About Me

My photo
Fifty six year old empty-nester. Wife to one, mum to four and nan to three precious grandies. Living simply is my passion, I enjoy growing food, living healthy and playing with a variety of crafts. I am always up for a bargain and love to op shop for vintage treasures.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

I'm back...

Hello dear friends,

I am so glad that summer is over! What a disaster it turned out to be.

We broke records with extreme temperatures, we even managed to be the hottest place on earth on one particular day. We had temperatures mostly in the 40's for most of January, with some days over 45C for days on end. To top it off we have had NO rain. It is so dry.  The animals are dying, the insects are scarce, the birds are scarce, everything is scarce.  The natural salt bush is dying. Now this plant will take some punishment weather wise, but it is dying. There is dirt and dust everywhere! By the forecast, it was meant to rain this past weekend, but as usual it passed us by. We did have a few sprinklings, but that was it. This drought is a really bad one!

On the 24th of January, we reached nearly fifty degrees (122F) and it was a terrible day indeed!


It was so hot I had to put water on the ground for the birds. They literally were down out of the trees and burying themselves in the dirt trying to keep cool. I ended up putting the sprinkler on the back lawn just to keep them cool, they just laid in the water...

Later that day these two were out the back munching on the lawn.



Followed by this girl a while later. She has a joey in her pouch and was so hot...


Watch what she does in this video, twas so cute :) 


And this is what happened to my poor tomato plants. They were doing so well and then just collapsed in the 50C (122F) heat. They had water and shade, but it wasn't enough. 

I felt really defeated this day, and was not sure I could keep going with my veggie gardening. I lost the mojo to blog also...but eventually I picked myself up, dusted myself off and now am ready to face what could be a long, cold, dry winter.

I ended up leaving the tomato plants in the barrels and picked the tomatoes as they ripened to make tomato relish. I also made tomato soup that is in the freezer to enjoy over winter.






Anyway, it has been so good to see the heat go. The arrival of cooler conditions is helping the garden recover. The eggplants are doing excellently, they seem to love the hot weather. The capsicum bushes are laden with fruit and the basil has boomed! I am picking beetroot, tomatoes, capsicums, silver beet, eggplants.

I have one pumpkin. Not sure what type yet as it is self sown.


















I dried a heap of basil. My kitchen smelled divine.


Here are the leaves placed in the drying rack. This lot is now all done, and I have another batch drying at the moment.



Thought I might include photos of the lizards I have seen over summer. 

The first one is a goanna and I have no idea what the second one is.  This is the first time I have seen one like this! He had a huge grub in his mouth and was not letting it go. He was the funniest little lizard to watch. 

The bottom picture is of a baby sleepy (shingleback) lizard.  He is only a few weeks old and is hanging around the pot plants outside.  I guess there may be some bugs he is eating plus I have water placed in different places for lizards. He looked to be so hungry when I first found him, so we brought him inside to check to see if he was okay. He seemed to be in poor condition, so I have been putting strawberries out for him to eat everyday. I see him most days just wandering around out the back and occasionally sunning himself in the sunlight. That tail is supposed to be plump to help them get through winter. I have seen so many of these lizards are they are not faring so well. Their tails are quite flat.  So sad...






I will leave you with this picture from above of our little patch. We all put some money in and bought hubby a drone for his birthday, so I will share some more photos in future posts. The footage from a drone is amazing! That triangle shape is our block.




Just a quick post tonight to let you know that I am still here.

xTania

33 comments:

  1. Hi Tania, So very good to hear from you. You have done an amazing job keeping so many veggies going. Love it when you said "the basil has boomed!" Thank-you for sharing all those wonderful pics. Take good care, Jo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your little lizard is a Broad Banded Sand Swimmer. Found it on the Reptiles of Australia web site. So sorry to see the effects of the drought. Heart breaking to watch from an area where we are getting just enough rain to keep things going and can't imagine how you are living it day to day. Deserts are our go to travel spots. The long term affect on our native wildlife populations is devastating. Keep up the good work helping your local lizards. Regards from Sandra James, Dungog NSW.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sandra,

      Thank you so much for finding out what that little lizard is. He was such a funny little character and wasn't going to let his big catch go no matter what lol!

      We have had to water trees that are years old to keep them alive. So many trees are dropping their bark from stress, or even dying. We figured if we don't water them, we would lose them.

      xTania

      Delete
  3. That drone pic is awesome...sadly it shows just how dry it is too. I've been so cranky with the heat here in Brisbane however your heat has been another 10-12 degrees hotter....it just makes things unbearable. Love all your tomato tubs so glad you were able to salvage some for preserving.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have more shots from the drone to share just how dry it is Kathy. The heat was unbearable this year and I have never been so happy to see summer come to a close. Hopefully we get some rain from the cyclone in the north west, but it is not looking promising.

      xTania

      Delete
  4. That is very hot.. I'm glad we are switching seasons too here in Michigan. I could use just a little bit of your warmth. I'm actually very impressed with your gardening..everything looks like it did well and you were able to pick tomatoes in spite of the heat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vickie,

      I did notice that the cold in other parts of the world was breaking records also. The whole world is in climate distress. Hopefully it sorts itself out soon.

      I was really sad when my tomatoes wilted but luckily I was still able to pick the fruit for preserving. I should have included a before photo because they were the best plants I had ever grown. But, never mind because my other tomato plants that I nursed ever so carefully in pots are now fruiting, so all is not lost.

      xTania

      Delete
  5. Hello Tania, I have never commented on your blog before, I am visiting from Bluebirds. This drought is a terrible one. I live in Victoria and got a shock visiting my parents farm two hours from me - they live in a valley that is always last to lose it's green and even there it is completely dry and all the animals are hungry. My mum is keeping a calf alive by mowing a small section of lawn each day. I havent seen the valley tgat dry since I was a small girl. I cannot imagine how dry for how long it's been where you are. Thankyou for your kindness towards all the animals that drop into your patch. Your gardening is beautiful, well done for all the little bits you are doing, it is making a big difference. Keep going, thankyou for sharing. Love Clare

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Clare, it is so lovely to hear from you.

      Its the animals I feel so sorry for as we can survive, but they wont without rain. There is simply no food and the water is all gone. Sadly the wildlife is perishing. We have put a bale of hay out in the fruit orchard for any strays that pass by. The kangaroos have stripped the fruit trees so hoping the hay will keep them from eating the trees. I have a lot of water out there for them as well. By the looks of the poop and the state of the bale, they are certainly enjoying the free feed!

      xTania

      Delete
  6. It's been hot and humid here but nothing like the extreme temperatures the south of Australia has been experiencing this summer. You have done amazing to have anything still growing in your garden. I think we're all feeling pretty slow cooked now and are in need of some cooler weather for some relief. Fingers crossed that you will get some rain down your way. The extremes seem unfair don't they, with devastating floods up north and drought down south. xx Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Susan,

      Yes it doesn't seem right, with all the rain up north and here we are trying to get a drop! But that is Australia for you :)

      They need to build a pipe line to come down this way so we can have our share lol!

      xTania

      Delete
  7. Well done for picking yourself up and starting to get the enthusiasm back. The drought really is terrible. I was up in North eastern Victoria on the weekend and have to say, the place is really, really dry. Hope you get some rain soon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi emw,

      I really needed to pick myself up because the black dog was knocking at my door, and I really didn't fancy a visit from him!

      The rain will come eventually and things will improve, just got to ride the waves in the meantime.

      xTania

      Delete
  8. Hi Tania, it is lovely to hear from you again. Every time I have heard on the news about the temperatures in SA over Summer I have thought of you, and wondered how you are doing. It has been THE worst Summer in living memory, no matter what part of the country you come from. Thankfully we have had rain now, but the heat and humidity is relentless, Autumn has not arrived on the far north coast at all 😩

    I love that you are caring for the wildlife, it warms my heart so ❤️

    I think you are doing exceptionally well to maintain a garden at all where you live!

    Thank you for updating us on your happenings, I love hearing how you are faring ‘down South’

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So lovely of you to drop by today Cheryl. Thank you so much for your concern and kind words.

      xTania

      Delete
  9. Nice to get an update. Glad you're doing well and I'm absolutely amazed at how many plants you were able to keep alive with that horrendous heat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was extremely difficult to keep things alive Leigh. I had to stay home and check things several times a day, not that I was going anywhere in that kind of heat :)

      xTania

      Delete
  10. Hi Tania, I'm sorry to hear it has been so intensely hot there. We had the same trouble here in California, but this year the weather has really improved. We've had so much rain, and everything feels so much healthier again. The hills are green. Your harvest looks amazing to me. I love the photos of the kangaroos. Take care...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stephenie,

      So glad to hear you have had a good year in California. At the moment, Southern Australia is in drought, and North Australia is in flood, another time we will have good years and they will be in drought. This is the cycle of climate, just got to ride it out :)

      xTania

      Delete
  11. It's lovely to see your post Tania. Although not as hot as your area, we've struggled with growing things this year too here in the Barossa. We concentrated our water on edibles and I've lost lots of plants in my house garden. Will replace them with natives and more water wise plantings. I do hope this is not a sign of things to come, but I think it might be, unfortunately. That beautiful kangaroo was super blissed out to have a respite from the extremes of heat. Your remaining veges are looking wonderfully healthy and productive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sally, can only hope things will be a bit (or a lot) better this winter. We are desperate for rain now...

      xTania

      Delete
  12. well done for keeping the garden going in that heat! We got way too much rain here, and were hoping that the areas so affected by drought would get some rain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you africanaussie. Its a pity they couldn't re direct all that water to the places that need it...

      xTania

      Delete
  13. I feel your pain, Tania. Although we didn't have to endure the temps you did, for so long - we have had a protracted drought for over six months. We got some decent rain in October (last year) but not enough to rehydrate the ground. So the garden has been bringing out the dead, for quite a while. A long slow death. Yet, I'm thoroughly impressed by what you've been able to produce, in hotter temps than our own. Well done!

    I've never seen a kangaroo lay flat on it's back, like a dog before. So very interesting. The lanky look she's sporting, is similar to the roos in our place, until recently. It's the cost of growing a Joey, when there's very little for mamma to eat. I find it sad at the time, but they're incredibly resilient creatures too. As soon as the rain arrives, they get back into condition very quickly. And we lost a lot of old-man saltbush too. So yeah, when that stuff is dying, you know the ground water is nowhere to be seen. I hope it rains for you soon Tania.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris, its so good to hear from you.

      We have no sub soil moisture here, so will need a nice soaking rain so it sinks deep down in the soil. I cant remember the last time it rained substantially, has been a long, long time.

      Its the animals I feel so badly for, we are okay, but they are not. Can only do what we can to help, even if it is for just a lucky few. That kangaroo was something special, lucky I had the camera rolling at the time.

      Hoping you also get much needed rain soon,

      xTania

      Delete
  14. Lovely to see you again, Tania. I'm sorry you've had such a tough year but it's great to know the cooler weather has returned and to see the vegetables that survived. Well done! I hope you have a good winter. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to hear from you Rhonda. I hope we have a good winter too or at least better than the last few years.

      xTania

      Delete
  15. It's so nice to see you again Tania. I hope you have much needed rain very soon.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lovely to see you pop up on my blog roll Tania. Gosh you sure have had some high temps. I am drying my basil at present too ... I love the smell of it. Take care Tania ... hope you get some rain soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope we get some rain too, it is soooo dry...I love the smell of basil, or any herbs really, they send out such beautiful aromas.

      Thank you for dropping by today Julie.

      xTania

      Delete
  17. Thanks for the work that goes into your blog. I really enjoy reading it, and find it so inspiring : )

    ReplyDelete

I love reading your comments and will do my very best to reply. PLEASE NOTE that if using an anonymous account to comment, you MUST add your name within the comment otherwise I will not publish them. Thank you for understanding.