Even under the mulberry tree the dafs have popped up!
Looking down the drive to the front gate. There are clumps of cheery bulbs starting to bloom all the way along the fence. These two clumps in this garden bed are sitting at the foot of a beautiful white magnolia, which is covered in buds.
Last summer I planted sunflowers all along the front of the old shed. Once they were spent, I pulled them out (fed the heads to the chooks) and planted about two hundred daffodils and earlicheers. In between are red geranium cuttings that have started growing well. Once the yellow and white of the bulbs dissappear, we'll see a burst of red. Just in time for Christmas I hope! We will no doubt be spending much of the festive season sitting under the willow tree or around the fire pit which sits to the left of the old shed.
Last week we had a heavy frost. This is what frost does to a lemon tree. Sad. But fortunately not all the lemons were affected. The fruit at the top of the tree seemed to fare much better than the lower hanging fruit.
Gathering the fruit from the top of the tree is quite a challenge. The tree is huge! That is a 6 foot ladder standing beside the tree. I keep meaning to make some lemon butter. Maybe next week.....
Here's a pic of the old farm house sitting behind the mulberry tree. Once summer is here and the tree is covered with leaves, the house is all but hidden from the driveway.
Duck report: It is now 34 days since mother duck here started sitting on her eggs. According to the experts (google) the incubation period for Muscovy ducks is 35 days. So we're holding our breath! We've bought the right food for the ducklings. Now we wait.... There are around 18 eggs in this clutch. This is one of the rare times that the duck has moved from them. This photo was taken yesterday.
Bower birds. They are beautiful birds. Facinating to watch. But a pest! They love to eat my veggies! Their favourite trick is to bite the carrot tops off and hollow out the top of the carrots that are still in the ground. They have also made mincemeat out of my cabbages and broccoli. So now I've netted most of the vegetables. Soon these birds will leave our place and go back into the bush. Thank goodness! Just look at that blue eye! Lapis lazuli..
As if having destructive Bower birds is not enough, we were paid a visit this morning by a flock of Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos. They are magnificent birds. Frans spent a while capturing them with his camera. Just look what they did whilst sitting in the tree! It will be a miracle if a branch or two does not rot and fall off. Damn birds!
A nearby neighbour brought me three monster pumkins last weekend. We did a mini food swap. I gave her eggs and she gave me pumpkin. I love being able to exchage surplus fruit and veggies with neighbours.
So I'm going to cut a couple up into chunks and freeze them directly. With the third big pumpkin I'm going to make an enormous pot of pumpkin soup. I'll freeze it in managable batches.
My Pumpkin Soup Recipe
Approx 1kg pumpkin, peeled and chopped roughly
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 or 3 cubes of vegetable stock
Place all the ingredients into a large heavy bottomed pot
Pour water over vegetables until they are just covered
Bring to boil
Add vegetable stock
Turn down heat and simmer for approximately and hour or until all the veggies are soft and tender
Use a stick blender and blend till the veggies till smooth
Season to taste
Serve with a drizzle of cream and a sprinkle of coriander
This soup is hearty and delicious, especially if you serve it with home made bread! A winter favourite.
This week I'm leaving you with this wonderful image of Amelie chasing a chook. This photo was taken on the weekend when Frans' nephew Alan and his lovely wife Sonja came to visit. This must be one of the simple pleasures of childhood!
Have a great week!