Saturday, January 30, 2010

Walking in the Garden


Garden Walk


Let's continue our walk
through the new coastal garden


Old dwarf date palms
form a sentry line at the lawn's edge
Phoenix Rubellini
are elegant palms


with beautiful notched trunks


but wear, 
at the base of the leaves
a nasty armour
of spines
which prick and poison
with a vengeance

I have been told
 that they were used to line Booby traps
in the Viet Nam war


watch your footing here
see the pink ribbon
don't trip on that buried metal stake


under the palms 
I have planted native Gingers


In my clearing 
I found this glossy graceful palm
which appears to be a cycad
remember those ancient plants 
from dinosaur days...
but a different cycad 
to the one I am familiar with

this one -
which the moths are also very familiar with
they lay their eggs in the leaf nest
and the larvae munch through the leaves
I don't like to spray
so I have left them to it...


the many old gardenias
that I found
gangley and metres tall
are now leafing up again
after a harsh prune


when I removed 
a blanketing maze of vine
from the old trees
I found a row of frangipani trees
which are deciduous here
once cleared of vine and watered
they put on a show


White and pink flowering varieties
coloured the gardens 

and dropped their ornamental blossoms
on the road beneath


the insidious vine
seemingly pretty and green
that covers my garden floor
and latches on any woody surface
to begin
its heavenward climb


along the road edge 
I found one of my most loved flowers
the agapanthus
so I have been filling in spaces and corners
with more pots of blue agapanthus
and lined the driveway with white ones


is a new fern to me
a native, it will grow in semi shade
to about two foot tall


One variety of Blechnum
has new fronds emerging in a brown tint
Unfortunately the caterpillars
love the tender new fronds
and strip them
I am hoping
they will tire of their over indulgence


The old palms
are patterned by lichens


and the glorious Australian tree fern
creates a lacy shade over the rockery
The tree fern produces millions of tiny spores 
which cover my tiled deck
with a carpet of fine dust...
A small price to pay...

I can hear the water 
lapping over the edge 
of the infinity pool
which suggests to me
that it is time we took a break
and had a dip to cool off...

Happy walking...


Monday, January 25, 2010

Friendly Neighbours


Our New Neighbours

When we first moved
into our new abode
we noticed an amiable old fellow
ambling up the road
at dusk one evening

a little wobbly
on his legs
the traffic stopped to allow him
to slowly mount the crest
taking numerous small stops
along the way.

We named him Grey Butt

This morning
while eating my muesli
in my nest
I noticed a movement
in the gum trees
across the road
and thought I recognised the neighbour

But if you look closely
at the markings
and colouration on his butt

you will see
that today's neighbour
is not Grey Butt
It's Speckled Butt

I think
I will just sit here a while
and enjoy the song of the ocean


Monday, January 18, 2010

Time for a Walk


Time for a Walk ...

It's high time we went for a walk
But as its 35C today
we'll make it an easy one

We'll go for a stroll
around my new home

If you walk up from the beach
I'll meet you at the entry gate

In the planter box,
below the screening
adjacent to the wall
I planted foxtail palms
with atrovirens,
a smaller feathery palm



as you came up the steps
you would have seen
the native lilly pillies
with colouful crotons


We could detour here
down the pavers
to the other apartment's pool area
but we won't

In the stair wells
we have a beautiful Solitaire Palm
surrounded by Raphis palms
beneath which I have yet
to fill in with Spathyphyllum


Here we are at our front entry


Where the friendly welcoming Buddha
has found his niche


Opposite the entry
is a terrace
where cool breezes blow
which cool us and also
dries laundry on my temporary lines

and the garden has spots for my
Bromeliad collection


which need to have their pups removed
and replanted


a good late summer job ahead


 Come down these steps
to my front garden
where I have been busy

with new plantings
and with some major pruning back

The previous home,
demolished for this building
was over 60 years old
and the tropical gardens
had become a jungle

fortunately the existing palms
have provided a wonderful skeleton
upon which to recreate gardens

Gardenia perfume wafts up to our living areas
from the many bushes and prostrate gardenias
I have planted in the rockery
and around the lawn edges

One of the many surprises
in the gardens
was to find this tree,
a crepe myrtle,
which flowered on Christmas day.
 I almost hacked it down
in my pruning frenzy

The blue behind the trees
is the waters of Laguna Bay
and the hinterland beyond

Let's take a break now,
have a cool fruit juice
and continue shortly
and I'll tell you more about the plants

in these tropical gardens...


Friday, January 15, 2010




home grown basil





Basil Pods


Basil Boat


cherry tomato

with olive oil,
speckled with
freshly ground


Basil betwixt
briny fetta

I am besotted


Monday, January 11, 2010



Partner of  Thoth,
whom I adopted as
God of Blogging

pronounced Ma aht
means Truth

the Egyptian Goddess
represented truth,
order, justice
and balance
It was Ma'at's task
to prevent the world
from falling into chaos

Ma'at also helped Ra,
the sun God,
steer his boat
across the sky each day
guiding his direction

Ma'at is depicted as a woman
with a white ostrich feather
on her head
She carries a sceptre
in one hand
and an ankh
in the other

In the Hall of Judgement
Ma' at weighs the hearts of the dead
against her feather
If the heart weighs heavier
it is thrown
to the crocodile headed Ammut
to devour
If the heart weighs lighter
than the feather
the soul may cross
into the kingdom of Osiris,
into paradise

Notice in the image above

on the right
recording his observations

Illustrations such as this
were common
in the Egyptian
Books of the Dead

The Book of the Dead
such as that of the Scribe Ani
written in 1240 BC,
which is called the Papyrus of Ani,
was a document
written for a particular person,
composed to assist the newly deceased
to negotiate the afterlife

These books included hymns
spells and instructions

It was common to also
include a list behaviours,
a code of ethics,
or commandments

sometimes called
Going Forth by Day

42 Negative Confessions from the Papyrus of Ani

1. I have not committed sin.
2. I have not committed robbery with violence.
3. I have not stolen.
4. I have not slain men and women.
5. I have not stolen grain.
6. I have not purloined offerings.
7. I have not stolen the property of the god.
8. I have not uttered lies.
9. I have not carried away food.
10. I have not uttered curses.
11. I have not committed adultery, I have not lain with men.
12. I have made none to weep.
13. I have not eaten the heart [i.e I have not grieved uselessly, or felt remorse].
14. I have not attacked any man.
15. I am not a man of deceit.
16. I have not stolen cultivated land.
17. I have not been an eavesdropper.
18. I have slandered [no man].
19. I have not been angry without just cause
20. I have not debauched the wife of any man.
21. I have not debauched the wife of any man.
22. I have not polluted myself.
23. I have terrorised none.
24. I have not transgressed [the Law].
25. I have not been wroth.
26. I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.
27. I have not blasphemed.
28. I am not a man of violence.
29. I am not a stirrer up of strife (or a disturber of the peace).
30. I have not acted (or judged) with undue haste.
31. I have not pried into matters.
32. I have not multiplied my words in speaking.
33. I have wronged none, I have done no evil.
34. I have not worked witchcraft against the King (or blasphemed against the King).
35. I have never stopped [the flow of] water.
36. I have never raised my voice (spoken arrogantly, or in anger).
37. I have not cursed (or blasphemed) God.
38. I have not acted with arrogance
39. I have not stolen the bread of the gods.
40. I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the Spirits of the dead.
41. I have not snatched away the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.
42. I have not slayed the cattle belonging to the god.

It is interesting to read
this code of conduct
which precedes
the 12 Commandments
of Moses
by over a thousand years,
and to see which values
we maintain
as important guides
in our lives today...

I like # 26