Hakeas and mass removal of undergrowth

Hi All

We have just finished clear felling the hakeas and their stumps in the teatree area of the garden. We have amassed a HUGE pile of debris in this process that mum is going to be able to see from the plane as her plane will start descending for landing directly over our house. We have synonymously created habitat for wildlife and removed habitat for the Tasmanian endemic “Inchman” ant, a member of the bulldog ant family and not to be messed with if you value your sting-free existence. Here’s some information about the Tasmanian Inchman as well as the closely related Jack jumper ant which has been known to kill susceptible people, but so far, Steve and I have steadfastly refused to succumb to this ant’s desire to ethnically cleanse Tasmania of Tasmanian’s. We have both been bitten, however, and it’s not something that we will be actively seeking out again any day soon. We have a healthy respect for the inchman ant and when Steve cut down a dead tree that was tangled up in a thriving but gnarly specimen of Leptospermum tree, he discovered that the trunk was full of inchman ants! He left the stump for a while to ensure that he didn’t suffer a terrible consequence for his otherwise usual impatience (it is amazing what a degree of fear can do towards imposing immediate patience!). As you can see in the following photo, this stump appeared to have a bit of attitude and obviously thought that it was safe from removal thanks to its inchman interlopers.  We both have a healthy respect for nature and know that whatever we do in this garden is only going to hold back the tide if we don’t work with nature towards our goals. When nature gives us 2 fingers, it’s time to take action!

As you can see we are starting to get there with this part of the garden and the attitude of that departed hakea leaves something to be desired

We are stacking the logs up for next years firewood and that large round log in the agapanthus is now languishing underneath the Stonehenge table that you are about to see in the post below…

The stumps are mostly gone since we took this photo and the remaining trees are stretching out their branches for the first time with enough room and sunlight to grow to their full potential

Steve is in the process of turning a massive great slab of myrtle wood into a table to use on the deck at Christmas for our bbq. Myrtle is otherwise known as Nothofagus cuninghamii which is a Tasmanian endemic member of the Beech family. It is one of the ancient timbers in the remaining Tasmanian wildernesses that our forest protestors are trying to save from loggers and their complete disregard for the rare beauty and precious nature of these forests for the sake of a dollar. I am not even going to START on that topic because I could rant on for about 10 posts on just how stupid our state government is, how ignorant and numpty loggers are and how profit oriented and corrupt big business is here in Tasmania and how they are hand in hand with our government in putting profit margins ahead of the good of the people. Don’t even get me started on the apathy of the local Tasmanian when it comes to standing up for the forests and giving a damn. I am going to stop right there because my natural desire for outrageous indignation is threatening to spill over into this post and that’s not my intended desire for us today. Back in your box temper!  Here is some really interesting information about our ancient Tasmanian rainforests and their timbers. It also points out what I said in an earlier post about how Tasmania was once joined with New Zealand and South America when the world’s continents were all joined together.


Back to the myrtle. We have some amazing trees here in Tasmania. Nothofagus cuninghamii and Nothofagus gunii, all of the lovely native conifers including Huon and Celery top pines and many more. Somewhere down south in one of the wilderness areas is a plant called The King’s Lomatia; Kings Holly or Lomatia tasmanica which is another amazing plant. It is only able to reproduce vegetatively because it doesn’t produce seeds or fruit. This amazing plant is the oldest living plant in the world and thanks to carbon dating, it has been found to have been reproducing itself for over 43000 years. A stand of 500 plants that cover a 1.2km area are all that remains of this very rare plant and efforts are being made to propagate more of this species at the Hobart Botanical Gardens. The site of this most ancient and rare plant is a close kept secret.

Steve’s chunk of myrtle came from a friend who found it floating down the river next to his holiday shack. He finds all sorts of timber floating down the river and collects it to be used as and when he sees fit. This piece of myrtle would have come from a very large tree somewhere in the rainforest up river and we are most grateful to our friend Corey for giving it to us as it is just about to play a pivotal part in our Christmas celebrations. We were walking the dogs the other day when we came across some large logs that had been washed up on the river bank most probably after the recent floods. We are both magpies when it comes to windfalls like this and after we had finished our walk, we headed back to salvage these logs for a future use. We decided to use them to make a table along with the big chunk of myrtle for our Christmas bbq. Steve calls this table his Stonehenge table for obvious reasons…

As you can see, working in the shed is thirsty work…

Here’s the large chunk of myrtle on its legs that we reclaimed from the river. You can see why Steve calls it his “Stonehenge table”

We have been taking some random photos of plants and flowers to show you, but also as a record of what flowers and fruits when on Serendipity Farm. You learn so much when you live out in the country. If you choose to do a bit of research whenever you come across something interesting, you learn even more. We have lots of Sheoaks (Allocasuarina verticillata) on the rear 3 acres of the property. They are incredibly tough small trees that can grow on very dry arid and sandy soil. The terrain around here tends to be very rocky and gardening is not easy unless you choose to garden in raised beds. Sheoaks are dioecious, meaning that they are either male or female and require both trees to be present for effective pollination. The female tree has tiny red flowers and we found some females close to the house to share the flowers with you…

This tree is a female and you can see the small cones forming on the branches

This gives you a better picture of the tiny red flowers. Pretty aren’t they? and very Christmassy with the green needles

We are having a lovely slothful afternoon. I am about to create some tasty fish cakes using a tin of red salmon in the back of the cupboard. It has been sitting there for quite some time and I am getting sick of seeing it whenever I open the pantry so its days are numbered. I have some panko breadcrumbs and so many free range eggs that I can afford to triple dip the cakes to ensure that they are firm and crispy once done. I was initially going to make something spicy for tea tonight. I was going to create a new spice mix to flavour ‘something’ but then that can of red salmon stared right at me when I opened the pantry and eyeballed me for the last time! Steve has no problems with my choice and now I just have to get the internal mix to a firm enough consistency to make cakes out of. I don’t have a good reputation for making amazing fish cakes and so today I am going to change that around. Felix is out hunting Effels babies. We know she is because we caught her watching them. Luckily Effel is a very good mum and Yin will probably join in as he has an axe to grind with predators of late (read my post on Yin meets Earl…). I am getting a little bit peeved at the ferals and the possums as we have been faithfully feeding them for over a year now and you would think that they might develop a degree of understanding about what they are and aren’t allowed to eat on Serendipity Farm. When we wave our arms around and toss stones at you, take note…THAT is what we don’t want you to eat! The hopping about from leg to leg like Rumplestiltskin is also a dead give-away. Jacko has twigged to what he is and isn’t allowed to eat but Felix is a lot more feral than he is, and so spends a lot of time contemplating chicken dinners. If she is to remain welcome here, she had best keep those thoughts in the daydream phase and forget about quantifying them any day soon. I had best get some potatoes sorted for those fish cakes so I will see you all tomorrow with more musings, choosing’s, oozing’s, losing’s and most importantly boozing’s for your entertainment see you then :o)

By the way…if that person from Norway is reading this post…your carrot cake sucks! There…I said it…every Norwegan is a bloody critic oh…AND I deleted your post as spam…I RULE!  It’s great to be the king :o). To the rest of you constant readers, please ignore this little outburst, I am hypersensitive to critisism especially when it comes to my blog but those Norwegians really need to be told sometimes… (Neutral my ASS!)…


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mum..
    Dec 18, 2011 @ 19:06:54

    Wow ! Haven’t you been busy down there? I can see all the trees breathing huge sighs of thanks. You have you own litle glade there Pen. It looks good at the gate too, as I know it was a tangled mess. I relly love that table Steve. It’ll look fabulous when fin ished too.The lkegs must have been hellishing heavy. It will look just great out on the deck. That’s a pretty little flower on the she-oak there. The flower here is pink, do you remember ? The wood is supurb too, remember Aunty A’ls front mantle? Uncle Ned made that from she-oak. I like that table, because it isn’t a perfect oblong, looks so much more natural. It’ll need to be solid with all the goodies it will be groaning under Christmas day too ! Felix needs a muzzle! Al;so, the carrot cake recipe I sent you is the best, the one with 5 eggs. Just cut the recip[e in half if it’s too big.


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