Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wet - dry - wet - dry ...

Well, we thought the Wet was over - since last Tuesday we have had 536 mm (just over 21 inches) of rain!  And today some lovely sun and a pleasant breeze to dry out the soggy lawns so we can start mowing again.  This was the view from the kitchen earlier today.

I know I keep talking about butterflies but we never tire of their beautiful displays, and today there are hundreds of them - to the absolute delight of one of our keen-photographer guests!

I'm still trying to get a last shot of a Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher before they leave for their annual migration back to New Guinea and Asia - we can still hear them just below the house, and normally they do leave in about March.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A good harvest

Most of our many varieties of fruit trees produce at different times of the year so it is fairly unusual to have six varieties fruiting at the same time and I've just picked all the ones in the picture.

We have the biggest crop of Rambutans that we have had during our 13 years in Daintree - they are the hairy ones on the left - next to them in the bowl are delicious Mangosteens, bananas of course (these are called Ducasse - I think that's the right spelling) which is a sort of cross between a Sugar Banana and a Ladyfinger, lovely and sweet and soft, and in front are Lemonade Fruits.  Sadly that crop has pretty well failed this year - I was a bit too generous with the fertiliser! - they make beautiful marmalade and I try to make enough to last a year for guests' breakfast trays and for ourselves.  This year I'll have to beg, borrow or buy some from someone else.

Also cropping now are yellow Passionfruit (none around today as the Sulphur-crested Cockatoos have eaten them all!) and Hogplums (or Tahitian Apples) which I don't like so don't bother picking!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The pruning continues!

While folks further south brace themselves for Cyclone Ului here in the far north we are basking in perfect autumn weather. 

The garden at the front of the house has undergone a haircut - buried underneath that pile of vegetation is my trusty little trailer which, attached to the old ride-on mower, doubles as gardening-assistant and in the season (cleaned-up of course!) ferries the cleaning-gear for the bungalows.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Maintenance time

No pictures today - we're taking full advantage of beautiful weather to continue the annual clean-up.  Instead of spring-cleaning here it's autumn-cleaning!  Always quiet, visitor-wise, in March so we're up to our ears with clearing vegetation which has gone wild during the rainy season, yesterday picked up our new Daintree Valley Haven gate sign from the signwriter, the old sign-post has rotted so Peter is about to repair it, the barbeque table has been painted and the barbeque frame about to get a fresh new coat of paint, new soaps and shampoos on order and this year all the towels are being replaced with new fluffier ones!

So, while the good weather lasts, I'm now off to work again (Cyclone Ului is well out in the Coral Sea and 'they' say it poses no threat to Queensland - just strong winds forecast for the rest of the week.  And the southerly winds mean it's cooler and less humid than it was a couple of weeks ago!)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wot Wet?

We're really happy for all the folks in the drought-devastated areas of central Australia who have been enjoying the best rains in decades - although some places have had too much and are now suffering serious floods.  Feast or famine ... drought or flood ... the story of our beautiful Australia!

Whereas here in the far north we are enjoying magical weather, although it is still unusually hot for March which is officially our autumn. At the start of the week Peter and I really made the most of the fine weather and got stuck into 'vegetation-attack' - and just about exhausted ourselves trying to do too much in the heat.  So Thursday we bailed out and treated ourselves to a couple of relaxing days in Cairns and came back this morning raring to go again.  This was the view from our hotel room - not bad eh????

When we got home we were relieved to find that the birds have still left us a good crop of Rambutans!  And the Mangosteens shouldn't be too long now, although they have yet to turn deep purple.