Spring has Sprung

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Here in the southern hemisphere it is springtime.

The romantic ideal of spring promotes images of renewal, growth and new beginnings, however, the reality can be somewhat different.

We have very few deciduous trees in our climate so we enjoy being able to witness the changing seasons through the liquidamber tree in our garden. Here it is looking magnificent and covered in new leaf.

Spring serves to remind us all that we never know what is around the corner.

In the past 6 weeks we have had wild thunderstorms, ferocious winds and a couple of heatwave days all interspersed with some glorious and moderate weather. The extremes and sometimes violent weather events are becoming more frequent as the climate changes.

A couple of days ago we heard creaking and cracking. Upon investigation we discovered that a couple of the lower limbs had come off the liquidamber tree. I suspect this was as a result of the wind we had experienced in recent weeks.

Time to clean up the debris.

Being prepared is not just something for the Boy Scouts. We should all be prepared for whatever might happen. Whether it is driven by the weather, linked to the pandemic or of global origin out of our control, there are plenty of things that could immediately and suddenly disrupt our comfortable lifestyle.

As the seasons change we need to prepare ourselves for the shocks that natural and other events may have.

Storms and bushfires are our main threats in the coming months. If you are in the northern hemisphere and approaching winter, what are your risks? Blizzards? Storms? Flooding?

I am interested in what your seasonal risks are and how you prepare yourself and your family.

Take care and stay safe, wherever you are.

Destruction Day

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Since we are both working full-time it is a challenge to get a great deal done in the garden.  Basic maintenance such as lawn mowing and keeping the vegetable garden in some sort of order takes most of the available time on the weekend.

Autumn is finally creeping up on us and the lawn growth has slowed somewhat so GMan has a bit more time.  So, a long weekend which offered 3 available days was a great opportunity to make a start on a big project that we have been planning for a number of years.

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It was a beautiful autumn morning so I quickly took this photo before we started.

This is the result of GMan with a chainsaw (and me helping).

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It was late in the afternoon by the time I took this photo so I apologise for the lack of clarity.

Whilst the area in the first photo looks beautifully lush and green, it was an overgrown mess of multi-trunked trees which were all entwined as well as a couple of dozen self-sown avocado trees.  These had come from avocadoes that had fallen from the main tree further up the embankment.  The large eucalypt in the centre of the photo was completely hidden by all of the rubbishy vegetation around it but now we can see that is a beautiful tree.

The next step will be to clear and mulch all of the cleared vegetation and then work on replanting the area with more appropriate species.

Sometimes things have to get worse before they can improve and this is definitely one such instance.

Crash!

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Last night when we got home we discovered that another large limb had come off the poinciana tree.  The tree is close to our boundary and this has fallen across the fence and into the neighbour’s ‘paddock’ near the front of their block.  Undoubtedly, the wild weather of the past few days has contributed to this latest loss.

2012-06-28 01There have been at least 3 other occasions where sizeable branches have fallen from this tree and we had decided that it really needed to go and were planning to have it lopped later in the year.  This latest incident has forced us to re-think our plans and move them forward so I have contacted a tree lopper.  He is going to come next week to give us a quote.

2012-06-28 02As well as having the tree lopped, we also plan to get it mulched so that we can use this in our landscaping.  We have decided that we can better utilise the mulch than making more firewood as we really have plenty and this type of tree does not burn well. I am hoping they will be able to grind the stump so that we can then decide what we will plant in this area.

2012-06-28 03I took these photos today.  You can see that I am very thankful that no people or property were in close proximity.

Autumn at Home

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When we travel to the USA later in the year, I am hoping to see some of the famous fall scenery in New Hampshire and Vermont.  We will probably be a little early for the best of it but I am sure we will see some, especially in the mountains and northernmost areas.

In the meantime, here is a glimpse of autumn in our own backyard – literally.

It is only one tree, a liquidamber, but it in a climate that does not have many deciduous trees that produce a colourful autumn display it makes a lovely contrast to the surrounding evergreens.