Friday, 21 March 2014

Gardens update

I don't have anything more to show from my felting yet, but I am steadily hand stitching away on one piece.  I am itching to find time to make some more, but our days seem to be filled with medical matters lately.  Bill's health is still an ongoing saga and he developed shingles last week on top of everything else.  They developed mainly on his forehead and around his eye and nose.  Thankfully there was a checkup scheduled with the opthalmologist, who took one look then immediately wrote a script for ointment to prevent the shingles from getting into his eye - which it didn't.  The GP wrote a script for the antiviral tablets which make such a difference if you get on to them quickly. Ten days later he no longer looks as if he has been in a massive punchup, but is left with neuralgia which can apparently last for ages.
I had time to take a few photos at the Botanic Gardens a few days ago

 Don't you just love this bat wing plant?  The flowering is fading now, but they have been looking spectacular.  I think the plant is native to one of the Central American countries
 The backscratcher gingers are flowering again

 I didn't think to take a photo (from quite a distance) of the very tall foxtail palms, native to Cape York in North Queensland and only rediscovered about 15 years ago.  Now they are in cultivation all round the place, but I think really grow far too tall for small private gardens.  The photo above is the flowering and below is the fruit - a very showy red.

This photo is looking across the lagoon to the areas which we planted last year.  Thankfully they are growing well and will hopefully soon hide the monstrosity which the Council foisted on us.  It is an amphi-theatre which opened last July and has only been used twice so far!  The Garden staff and Friends were very unhappy as most of the money had to come from the Gardens budget and that meant we had nothing left to build the education centre which we really wanted.  However, what is done is done, and next year there may be a very exciting event there - Opera Queensland is trying to bring an Opera in the Park event to Mackay.  It would be a free event and hopefully would awaken more interest in fine music so that people would perhaps be prepared to pay to see the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and suchlike playing in the Theatre.
I had better get off my hobby horse and get dinner - to the sound of very welcome rain.  Everything was getting quite dry again.

Friday, 7 March 2014

At last - something to show

At last I have had a chance to play a bit with the felting.

 These bits were fun to lay out using prefelts and then felt.  Now I need to stitch to bring out the relief.
 This is the stitching on the first piece I did - without using prefelts.
 My eyesight has really deteriorated and I found I had enormous difficulty seeing what I was machining, so there is nothing very elaborate there.  I cut the piece up and made it into specs cases and bookmarks - much more in my comfort zone!
Look what we have flowering in our back garden!  The Golden Penda (Xanthosteman) which we planted three years ago has finally put on this magnificent display.

 The close up shows the wonderful golden orbs
 and this one shows how they are a pale greeny yellow when the buds are coming out.
This tree is a native of the North Queensland tropics, but has been hybradised to grow as street trees.  They are planted all round Mackay and are making a really wonderful display.  The honeyeaters, large and small, love them.
I am not sure how much longer the flowers will last as we are forecast to have heavy rain for the next three days, as well as strong winds.  I just wish the rain would reach some of the droughted areas of Queensland - 80 % of the state is now officially drought declared, the highest percentage ever recorded.  We are dry here, but keep getting enough to keep us going.  Some of the areas in western Queensland have had virtually no rain for the last two years, which is really heartbreaking for them.  Life on the land can be pretty tough sometimes.