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The Season of Butterfly

I can't impress to you all enough how happy that summer is over here in the Southern hemiphere. We are now in Autumn and the weather has finally cooled down. We are averaging about 30C most days, enough to get out in the garden and do some much needed work.

A painted sky!

My garden, despite enduring the onslaught of Summer, has never looked better. The drip irrigation is responsible for that as the different style of watering is softer on the plants and the water is able to penetrate much deeper into the ground. Not only has drippers saved me hours of time watering in the garden, it's also proven to be so much more effective. I would dig up plants that were on the brink of death and would see the hose watering method would only penetrate the soil roughly 2 inches deep. Certainly not enough.


A lovely little Meadow Argus Butterly

The butterflies have come in abundance over the last month. A variety of butterflies—some local around South Australia and others that Ive never seen before, have migrated from the  Eastern and Northern parts of Australia. It's been a real treat!


A chequered swallowtail, local to this area

The migrant butterflies have been the Eggfly. Not at all common here and up until a month ago, I had never seen them. I caught a glimpse of a live one, and then one that I found outside my house.


Frontside of Eggfly butterfly

They travel thousands of miles following the Northerly winds and whether the El Nino has anything to do with it, Im not sure.

Front side of Eggfly

Due to the change in weather and cooler temps, I have been out planting cuttings I have taken. Below I have some hibiscus & sage from my late grandmothers house that took over 6 months to develop. Nature needs time and care, and I am pleased with the results. Make sage tea is one of the most delcious teas Ive had! It also makes for a lovely staple in a sweet buttered sauce for ravioli if you are wanting to try :)

Healthy root systems on these cuttings

The sunsets around this time of year have been magical. The colours and hues in the skies of a setting sun are magnificent. I can't wait for winter when the night skies are clearest and dark. Its a treat at this time to have the Milky Way, right over head!


Date Palms loving the sunset

Here is a "Wanderer" butterfly that is quite common all over the world, enjoying the cool. This was just before it got nice and cool, and all sorts of critters would come on the door and enjoy the air from the cooler.



Some exciting developments in the 'tropical enclave" is that a dragonfruit that I planted over a year ago appears to have some buds developing. This may be the year when I have homegrown dragonfruits!


Mrs Bug can smell the buds

I realise there is a big "hit and miss" percentage of growing tropical plants in the outback, but Im willing to give it a go. After the success of growing a mango, (and being extremely delicious) Im willing to take a gamble on some other tropical fruits such as black and the durian (biggest gamble of all!). Being that the Durian is one of my all time fav fruits, Im willing to risk it.


Outback pizza oven

Ive also been feeling the creative flows of life recently. Many of you know that Ive been making a pizza oven from reclaimed materials. These are some old bricks and blocks that I found around the place. I had no plan, but just started building. I reckon it will do the job, what do you think? I chimney is made from a solid and sturdy clay from the original "El Noor Gardens" and is the toughest Ive used once it's been fired. It's a little cracked but Ive fixed it enough for it to be kilned. Let the pizza baking begin!



You do the best with what you got. And although I could have easily gone out and bought a $900 pizza oven--why? Why not use recycled materials, save the money and build your own? It pushes ones creative boundaries, whilst having fun with it!




Lots of these butterflies that visit are laying eggs on my zinnia's. The zinnia's have been such a winner. I cannot speak highly enough about them. Strong, summer-resilient, and beautiful, the bees, birds, and insects love them.




This is a resident goanna. I had been hearing some rustling around the house, hoping it wasnt a snake. And one day whilst sitting at my desk, I saw a quick flash of something moving fast past my door. Days later and I saw it again. I went out and this is what I found. A lovely goanna, and it looks like she had an accident with the tail. Either she got it caught, run over and perhaps a fight but I think it’s likely she got it caught or run over… especially what followed next. After a few hours of our initial introduction. I went out into the garden and found her stuck in hard gauge mesh. I cried out to God wondering how on earth I can get her out. Have you ever seen the claws on a goanna? They are HUGE. She was very distressed, and it was so hot, she must’ve been out there for hours. I felt terrible for her. So I covered her body, got some sturdy pliers and gently tried cutting her out. She hissed and grappled with me but I told her I was trying to help. I got her out and writhed her way out of the tangled me and she slowly wandered off. She turned over her should at me and then took off, obviously hot and bothered. I know I was. Ive seen her around since Christmas.





Here is a Caper White enjoying flowering Statice.



And here is a common Grass Blue Butterfly with a yellow friend.

There have been days where the garden is over run with these little critters!!





We finally got some rain several weeks ago and although it wasnt much, it was nice to curb the dust and cleanse all the plants of a hot and long-dragging summer. Here’s hoping that this year we will have some substantial rain. It has been an El Niño event and according to weather reports, it is slowly decaying...




 Despite doing a 30 day juice fast, I have been busy in the kitchen. I have been making more cucumber/onion pickles which I adore, and Im about to make some more betroot pickles, using a friends recipe. Nothing beats homemade pickles! Day 30 of my juice fast I did make a salad and a small amount of sautéed shrimp with fresh garlic and parsley, plus some cheese that Ive been waiting a month to eat. It was well worth the wait. This cheese, all the way from Sydney, was sublime.



Beloved Beardy

Beardy has been still doing the rounds in the garden. Unfortunately for him the mulberry’s now have guards on them as he was slowly wiping them out. He has plenty of other things to eat, such as Kale, cabbage,  fennel and spinach, none of which he has shown an interest. He does love milk thistle though, as does Mr Kangaroo, (when he manages to break in).



Keeping cool in the shade

When I took a drive up to the mountain, I  found another friend. This is an Eyrean Earless Dragon. That day was really hot and Im forever in awe of how nature is so resilient in this weather. Im not sure where he is getting water because there's barely any live plants around either!!



Heliotrope moth

Very Much looking forward to the Winter here in the Southern hemisphere of the Planet.

Much Love

A

xx


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