Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Favourite Gardening Tools

These are the gardening tools I have out most. The pink ribbon I found while out walking recently. It is by far the brightest pink I've ever seen and will do nicely to stop the little rake getting lost in and under piles of weeds.

The old baking tray I got in an op-shop a long time ago.  As you can see from its wrinkles and folds it's older than this sort of utensil is normally allowed to get.

It has been ridden over by at least two cars, and straightened out again, and still does not leak. It is usually the first thing I look for when I go out for a session.

However it is the best size for me, for collecting and carrying piles of small weeds to the compost bin. Piles of bark chips to garden beds. It is good as a two-handed scoop -- bark chips from a pile into a wheelbarrow. Good for mixing up a small amount of cement.

Mostly I weed by hand but this little rake is just the right size and strength to dig into the ground for hard-to-shift weeds such as deep-rooted lamb's tongues and dandelions. The 'rake' -- what else would you call it? --  I keep in the shed when I'm not using it.

What are your favourite gardening tools?

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Couple of October Mysteries

This enigmatic clutch of eggs? seeds? has appeared in one of the baths seemingly laid on an upturned leaf of the azolla fern.

One wonders how the leaf was treated to make it basket-like and sit above the rest of the leaves which are floating on the water.

The objects don't look like eggs, seeming to have a point and a seed-like shape. What could possible have put them there when Azolla reproduction seems to be happening by way of little black spores.

This lomandra plant is flowering with some very weirdly twisted flower stalks. Never seen that before.

I wonder if it is the effect of a virus.

Or a mutation in the plant.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Spider Nursery

Spiderlings in October
It's been four or five days since I noticed the crowd and there they are still in the nursery web. Still quite a lot of them. I thought they would be blown off their threads by the storm we had  the day before yesterday with tropical rain on a gusting wind.

The spiderlings sit clutched together most of the time. When I blow on them they run along the threads going every way, up down across, and spread out.

A few minutes later they are gathered together again in a dark clot in the centre of the webbing.

Last night for the first time this season I heard a green tree frog calling from its drainpipe home. Quite an unusual time, as the weather was dry without the threat of rain. Today, there's quite a drying wind. Normally green tree frogs start their calling in humid weather.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nature's Bounty, Nature's Waste

Spider Babies
Now that native trees and shrubs are flowering, and more flying insects are hatching to take advantage of the new food, spiders are also hatching.

Here a couple of hundred spiderlings of an as yet unidentified sort on a clutch of rose leaves. Already clumps of little bodies in places of the ones that didn't make it.

I doubt even that even a half dozen will make it to breeding age but that is how nature operates.

The next chancy step these little creatures will take is  to let themselves down or swing into the breeze on a length of their own silk, to spread.