Sunday, September 21, 2014

Up a country lane

When we first moved here, I started exploring our immediate area on foot. I would drive to the start of a road leading up from the Huon River, park at the bottom, and walk to the top of the road. Just to see what was up there, and the view of course. I haven't done that in a while, so today I walked up Castle Forbes Road, then Harwood Road and down Fourfoot Road to Geeveston, where I got on the Tassielink bus back to the car at Castle Forbes Bay.

As I climbed higher, I noticed a familiar smell in the air... leatherwood! The leatherwood trees are in flower - you can see one in the picture above. "I hope the bees are busy making honey," I thought, then looked up to my left and saw a collection of white hive boxes on the hillside. I love leatherwood honey.

It was a lovely walk on a sunny day, with the rivulet running alongside for much of the way and something new around every corner. Chooks, cows, birds, blossoms... and two NBN satellite dishes at the top.

The bus driver told me he used to live near the top of that hill as a kid and had to walk that way to school every day. Hmm... nice walk for me, but perhaps not one he ever wants to do again.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Jane Franklin Memorial Museum opens

It was entirely fitting that Mrs Frances Underwood, wife of the late Governor of Tasmania Peter Underwood (beautiful tribute to him here), officially opened the Jane Franklin Memorial Museum and Gallery in Franklin today. In her speech, she drew comparisons and contrasts between Lady Jane's experiences as wife of Tasmania's Governor Sir John Franklin, and her own experience in that same role over recent years.

Vice president of the history group, Alan Cato, gave a lovely speech about Franklin and the importance of its past to its future. Dr Alison Alexander, author of the book 'The Ambitions of Jane Franklin', arrived in period dress and also said a few words about the determined Lady Franklin, who purchased land to establish the settlement of Franklin. A beautiful piano that belonged to Lady Jane stands proudly in the corner. Another clever history group member Jane Walduck has made a reproduction dress of Jane Franklin's from a photograph.

The museum is located in the former St. John's church hall, purchased a few years ago by fifth generation apple grower Naomie Clark-Port. Indeed her ancestor John Clark is credited with building the hall in the first place. Naomie is also the joint owner of Frank's Cider, named after her grandfather Frank Clark. The museum and gallery space is shared with a soon-to-be-opened cider bar and cafe. I am looking forward to enjoying a Frank's Cider there and taking a slower look around the museum soon. It features history of the apple industry, the Franklin waterfront, reclamation, egg island canal, local families, war history and much more to come.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Do the rooster

There's a new dance craze going down in the hills of Franklin, demonstrated here by Sebastian:


Go on boys, you know you want to... do the rooster! Point your wings at the ground, kick up your spurs and shuffle in a circle, fast. Twice if you're game. It's a hit with the ladies.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Field of lambs

There is a paddock on the road between Huonville and Ranelagh (we drive past it regularly on our way out to the Summer Kitchen Bakery) that we call the 'field of lambs'. Each spring, it is dotted with ewes and their tiny lambs. So adorable.

Springtime has hit the Huon Valley and there are now 'fields of lambs' everywhere. This one in a former orchard on the banks of the Huon River contains beautiful black-faced sheep and their tiny offspring in amongst the old and dead apple trees. The sight just makes me say "awww" every time I drive past.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A preview of summer

The last two weeks in Tasmania have been absolutely stunning. Sunny and warm. Clear starry nights. The trees have been tricked into sprouting buds and blossoming. The daffodils have popped up. We've been spending evenings outdoors, cider or beer or tea in hand, playing with the dogs, pottering around in the garden, admiring the colours as the sun goes down. All the while, it was technically still winter.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thank you, ladies

It's once again the season of eggs for breakfast, quiche and cakes.

Meanwhile, Sebastian is growing up and taking his manly duties very seriously indeed. He is leading his flock of nine hens around the place with a new found air of authority. He is charging about the place, ever vigilant against threats, both real and imaginary. Calling the hens to bits of food he has found, both real and imaginary. And generally making a real pest of himself with the ladies.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Cartela arrives

Today a very special guest arrived in Franklin, on the last section of her journey from Hobart. The Cartela is a 100+ year old steam ferry, the oldest continuously licensed ferry in Australia. She needs significant restoration work. And where better to access those skills than here in Franklin, where love of wooden boats of all shapes and sizes runs deep.

One friend we spoke to remembered going on 'booze cruises' on the Cartela in his youth. Also present in the crowd waiting to greet her today were one man who had worked on her as a skipper and deckhand for some years, and another who cut the tree for her current mast. What an amazing piece of history. She looked wonderful sailing up the Huon River on the TV news tonight. Once berthed, we were allowed on board for a look around. She even has a resident parrot, a.k.a. Trevor the chief engineer. Follow the Cartela's journey back to health here on Facebook.