Friday, August 15, 2008

Backyard Birds

Just a quick post about the backyard birds - since we asked the Cockatoos to move on (with limited success) the King Parrots have been more numerous. The fact that it's the middle of winter may be one explanation for the increase in numbers but I'd like to think it's because they like us - feeding them.

When we came back from our week away they greeted us with tapping claws (Where have you been? Why haven't you been feeding us?) so I put out an extra tray of food to make up for our absence.

I love watching the Bower birds, Wattle birds, Crimson Rosellas, Sparrows and occasional Currawong from the kitchen window in the morning .
That and the mountain air always helps to dispell the city malaise.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Here be Yams

New Zealand Yams
- Oca - Oxalis Tuberosa
This precious package arrived in the mail today - 7 little tubers rationed out from Green Harvest and now stored in a cool dark spot in the laundry until the frosts are over.

I'm nervous about how and when to plant them - the website says in Spring or at the start of the wet season. "Tubers start forming 4 months after planting and production peaks at 6 months."
If they get planted in September they'll be ready next March - still pretty hot here in NSW so I may try and hold off 'til October.

They're not the prettiest looking things but they have a wonderfully unique flavour. I was very tempted to put a couple of the yummy yams into the roasting dish but I know you shouldn't eat the seed crop. Hopefully in 9 months time there will be enough for a snack at least.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The 39 Dips

Silverton has wonderful light - it's on of the reasons it is often used as a location for inumerable ads and a lot of Australian Films . The horizon is vast and the landscape dramatic - perfect for those long panning shots of 4wd's raising dust down empty roads against stirring sound tracks.

It was quiet when we briefly visited on the last day of our Outback adventure but we managed to visit at least three of the four or five buildings that make up this little town. One pub, three art galleries and the information centre/gallery called "Beyond the 39 Dips"

I thought this was a quirky name but didn't get the true significance until we were heading back along the Highway and saw the "DIP" roadsigns. We tried to count them but lost track when we were distracted by the camel grazing by the roadside. The halter gave a big clue as to its origin .