Week 1 July 2006: Rain = 2.5mm
We spent some time preparing the cuttings collected on our trip including Persimmon, Magnolia and Wollemi Pine. If the Persimmon cuttings strike they will be added to our edible exotic collection and the Magnolia cuttings are for our sonís garden.
There are lots of Blue Wrens around at present. We counted 15 in a flock hopping around the garden one day this week.
A couple of Hakea petiolaris plants are flowering in the gardens. These shrubs are also carrying many buds. This is a useful species as it flowers in winter and provides nectar for our honeyeaters.
We purchased over 70 plants in tubes on our recent trip. This week we prepared labels for many of these plants. We make labels out of aluminium drink cans (10/can); write on them with an old biro and mount them on lengths of 2mm tie wire. The labels are placed beside plants when they go in the ground.
We also spent some time potting on seedlings. We have sown Acacias, Eucalypts and Hakeas to add to our collection.
The seeds ordered from the Nindethana Seed Company arrived. We ordered these before we went away. This is another 30 species to sow.
Our eldest daughter and her family arrived to spend the first week of the school holidays with us. We had a very enjoyable time. One day we went for a walk to the western end of Yallaroo. On the way we found a Persoonia cornifolia plant. This is only the second specimen we have found growing on Yallaroo. The species grows along the roadside near our place.
We also spent a day in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park. We visited the Blue Hole area of the Park. This is near Armidale and there is a walking track that follows the course of an old water line that fed a hydro scheme. There are interpretative signs along the track that explains the whole generating system. When we get time we will write a story on hydro power generation on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales for the web site.
On the Blue Hole walk we saw a flock of Eastern Shrike-tits. These medium-sized birds are yellow, black and white with a black and white crest. They have strong beaks and tear off bark in search of insects and spiders. You know that they are in an area by the sound of falling bark. There were six in this flock. We have only ever seen them in pairs. This sighting was a feature of our walk.
We also found time to dig some planting holes near our new pond.
This week an Acacia flexifolia started to flower. We regard this small Wattle as a herald of spring because it starts to bloom before the other spring-flowering Wattles.