A Gallery of Reminiscences

I was looking through old images today and thought it would serve as something a bit different to show some of them here.

First is the only time I have encountered a Victorian Funnelweb spider. This was around 10 years ago when I lived down a long dirt track at the bottom of a deep gully in Hazeldene, Victoria. I was weeding some sleeper steps when up it popped and helpfully waited for me to snap a picture. Victorian Funnelwebs are reputed to not be quite as venomous as the Sydney variety and are quite rare. My good fortune to see one – just the once.

Around the same time, this is me working on an early attempt at an eco-garden, spreading compost over a bed of straw laid over old newspaper or cardboard.

After I later moved to live in an old farmhouse (where I lived for 5 years), again building up a garden from nothing but meadow grass, I frequently came across Australian Huntsman spiders – both outside and inside the home. This pic is quite a mature one. I have seen (no picture) a large yellow stinging horsefly, hornet or wasp type insect (which I can’t think of the name of just now) dragging a helpless one of these large spiders across the ground and into its underground nest to lay its eggs into the spider’s abdomen. Nature apparently does not recognise the cruelty of such acts. But then I don’t think anyone could claim that nature, beautiful as it may be, is in any way benign or even caring about the welfare of any of the denizens of its domain, including humans. Such thoughts are merely the products of the human mind, accompanied by rainbows and unicorns.

On the other hand, it is possible to sometimes find less dangerous living things. Like this slow-moving and cautious Blue-Tongued Lizard and other, mantis type insects or frogs, which can safely be handled. I don’t have any images of snakes, but then I have only crossed paths with one on few occasions during my 8 years of living deep in the country, far from suburbia.

Living on the farm has other rewards, one of them the privilege to sit with feet up on the verandah rail at the end of the day. This selfie became one of my favourite snaps back then, surveying my little piece of heaven, with a drink in my hand.

Why have I included a picture of garbage bins? Well, this was an idea I obtained from Bev, a fellow blogger. Short of water over summer? Don’t want to drag a hose out? Have some of these bins with upturned lids (a central hole drilled in the lid) to collect rainwater for you. I don’t suggest you drink it, without filtering, but some of your plants may thank you for the application of a drop or two. Just lift the lid and dip a receptacle in. The rock is to deter unwanted things from entering and to prevent blow-away of the lid in strong winds. If the lid has water in it, it means your tub is full.

Growing food can be an adventurous thing. The opportunity is there to try unusual crops for your particular area. The root crop in the next pic is the Yacón plant from South America. It produces tubers beneath a perennial rhizome mat. The fruit, more like to apple than potato, can be eaten straight from the ground (after cleaning) and is delicious. It can also be cooked as other vegetables. I did a post about Yacón on my original blog – http://me-and-er-ings.blogspot.com/2012/06/yacon-do-i..  [You may receive a suspicious website warning from some browsers but don’t worry, this link leads to my first Blogger blogspot site]

Gardens can produce beauty too. Some in a large way, others in a small way, as this little plant, thriving among weeds, shows.

Me and my bow. I think it was around 2014-15 when I suddenly had the urge to try archery, since I had no real reason or desire to obtain a gun permit. Not that I would ever take up hunting, being vegetarian, but having some capability of self-defence or the option to obtain food in extreme circumstances made some sense. My bow, which I still have, has a 45 pound draw strength that today may be too much for me to properly handle. But I don’t now have the space to practice such arts. I keep it just in case.

Finally, I have no idea where I sourced this image of the late, great, Bill Mollison and his then Australian associate Geoff Lawton, teaching a Permaculture Design Course in Melbourne – which I attended and was PDC certificated in late 2010, just 2 weeks before I retired from paid work for ever. That is the back of my grey-haired head listening attentively.

Ok. A little bit of self-indulgence maybe, and quite different from what I normally write about, but a nice break, I hope.

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