Well we’ve survived another Christmas, we camped down at the creek mostly, which saves the house getting trashed. We had about 20 family & friends off & on, & ate well of course. One dramatic day there was a big thunderstorm, & we got over 50ml of rain in an hour, which was brilliant…except the creek rose fast, & we were unsure whether to dismantle the tents in the pouring rain or not

Luckily the water level dropped again, & the next day was hot, so all the wet gear dried out. We think Eli was washed down stream, because the next evening we heard loud splashes in the creek bed, & saw a huge eel swimming up stream to the big pool. In the morning Eli was there & we realised it had been him, he looked enormous out of the water.

Some rain in the gardens has been fantastic, & the brown hills around us are greening up too. Life is settling back into it’s usual gentle rhythms. We’re picking St. John’s Wort & Arnica flowers for our oils. We’ve harvested our onions & garlic, which is now drying in the old caravan. Geoff collected a swarm of bees the other day, it’s quite small, but we’re hoping it will establish in our empty hive.  The birds are starting to raid the orchard, pecking at barely ripened plums & apples & knocking them off the trees, dammit! at least they can’t get to the berry fruits any more.

There seem to be more butterflies around this year, as well as the Monarchs, we’ve seen Red & Yellow Admirals, a Magpie moth  &  a Cinnabar Moth. The lone Two Spined Spider we saw last year has become 3, & one of them has been sitting patiently in the Crampbark bush all week. (See the Good the Bad & the Ugly categories for more info.)

The gap where we moved the wood shed from has become the ‘Sunset Seat’ we often sit there & watch the evening settle in, it’s very calm & beautiful. Geoff has had to eat his words, he thought we’d never use it!