A Day In The A Blue Mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I welcome you to take your time and browse , visiting my bush garden and discovering the wonders of my city within a national park; Blue Mountains National Park. Via my blog you will travel with me through the successes, trials and tribulations of gardening on a bush block. I share with you my patchwork & quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cooking and life in general.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

This Month In The Garden

July - 
National Tree Day 28th July 2013
No, I'm not going to share anything about my veggie patch...it's too embarrassing.  I need help in that area.

Instead I will take you on a little tour of our small suburban block which in reality is called a bush-block in our part of the world.  I'd swear that there are some areas that have never experienced the fall of a human foot because of how densely the vegetation grows.

Miss Five had a sleepover last night and this morning asked if she could go 'bush-bashing'.
I'm not sure where she's heard this term before but she knows exactly what it means. 

Miss Five donned her boots.
We'd had a late breakfast and by the time Mr Honey Pie and I had finished our coffees, the cold morning had given way to a comfortably warm day.

Here is a daisy picked from our neighbour's garden. 

Our garden is just over one thousand metres squared. And yes, bushing-bashing is something easily achieved in our 'garden'.

Our rock orchid hasn't flowered in years so it's exciting to see some buds on it this year.

Boronia rosmarinifolia grows prolifically on the south side of the garden.

I visit the solo Casurina (She Oak)once or twice a year, just to make sure it's still thriving.  It has been a very slow grower and grows at the bottom of the slope making it difficult to access.

This year's Wattle Flowers are spectacular.  And their season has only just began.

Native Violet, above, make a pretty cut flower which last well.
I use my crystal violet vase to put them in.

The cone flower is in bud.

There are many names for the above native plant, one is Snottygobble, another is Geebung, the botanical name is Persoonia.  I think this one might be the Broad Leaved Persoonia. 

Yes, this tree is growing on a lean, unfortunately it will probably have to be removed as it has drooped over the road just a little more over the last week or so.

Isn't the colour of these "Happy Wanderer" (Hardenbergia)flowers intense?  This plant likes to trail down slopes or climb up small bushes.

Here is our little cottage, perched high on a hill, surrounded by virgin bush-land.

A delicate flowering bush grows on our nature strip. (Above)

The naturally pitted and gnarled trunk of an Angophora tree growing in the bush across the road from our house.

These fern trees have shot up in the last year or two.  They grow in a gully, also across the street.

A young New South Wales Christmas Bush.

Little Miss Five was intrigued by the gum tree sap we found beneath a tree.

These puff balls are supposedly edible but I don't think they look at all appetizing. 

Here's a little surprise we found whilst scrounging around in the leaf litter...I think it's called a House centipede.  I'm glad we didn't have our first encounter in the house...

Native cockroaches are slightly more pleasant than their European counterparts...and they live outdoors.
The Giant Burrowing Cockroach makes an unusual pet.  But I don't think this one is as large as the Giant Burrowing Cockroach.

And these are fungi...which I at first thought were Turkey Tail mushrooms...but they look more like moths!

Well...here is something from the veggie patch that I couldn't resist sharing with you.  It's actually a fruit...not a veg.
This is a cutting I took in autumn from our mulberry tree...can you see the mulberries? I'm not sure if this normal.  But there you go.

These plants and animals are just a fraction of what grows and lives in our garden.
I hope you enjoyed visiting today.

Thursday, 25 July 2013


Yesterday I posted about my impromptu visit to Katoomba's iconic Three Sisters.
Afterwards, I felt a little guilty about the fact that what I presented to my readers was a vision of tranquility and beauty, perfect weather, and a perspective of 'all's well with the world'.
It is part of human nature, I'm sure most would agree, that we take so much in life for granted.

Yesterday I drove along Cliff Drive, - a roadway that travels from Katoomba to Leura along a cliff that looks out onto what has to be one of the most scenic outlooks in the Blue Mountains.  I wouldn't hesitate to say that it would be one of the most travelled routes in Katoomba due to it's spectacular views.  Normally I would avoid this stretch of road simply because it is a longer and windier road than alternate routes. I was in no hurry yesterday when I somehow found myself on Cliff Drive.  I knew where I was and that eventually I would find myself back on the Great Western Highway.

Along Cliff Drive, I was confronted by a heavy presence of Police, civilian volunteers, volunteers from the Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service and the Bush-walkers Wilderness Rescue Squad.  

This winter, I've been very vocal to my family and friends about how the cold has been really getting to me. I was revelling in the accidental perfect weather only to be now confronted with the thoughts of what it must be like to be lost in the bush, for despite what my photos show, it was and still is very cold in the Blue Mountains. 

Gary Tweddle went missing from a Leura resort over a week ago.  He has been missing since Tuesday 16th July. Authorities have not been able to make contact with him via his mobile phone since the very early hours of Tuesday.

I will make no speculations as to his disappearance except to say; in 2009 on July 15th Jamie Neale was found alive after he was reported missing twelve days earlier.

So there is still hope for Gary Tweddle.  "Missing" poster are highly visible in every Blue Mountains Village.  One can only ask that he will be found alive and as well as can be expected after so many days and nights alone in the bush in the middle of a Blue Mountains winter.

At the moment, Gary Tweddle is part of my conversation with someone on a daily basis. Each morning, I check the news on the internet to see if he has been found. 

But today, today, I felt I needed to do more.  If I was a more experienced bush-walker, a fitter senior, I know I would be out there looking too. Even though Gary Tweddle is not a local, his disappearance has had such an impact on the locals that it's palpable. Everyone I've spoken to hopes for his safe return.  

Today, I've decided to light a candle for Gary, to ask he be returned safely to his family and friends. To ask that he be found. 

Lighting a candle has become my form of prayer. Over the years I have come to believe (after a period of cynicism towards 'prayers') that prayers are very powerful, that prayers come in many different mediums and forms.
I believe that prayer can take the shape of recitations of learned prayers, meditation, chanting, singing, lighting a candle, and much more. Prayer can be performed solo or in multitudes and anywhere in between.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all take a little time out today to pray for the safe return of Gary Tweddle?  

I know I will, and while I'm at it...I will also be thankful for the privileged life I have.

This is an excerpt from a Facebook Page set up since Gary Tweddle went missing.

Gary Tweddle, 23, went missing from the Fairmont Resort near Leura in the early hours of Tuesday morning after attending a function. After being separated from a group of friends, made contact via telephone to indicate that he was lost before either his battery was depleted or he lost service. He is described as having short brown hair, brown eyes, a fair complexion and around 165-170cm tall. Mr Tweddle was wearing a checkered shirt, a black jacket and blue jeans at the time of his disappearance. Temperatures in the Blue Mountains have been dropping into single digits overnight, with a low of zero degrees and possible snowfall expected for Sunday. Mr Tweddle is described as physically fit, with friends claiming that he would be well equipped to survive for a period of time in the bush. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Gary Tweddle should contact Crimestoppers or Katoomba Police on +612 4782 8199.

Update: This operation moved to a recovery as of lunchtime today.  No longer is it Search and rescue.  

My thoughts and prayers continue for Gary and his family and friends.
May they remain strong and support each other during this difficult time.


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Three Sisters

According to Aboriginal legend, The Three Sisters at Katoomba is a rock formation that represents three sisters who fell in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe.
'Meehni', 'Wimlah' and 'Gunnedoo' lived in the Jamison Valley as part of the Katoomba tribe. By law, they were forbidden to marry the brothers of the Nepean tribe.  The brothers challenged the law and a tribal battle ensued.  
Now the sisters were in danger so a Katoomba witch-doctor - wanting to protect them - turned them into stone.
His intention, once the battle was over, was to reverse the spell.  Except he did not foresee his death during as a result of the battle and the three sisters remain, generations later, as rock formations overlooking the valley.

This is only one of the legends to explain the attraction that is the Three Sisters at Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains.

I live about a thirty minute drive from Katoomba.  If you have been following my blog you will know that I travel to Katoomba every three months or so to visit the Food Co-op to purchase a lot of my groceries in bulk.

The drive up the mountain, over the past couple of years, has been a bit of an ordeal due to the constant road works taking place.

I liken the road works to a nomad, moving up, then down, then up the mountain.

Very rarely do the road works move to one side and then the other because the Great Western Highway travels in an east-west direction due to the geography of the Great Dividing Range.

So, I time my travel up the mountain. Much of the trip must now be travelled at a speed of forty kilometres per hour. Most of the rest of the trip is travelled at sixty kilometres per hour, and a very small portion is travelled at eighty kilometres per hour.  Do you get the picture?

This morning I took up an offer to have morning tea with some lovely women whom I had not actually met before except via a Facebook group exclusive to the Blue Mountains.

The weather has been so nippy I found it difficult to commit so waited to see what the weather would be like.

Blue skies greeted me this morning.  The sun glowed and the air was crisp.
Even though it was very cold the sun was defiantly shining.
So off I travelled to a little Blue Mountain village called Lawson for a hot cuppa and a chat.
Determined to make the most of the trip I decided that afterwards I'd continue up the mountain to top up my pantry with supplies from the Co-op.

I was overwhelmed by the beautiful day and on the spur of the moment decided that a visit to Echo Point was in order.

Nature did not disappoint.

Just to give you a scale of this attraction here are some photographs of the lookout at Echo Point.

While I was there I decided to pop into the souvenir shop and I found these...

My apologies...but I have to say...you have to be an Australian or a New Zealander to see the point of the last two photographs.
Possum Merino sock made in New Zealand.  All  you New Zealanders reading this...my commiserations. 

And a cute little trend starting here.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Two Scarves.

In May I completed two knitted scarves.
This one took me about twelve hours to knit.
I love the fern pattern which I found in a book I picked up somewhere sometime ago.
The book is called mon tricot:1300 Pattern Stitches Advice Hints Knitting Dictionary.
I purchased the wool from the Faulconbridge Markets around twelve months ago from a lovely lady that spins and dyes wool from her own sheep.
This scarf, on the other hand, took me twelve months to knit.

I love them both.
The second one, I have now decided, needs some tassels or a fringe of some sort.
I have a ball and a half of wool left so I'm dreaming up a nice substantial finish.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday with Lee.
Do pop over and see her lovely star HST quilt top.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Royal Baby News

Much of the western world awaits news of the birth of the baby bound to be the future king or queen of England.

Image Source

For the first time in British history, the baby's gender will not determine whether or not it will be passed over as a royal monarch.

Equality for women is slowly being determined in our western society.

In my opinion, there is still a long way to go in this regards.

Still...small steps are better than no steps.

I wish the happy couple all the best.
What an exciting time of their lives.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

WIP - Quilt As You Go Update

Remember this quilt? I forgive you if you don't.  It's been twelve months (more) since I started making this quilt.  It was for my baby sister's fiftieth birthday, last September.  And I'm still not finished it. The biggest obstacle I encountered was returning to work for six months last year. 

I just thought I'd show you how it's looking. Hopefully, the next time I post pictures they will be of the finished quilt.

I do love it and I'm hoping that my sister will think it's been worth the wait.

Above is the back of the quilt, with the binding to join the sections together pinned for hand stitching.

 The wonderful thing about quilt as you go is that it makes machine quilting manageable because the quilt is constructed and quilted in smaller sections.

It also means no hefty charges for quilting - something I'm finding more and more difficult to fund.

Once I've finished hand stitching the sections together, all that will need to be done is add the binding.

I'm not sure how well you can see it in the photographs, but the quilting has already been done.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Thrifty Sewing

I have been feeling a bit off colour of late but this has not stopped me from creating.
Let me be the first to admit that I have a thing for thrifting - is there such a word?

Below you can see the pretty dress I sewed for my gorgeous Grand Daughter...Miss Five... who, the other day, declared that now she's turned five...she no longer has bad dreams...instead she dreams about very helpful angels.  Bless her.

The front.

The back. (With zipper).

This is Style Kids Pattern #2838 
which I was lucky to pick up at a garage sale for free.  I'm so happy with the finished result because this has a zippered finish at the back and I was able to stitch in the zipper with absolutely no problems...my first truly successful zipper on a garment!

The zipper was finished off with a hook and eye.

Here is my list of fabrics and notions and their costs.

2 x red & white polka dot fabrics:  50c a piece from Glenbrook Markets "Front Porch".

1 x floral fabric: gifted to me by my neice (no cost).

1 x zipper: 50c (Purchased from Frou Frou Old and New in Springwood).

1 x Hook & Eye:  Hoarded for over 40 years (no cost).

1 x dress pattern:  Free from a local garage sale.

Total Cost: $1.50

Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013


The South East Coast of Australia has had its fair share of wet weather in the month of June.
After nine days of rain I discovered some interesting growth in the garden.
It was lovely to see the sun too!

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