Sunday, 27 November 2011

Turdus Merula

The Latin name for this years main garden pest.

It's the blackbird. Last year we had one and it ate every last raspberry, seemingly on it's own. We killed it. It took several weeks with a small mesh box propped up on a stick with a string trailing through the shed window before I was able to pull it in time and catch the wee bugger. It felt terrible to kill him. He was just doing his thing. Not his fault that some dick-(ybird) decided he missed the sound of a blackbird in his English garden and voluntarily introduced them, all for the sound of it's cheerful note a couple of hundred years ago.

This year the garden is full of the sound of 'tok, tok.'
No doubt counting down their last seconds as we work out ways to stop their clocks - permanently. Gone were the cherries of last year, the strawberries too. This year forewarned is fore-armed. Though arming oneself against a sea of troublesome birds is illegal. It's not the culling of birds that's an issue but the owning of a firearm without appropriate cause and license. We don't live on the prerequisite number of acres and while there have been times I would gladly have bought a slug gun (and shot slugs with it too) it's simply not going to happen.

Instead we invested in six posts, heavy duty wire, star pickets, 100 metres of bird netting and a whole day digging holes, sewing netting and generally getting sun burnt. The raspberry cage looks great. It creates a kind of outdoor indoors that excludes birds of all sorts, hopefully any probing possums and the odd opportunistic Caleb-has-left-the-gate-open-again-Goat. It's been an expensive exercise. Onto strawberry saving measures next week.

Oh, the linocut was inspired by my garden 'friends'. I decided to have a go at lino-cutting and had thought to be inspired by native Tasmanian flora and fauna. Yet somehow this dark feathered, yellow beaked fiend eventuated. Insidious beast.

Who or what would you like to permanently eradicate from your garden?

Sunday, 20 November 2011

No Caleb, sanding has nothing to do with the beach

Caleb's still working hard to pay off a laptop we bought him some time back. It's virtually the only way we can get him off it.

He's recently moved what we dubbed 'Caleb's Mountain' 14 cubic metres of pine bark. It took him a fair while, and the goats didn't mind having a bit of a chew on it either. I think Caleb's ploy was to wait so long they ate it for him.

Trev sanded the floor back with a drum sander but between each coat of water based, low voc polyurthane (yes we compromised) it was lightly hand sanded.

Quotes to get it done professionally were exorbitant, or at least in our eyes, so as usual we (mostly Trev) did it ourselves and it cost just over 10% of the professional price and just over a week to complete.

It's getting so close to the point we start bringing in the small amount of furniture we have (most of it was sold in QLD rather than drag it down) Lucky we're into the minimalist look.

The plumbing is almost complete. Complete enough in the bathroom that we can start tiling with the recycled glass tiles.

The electrician will be back soon to light up the house now the ceiling lining is in and he can. Looking forward to walking through the house at night with the lights on - though we'll turn them off when we leave each room of course :-)

We will have been living in Tasmania for six years come the 1st of December.
It will be five years building in March 2012. Maybe I should write that book, 'Five years of slow building.' *grin*

But we keep coming back to the point that as much as it has been a drag at times it's also been very rewarding and there's always the size of our mortgage to feel good about too.

Next adventure... debt free in three years... what do you say Trev?

Monday, 7 November 2011

A great Blog

Stumbled on this great blog.
I recommend reading the list of things Julie and her family have done over the years to increase their sustainability - what a great list.
I'm definitely checking out the link to bamboo toothbrushes!
Towards Sustainability