Summer Splendours

This week started with a bang! Last Tuesday was a momentous day weatherwise with a meteorite shower from 1.30am to 4am, then a huge electrical storm out to sea between 10pm and 4am on Wednesday morning. Here in Candelo valley, we are nestled between two steep hills, but as we face east, we were able to sit protected on our verandah and watch both events safely. Unfortunately, the meteorite shower was a bit of a fizzer (Ross’s description), though we did see a shooting star every two minutes, even though it wasn’t very bright or for very long! It was still worth getting up in the wee hours of the morning for the beautiful starry night sky and the sound of the flap of bat wings from the neighbour’s apple trees and the melodic trill of the reed warbler down in the creek.BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-14 01.25.51BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-14 01.22.36And the electrical performance at the end of the day more than compensated for the earlier event and was totally unexpected! I drifted in and out of sleep for the first two hours, before I decided that I had better get up and see why the street light kept flickering on and off, only to discover that it wasn’t the culprit at all. Hughie was having a party upstairs and flicking all the light switches in the night sky! Because we are just over 20 km from the coast, we could not hear any thunder rumbles, but the chain lightning was spectacular and well worth capturing on film (though I had to use a Sports setting and the majority of the shots were black)!BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-14 01.22.32BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-14 01.28.51My butterfly obsession has now been replaced by birds in flight and the mass movement of Corellas! Every evening, we are treated to these spectacular shows- primarily Little Corellas, but sometimes Galahs as well.BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2586BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2569BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2574BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2594BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2547BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2542It is always interesting seeing which tree they decide to settle in for the night! When we first arrived almost a year ago, it was their cousins, the Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, who dominated the bird scene, and we do not remember such a huge population of Little Corellas. Perhaps, by the time we arrived, they had finished marauding Candelo and moved on to fresher, fruitier pastures!BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2597BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2620BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2629BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2636So far, we still have our plums, apples and pears, touch wood! I do hope we get to sample some of the fruit once it ripens!BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-14 18.08.37BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2486BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2479BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2469BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2503BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2492The insects are also enjoying all the fresh Summer growth!

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Our house wasp has a mate
One of the many lady beetles on the potato foliage
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Three Cabbage Whites sucking nectar from Verbena blooms
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Cabbage White Butterfly on Rocket flowers
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Closeup of Cabbage White
The start of the Butterfly Life Cycle : a hungry caterpillar on a sunflower leaf!
The end of the Butterfly Life Cycle : a dead butterfly on a Zucchini leaf
Adult Orange Stink Bug- one of the survivors- on the Cumquat tree
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Interesting spider on Alnwick rose
Tiny grasshopper on Ice Girl rose
More spotted beetles- still unidentified- on Lucetta bloom

Roses of note this week include the following:

Alister Stella Gray
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This photo shows why Alister Stella Gray is also known as Golden Rambler
Autumn Delight
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Lucetta buds
Lucetta blooms
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Frau Dagmar Hastrup
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Evelyn after rain

I just adore arranging them into beautiful bouquets!

Photo 1 : EglantyneBlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-14 09.37.49Photo 2 : Childrens’ Rose in centre; Eglantyne (soft pink) and Alnwick (warm pink); Troilus (cream) and Jude the Obscure (cream globular at back)BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-15 09.22.00Photo 3 : The above bouquet with stock, blue salvia, lavender and catmint addedBlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-15 09.37.57Photo 4 : Close-Up of finished bouquetBlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-15 09.39.27Photo 5 : Beautiful AgapanthusBlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-15 10.08.48The Agapanthus are so elegant and perfect, both in the house and the garden.BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2514BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-15 09.00.06

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Mullein in the foreground of our bank of Agapanthus
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The Agapanthus Bank

BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-14 18.12.29BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-14 18.12.17The Agapanthus are so elegant and perfect, both in the house and the garden!The Eastern Spinebill is delighted that the Agapanthus season has started, while his cousin, the Yellow-faced Honeyeater was more interested in the old tank!BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-18 19.00.21BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-18 18.59.53The orange of the Canna Lilies complements the blue of the Agapanthus so well!BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-15 09.00.43BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-15 09.00.39The bromeliads and agapanthus have continued the blue theme!BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2520BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2515I really like the lime-green Bupleurium in the cutting garden. Unfortunately, only 3 plants grew from seed, but hopefully next year’s crop will be more successful!BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2478BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2477

BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-19 10.09.59
Bupleureum after rain

The feverfew has also come into its own!BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-19 10.08.10The dahlias are still a real show and the tree dahlia has now eclipsed the shed window!BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2490BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2507The growth of the Burgundy Spray Sunflowers is equally aggressive and they now sport stunning bold flower heads, contrasting dramatically with those of the coriander, which are white, delicate and feathery.BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2444BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2461The scorching temperatures later in the week really browned off the Peony Poppy pods, so very soon, my impatient gardener will be able to pull out the scruffy plants and clean up the Soho Bed!BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-17 18.30.01BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-17 18.30.21We also harvested the Tulip seed. I didn’t know that you could propagate tulips from seed, nor that camellias could produce seed pods.BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2524BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2521In the vegie patch, the tomatoes are flourishing, though have yet to ripen. Meantime, we enjoy our carrots and onions.BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2456BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2468BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2523The raspberries continue to tantalizingly produce fruit one at a time and the strawberries are sending out fresh runners.BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2474BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2465The zucchinis and pumpkins engulf everything in their path! The first two photos show their progress from one day to the next. I love their spiral tendrils and bright golden flowers!BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2470BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-17 18.33.22BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-19 10.11.28BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2455BlogSummersplendrs20%ReszdIMG_2457BlogSummersplendrs20%Reszd2015-12-15 09.13.27Finally, I shall leave you with some cheery Christmas shots and the future promise of Monbretia buds. You know it’s truly Summer, when these beautiful bulbs are in full flower!

Our neighbour’s Red Hot Pokers- another quintessential Summer bloom
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Our own Christmas trees, complete with fairy lights and cone baubles
New South Wales Christmas Bush- just in time!
Duranta berries, beloved by birds
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Grevillea ‘Lady O’
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Monbretia bud
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The first Monbretia flower of the season


















































6 thoughts on “Summer Splendours

    1. It was such a spectacle! Could have watched it for hours if I hadn’t had work the next day! The corella flocks have also been a real show every evening! And the insect world never ceases to amaze me with its infinite variety and ability to constantly surprise and delight you with a little critter you have never seen before! There certainly are some weird and wonderful bugs out there!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Janie darling that was wonderful !!!!your photography is amazing and your English is superb !!!! We just love your emails and makes us feel we are there with you.XXXMum and Dad

    Sent from my iPad



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