Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for September, 2013

Hi All,

When I saw that one of the topics for us to delve into was “Rivers” I smiled. The front gate of our property (Serendipity Farm) is just over the road from the river…

The view of the Tamar River from our deck

The view of the Tamar River from our deck

The road near our home

The road near our home

When I look out of the window I see the river. The Tamar River is part of our lives and our constant companion. It keeps the property cooler in summer and warmer in winter and allows us to grow plants on the property that would succumb to frost anywhere else. It is the culmination of the North Esk River and the South Esk River and is subject to some pretty wild tides at certain times of the day. Here are 2 of the smaller tributaries that flow into the North Esk River to eventually form the Tamar River…

DSCF5201

I bet there are trout here!

Liffey Falls

Liffey Falls

The river is salt water where we are but the South and North Esk are both freshwater and full of trout and eels. Where we live is a shark nursery and in summer the water is full of these jellyfish that flow in and out to sea on the tide…

The kind of jellyfish that the Chinese dry and eat. I am yet to attempt this...

The kind of jellyfish that the Chinese dry and eat. I am yet to attempt this…

The Batman Bridge spans the river from the West side (our side) to the East side and is the only way to cross the Tamar River outside of Launceston…

An early evening shot of The Batman Bridge

An early evening shot of The Batman Bridge

It took a long time to get used to riverbanks with black volcanic soil and smooth round pebbles. In Western Australia I was used to white sand and shells. This image shows some of the driftwood that we regularly see on the riverbanks as we walk the dogs it was taken directly opposite our front gate…

The river taken just opposite our gate

The river taken just opposite our gate

When my father died he left us Serendipity Farm and he also left Steve this small aluminium dinghy. Steve promptly ignored it for the first year that we were here but last year it was christened “The Mumbly Cumumbus” and set sail on the high seas regularly. Here are some photos that Steve took while he was out fish and pootling about on the river…

The good ship Mumbly Cumumbus on one of last summers voyages

The good ship Mumbly Cumumbus on one of last summers voyages

A Steve eye view of the world in the Mumbly Cumumbus

A Steve eye view of the world in the Mumbly Cumumbus

A small excursion up the river to Deviot our neighbouring town

A small excursion up the river to Deviot our neighbouring town

A lovely shot Steve took of Redwood Island, not far from Serendipity Farm

A lovely shot Steve took of Redwood Island, not far from Serendipity Farm

If you look VERY carefully to the right of the Auld Kirk Church in this photo you might be able to find our house...

If you look VERY carefully to the right of the Auld Kirk Church in this photo you might be able to find our house…

Steve and I are studying at the moment and part of our course involves learning how to manipulate images. Steve took a photo of a Serendipity Farm sunset taken towards the river and turned it into a Christmas Bauble…by the way…there are only 106 days left till Christmas 2013…

Pity this wasn't one of our assessments

Pity this wasn’t one of our assessments

Read Full Post »

It is only in appearance that time is a river. It is rather a vast landscape and it is the eye of the beholder that moves.
Thornton Wilder

While the river of life glides along smoothly, it remains the same river; only the landscape on either bank seems to change.
Max Muller

***

What lovely sentiments. Serendipity Farm is perched on a hillside that flows down into the Tamar river. Where we live, the river is salt water but further inland it’s freshwater. The locals in Sidmouth call themselves “The River Rats” and I guess Steve and I have a few more years to go before we get to swim with that esteemed pack but for now we don’t mind having to wear our water wings and tread water alongside. The first thing that I see when the sun comes up outside my kitchen window is the river. It’s become an integral part of Serendipity Farm life.

One of the small tributaries that flow together to form our river

One of the small tributaries that flow together to form our river

The river always has “just one more” picture left in it…I could photograph the river all day and still come up with more. The tides here are rapid and regular and you could set your watch by them. The river swirls and near the banks it forms little whirlpools that unhappy kayakers spend ages trying to get out of. The river has a sense of humour.

Swans on the river

Swans on the river

When we walk the dogs in the morning we are reminded constantly of just how lucky we are to be living in our neck of the woods. The river has become part of us now and we have developed a deep respect for it’s ebb and flow.

IMG_2637

Early evening river shot

***

Rivers…. hmmmm. All I (Sincerely, Emily) can say is that It is drier than dry here in South Texas. While there are some rivers flowing, they are very very low, most have dried up. But, not so long ago (4 years) our front and back yards were a river. When it rains here, Texas-style, it can come down inches at a time. The dry earth cannot soak it up and it runs off very fast. Things can get exciting around here.

River in our backyard (Sept 2009)

River in our backyard (Sept 2009)

***

I (Alexandra) love “wild” water– not white water, but rivers and steams in nature. One of my life’s biggest thrills was stepping into the Mississippi. Last week I swam in the Youghigheny (Yak-a-gainy) in southwestern Pennsylvania with my buddies Holly and “Corndog.”

Holly and Skye at the Youghiopyle River

youghiogheny falls

Skye at Brady's Run Dog Park

Are there any rivers in your area?

Read Full Post »

Hill Country

I mentioned in our Sunday post that I live in the Texas Hill Country. I am been looking through files of photos, and still can’t seem to come up with any “hill” photos!

I did find a nice photo of a “hill” of mulch.

A pile (I mean hill) of mulch in the background

A pile (I mean hill) of mulch in the background

I also managed to find a photo of the “hill” with wild flowers on it form this past spring. It really is a fake hill since it is man-made on the exit ramp off the highway. But is it pretty.013I don’t seem to have many photos of the landscape around me.  That doesn’t mean my head is constantly down. I continually look around me. I watch the birds and red hawk in the trees and sky. I watch the deer wander by (I am not too happy with the deer right now, but I still enjoy their beauty.)

Do you enjoy the landscape around you?

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

Read Full Post »

I visited Gettysburg last week; something I’ve always wanted to do. The battlefields are somber but oddly unhaunted. The cemetery, on the other hand is the most haunted place I’ve ever been. The Civil War graves are arranged in concentric rings in the the center of smaller graveyards from subsequent wars upon wars upon wars. You can practically see the Union and Confederate soldiers facing them and screaming in despair, that their sacrifice did not end it.

***

The dead in soft sweeps
Name upon name in the green
thousands and thousands

The named dead

All the unknown dead
Are waiting in the green grass
for God to name them

Illinois' unknown

Unknown, unknowing
the nameless lost ones lie in rings.
Who will mourn them now?

The unknown dead

Stone One forty three
Does your name still matter now?
The goddess knows youThe unknown dead-143

Read Full Post »

Hi All,

Before we moved to Tasmania and Serendipity Farm, we lived on the other side of the country in Western Australia. Western Australia is relatively flat, at least the lower south-west corner where we lived was. The closest thing that we came to anything impressive was Bluff Knoll, a try-hard mountain that was only considered a mountain because of the serious dearth of anything hilly anywhere near it to make it have to back up its claims. When we moved to Tasmania we discovered just how hilly it is here. This is a local rocky outcrop complete with waterfall…

A rocky Northern Tasmanian outcrop not too far from Cradle Mountain

A rocky Northern Tasmanian outcrop not too far from Cradle Mountain

Tasmania is almost entirely comprised of extinct volcanos and there are mountainous regions the length and breadth of this small state. One of the most beautiful is Cradle Mountain, a tourist drawcard and a very beautiful example of what nature can do when she is finished heaving the earth all over the place. Here are a few images my brother took on a past visit of Cradle Mountain. Steve and I haven’t been there yet but are planning a visit soon…

Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain

DSCF5223

Dove Lake at Cradle Mountain

This next image was taken at the top of Mt. Barrow by our (then) Diploma in Horticulture lecturer whose son Gene you can see in the photo between Steve and I. Nick had heard that my mother (also in the image) was coming to visit Tasmania and asked us all around to his home for lunch. We then drove to the top of Mt Barrow to show mum the view…

DSCF6323

Some hills are bigger than others. This “hill” doesn’t look all that big but apparently an Edmond Hillary wanabe has staked his claim to the top. This small pile of ex-fish farm netting is now forming the walls of a very large fully enclosed vegetable garden that we are working on at the moment to stop the native animals on Serendipity Farm from eating all of our hard work…

DSCF1239

Apparently this pile of ex fish farm netting has been claimed in the name of the queen…what the queen would want with it is anyone’s guess!

Apparently an Aussie invented the good old Hills Hoist and as an honorary “hill” I am going to share a few images of them with you…

Every young Aussie's rite of Hills Hoist passage...

Every young Aussie’s rite of Hills Hoist passage…

new no dig at Pens

The hills hoist where we used to live in Launceston with the vegetable garden that we created

This guy is Adam “Hill”. He’s an Aussie comedian and as you can see, he loves his mum…

Adam Hills, a man that knows who is holding the wooden spoon

Adam Hills, a man that knows who is holding the wooden spoon

The reward at the top of a very steep hill just around the corner from us is this little plant stall selling potted plants for $2 a pot. I get to walk Earl up the hill, I get exercise AND I get a plant…talk about incentive to climb a hill…

You just never know what this stall will have from one day to the next, its like the plant lottery

You just never know what this stall will have from one day to the next, its like the plant lottery

Here you can see a man dealing with his own “mountain” of work. When we first moved to Serendipity Farm it was a wasteland of weeds and Steve is in the process of cutting up some fallen timber before we both headed into this jungle to remove that infestation of overgrown honeysuckle…

DSCF6295

The jungle that was Serendipity Farm 2011

Lastly I would like to share something with you here that my regular bloggers would pay money to see. I spend quite a lot of time complaining about our local cyclist community. I have no problem with people who ride pushbikes, just the riders that wear lycra and use “cycling” as a way to elevate themselves socially…can’t STAND them! But if the truth be known…once in a past life, narf7 used to cycle 40km a day…in LYCRA! But I only wore the bike shorts because my brother gave them to me because my posterior was suffering incredibly on my narrow bike seat…it’s my story and I am sticking to it! This series of images was taken back in 1998 after I rode a 100km round trip and was decidedly tired…

Cold hard proof that I once rode a pushbike

Cold hard proof that I once rode a pushbike

So that’s my hilly post for NDIN. I hope you didn’t mind that I explored the connotations of “Hill” but it won’t be the first time that narf7 takes off on a tangent here ;).

Read Full Post »

Where every you live, you are surrounded by landscape. You can walk down the street, bike down the road, or drive to a neighboring town. As you do, the landscape changes around you. Hills tell amazing stories.

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”   Nelson Mandela

***

Since I (Sincerely, Emily) live in the Hill Country in Texas, you would think that I would have some great hill photos. Nope. My head (and camera) has been in the garden and the back yard too much I guess. I did get a great shot of what is under our hills here. Limestone. Solid limestone. So when I want to plant a tree, I ask my husband to dig a hole. Not an easy task and it involves a 40 lb tamping bar. Now you know why. Limestone! Hills 2I also took a photo standing in the doctors parking lot, at the top of one of the hills. There is a really nice view out over the other hills from there.
Hills 1***

I narf7 (theroadtoserendipity) live in Tasmania and as Tasmania is entirely comprised of extinct volcano’s so you can bet your bottom dollar that we would be able to find a hill somewhere around. Serendipity Farm is perched precariously on the side of a hill and over the last few months the hill has done its level best to flush us into the sea. We have been having some torrential downpours over our winter season and despite the gushing water’s best efforts to erode us away, we are still clinging tenaciously to the side of our hillside. I would like to share a couple of photos that my brother took when he was visiting Tasmania a few years ago. The first one is of Cradle Mountain, a must-see place for tourists to go when they find themselves deposited in our little far flung neck of the woods

DSCF5219The second image is of Cataract Gorge in the middle of Launceston City. An amazing photo opportunity for tourists and they don’t even have to hire a car to get there :).

DSCF5117When we lived in Western Australia we lived in limestone country but now we live in Tassie it’s volcanic rock and acidic soils all round. We might have the exact opposite on the pH spectrum from Emily (above) but we have the same problem whenever we want to dig a hole. We love living on our little serendipitous hill and wouldn’t swap it for “quids”.

***

The verse says “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” I’m (Alexandra) a flatlander– the prairie landscape speaks to me. But, oh, hills.13- Millville house and garden 10- Lower Lawrenceville***

Do you enjoy the hills in the landscape around you?

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts

%d bloggers like this: