Week 4 January 2015: Rain = 53 millimetres which included 43 millimetres in one day.
Our son and family, after their surprise visit, were here for the first part of the week. We all drove down to Booroolong Creek, west of Yallaroo, then walked to the junction of the creek with the Gwydir River. There was plenty of water in the river after the good rain. On the way we walked through the remains of an orchard. Over the years a grape vine has grown up into a large pine tree. There were plenty of ripe bunches of grapes and we picked some. We have been walking to the river; on a regular basis, for over 20 years and this was the first time that there were ripe grapes.
We had a pleasant time and our grandchildren played in the water. My son and I walked away from the river on the southern side and looked at the extensive trenches that had been dug many years ago. They would have been dug in the gold mining days in the 1800ís.
That night we had a fire outside in our fire pit and toasted marshmallows.
Our visitors left the next day. We had a very pleasant time and wished that the visit could have been longer.
On the Saturday we had our three weekly talkback gardening programme. We had about three calls with one call after the programme finished.
Our Angophora floribunda trees are in full flower. Also our Bursaria spinosa (Blackthorn) plants are also blooming bounteously. Another plant flowering is Melaleuca diosmatifolia, the Rosy Honey-myrtle. We have a number of this handsome species scattered throughout the garden.
Our youngest daughter and her family have returned from their trip to France and the United Kingdom. They were away for nearly six weeks.
This week we picked beans from our plants in the raised vegetable beds.
Potting on continued with cuttings of Brachyscome multifida, Scaevola Aussie Salute, Grevillea oldei and a yellow-flowered seedling Grevillea going into tubes. We also planted 14 tubes and dug planting holes this week.
Another relative spent a few days with us towards the end of the week. One morning we drove west to Mount Yarrowyck Nature Reserve. There is a track that leads to a rock overhang with Aboriginal cave paintings. The track passes through regenerating woodland.
We spent some time watching cricket. The One Day International Cricket matches are approaching the end.
Wildlife observations: On our visit to the Gwydir River we saw a large number of blue and black butterflies. They are Blue Tigers (Tirumala hamata). Later in the week we saw one in the garden at Yallaroo. We have written about the Willie Wagtails that have nested, with monotonous regularity, outside our back door. Three young left the nest last week. One day we noticed that holes were appearing in the nest. A Yellow-faced Honeyeater is taking material from the nest and building a nest above the Willie Wagtail nest. This week a small flock of White-naped Honeyeaters spent some time in and around our bird baths. A pair of Blue Wrens have taken a liking to one of our lounge room windows. They spend lots of time in the shrubs against the window. This gives us something else to look at when the cricket is slow and boring.