Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday 16th October 2017


Three days in a row with yucky weather...are we back in Tully by any chance?

We needed groceries, so headed for Tenterfield. For some odd reason I thought that across the border in NSW maybe the weather would be better...Haha...NOT!
I did have a brief moment of madness, wandering around the lookout at Mount MacKenzie looking for non-existent orchids before giving up, & headed for the shops.

The misty, foggy weather up at Mount MacKenzie - Tenterfield

Our fruitless orchid search was cold, wet, and misty. I was glad when Varena called it off.
Sunday 15th October 2017


We were house-bound & toasted ourselves by the fire today; it was another cold, windy & miserable day. Not worth even bothering to go out.

The Blog Book is close to completion now.
I Skyped with Mum, who updated me on her trip to Scotland, which although tiring she said she & John enjoyed.

A local comes to visit; he seemed quite uninterested in us

Bib posing nicely on a rock for me
A firey night sky from during the week


A very quiet day in by the fire for us. No proper rain, just drops on the wind; very annoying.
Saturday 14th October 2017


As predicted the weather was cold, wet, thundery & windy.

We had a short trip out to the Heavenly Chocolate Cafe. I suggested morning tea there. It was just warm enough to sit on the veranda & watch the King Parrots & other native birds in the garden. I bought some of their handmade chocolates too.

The rest of the day was spent toasting around the fire, & getting into the final few months of the Blog Book.

Morning tea at Heavenly Chocolate

One of the critters in the "Heavenly Chocolate" garden


We had a nice morning tea at the chocolate place. The biscuit and coffee that I had were both good. But I baulked at buying the hand-made "gourmet" chocolates. At about $2.50 per morsel I find that they are very expensive, very tiny nibbles. I know a lot of work goes into making them, but I don't feel the value is there. Varena loves the look of these things and bought a few. I'll eat them, of course, but I am not interested in buying them.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday 13th October 2017


With an improvement in the weather we set out for the day.

I thought we would do yesterday's planned route, but we needed to drop the rubbish off at the Ballendean tip (there is no rubbish collection here). This was in the opposite direction to the way I thought we would go. So I decided instead we would go into the Sundown National Park on the 4WD access road.

The track in was very rough & climbed to over 1040m. The 7.4km took us around 50 minutes one way & 35 minutes return! There was a short 400m return walk to the lookout at Red Rock Gorge. I spotted large amount of Rock Orchids (Dendrobiums) on one of the cliff faces, but they weren't flowering. And below us a lot of Dockrillia in flower too (not sure of their type).

Back at the car we had a cuppa & a wander; it was Geoff's turn to spot an orchid; a Hyacinth Orchid in bud, like my find in Girraween National Park a couple of days ago, it was still small, & probably several weeks away from flowering. We spotted several types of macropods (kangaroos & wallabies) on the drive, also lizards, dragons & surprisingly a deer!

Archie goes into another National Park

A real lounging lizard

Interesting fungi

Young Wallaroo

Views from the lookout

The waterfall had dried up; just a pool remained above the black streak

Solid looking adult Wallaroo giving us the eye

We spotted this bearded dragon, but it was quite
shy...disappearing as I tried to get closer

Looking back towards the Sundown National Park

Headed towards Ballendean

I was surprised at how the track deteriorated once we entered the national park. The 7km seemed to take ages, as we were in first gear 4WD crawling uphill over rocks most of the way.

On our return to the house we found that the water flow meter that I ordered had finally arrived. As our water tank gauge had been busted for ages we've been unsure of our water consumption. I fitted the device after lunch and hopefully we can now manage our water stores and not run out mid-shower!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Thursday 12th October 2017


Our planned trip out came to nothing, as it was steady rain for most of the day. Not a day for orchid hunting or sightseeing.

I did manage to get around 6 weeks of the Blog Book done. Now all I have left is July, August & 5 days of September to go. Geoff has already made a start on the proof reading which is a help too.

Mountain Dampiera

Squiggly Gum

Thyme-honey Myrtle

Wyberba property Dam


The rain was needed in this area. The dry winter has led to an orchid shortage for Varena, and also left the house sit water tank at about half full. With the two of us using about double what Pam would use on her own I was glad for the tank to get a top up. It is still far from full, but my guess is that we still have about what we started with.

Wednesday 11th October 2017


I spent the morning in Girraween National Park, doing a different walk. I found several of the same orchids as on previous walks, plus a Purple Beard Orchid, & a couple of Hyacinth Orchids starting to come up. I'm not sure whether they will be flowering before we leave though.

It was a quiet afternoon back at the house, where I sorted out an itinerary for tomorrow.

Weather erosion on the granite rocks

Still water at the top of the granite boulders  - Undercliffe Creek Walk

Lemon Doubletails

Purple Beard Orchid

Slender Sun Orchid - I think

It appears that we have been outsmarted by one of the cats a couple of times. Trying to keep them in the house at night has not been too difficult, except that one cat has been disappearing from inside the house and then later asking at a door to get back in. It turns out that one of the louvre windows in a spare room had a glass louvre missing, and we missed seeing it as the curtain covered it over. It shouldn't happen again...

Tuesday 10th October 2017


Geoff headed into Stanthorpe to get some minor warranty work done one the ute. This is probably the final work that Holden will do for free as our warranty comes to an end shortly.

I made some fruit cakes. It's been a while & quite a challenge with the lack of basics in the house. But they turned out OK.

After an early lunch I headed over to Teresa's place at Amiens; she wanted to show me a couple of orchid spots nearby. Once again we had very little success. None of the places we checked for terrestrial orchids had any signs of them growing, coming, or dead even!
There was a Black Orchid (Cymbidium canaliculatum) with flower spikes in a tree.

One fast asleep Bib on the chair with me

Walk with a view, if not any orchids!

The little 100 year old church in Amiens

Lake on Mengel Road, Amiens

King Proteas

A pyramid in a field....Ballendean


The mechanic who did our last service detected a small leak of coolant from the rear of the engine. As it would be done under warranty I arranged for the repair job to be done. To fill my time while the car was in being fixed I went walkabout again around Stanthorpe. One of my minor tasks was to find somewhere with free wi-fi so that I could update Varena's phone software. There is no internet at the house except via wi-fi dongle, which is still very over-priced! So I thought that the public library would be a good place to get wi-fi, but after waiting half an hour for their 10am opening I found the wi-fi to be horrendously slow and virtually unusable. My next option was a café, but it took me four attempts to find a café with wi-fi. Once I did though, the wi-fi was terrific and the coffee was good.