Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category

Cat Jail
27 August, 2016

$_20

OK, not our actual house but you know what I’m like with taking photos.  The enclosure we got is very similar, but it has marine carpeting to the base, also.  And an extra high shelf with ramp.  The tunnel to TGP’s window is shorter and there is a lockable cat flap.

I went with this mob because they coat the metal with something that’s said to be stronger than galvanising and meant to last 10 years plus.  As you know anything metal here usually rusts out in under 6 months and although I love Q’s Cat Max, I was concerned the fittings would crumble.

The good news is poor agoraphobic Flotsam can now venture out for a sunbathe.  The other good news is Dad paid for 2/3 of it.  Huzzah!

Snail Misbehavin’
6 October, 2011

Brave Florida resident, Alice, aged 11, confronts an invading Giant African Snail.

Flee, Floridans! Fire up your mobility scooters and wheely-walkers and flee at your own pace… the Giant African Snails are coming!

http://www.news.com.au/world/giant-alien-snails-spark-panic-mass-eradications-in-miami/story-e6frfkyi-1226158458802

Just kidding – they look more like this:

My favourite bit is when the snail gave Mrs Hernandez  a migraine and she had to have a lie down. Really, Mrs Hernandez – after one 13cm snail? I’d love to confront her with a paddock-full of slime mould or a nasty outbreak of feral armpit fungus and see what happens – spontaneous combustion is my working hypothesis.

But it’s not just snails invading Florida. They also have terrible problems with Gambian pouched rats, pink hibiscus mealybugs and Burmese pythons. I know it’s wrong, but that news just makes me want to crate up several thousand cane toads and ship them over to add a bit of hop to the mix.

Still, serious biosecurity issues demand a reasoned response. Stop panicking, Florida. I’ve got several solutions to your “crisis” and so far I’ve only had one cup of coffee:

  1. Slimearama  Start a snail-based takeaway franchise. Sauté in garlic and red wine,  and serve in their own shells. Tastier, healthier and better for the environment than McDeath.
  2. Snail racing  Florida is America’s retirement capital, and seniors appreciate a gentle tempo. Paint numbers on the side of their shells, raise State revenue by taking bets on the… erm, sliders, close off a few main roads and let them rip. Hell, you could start a whole snail racing carnival. Fascinator sales would skyrocket.
  3. Exploit the Food Chain  Feed the pink hibiscus mealybugs and giant African snails to the Gambian pouched rats. The plumped-up pouchies may then be offered to the Burmese pythons. Sated and bloated, the pythons should make easy targets. Skin the pythons and make orthopaedic shoes, or colostomy bag covers.

Florida, no need to thank me – just send me a pair of python slingbacks, size 8.

Valley of the Shadowy Pee
16 September, 2011

Steampunk Urinal: somebody is taking the piss

It seems that Brisbane’s favourite nightclub and random glassing by inebriated strangers precinct has a wee problem: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/you-wont-believe-where-some-people-go/story-e6freoof-122613822441

People are going out, going hard and then… well, just going wherever they feel like it. A Mr Mergard said the problem was so bad that “There is a toilet in which people urinate outside and people inside get urinated on.” Don’t worry too much about that one, Mr Mergard –  I think it’s in The Beat, and the patrons actually like it that way.

Other instances of public tinkling are non-consensual, however, and it’s a bigger problem than you might think. Up to 30 people a day are being fined under a Police public nuisance blitz. 30 a day? Makes you wonder how many caught-short scoff-laws are whizzing undetected.

Not to worry, though, I’ve come up with some workable solutions:

The Garden Bed 

Just pop bunches of these little beauties, in a circular formation, at regular intervals down the Brunswick street mall.  No need to weed!
Heritage Pissing
These are a personal favourite. Shame that ‘Monastery’ is now closed, but there are still a number of operational and converted churches in the Valley that would be enhanced by an open-air installation of gargoyle pissoirs. I’d also like to see several rows of them against the flats they built on the old Cathedral site, in memory of the Vatican pinching all the money raised for building on that block.
Go-Go Glowsticks
An idea derived by this charming invention for those caught short on the golf course. Just increase the volume and, erm, calibre of the average glowstick, include a screw-on lid, and voila! Rave on, hipsters.

My Chookyard: Colditz by the Coast?
5 June, 2011

Poultry facilities: Note adequate food and shelter. Water (not pictured) also clean and ample.

I have previously alluded;

https://madammorgana.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/garden-of-unearthly-delights/

to one of my chook’s remorseless attempts to burrow out of the yard.

Chooks aren’t noted for their sharp wit, or propensity for forward planning, or reasoning… actually, chooks are pretty much noted for egg-laying and being tasty seasoned, crumbed and fried.

But still,  I keep questioning the motivation of this chook. Known as “Briana” by her former owners, we call her “Rooster” since she moulted her tail feathers, grew in a new more impressive set practically overnight, beefed up her comb and then turned on “Tikka”, who used to rule the roost.

Inside the yard, there is food, water, shelter, congenial company and plenty of opportunity for scratching, sunning, dirt-bathing and pecking. In case you’re not up on poultry husbandry, that sums up the whole gamut of chook behaviour other than rooting – we don’t have a rooster.

In fact, my chookyard has got it all over a Malaysian immigration detention facility – the only bamboo canes used in my yard prop up the tarp.

Despite her freedom to live a life of luxury, troubled only by wondering how many bacon rinds might be in the kitchen scraps and when they’ll be tossed at her feet, Rooster insists on staging elaborate breakouts.

Chook tunnel: note the use of sticks as buttressing

Pictured is Rooster’s latest tunnel. Note the use of native sticks and garden debris as buttressing.

"Cover for me, you two. Look innocent while I go under the wall!"

Why, Rooster, why?

Is it because, now you’re a drag king, you share some men’s misapprehension that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?

Do you find it funny when the cry “Chook’s out again!” goes up, we corral the dog and all rush out to round you up again? Do chooks even have a sense of humour?

All I know is, if this keeps up, Rooster will get to experience the novel delights if being inverted in a killing cone… just before I slice off her ungrateful, tunnelling head.

Garden of Unearthly Delights
30 April, 2011

Bromeliad stir-fry

Okay, “Unearthly Delights” is gilding the bromeliad a bit, but with Aunt Irma due, all I really felt like doing today was snarling at anyone within a 100m radius and eating left-over Zombie Jesus chocolate.

This is a couple of Broms planted in an old wok that had Teflon dandruff, and the lid of our superceded Weber. The lime-green ground cover is Yellow Sedum or Cedum… the bloke I brought it from wasn’t sure. I like to think its “See’d Um” as in:

“Wow, look at that spectacular Chartreuse groundcover!”

“Yeah, I seed um.”

Charcoal Bat Plant

Bat Plant: up close & personal

This little beauty is a Bat Plant – the evil Goth cousin of the Madonna Lily. I’d like one as my funeral adornment, please. Just bung the whole old Weber on my biodegradable recycled cardboard box, then stick it back in front of the chookyard when we’re done.

You can see a wedge of Tikka’s arse in the first photo. Yep, she’s tunnelling her way to freedom again. Just call me Colonel Klink.