Week 1 October 2004: Rain = 21mm.

This is our wedding anniversary week. We have been married for 41 years and our eldest daughter and her husband have been married for 13 years.

Also it has been a rather disastrous week. We think a kangaroo bumped into one of our taps in the garden. The plastic fitting was old and obviously very brittle. The tap snapped off and we lost about 9000 litres from our irrigation tank. Fortunately we didnít lose all our water and most of the liquid ran into one of our gardens. In future we will turn off the water, at the tank, every night.

We found an Eastern Spinebill nest in one of our Grevilleas near our clothesline. There appears to be two very young chicks in the nest.

A friend, from Armidale, called this week. He wanted to know what species of Hakea was flowering in the Armidale Arboretum. He also told us that he has a Waratah (Telopea) with 15 blooms. This must be a record for the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales.

We visited the Armidale Arboretum this week. There is a large native plant garden maintained by the Armidale Group of the Australian Plant Society in the Arboretum. There was a splendid flowering specimen of Hakea francisiana. This was one that caught our friendís eye.

On the topic of Hakeas, we must mention a species that is flowering in our gardens. Hakea purpurea is a small shrub and one of our specimens is covered with dark red flowers. We must propagate more of the species.

This week we have observed some native bees visiting our plants. A number of Peacock Carpenter Bees were flying around our Senna (syn. Cassia) plants. They are large native bees about the size of the well-known Australian Blowfly. The females are an iridescent blue whilst the males are iridescent green or brown. The females were busy visiting the flowers. The males were more intent on chasing the females. We also observed another large native bee. This was the Teddy Bear Bee and was visiting the dandelion flowers in our lawn. The body of this species is orange-brown with a dark, hairless band on the abdomen. This make at least six native bee species that we have seen visiting the plants at Yallaroo.

This week we heard our first Channel-billed Cuckoo. These large, ungainly, grey birds arrive from the north every spring. They lay their eggs in Currawong and Magpie nests.

Last week we mentioned that we had been given a grafted, red-flowering Eucalypt. This week the Eucalypt was planted. Regular reports will be posted on its progress.

This week our Acacia mabellae plants burst into bloom. This colourful Wattle blooms late in the season after most of the other Wattles have finished.

Garden Diary