Friday, July 30, 2010

Hairy cows

On the way home from Huonville we drive past a paddock with a collection of cattle in it. Some of them are either black or brown and have long hair - have a look at the baby brown one on the right. I have no idea what breed they are (I'm sure someone will educate me on this) but we think they are cute!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rowing on the Huon

The first week we were here in Franklin one of the local women asked if I'd like to join the women's rowing group that gather at the Living Boat Trust (basically at the end of our road) at 8.30am on a Thursday morning - in winter anyway. Although I've never rowed, I was keen to give it ago, partly because I need the exercise and partly because the Huon River is so stunning, it seems criminal not to get out on it. However, despite two other local ladies asking since, I had so far piked out. Mainly because I've failed to organise my workload so that I could pop down for an hour or so and not feel chained to the computer. Finally this morning I went along - what fun! Sadly I'll miss next week as I'll be in Sydney, but I'll definitely do it again. Below are some of the wooden boats. Deb, Lorrie and I went out in the white one.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A walk in the forest

Except for 'special' weekend days, when we make the trip to the doggie beach at Kingston, our dog walks consist of either:
  1. A quick run along the river at Franklin after collecting mail at the post office; or
  2. A hike up into the forestry area which starts about half a kilometre up the road from our place.
Today we did option 1, but I think B prefers option two, with wallabies (real and imaginary) along with plenty of great smells and space to run. It's an interesting landscape at times, with some sections of huge trees, some with young saplings and other sections completely bulldozed.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grey goshawks are white in Tasmania

Several times we have seen a large white bird flying around our place, and a check in Simpson & Day's Birds of Australia book revealed it to be a grey goshawk - which only occur in the all white version in Tasmania. Yesterday I walked down the hill into town and back (4.5km and 450m) and on the way, saw one of these birds swoop down onto the road ahead of me. When it saw me coming it quickly flew off into a nearby tree and this was the best shot I was able to get of it.
 Another interesting fact: the white morph of the grey goshawk like this one is the only pure white raptor in the world.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A night at the Palais

Tonight we are going to see a comedy show at the entertainment mecca of the south, the Palais in Franklin. Jokes aside, it really is great that our local community has a place like this for social gatherings, shows and functions of all kinds. Later this month there will be adults only screenings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show with 'audience participation and dress'... kinda scared about that one.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A trip to the tip

At our new place we don't have a regular council garbage collection service. So every few weeks (or whenever the pile in the shed gets big enough) we make a trip to the tip, or more accurately the waste transfer station. I did wonder why it is located on a nice riverside spot just south of Huonville, but perhaps that's how the waste gets transported? Recyclables go into one dump, and non-recyclables into another. There's also a big pile of electronic waste - old computers, TVs and so on. Seeing these heaps certainly makes me think twice about buying packaged goods and what can be reused or recycled. It costs about $5 to dump a small car load of rubbish where the recyclables are separated.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Raspberries are in

Raspberries are my favourite fruit. I spent a year in Germany 20-odd years ago, and the family I lived with were fruit and vegetable dealers. I remember being able to sit down and polish off an entire punnet - heaven. And when David and I visited Tasmania two years ago, I think the best meal I had (and there were plenty of good ones) was a simple cup of fresh raspberries with a dollop of cream on top at the Salamanca Market. Today I planted my first crop, two different varieties of canes bought at a local nursery. Hopefully the summer after next they will bear fruit. The orange flags are an attempt to discourage one large dog from barreling through them as she hurtles around the paddock.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

She'll be apples, mate

We've been in Tasmania two months today! This morning we decided to pop into the Huon Valley Apple and Heritage Museum in Grove, just north of Huonville. We have driven past so many times but never been inside. It documents the history and processes behind apple growing and processing in the Huon Valley, and also features an extensive collection of local history items and a big gift shop. The owner (Jeff and his wife bought the museum around four years ago) demonstrated a commercial apple peeling and coring machine, as well as a smaller one designed for home use called the Apple Slinky. Given the big bags of apples I have been buying, think I'll have to get one of those!

Oh, and for the non-Aussies, she'll be apples is an old Australian expression meaning everything will be alright. It's not used much anymore but it's kind of nice.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Old Man's Beard

No, David hasn't grown facial hair and turned into Tasmanian Mountain Man. I have read that 'Old Man's Beard' is the common name of the pale green lichen that grows prolifically on top of fence posts in our area, and also hangs off the branches of many trees. It often looks like the fence post has hair. Below is an example from our fence. Note frost in background!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Walk #1 out of 100 - Pelverata Falls

Claire and Jane, two lovely women who walked 100km with me in the Sydney Coastrek event back in March, gave us a book of '100 Walks in Tasmania' before we left Sydney. What a perfect gift. This morning I did one of the walks listed in it. We have actually done two of the other walks listed in the book before, but one was around the town of Richmond just north of Hobart and could easily be completed by an elderly woman in high heels. So that doesn't count. The other was a a lovely trek around Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach in Freycinet National Park.

The start of the track to Pelverata Falls is only about 25 minutes from our place. It's clearly a well used track but I was the only person there on this beautiful sunny winter morning. How brilliant to have such a place all to myself.

The first, very easy section of track runs behind some private farms, then you turn right into some fairly dry and open eucalyptus forest, mostly stringybark. I startled a LOT of wallabies who crashed and thumped their way through the bush, but I only got a good look at two of them.

After that comes a pocket of rainforest in a gully, then up a fairly steep slope again to an area marked on the map as 'rock scree'. The whole hillside seems to be a pile of rocks, which makes for interesting and more challenging walking. At the end is a viewing platform looking up at the falls themselves. There wasn't a lot of water falling over, and unless you visit after rains I believe that's normally the case, but the rock formations around the falls make for a fantastic view at any time.
It appears that this sign was nailed to the tree quite some time ago... and the tree has won.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Potato feast

Aside from the many varieties of apple available here, the range of potatoes in your local supermarket or fruit market in Tasmania is amazing. Kennebecs (bought today at 49 cents a kilo), Dutch Cream, Pink Eyes, King Edward, Kipfler, Bintje, Spunta, Bismark and loads of others with names I forget. I'm working my way through the varieties. Gone are the days at the Dee Why fruit market when you could get either brushed or washed potatoes (generic variety), new potatoes and some pink Desiree ones.