roosters and/or hens are serious arts and crafts figures. Ha! I've just rung them - apparently they have 'colourful medium hens'. Hmm...

My real, much-alive rooster has been shrieking all afternoon, making alarming, scary sounds. A quick check as to the whereabouts of Rusty the dog - phew! Then I've raced over, three times, expecting to see some chook catastrophe. The revenge of the giant slaters? No reason, not even any egg-laying going on. Daft bird.

What to do now? There may be time to sit underneath a golden autumn tree and read. I've discovered a new library, and I have borrowed a stack of odd books, including one on Hebes. If I take notes, perhaps I can better understand Hebe classifications - they are great shrubs! Or I might enjoy the late afternoon sun indoors and play my piano pieces. I've now 'found' an Albeniz piece which, like me, goes slowly - though the key signature is seven flats. A flat minor! Almost as silly as Henworld!