Sunday, November 29, 2009

*&%^&$ maggies

We now have fewer tadpoles than hatched out, we believe, although it's hard to tell because they dive to the bottom of their box and hide in muck. This is probably because our backyard magpie family have found them to be a quick and accessible protein source. We find them to be amusing little bumblefats which more or less blunder onto their food (frozen shredded lettuce) and into each other. Running Boy plans to build some sort of Frog Empire from generations to come.

I am extremely law-abiding and these were not "taken from the wild" (which is against the law in Victoria). We acquired them when we bought a pond plant to combat the riotous algae our fish werre struggling to swim through. I read somewhere that algae grows because the water doesn't have enough oxygen, and the solution is to get more below-the-surface pond plants. The algae is still flourishing because the plant had frogspawn attached and I didn't want bubby tads to become fishdinners. It's the truth, your Honour.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

In Which we are Interrupted by Greywater

We live in a house that is tatty and tired, but very conveniently located and on a relatively large block. It's our fourth renovation and fifth or sixth house in 17 years of marriage.

The occupants are me and my husband, The CFO; our kids Princess Pea (Big), Running Boy (Mid) and Cheekus Weekus (Small):

four fish; four guinea pigs:

Fred (our silkworm), about 64 tadpoles and several thousand slaters (mostly Armadillidium vulgare) The Weevil Who Lived In the Mandarin Tree has now vanished. So have the inchworms big and small - I think going in for show-and-tell on "Letter I" day was too much for them, even though they were duly returned to their grapefruit tree.

When we moved in, the garden was mostly thin tanbark at the front and ivy-and-junk-trees-right-on-the-fenceline at the back. All of this was effectively the only barrier, and the neighbour's large dog was an enthusiastic visitor, so before very long we had nice new high boundary fences. In turn this led to sowing lawns and planting things riotously as if we had spent the last three years in an inner-suburban terrace with a modernist architectural carspace as the only outdoor area.

Melbourne is still in 3A water restrictions . We soon found that riotous planting + 3a means putting a plug in the laundry sink, shoving the outlet pipe from the washing machine over the sink, keeping an ear out for sloshy water sounds and many frantic dashes with buckets. Luckily, there is a lot of laundry to be done. Unluckily, overflows are common. Maybe we should move the un-hung paintings and prints from the floor next to the laundry...?