Week 1 February 2002: 47 mm of rain this week. Not as much as other New England areas but very acceptably welcome.
A large black snake has been swimming in one of the ponds near the house. Although venomous they are not aggressive. This is probably the same snake that visits every summer. Australians have a great fear of snakes. In fact more people die annually from bee stings than snakebite.
Two Wedge-tailed Eagles have been cruising around this week. One patrols at tree top height whilst its partner flies much higher. This is the way pairs of eagles hunt. The low flying one flushes out rabbits and other prey whilst the other pounces on the frightened victim.
This week we spent a day at Inverell, a town about 100 km north west of Yallaroo. We visited the State Forest Nursery and bought three Eremophilas in 150 mm (6 in) pots and several eastern Banksias in tubes. We have taken cuttings off the Eremophilas already. Most species strike readily.
On the way home we stopped at the Goonoowigall Bushland Reserve. It is the home of Homoranthus prolixus and Acacia leptoclada. Both species have great horticultural potential.
Our cutting database is up and running. Last month we put in 247 different species and varieties. Most are from our gardens. Some have already struck. We usually prepare six of each variety.
This week we heard that Hazel Blackney passed away. Hazel was the leader of the Australian Plant Society’s Hakea Study Group for many years. Hazel produced two or three informative Newsletters annually. Our thoughts go out to her family.
The local Probus Club visited Yallaroo this week. Fifty retired local residents came out and we had an enjoyable morning showing them the gardens and extolling the virtues of Australian plants.
Lots of Passionfruit are ripening. We freeze the pulp in ice block trays. The frozen pulp lasts for at least twelve months.
The Armidale Express has been publishing our native plant articles for over 15 years and now they are going to print an appropriate photo with each article. We will be using some of the images from our Website. Photos should make the articles more interesting.