Our last visit to Kent Beach in Dover was not long after we moved to Tasmania and we were investigating local dog exercise areas... and discovered that in the main they are pretty uninspiring. This one is different. It is an absolutely beautiful spot, as you'll see in the photos below. The only challenge for people with more exuberant and easily distracted dogs and those who like to chase is that it is very close to a road. On Saturday we visited with a group of people and their pooches from the Huon Valley Dog Walking Association. Everyone played nice and enjoyed themselves. Even if a few owners did have to pursue their dogs as they headed towards Kent Beach Road.
This morning our social walking group walked up some forestry trails on Mount Tongatabu, south of Geeveston. At 573 metres, it's not a very high peak, but it can be seen clearly from the Huon River at Franklin: you can see it in this photo behind the remnants of this morning's fog lifting.
One of our walk leaders works at a local school and had asked a few people who live nearby if they knew how to get up to the summit. We drove along Hermons Road past the 'waste transfer station' (tip) before turning onto forestry roads. About half way up we parked the cars and walked from there. We didn't get all the way to the top, as it was quite overgrown in places, but I think it would be possible to reach it. It was a perfectly sunny day, about 30 degrees so warm for autumn.
I wondered how a mountain or hill in southern Tasmania came to be named after the main island of Tonga. Tasmanian place names expert Wayne Smith who appears regularly on ABC local radio wasn't sure who had named it or why, but it seems there are several places named Tongatabu/Tongataboo/Tongatapu around Tasmania so one of the early surveyors must have been keen on it. I had thought perhaps there was some link to Abel Tasman who did travel through Tonga on one of his voyages around the Pacific. But I'll stop speculating. There is probably someone living around here who can enlighten me!
These horrid little critters like inhabiting our two young pear trees towards the end of summer each year. The best (chemical free) way of getting rid of them is by picking them all off the leaves. It's not difficult, but not pleasant either. They have this sickly sweet smell... it will take a few goes to get them all, but better that than allow them to continue eating all the leaves. You can see below the damage they have done.
I ordered another dozen fertile Barnevelder chook eggs from a local breeder with the hope of hatching a second batch of chicks before summer is over, but received a message over the weekend saying that her hens had gone into an early moult and stopped laying. Apparently other local breeders are saying the same thing. So no more eggs for at least a month, by which time it is too cold in Tasmania to think about raising chicks. My own two Barnevelder hens stopped laying more than a week ago and the two black Australorp girls (see one of them below) have slowed down to just one egg every few days. It's usually due to weather patterns... but I'm not exactly sure what it is this year that has caused an early start to the annual moult.
In anticipation of collecting the dozen eggs from the breeder, I had also collected a kind donation of nine extra eggs from a friend down the road. Not wanting to waste them, I have set them in the incubator over the weekend and we now start the egg-turning routine again in the hope of boosting our little flock. We are down to only two eggs for eating and it looks like we will have to BUY eggs again soon. Shocking! But I guess the hens deserve a rest while they grow new feathers for winter. Meanwhile, the chicks hatched in January are now five weeks old and at the "ugly teenager" phase - weird bald heads with tiny combs emerging, long gangling legs and feathers sprouting all over. We'll transfer them from the garage to the outdoor chook tractor soon.
February normally marks the great zucchini glut as I have written about before... well this year, 'someone' (we know who you are) came up with the idea that everyone should bring a dressed up zucchini to the monthly movie night at the Palais Theatre in Franklin on Sunday. The judging took place during the half time supper break between the reels of film. Below is my favourite entry. It didn't win... an 'Elephant Man' themed zucchini with a paper bag over its head won, followed by the cleverly named Houdini Zucchini tied up in ropes. Last night's movie was an Aussie film called 15 Amore. Despite featuring some familiar faces, I had never heard of it before. It was a pleasant little film about life in wartime in regional Australia, but it must be said that the zucchini beauty contest was almost as entertaining. Oh dear.
I can't believe it is here - the end of February already. There was a tinge of autumn in the air this week, and the shadows are longer, but today was a perfect, sunny day. In the evening we took the dogs down for a walk and swim down at the river. I thought it was worth a few happy snaps.
Last night we stayed in Hobart, following the graduation dinner for the 2013 Tasmanian Leaders program. It was a very special night for the 24 of us who completed it last year, as well as for our partners, employers and the many fantastic people who support this program so generously with their time, expertise, experience and funding. We celebrated the end of the formal part of the program and the beginning of so much more with a dinner at the Henry Jones Art Hotel on Hobart's waterfront.
This afternoon I had to fly to Sydney for work. My flight wasn't until later in the day, but it was not worth driving home and back. I spent part of the day wandering Hobart, something I don't get to do often. It's amazing the things I noticed on foot that I had never seen see while driving. It is such a beautiful town. Today, the Sydney Morning Herald published this article: 'Twenty reasons to visit Hobart'. Go on. You know you want to.
Escaped Sydney in 2010 for Tasmania's beautiful Huon Valley. Fan of almost anything German (food, language, cars, beer), keen walker, remote worker, tree-changer, Bernese Mountain Dog owner, amateur linguist, incompetent gardener, chook fancier, childfree. I do love your comments, thanks for dropping by!