Friday, March 29, 2019

Muntrie picking at Canunda

It's that time of year when we go out into the wilderness, well the Canunda National Park to get our annual feed of muntrie berries.

We headed out after searching for a few geocaches in Millicent(Izzy's favourite thing to do), and one at the Mayurra Wagyu tasting rooms gate, which is on the way.

Muntries are a native berry to our region, formally called Kunzea Pomifera. They would have to be my favourite native flower. They flower in Spring and the  sweet apple like berries are ready to pick now.

I've been bringing the girls out here to pick muntries since they were little. Izzy's a bit over it, but Summer still squats by a patch and eats her little heart out.

They're a bit dusty straight from the patch due to the white metal road, which was awfully corrugated after a lot of use over summer. This road has been well used by four wheel drivers in that time, to get to the beach and tracks that take them all the way to Southend or Carpenter Rocks in the other direction.

After my encounter at Lake McIntyre, I was wary of snakes, as we've seen plenty of brown snakes through here in the past from the safety of our car.

I wasn't long before we had enough muntries to take home, the kids were ready anyway. I've been eating them with my porridge in the morning and have frozen some for putting in hot cross buns closer to Easter. It has become somewhat of a tradition. Summer is already asking when I am making muntrie berry buns.

I took the stony back tracks home, meandering through rocky farming land and wind farms. I pulled up right next to a windtower, turned the car off and we listened to the mesmerising whoosh of the blades, before finding our way to Burkhills Lane and home again.

Izzy's photo of me, picking berries

Dusty muntries
The small amount of washed muntries I didn't freeze and my porridge in the pan, ready for the stove. 

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Grateful for what we have

I guess there's a lot of people who take where they live for granted. There's probably a whole lot more who never get out to see how great, what they have in their own neighbourhood is.

It annoys me to hear locals and ex residents bag our local area.  Did they even go out and experience what we have here in the Limestone Coast?

We are so lucky with the natural playgrounds we have on our doorstop, drop in some friends and it makes for a great weekend.

Boggy had no luck with the fishing on the beach. Izzy got a bit daring on her go kart. We made tracks in the sand. The kids found crabs in the rocks, and when it rained we played cards, scrabble, drew or read.

We enjoyed fresh fish from the ocean, caught from the boat in Bungalow Bay. The conditions weren't perfect, but it satisfied the older kids, who were keen to get out there and try. They caught mullet, trevally and whiting. It tasted amazing, coated in flour and fried in a shallow pan. Shared lazy bbq meals, with friends and family in our outdoor living space. How fortunate are we.

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Friday, March 15, 2019

My first scaly encounter at Lake Mac

Lake McIntyre is as good as place as any to get out of the house, out into nature. I visited last week with my camera for a stroll around the walking trail.

This is when things got interesting. I walked away from the walking trail to photograph this bird. I think they are what people in other parts of the country call bin chickens aren't they? Well in these parts, so far at least, they stick to their natural environment. I've never seen one raiding the garbage, just as well when visiting here you need to take your rubbish with you as there are no bins. 

I was fairly aware there are snakes here and the weather has been pretty hot of late. This particular day last week, it had cooled off, but I was still looking around for them though as I stepped of the track to get a better view to photograph the birds.

I caught the sight of some small wrens and butterflies flittering about in the reeds and moved about four metres to the left to try to capture them. I think I should have been taking a bit more notice of what was on the ground instead of what was in the reeds, because I looked down and there I saw a snake!

In that quick moment the first thing my brain registered was a plastic toy snake to the snap fast reality I was looking at a real snake. A real snake, less than a metre in front of me! Dark brown scaly skin, which wasn't shiny at all, and a yellow underbelly. It had found a patch of sun to bask in, to warm it's cold body.

I turned on my heel and ran as fast as I could to the safety of the trail. As I turned I could hear the russle of leaves as the snake moved, in which direction I do not know. I think I startled him as much as he scared the hell out of me.

I think my brain was working much faster than my legs, as I nearly faltered running away. My heart was beating so fast and it took me a minute to register in disbelief at what had just happened. I am thankful it was a cooler day and this scale creature wasn't so active as would be normally. I'll keep telling myself that, and thank goodness I looked down and not taken a step forward or crouched down because it could have taken this story to a whole different level.

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Friday, March 8, 2019

Escaping the heat

Last Friday was the first day of autumn, it was by no means a typical autumn day.

The temperature gauge peaked at 41 degrees. It was decided the best place we could be for dinner was the beach. We packed the ute with all we needed and set of for a bbq at Southend. Our neighbours joined in, it seemed every man and his dog were there.

I couldn't think of a better place to be.

How do you escape the heat? 

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Monday, March 4, 2019

F words for February

Another month down on the 2019 calendar. Is the world spinning too fast for anyone else?

February was a bit shit. I am still there actually, when did March begin?

It started out quite well. School had gone back and the first weekend of February brought the annual Rendelsham village market,  which is always a pleasure. 

But that's when it kind of fell apart.

The sudden death of a friend. Well an old acquaintance that I should have made more of an effort with, still a shock, the same. I had been thinking for the longest time to catch up, but never did, just a wave here and there. It has cemented in me that I need to act on instinct, not to put off anything, because there is no time like the present.

My son Jake also took a slide backwards with his mental health this month, he's still in hospital, but he'll be ok. 

There's been a lot of my energy being zapped by so many lately and I haven't really been recharging myself. I did start to walk again, I did so for two weeks straight, and now in dribs and drabs, but I realise it's an important part of being well. 

I am also aware that when I am stressed and low on energy, I tend to try to ignore the world and retreat into myself. I know this isn't a good thing, and I guess that's why I have become so quiet. I need to force myself to share, to talk, to socialise, even when I feel like hiding in my shell.

I become not so good at caring for others. Everything seems too hard to deal with, but I do it and suffer later. Knowing this is happening and being aware of it, is an important start to solving the problem. 

I started the year out doing the Fat Mum Slim photo a day challenge, I even gave up that. I'd had a couple of people say how they'd enjoyed seeing my photos, so I should have found that encouraging, and I did, but it seemed like it became a little bit too hard. But I have started March afresh.

This brings me to a little announcement.

Lately I have purely sucked at being a link up host. Sucked I tell you. I am not ready to give it up though.

I like blogging, and I like all of you. So I have decided to change the day I do things and see how it goes. There is no Open Slather today and from now on there won't be another on a Monday. From now on, and I am referencing the Easybeats here, so bob your head from side to side, just like Stevie Wright, and sing along..."Monday, I'll have Friday on my mind".

Open Slather will now come to you on a Friday and will stay open for linking over the weekend. So please return on Friday and join me. I promise I will be here and sharing....something, no matter how small and non share worthy I may think it is. I will be here.

I am sharing over at Denyse Whelen's blog, who has a fab Monday link up where you can go to join in the linking fun on a Monday.
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