Sunset from Hill House, Mount Helen. February 2024

Monday, February 26, 2024

Wind, Fire and a little bit of Rain

This was the view of the sunset from Hugo's place, when I called in on Wednesday evening to feed him, ahead of Lindsey coming home later in the evening:

And this was the view on Thursday afternoon:

The fire was 40 or 50 km away, on the other side of Beaufort. To get to us, it would have had to make its way through Ballarat, so I wasn't particularly worried. But it was (and remains) a big fire which has generated a great deal of smoke. Fortunately, though, no embers, at least not around us. 

It's still smoky, but it is drizzling lightly in Mount Helen, which is clearing the air. It will, though, take more than drizzle to put the Beaufort fire out, despite the best efforts of the firefighters.

Hugo was supremely uninterested in fires, embers or danger:

I was bringing something in from the patio in the evening. As I came back inside, something hit me and fell to the floor. I looked down - and found a small frog. I do not require small frogs in the house. The cats would find it a lot of fun, the frog would not, and it would almost certainly not end well.  I managed to catch it and put it outside:

Then I saw a small Huntsman spider on the kitchen floor. I caught it and went to put it outside, tripped over a cat and dropped it. Not surprisingly, it was reluctant to be caught again and ran under the couch. Its current whereabouts are unknown but either it will make its own way outside or it will turn up again and I will try to re-capture it.

I am hugely pleased that it was a Huntsman spider and not a grumpy frog that I managed to drop on the lounge room floor. Trying to deal with a leaping frog in the house is not my idea of an ideal evening's entertainment.

Let us consider the question of home-grown potatoes. I emptied the small potato grow bins yesterday and the contents were very disappointing. Not that the potatoes were small because they weren't particularly. I had pulled them a little early but not that much and they were a reasonable size. But there were hardly any potatoes in either bin. I have decided not to bother with the grow bins again. I have had precisely no success with them over many years of trying. I am considering whether I have enough space to try growing some in one of the garden beds, or whether not to bother. We did well for potatoes in the ground in Tupton and at Hill House, so it might be worth a go, but I don't have a lot of space here and I do well for beans,  broad beans, peas, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet corn, silverbeet. Seed potatoes aren't cheap, and buying potatoes from local farmers isn't all that expensive. I shall ponder over the autumn and winter. 

Stella added an extra element of entertainment last night by somehow setting off her emergency alert on her phone or watch at around 11:30 or so. I have no idea how she managed to do that because as far as we can tell she was asleep at the time. Lindsey managed to get through to the care home and someone went to investigate. All was well, Stella was very confused by all the unexpected activity, and those of us who had already gone to bed were now awake and alert! There are far too many people on her emergency alert list. When I go in to see her I shall reduce the list to Lindsey and me. 

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