dogs, weather

Winter, Wearying of the Cold …

In winter, I slow down, and hide inside, to keep the cold at bay. Some of the plants the garden slow down too, and hide their delicate bits away from the frost, if they can.

The birds are still out there, because of course these small creatures have to fossick around looking for food. I love to watch the sparrows and willie wagtails as they poke around on our pack patio, looking for little bits and pieces to eat.

And of course there are the bigger birds that are out there, coooing, squawking, and cawing, as well as other bird sounds. If I go outside, I am guaranteed to see lots of different birds, see or hear, I should say.

And of course there are magpies I will see along the road, if I drive anywhere, and crested pigeons as well as spotted turtle doves. And in the morning, and sometimes in the afternoon, if I go outside, into the backyard, I will hear our neighbours chickens, proudly telling all around they have laid an egg. Is that right, is that what they suddenly start going on about?

I’ve never had chickens of my own, and I was frightened of chickens as a child. My paternal grandmother had them, and when we stayed with her during school holidays, we had to go to the chicken coop and collect the eggs. It terrified me. I’m glad I had both my big brother, and my little brother there too. They weren’t as frightened of the chickens as I was.

nature bird animal farm

Photo by Pixabay on

If you know anything about chickens and their habits, I’d love to hear some of your wisdom about them. I like the idea of having chickens, and having fresh eggs, with chickens that can roam around a bit, but I definitely wouldn’t want to actually go near the chickens.

My husband is too busy doing other things too, and it wouldn’t be fair to make him do that work, that’s for sure. Also, I suspect our dog would probably try to kill the chickens, she loves to hunt things.


Well she loves to do that, unless she’s having a snooze on the sofa, which she does most of the time, when she’s inside. Unless she’s in the kitchen, hoping to get some more food, which she’s doing at the moment. She loves to be in the kitchen when Graham is in there, cooking, like he is right now …

She gazing intently at something, and now she’s stepped closer to the stove, I think. Ever hopeful she is, looking up at him now, wagging her tail in anticipation. It’s always interesting watching the various critters around the place …

Do you have any creatures around where you live? I’d love to hear about them why not leave a comment here and tell me. I live in rural South Australia, other people in other places can have quite different creatures in their lives!


A Good Rain, Just What the Garden Wants

It’s been forecast in the past, but didn’t eventuate, but right now I can hear, see, and smell the good rain, pouring lovely water down all over my garden! It’s falling on the driveway too, which doesn’t need it, but that’s OK, the garden is happy and that’s important!

Screenshot 2019-05-19 at 2.01.30 PM

When you have a garden, you have responsibilities to the plants you have planted, if yo want them to do the right thing for you. Too little water can mean plants die, it’s a simple fact of life (and death). Too much water can kill a plant too, of course, and I’ve been told by a horticulturist I hold in good stead, that kindness (in the form of too much water), is the main reason household plants die.

With rain, there is noting I can do to stop the garden from getting too much, but, because of where I live, there is little to worry about regarding having too much water, unless I mistreat a plant.

I recently lost a plant to having too much water, due to my lack of thought. The plant was a Calla Lily, and I loved the strong green leaves the pot plant had, and looked forward to seeing it flower. They are lovely flowers, colourful and eye-catching.

But my mistake was to put the plastic flower pot into another container, a more attractive one than the simple and plain black plastic pot the Calla Lily came in. But I didn’t think about it, at all. The lovely pink ‘overpot’ I placed the Lily in didn’t have any holes in the bottom of it, and every time the Lily was watered, a bit more water was left in the container, so that the Lily’s roots never had the chance to dry out a little, they stayed wet, always.

If you have plants please, please make sure they don’t get too much love (water)!


multiple sclerosis

Household Habits, Outside and Inside

Well today was a day of potential danger, but of enjoyment too, if inwardly laughing at someone who is ridiculously (in your opinion) scared. Many things in and around our homes can be both dangerous and fun too.


Swimming pools are a good example of this, and at the other end of the temperature scale you have fire. Fires are lovely things to see, with those gloriously flickering orange/yellow/red flames. I’m not so keen on the swimming pool we have in the backyard, but my husband is. I acknowledge of course that a swimming pool is excellent for rapidly cooling in the stinking hot summers we have in South Australia where I live.

Fires though, I love watching a fire burning under control. We had some dried wood lying around our place, that had been there in the sun,k drying out for some time, and today was the day to ‘deal with it’. So Graham dragged all of the bigger branches together, and set fire to them. Whoosh up they went. I love the fires like that, beautiful!

Graham started the fire, and a little later I got involved, adding smaller branches, trying to place them so they encouraged the fire. Today was lovely outside, and there was a gentle breeze, so the smoke was wafting all around, which was a little challenging at times. Sometimes I feel like I’m a smoke magnet, today every time I tried to get out of the smoke the breeze blew it after me, it seemed at times. Haha!

I’m not sure how long exactly I stayed outside with the fire, adding dead twigs and dried out weeds. Graham went back inside and I stayed out there with the fire, revelling in its glory. I know I have the power to put out that kind of fire, with just a few minutes with the garden hose, so it’s not that unsafe as long as I’m careful. So I stayed with it, as it slowly burnt itself almost out, with ash and almost burnt up branches left to smoulder for a while.

Then I come back inside, and judging by the way I was feeling, I realised I’d allowed myself to get too hot, and I’d been standing up for too long. I’m certainly feeling the effects of it all now, sitting down again inside where there is only a normal inside temperature instead of a fiercely burning fire. Multiple Sclerosis is like that. You can be feeling almost ‘normal’ doing things anyone else might be able to do, then you overheat, or get fatigued, and watch out! the MS has hit you again.

Cooling down and resting for a while are both helping me, and fortunately I feel fine now. It’s a good thing I’m feeling fine too, because not that long ago, after I’d been sitting on the sofa for a while, Graham said ‘Watch out, Spider!’

He didn’t shriek, but I looked and immediately got up – he said I’d better get rid of the spider or he’d kill it. I knew he meant it too, because he really, really, really doesn’t like spiders. I looked where he pointed, and there was a huntsman (I guess), not the biggest I’ve ever seen, but not the smallest either. The spider was on the sofa I was sitting on, on the back part, where Graham’s head would have been, if he’d sat down like he was going to before he saw the unwanted visitor.

along came a spider

(This is a spider I’d rescued on another day, before Graham saw it and killed it)

I told him to get me the dustpan and brush and I’d take it outside. He went to the kitchen and I got up to take the dustpan and take the spider outside. I’ve done this lots of times. I don’t mind those big spiders, but Graham hates them, so I know the best thing for me to do if I ever see one inside is to take it out and release it to the ‘wild’ outside somewhere, away from the doors, hoping it will stay outside where Graham won’t kill it …

Those poor spiders, but poor Graham too, of course. He has been able to get over a huge phobia that he had when we first moved out to the country. He feared spiders as much as I feared snakes, before I was able to get over my fear. My fear was a more realistic one of course – the snakes we see at our place could kill, if I was bitten by one, but a huntsman spider is harmless to a human. Ah well, Graham is big and brave and lovely in many ways, and he’s allowed to have his quirks, I may have a quirk or two myself!

Living in the country brings in so many fearful, feisty and fun things. Fire, dangerous creatures, scary ones, and beautiful things too – fire again, and the lovely birds that fly around us here, I wouldn’t move back the to the suburbs if you paid me to! I think country living is far superior – what do others think? I’d love to know, leave a message here!


Haiku in the Backyard

I put this post heading up some months ago,and I can’t remember what I had intended writing haiku about, or even if there was anything in particular I’d been thinking about. But in there backyard, there are so many different things that I could turn into haiku moments.

There are plants with flowers or with fruit, or just with leaves of many different shades of green. There are many different kinds of birds and insects, all doing their own bird or insect things. There are the occasional aircraft passing by overhead, compliments of the Australian Air Force, and there are the clouds also passing by overhead, compliments of Nature. I say thank you for all of these things, and I hope to write some haiku or possibly senryu about whatever I think will work as haiku prompts …

Haiku is a particular form of poetry, created in Japan, and adopted happily by us Westerners. It’s a short form of poetry, usually three lines, and with fewer than 17 syllables. The first and last lines are the shortest ones, with the middle line longer. In the past and sometimes still now, the syllable counts are 5 – 7 -5. This is based on Japanese characters though, and not on English language syllables, and the two languages are quite different. The important thing to remember is that a haiku shouldΒ  be a short poem, talking about a particular moment, and aiming at creating an aha! moment in the reader or listener’s mind.

There is a lot more information about this intriguing poetic form available on the internet, this is a good link to examine, or this one. Anyway, I feel the more you look into haiku, the more you will understand what it is, and how you may be able to write your own, or to write better haiku, if you already write it. It also helps you to understand what the haiku poet is trying to do. I hope all of this may assist with the writing of new haiku for me, and the understanding of of my haiku for my readers. So here goes:

Autumn clouds –

Orion plane flies behind

in front and through




Breezeless day –

only birds and cast off leaves





Blue sky in west –

seeing the future

of dry washing




OK, so there are a few new haiku, I’d love to know what you think about this poetic form, and how you feel about these new haiku of mine. Please leave a comment, and let me know!


Philosophical Meanderings of My Mind

This post Christmas/New Year season has become a sit around and do not much time. Today is Sunday, and I’m usually in Gawler in the late morning on Sundays, doing a poetry workshop with another person, or other people, but that isn’t happening today, so the first session for 2018 is more likely to happen next Sunday instead. I hadn’t planned that, but in not planning it, I was probably subconsciously planning it not to happen. I don’t/can’t know for sure, and it doesn’t matter, really, I don’t think.Β  I’ve had some outside time, and am now inside again, at home, and happy with that, even though it’s just a small thingmissy slightly bemused.
Staying home today, the only poetry written, if any, will be done here, with the cricket on TV and radio as the background for the day …Β And trips outside of course, as requested by Missy. Missy is currently lying on her sofa, looking extremely comfortable, eyes closed, ears erect, but not active … I just slapped the sofa next to me, and her eyes opened, eats turned to me, then away, and she rolled over and now has her back to me and my silliness. She’s not huffy at me, just not that interested in what I’m doing. That’s fine, we have our own lives, to some extent, the humans and the dog, and we’re enjoying our lives, together or separate.
Out of the window on my left I can see clouds, grass, plants and birds, all doing their own natural thing, obeying the rules of Nature, which make more sense to me than some of the rules of the cricket … With Nature, there is no appeal to a higher authority, because if Nature says it is so, then it is. If something other that humans were expecting, it means Nature wasn’t using the rule we thought was being used. Science may find the answer, people may think they have the answer. Much may be written, thought on, argued over, but Nature will just continue on, and we must manage as best we can, with whatever Nature and mankind do next …
There were sparrows outside, on the front lawn, about ten minutes ago, when I started writing this post. I can’t see any now, but I’m sure there are certainly lots of sparrows out there, back yard, front yard, in the trees and bushes and just everywhere. Sparrows are very successful occupants of our world. They have their needs, and seem to be able to fulful those needs well. The sparrows I saw earlier seemed to be adolescents, not quite up to adult size, and I’ve been noticing such not quite adult sparrows, and thinking about what they get up to, boy and girl sparrows, getting on with their lives, boy groups, girl groups, boys sparrows seemingly crashing into the girls groups, while girl sparrows flitter away, only to be followed and annoyed by the boy sparrow.
I’m quite likely putting my own interpretation on these actions of the sparrows, and could well be getting it entirely wrong. I’ve written a haiku about these matters previously, and it’s in my poetry collection “Tense and Still”, where I wrote about various creatures I see in my life, whether our dogs, cats I’ve seen, known, imagined, or those wild creatures I come across in my life or my travels or in my imaginings.
Thinking about these things whether I uncover the truth or not, helps me to gather ideas, things to think about can lead to things to write about, and writing about things is the thing I do. I am a writer, a poet, a blogger. Words are my tools, and I love to use these tools in the many different ways possible to use them. Poetry is my favourite method, certainly preferred over writing a novel, because of course a poem can be thought on, written, edited and published very quickly. A novel takes so much longer to complete. I have one of those ‘in progress’ at the moment, but I have a strong suspicion this novel will make only very slow progress, because I’m allowing myself to do many things other than the writing of this novel …
above the fish pond
I know being a novelist isn’t really a title I feel fits with me, the way being a poet does. The longer form of literature feels too unwieldy perhaps for me to handle. I know how to put together and publish a poetry collection, and how to market it. A small book of poetry can be printed in small numbers, and sold in small numbers, and small numbers of people get a little book of my poems to read and think about. It will never make me rich or particularly famous, but that’s fine. Money and fame are not what I write for, I write for my own amusement, and the small amounts of money/fame I gain while nice to have, will never be the major thing.
flowering plants, Uncategorized

Garden To Get a Drenching

I’ve checked the Bureau of Meteorology Website, and am preparing for some moderately heavy rains that appear to be on the way. There’s no rain yet, although the image indicates there is supposed to be. But even though rain and image aren’t matched up yet, the look of the yellow and orange indications won’t allow me to rest easy.

garden produceI can see actual clouds outside and they’re looking threatening too, so I’ll stay inside, or at least close to cover for a while. There’s the tail end of a football game on, and after that there’ll be another one, the dogs are all comfortable settled inside, and I don’t need to be out there in the cold. Winter was toying with us a while ago, letting Spring have a play, but the colder weather certainly hasn’t finished yet.

The seasons are funny things, aren’t they? We all rely on Winter running from June to August, then in September it’s Spring, and so on. But it doesn’t always follow those human rules, and why should it? Nature relies on many different things, and even though some of those things happen because of things mankind has done, that certainly doesn’t mean we are controlling Nature. Nature is controlling us.

At least, if mankind we clever, we would allow Nature to control us. But of course people only THINK we’re clever, but the reality is something else. We cut down trees to plant crops in places that had good rainfall and then are surprised when the rain stops coming. Trees help to bring the rain – Trees suck the moisture from soil through their roots, then the moisture travels throughout the tree and the moisture leaves the tree as transpiration from the tree leaves.

It’s a natural process, and a reliable one, that people would do well to understand. I’m looking outside and then at the BOM site and it still isn’t matched up – cold but dry out there at my place still, even though the website indicates otherwise. Ah well, as long as the roof does its job properly, we should be fine in here, when the rain gets here. If it gets here … still waiting.

Weather is a strange thing. Such an unpredictable thing, it is, but it’s reliably good as a conversation starter. If you’re meeting someone and can’t think of a thing to say, just mention the weather, and away the words will flow … Something like, “Hasn’t this winter been cold, lately?” will do it. The other person will agree, or not, and either way, that’s a conversation.

anankaPets are good for conversation starters. If you have a dog, or two, or three, you can ask someone if they have a dog, and if they do, they’ll love telling you about their precious pet. If they don’t have a dog, but have a different pet, then they can talk about that pet and you can both talk about the differences and similarities of your pets.

a-rose-by-any-other-nameGardens are good conversation starters too. Growing can be an obsession for some people and they can talk about their roses, or their pumpkins, or radishes , or petunias for hours if they get the chance. I’ve been enjoying all of the flowers we have growing at the moment. And I’m getting interested in our strawberries because of their flowers and the delicious fruit that will come in time, with sunshine and time.

Winter isn’t really the right time for strawberries, but ours grow in hanging pots under cover and so never really stopped producing fruit. When petals fall off, then the strawberry begins to grow. In sunshine the whole thing happens more quickly. At the moment we have several new strawberries coming along, with one of them beginning to change colour from green to pink/red. These winter strawberries are small though, the fruit we had before winter’s cold came along here bigger.

The rain seems to have started now, not heavy yet, but we’ll see how it goes. And the new game is getting ready to start now, Fremantle versus someone or other, and I’d better watch it, because I like Fremantle, it’s my second favourite AFL team. The Adelaide Crows weren’t able to give me a win for this round, so let’s see if Fremantle can do the job!


Thinking about Nature

My friend John has put something interesting on his blog. Well, I found it interesting, and John must have too, to have posted a blog post about it. It was about a girl who used to get up from her desk at school, and go and look at the rain when it pelted down.

Do you like to look at the rain, I know I do, as long as I’m not out in it. Although, having said that, I remember how my dear friend Wendy and I used to take her dog out for walks when we were about 14, and the rain never stopped us. If anything, the rain took us out into it. When it was raining, there was no-one else around walking, and there were fewer cars.

We’d be bundled up in raincoats, and it was like we were untouchable somehow. We’d arrive home again, soaking wet, but exhilarated. I certainly wouldn’t do that these days. It makes me excited to think of other people who love the rain too! Rain, rainbows, clouds, I love them all. I don’t like being cold and wet these days though.

What do other people think about this? What kind of weather do you love?