Micro climates

It’s blowing a gale on the Bay today. I was incredibly fortunate to get my cottage on the island in the position that it is.  Being at the highest point of the island and surrounded by low, but steep cliffs, it seems to be immune to bad weather. The strong winds literally hit the cliffs and pop right over the top.  I still seem to get the regular gentle breezes though. 

50 metres away at the edge of the cliff I can see the tree tops rolling around like crazy.  About 50 metres down the hill in the other direction (S/W) the park is getting a strong breeze through the moorings, even though it is quite protected.

You can see from Cutty’s tail that there is a good breeze on the water.

  
The photos don’t portray the strength of the breeze very well but there are a few white caps visible.

   
Cutty loves the park and the breeze and despite being an old girl at 8, she runs around like a 2 year old pup.

 

Home again

I’m back on the island and there is a lot of activity.  The little park at the bottom of my street is really getting a full makeover.  The sheet piling is all gone, it’s been capped off and the rock wall is well progressed.  It looks like a construction site at the moment but in another week I think it will be turfed and landscaped.  It’s going to be a nice spot to paddle out from.



The council hasn’t finished tar sealing the road yet but it’s scheduled to be finished next Thursday. It’s odd that they have laid turf along the edges before the bitumen goes on.  Considering that one of the main reasons the road is getting sealed is to stop erosion it’s surprising that they think the grass is going to cope with the torrents of water that run down the street in storms.  I thought they would have installed some concrete spoon drains.  Who am I to question their logic.  At least something’s getting done.



Walking up my street today I noticed this beautiful old pine tree.  There are a few old pines along the cliffs here but this one has been cut back on one side over the years due to it being right next to the road.  The sea air has a beautiful ageing effect on trees.  I don’t know how old this tree is but it’s just opposite some heritsge mango trees which are over 100 years old.  I’m guessing it’s been there a while.





Of course Cutty didn’t miss any opportunity for an outdoor adventure. She loves being on the island.  It was pretty windy on the bay today and she sometimes likes to have a swim down at the boat ramp.



It was pretty busy at the ramp with all the council trucks coming and going so I took her down to the swimming beach instead and she had a paddle around for about 15 minutes. Terrible photo of Cutty but I was focusing on the scenery.



Another week has gone by and that’s an opportunity for the garden to make some food for me.  This garden is just a food production machine!  I picked out a bunch of vegetables when I got home and prepared them for the oven.  Each week I just cut up the vegetables I get from the garden and bake them in the oven.  How good is that, everything here is straight from my garden and I know exactly what’s gone onto them.  No pesticides or herbicides, just beautiful, all natural food.



I can then use them for lots of things over the weekend.  I make a vegetable pasta one night, roast vegetable toasted focaccia for lunch and if there is still some left over I’ll make something else with them.  

Once I’ve prepared them I put the scraps in a bowl and take them back out to the garden for compost.  I’ve separated the pumpkin seeds for planting into the back garden this time.



I love the whole organic cycle.  There is no plastic, cardboard or any waste.  Food can really be over complicated these days, but living like this I really wonder why it has to be. 

Remote office

I’m trying to progressively spend more time away from the office and work from the island. It’s not particularly convenient at the moment since I don’t have much in the way of a home office but I’ll see how it goes. I’m heading over to the island for the next few days.
I had to get some supplies in the morning which involved driving to the northern end of the bay. By lunch time Cutty needed a break and we stopped off at a little park on the bay.

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Days like today are too nice to be wasted sitting in an office.

Finally a weekend

The past few weeks have been pretty hectic with work and I haven’t managed to have a weekend away from the office until now.
The island is looking pretty neglected but a quick run around with the blower and some weeding made an instant improvement. The little cottage is looking like a work site.
The big mango tree was overhanging one of the Lilly Pilly trees and since mango trees drop a chemical that kills everything under them, I thought it best to prune it back.

Here is the mango after I introduced it to the chainsaw.

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I cut up a few of the branches to use as firewood in winter. That will sit down the back for 6 months to dry out.

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The back retaining wall is finished.

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Next job will be to plant some edging plants to soften the look of the wall and help retain the soil then figure out what I’ll do with that rear section.

The garden plot is progressing slowly. The holes are dug, posts cast and most of the sleepers are cast. Hopefully it will be finished next weekend as it’s just a matter of concreting the posts in the holes, lifting the sleepers into position and levelling the pad ready for some raised garden beds and pavers.

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The original hedge area is looking pretty good, albeit with a few gaps.

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I need to continue those liriopes along the edge so it acts as a retainer to keep mulch off the pebbles. It’s just such a big job to plant the whole length and I’d need about 500 plants. I may look into seeding my own and planting them progressively.

The high side is now planted and have started taking well even after just a few weeks.

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In my last post (below) I showed a pretty little climbing plant. Note the height of it on the third row of the trellis post frame. 3 weeks later and it’s gone quite a bit higher. Hopefully it keeps going right to the top.

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Cutty loves watching me work. She just picks a shady spot under the mango tree and relaxes.

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It’s about 30 degrees today and summer is just around the corner. Since last time I was here the mangoes are growing like crazy. Here is one of the little mangoes that fell off when I pruned the tree.

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Weekend-end

As usual my weekends on the island are over too soon. I didn’t end up doing much work and kicked back for an hour relaxing with a coffee. Cutty is always relaxed and she is quite at home on the sofa. I would happily swap lives with Cutty.

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As I was leaving I snapped a quick shot of the view from the top of my street. There’s a good breeze on the bay today and I’m missing being out on the water. I might start looking for another boat this week.

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Double trouble

I pulled up to the island barge today to head over to the island and as I got out to take Cutty for a quick walk some people said that there was a stray dog wandering around that looked exactly like Cutty. I brushed it off thinking that was pretty unlikely but sure enough as I walked over to the park there was a dog that looked exactly like Cutty, minus the white bits. He was pretty distressed and wouldn’t let anyone near him. He also appeared to be hungry as he was trying to eat some rubbish. I couldn’t get near him but as I walked back to the car he followed Cutty. When I opened the door and put Cutty in, he ran up to the car and jumped in. The people waiting for the barge said that they had seen him yesterday and was definitely lost. He didn’t have any tags but did have a collar and a harness. So it appeared to be fate that I was to look after this little dog and try to reunite him with his owner.

Cutty was happy to take the backseat and this is the little dog riding shotgun for the barge trip over to the island. I’ve called him “Boy”. I had to call him something.

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I did consider it might have been better to leave him in case his owner was looking for him, but I figured it was better for me to keep him secure and try to find the owner. I’ve called the Council and they have my details if anyone calls looking for him.

I wasn’t sure how he would go with me on the island and I thought I’d have to tie him up. Fortunately, he has immediately taken to Cutty and me. He had dinner, a good drink and a big run round the island with Cutty. These two get along like old mates.

The house is a disaster though with two muddy dogs running around.

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So I’ll look after him tonight and tomorrow afternoon when I head back to the mainland I hope to have been in contact with his owner. I think he is having a great little island adventure, but for now he is exhausted and fast asleep on the floor next to me.

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UPDATE

Owner located and Boy (aka Louie) has been reunited with his owner. I’ll miss that little fella.

Over to the island

This will probably be my last trip over to the island before Christmas. I’ve got a lot of work to do over here in the new year including building a house. One reason I’m building the expedition truck pod is so that I have accommodation onsite with a nice hot shower while I build my house.

Cutty loves it here. She finds a nice shady spot, a big stick and entertains herself while I work.

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I consider myself very lucky to have found a place that I feel at home. I love the feeling of being away from the city but I also have to be near the water. I have everything I want here and the natural beauty of this place is striking. The water is clear and full of sea life. It’s good to see that governments are actually taking some useful steps by declaring these areas protected marine parks.

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It’s now early afternoon and I’m done for the day. I’m heading back to the mainland to get ready for work. I miss being on the boat and will hopefully spend some time onboard over Christmas.

Goodbye my little island paradise.

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Saturday Morning

The weeks are going by so quickly and by the weekend I’m exhausted and drugged out of my brain. I’ve been dosed up on painkillers during the week to get me through work and Saturday is a welcome day of relaxing and sleeping in.
I took Cutty out for a run to the local Harley Dealer this morning. She is used to being around loud bikes.

Spot Cutt in the photo…

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