The grass iz riz

The weather the last few days has been, to say the least, somewhat erratic, Not surprising really. I mean, this IS Victoria, and it IS Spring.

We’ve had a glorious, early Spring day with moderate temps and glorious sunshine followed the next by grey, and ordinary but dry, for a couple of days. It almost goes without saying that this resulted in a concerted attack at ‘pre-fire-season raking, piling and burning.

With acres of gumtrees in the most bushfire-prone country in the world, it’s what you do.

Then back to the sun on Sunday … relaxed breakfast on the verandah in pjs and with accompanying small animals. Rest of the day was devoted to things of a quilty nature… and as is the contrary nature of such things, those two kanga girls waited until just after my weekend quilty guest departed to put in another appearance.

Yesterday it rained … and rained … and rained. 56 mm since 9am.

The goats huddled under the eaves for most of the day until a momentary break allowed them to sprint up the hill to one of the goat houses, albeit the one with the roof that’s threatening to fly off if the wind picks up again.

My wus of a dog refused to go out and do what a dog needs to do if he’s not to explode.

In the end, the only way to persuade him to do what needed to be done, was to put on a coat and wellies, and walk in the rain almost down to the end of the driveway.

The forecast for today is more rain, and more rain, and more rain.

The opinion of four large caprines and one small dog notwithstanding, this is a good thing.

The dam is almost at capacity.

The water tanks that serve the house are full.

The garden is happy.

and this morning, I woke up to this:



Gotta hit the shower, get the boy into town, and then it’s off to spinning in Newstead for a few hours.

Hello May. I missed You.

An overnight temperature just slightly south of zero wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy if this was June. It would be almost commonplace if this was July.

But as it’s only the second day of May, last night’s overnight low of minus 1 felt more than a bit nippy.

Especially as we were wearing short sleeves only a week ago, so we haven’t really had a chance to slowly acclimatise. Not that we ever do. Castlemaine is nothing if not extreme in its weather changes … which is one of the reasons why Castlemaine folks perfected the art of ‘layer dressing’ long before the rest of the world caught on.

Today I started out in socks, leggings, trousers, a long sleeved top, a dress over all that, a jacket and a knitted hat. Thus far the hat, jacket and trousers have come off. When it gets REALLY cold, the kit will include a cowl or scarf, wristwarmers / fingerless gloves and legwarmers. Maybe a jumper/sweater.

For now though, it has turned into an absolutely stunning, clear autumn day.



Perfect for outside work like raking and piling and bonfiring.

It will – no doubt – be equally cold tonight with no cloud cover to trap the heat, but for now, it’s a lovely day to be a goat


Bee-lieve it!

On these hot days, I try to get any outside stuff done as early as possible … goat feeding, gardening, that sort of thing. That done, I was just sort of idling and mindlessly perusing  the garden, watching magpies dart in to swipe goat-bread for their babies, and  the baby maggies – who are pretty much as big as their parents now, and only distinguishable by the grey breast and lack of adult girth – with their squawking and begging.

I happened to notice some European bees trundling around inside a pumpkin flower, so I sprinted for the camera, and they obliged by staying put long enough to have their portraits taken.



Then it crossed my mind that it was a pity that, despite numerous attempts over the years, I’d never managed to catch their much smaller and fleeter-of-wing counterparts, the native blue banded bees.

Of course, as soon as that thought raced through my brain, I noticed that said fat little navy blue guys were getting busy around the salvias.

Somehow, I doubt I’ll ever get to check for myself whether they DO in fact have pale blue stripes on their tiny tummies, but I finally got my photo [ and this time it only took about thirty tries ]

… and you might want to click on the photo to see just how fast those wee wings are going!


In lieu of the post that you WERE going to get before I decided I was too tired

and to annoy cheer up my friends in the parts of the globe that are heading towards Winter, herewith a couple of Spring garden photos:

Banksia Rose with MissC contemplating the odds of her being able to score a Superb Blue Wren snack before indoor incarceration [ odds very slim to none at all ]

Cuban lily – these send up a central spike that gradually opens out with dozens of tiny florets that are always amazing to watch … and they are easy to grow, spread but don’t take over PLUS … purplish blue. So a tick in every box.

anonymous white Iris


a good red rose, possibly Papa Meilland, and English Lavender [ Avonhurst maybe ? ]

Fruhlingsmorgen [ Spring Morning ] Rose and was ever rose so aptly named ?

I’m not a fan of the peaches and apricots into orange side of the colour wheel, but you can’t beat a David Austin Leander rose

and that, as a certain much loved Aussie gardening guru was wont to say, is your bloomin’ lot!

A perfect Sunday … and Quinoa Fritters

After a very strange week weatherwise [ T-shirts one day, winter woollies and a wood fire the next …

close to zero overnight and large swathes of the eastern side of the country actually had SNOW ]

today turned into one of those beautiful, balmy Spring days that make one glad that daylight Saving has started.

Off with the flannel jammies, and the cardi only lasted till mid morning.

David and I had breakfast on the verandah with assorted small animals

and later we rambled around the block [ keeping a watchful eye out for brown-and-wrigglies ]

and indulged in a spot of block clearance-by-goat


About mid afternoon, and despite a healthy breakfast and lunch, I found myself with a major case of the munchies, and casting hungry glances at all the luscious recipes on Pinterest.

Funny how many of them seemed to feature large amounts of chocolate [ hello migraine ], pumpkin, and peanut butter.

anyway, I decided to be good, and we had these cheesy zucchini quinoa patties/pikelets/fritters instead.

Of course my version was a little different to the original because , after all, it IS Sunday afternoon and there are no 24 hour supermarkets in the middle of the bush.

So here’s the original

and these are my modifications.

I have no idea what Fontina cheese is like. My choices were sliced Bega Strong & Bitey vintage tasty, Danish feta and  Perfecto Italiano’s Perfect Pizza [ grated Parmesan, Mozzarella and Cheddar ] I went with the grated pizza mix.

I used fresh garlic chives from the garden in place of the spring onions

and I added about a half a grated zucchini just because.

I’m not big on fried food so I used just the tiniest spray of Canola oil and a non stick pan.

Australian measures are not the same as US ones, but I basically went ahead with cups and spoons as stated and just added a wee bit more flour. I figure these sort of recipes are more of a guideline anyway. My eggs may be a different size. Did I pack down the grated cheese as firmly?  It’s all an experiment, right ?

Oh, and for the record, they were delicious. Served with sweet chilli sauce and a dab of Lite Sour Cream. Moist in the middle and crunchy on the outside. Perfection.