Tuesday, 25 September 2007

These Apostlebirds (Struthidea Cinerea) would really have to be one of the most intelligent of Aussie birds. Very cheeky too! I took these pics this morning, and by a sheer fluke managed the en flight pic. Apparently they are mudnest builders, so I may have to give them a hand with the lack of mud, as droughts can drastically upset their breeding cycle. I do know I had a flock of them here last Summer, going absolutely ape under a fine sprinkler.
Years ago, we were outside talking, and only a few feet from us, a flock of them encircled one of our cats. Well, the cat sat there just stunned, but the moment he made a slight move, they flew off. Do so wish I'd had my camera handy that day.
Another bird that plays games with the cats is the Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) We have a pair of them that nest on a spotlight on the Western side of our house.
Do hope our little fairy wrens return this year. I have noticed some honeyeaters feeding from the flowers on the aloe vera and grevilleas and also some tiny yellow finches that seem to appear at daybreak.
There are several magpies that nest here each year. Each family has it's own tree. The young left their nests several weeks ago. They never seem to worry us at all, but they're often a problem in public parks when they can be very aggressive around nesting time. Years ago my Mum was dive-bombed by them and ended up with a nasty cut on the bridge of her nose. My husband's cousin had a very tame one that visited them each day. It was an albino, having very pale brown and cream plumage. I just love listening to their songs, and that of the cicada beetles.
One of the peskiest birds would have to be the mudlark or peewee. They make such a mess with their droppings on our vehicles' side view mirrors and continually dive-bomb their reflections in our windows. All I can say is, they must have beaks of steel.LOL

Wild turnip would just have to be the scourge of the Downs this Spring. Everywhere is clothed in yellow at the present, and although I don't usually suffer from hayfever, I've been sneezing at the drop of a hat.

Monday, 24 September 2007

I found this recipe just the other day and I'd forgotten how good it was. Haven't made it for years.
100g/4ozs. plain flour, 50g/2ozs. butter, cut into small pieces, 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon ice cold water, pinch salt.
Rub butter into flour or whizz in a blender, add egg yolk and water. Mix into a dough and roll out to fit a pie or quiche plate. Chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
2 tablespoons corn or olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/2 kg/1 lb. 1oz. onions (thinly sliced), 1 tablespoon plain flour, 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk (beaten), 150 ml/5fl. ozs.fresh cream, salt and pepper
Heat oil and butter in frying pan and gently fry onions until soft and golden. Sprinkle over the flour and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the eggs and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Pour filling into chilled pastry case and bake in a fairly hot oven 200oC (400oF)for 20-25 minutes or until filling is just set and golden brown.

I baked one yesterday had a slice for lunch with some mixed salad. Yummy! It is quite rich, so low fat substitutions could be made. Might try it again one day and try a few variations. Maybe some salmon or chicken.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

The above exhibition is now showing at our local art gallery in Goombungee until the 30th of this month. Last weekend I was lucky enough to pay a visit to see some beautiful new work by three very talented Australian Artists, Abi Thompson, Debbie Dieckmann and Marlene Page.

Abi Thompson, a Textile and Mixed Media Artist from Woodonga, crochets gorgeous bird and animal tea cosies, hats and assorted cakes and tarts. This talented artist also creates some very colourful and often amusing paintings.

Debbie Dieckmann, is a mixed media artist from Millmerran. To see more of her unique
  • Debbies Heart

  • The very talented silk artist in the above picture is Marlene Page from Fremantle. Marlene specialises in handpainted fine wool and silk. To see more of her work go to her website at Healing Circle Silks