I have been house-bound, but that's almost welcome, as I am behind schedule on a Environmental Audit I am doing for a friend. So, I needed to spend time on the computer.
Lena is looking absolutely scruffy, but she's as happy as hell! She had just been out sniffing for Rabbits down in the horse paddock, but she is so short-sighted that she poses no risk to them at all. But at this point she was just running back up the hill, after happily, but futilely, following another scent trail. Its a Schnauzer's Duty, you know (keeping the rabbits in hiding, that is - at least - while she is out and about.) That leaves them 23 hours a day to go about their business.But it has been pretty good rain. In between heavy showers, the weather has been quite pleasant. At least not too cold (unlike last week). By the way, the birds have been loving the weather. The Rosellas do not seem to mind getting a bit wet. Blackbirds love the rain, as the worms and snails seem to come out early for them. So they have been trilling all day long. Yellow Robins were calling from the rainforest patch. Lewin Honeyeaters are still coming to the Melianthus major just below the house. I must admit the little birds - Finches, Wrens and Spinebills have not been so visible.
While I was doing that work, the weather closed in even more.Here are 3 Peonies which have been picked for several days, and in the cool weather are opening slowly, releasing their perfume into the house. Just as lovely to smell as they are to look at. I keep them in my bedroom, near the window, as that is the coolest place in the house, so they last longest that way.
At this stage of the season, and with this rain, I have been picking most of the Peonies at opening bud stage (once they go past just having a completely tight wrap of pink (or white) petals). To leave them any longer risks the flowers getting heavy with rain, and falling over. But apart from that the flowers are coping well with the weather. A few trial flowers which I have allowed to open fully in the wet weather have survived well. They're remarkably tough plants, despite appearances. But I still recommend picking them when at full bud stage, just as the petals start to open back. That way, you can watch them unfurl, and the expectation is even nicer.