Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Glen Huon hike

This morning I set out from home to re-do the previously failed challenge of walking 16km with a 16kg pack. It's the required assessment for next weekend's Kosciuszko trip.

This time, I picked the right half of the day to do it. It's pouring outside right now but this morning I only got a few drops from passing clouds. I walked out our front door at about 6.20am, turned right into the forestry area and headed towards Bermuda Road. Made a very bad choice of spot to stop for breakfast (right) - infested with mosquitoes. Just before Bermuda road I turned right towards Glen Huon, through more forestry area (photo below) and finally onto Watson's Road into town. I had to re-do one section because I left my hiking poles leaning up against a sign!

To prove I did it, I tracked my trek using an Android app called RunKeeper on my mobile phone. You can click here to see the map of where I walked and the elevation. It will tell you I did 19.2km in 4 hours and 36 minutes, climbing 484 metres. The last section was a big decent into the town of Glen Huon, with a lovely view - see photo below. Going downhill with the heavy pack turned out to be no easier than uphill. And below is my weight without and with the pack.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Climb ev'ry mountain

In only 10 days time, I will be walking up Mount Kosciuszko (2,228m) and Mount Townsend (2,209m), Australia's tallest peaks, with a group of fabulous women from Wild Women on Top. Climbing Kosciuszko was one of my goals this year, which I thought I would have to abandon when I moved to Tasmania. But thanks to this expedition organised by WWOT, I decided to pursue it. By all accounts it isn't a very difficult walk. But carrying a 16kg backpack, more than a third my own weight, makes it that bit harder! We'll be camping overnight and need to carry all our gear up there.

The climb is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Australian mountaineer Freda Du Faur’s historic climb of Mt Cook in New Zealand on December 3, 1910. We will honour Freda’s remarkable career as the leading female mountaineer of her generation. However, we won't be climbing in skirts!

Secondly, we are raising funds for the Australian Himalyan Foundation. The Himalaya is an area of unsurpassed beauty and grandeur, but it is also a harsh and impoverished homeland where for many, basic services and amenities are out of reach. The Foundation is a not for profit charitable organisation that helps the people of the Himalaya achieve their goals - through supporting and overseeing health, education and environmental projects in Nepal, India and Bhutan. If you can support us, even just a little bit, please visit the fundraising page

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New swan family in Franklin

After the winter family of swans that we watched grow from babies after we arrived in Franklin, a new summer family with four cygnets is now hanging out on the foreshore.

Monday, November 22, 2010


On the walk to Southport Lagoon yesterday the bush was a mass of tiny wildflowers. Lucky for us, one woman in our party was a botanist. She pointed out four different types of local orchid, including the relatively rare leek orchid. I struggled to get the camera to focus on most of the tiny flowers and ended up with a bunch of blurry photos. These three are passable, just.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Southport Lagoon walk

Today I walked with the Clarence walking group to Southport Bluff and Lagoon. We are not full-blown members yet (this was only my third walk with them) but provided the other members approve we will probably join up. Some of them have been walking together for 30 years and three members are in their eighties and still hiking. It's not a club as such but a group of friends who walk together. So I think it's only fitting that they should be fussy as to who can and can't join.

Two fellow Franklin residents organised today's walk. We drove south to the Ida Bay Railway, a tourist railway but until the 1970s used for carting limestone and logs for transport out of the area by boat or more recently by truck. From the end of the line we walked through the scrub to Southport Bluff which affords lovely views north up the coastline and also to the mountains in the south west. It wasn't a long or difficult walk. The wildflowers were out in abundance. On the beach at Southport Lagoon we had a fire on the beach to cook some sausages for lunch, before walking back to the railway for the return trip.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One project complete

While I was away in Sydney this week at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, clever handyman husband completed the possum-proof vegetable garden project by adding a door, complete with plastic fingers as hooks for the door latches! Nice touch. Now it's up to me to produce something edible in it to justify this effort.

And now on to the next project - a quoll and Tasmanian devil proof chicken shed and yard. Hmmm. We're expecting our four Barnevelder pullets on order to be available for collection sometime in the next month.

Chook yard project stage one

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Possum-proof vegetable garden

At least, we hope it is. Yesterday we put the chicken wire roof on and put rocks all around the enclosed area. I think it looks brilliant, especially the rustic wooden posts which are from our own trees. All built according to David's plan. The last remaining step is to build a door - that job belongs to my clever handyman husband too!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Food is growing, slowly

Compared to the rampant vege gardens I've seen around here, ours looks pretty sad. But I'm a late starter and in a few months time I reckon we'll finally be eating stuff from our own garden, all grown from seed. In the apple crates, so far the peas, snow peas, shallots and potatoes are all doing well. Of the seedlings growing on the table behind the shed, so far the tomatoes, parsley, strawberry, lavender, lettuce, leek and broccoli are doing well - most still tiny though.

Snow peas looking lonely
These potatoes are Dutch Creams - yum

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New farm dog

Gretchen, our new little arrival here at Schloss Geisterwald, is one of the major reasons behind my lack of posts this week, together with an extreme workload (well, worse than usual), visitors staying, no time for training/exercise and a lack of sleep... are you sensing the stress leaping out from the screen yet? But let's face it, the puppy is so cute you just have to forgive her for waking us at all hours. And even Baerli is starting to get used to her.