My photo
I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Marching ants

'The ants went marching one by one.  Hurrah, hurrah.'

One by one, my fat aunt!
They only ever come in their billions!

They certainly look well organised.  See how they are all lined up?

Note to self:  ALWAYS carefully wash/wipe any spills or drips from the outside of jam jars.

I took the camera back to where I bought it yesterday and it will be fixed under warranty.  It is only about 5 months old...but I must admit it has had a good workout in that time.

So that is three things!  You know how things seem to happen in threes?  The first bad thing was my broken fork which, as you know, was replaced by the manufacturer.   The second thing was the water pump burning out.  I was right, it was expensive but the good news is that it is covered by insurance.  The third being the camera which is still under warranty.

In the meantime my dear, darling sister has lent me her camera.  She can never say no to me.  Being the youngest is ace...especially when you know how to milk it.

Anyway, I spent quite a while last night perusing the photo archives in an effort to find something to post about today.  

A couple of things struck me 
as I was looking through the photos. 

One was how everything has grown and changed in the last couple of months: goats, chicks and the veggie garden.  You don't always notice it when you see it everyday.

The second thought I had (yes, I am capable of more than one thought at a time) was that photos can be deceiving.  I always pay careful attention to what is in the background, crop photos and take lots of macro shots. Such carefully composed photos together with viewers' imaginations may create a false image of the place.

In fact, I think a couple of my visitors have been a bit disappointed. Well maybe not disappointed, perhaps surprised, that the reality of this place doesn't fit their impressions from the blog.  

One said, "Oh, the potager is quite small!"  I greeted another lot of visitors at the door to find that possibly only seconds before, the geriatric chihuahua had left a smelly calling card and one of the cats had thrown up on the front step.  When you have animals you roll with the turds...but I think they seemed a little perturbed (or perturded).  Likewise, the chickens looked soooo cute on the blog but they smelled.  We became used to the odour in the house (the geriatric chihuahua is a constant source of smells too) but visitors seemed a little surprised by the pong and I couldn't help but notice them recoiling a little with their hand automatically going to their noses.
Mind you, I was extremely glad to get them outside as soon as they didn't require artificial heat.

I suppose, because of the goats and the chickens people may assume that we have a fair bit of land...a farm even. Well it's only one third of an acre or a good sized house block in a street with other houses.  Most of the land is taken up with the ornamental front garden and the house.  Behind the house (outside of the property) is a wide strip of crown/public land and then the creek.  I take lots of photos out there but it isn't our land. 

I hope you will continue to read and enjoy the blog and not start examining every photo
with a jaundiced eye!

You are welcome to visit in person too...
but don't expect too much. 


  1. Hi Hazel, we have the same circumstance with our small block of 11 acres and everyone around us is 100+ acres. We look after our little block and borrow the views from our neighbours without the fencing/grazing issues. Our nearest house is almost 1km away...we like it like that!

    Great to see you are back on board armed with a camera!

    p.s. we also warn people not to expect too much as we live on a building site!

  2. Hazel, I get you big time on this post...I like to take nice photos too, but my garden is dry and messy and overgrown most of the I know sometimes size, and neatness are exagerated...
    But then, I think a messy garden is paradise too..........
    and poo, well I have free ranging rabbits, so a nugget or two , or three or four stuck on your foot is just common place around here!
    have a great day...x

  3. Oh, and ants....we live with them, they are part of our life...I cant make anything on my bench without sweeping them out of the way...darn things...
    Nothing I put down makes them go away, except for Winter time, then they will leave for a while...but come the warmer weather and they come back again for certain..

  4. Thats why I have only been taking photos of the veggies because the rest looks like a weed and general waste bomb has exploded in the garden!

    I didnt realise that you too are 1/3 of an acre! Goats AND chickens! hmm me thinks I can have my farm and eat it too...

    But I'd rather have ants than termites!

  5. Well credit to you Hazel that you can do so much with so little. I think your photo's are amazing. You give me so much inspiration. I only have a postage stamp of a garden but cram everything in all mixed up, so love messy, it's homely. Can't stand minimalistic homes or gardens, so clinical.

  6. We have just under an acre here.
    I too have had the ants get into all sorts of things and we always think we have everything covered but they find more things to get into.
    The poo is everywhere some from the cats (mostly) some from the dogs, some from the chickens (the coops are quite nasty smelling in the rain. I must say everything is a lot cleaner now that we have an "all cats outside" rule.
    I like to take nice pictures. I will get in all sorts of odd angles to do so. For instance, I have posted a couple picture of my upper garden but I sure do crop out the bathtub that sits beside it (I grew rice in it one year and will grow something else in it as soon as I figure out what).
    Anyway, I could give you lots of other examples. I don't invite people over who don't understand what a lot of work this all is and how some things it turns out--like smells and such--just aren't on the priority list.

  7. Ants...we have an army of them at our house. Had to throw out a big box of the boys' favourite treat breakfast cereal this morning as "we" left it open and out. They'd only had one serve from it. Oh well, back to weetbix and guess what - just like the boys, weetbix isn't the ants favourite cereal.

  8. Firstly - great ant shot. We had armies of ants through the kitchen in the weeks leading up to the Brisbane floods. They knew alright.

    I have to admit, I had pictured you on about 20 acres running down to a creek. Not to worry, I'll just re-arrange that mental image. My goodness, you fit a lot into that 1/3 of an acre. Well done - your garden vegies and chooks look great.

    I think it may have been the goats that gave the impression of bigger acreage. Have to say too - I just loved those snaps of the goats through the bathroom window. Classic.

  9. Oh Hazel, if I stepped away from my macro photos and took wide angle shots, you'd all run away screaming!

    I don't mind how much land you do or don't have, I like you and your goats and vegetables and lovely changing header photos :)

    And if you gave me some of that jam I wouldn't make snooty comments about the fusty smells :p

  10. Any hints for deterring ants besides wiping things properly? We have been inundated this year despite me looking for nest and sources and I so don't want to use poisons.

  11. You have a very kind and thoughtful sister!

  12. Yes Cookie, I certainly do! don't know what I would do without her.

    Ali, I like you too. You can have some jam even if you comment on the musty smells. I don't care what people think (much) I just think its funny.

    Rose...Ants hate talcum powder. We found that if you sprinkle it around they avoid it. Find the place they are coming in and douse it with talc. someone suggested wiping down with vinegar but I never got round to it. Mainly we just make sure there is nothing around for them to find. Containers and jars for all open packets etc.

  13. My theory is, people (especially visitors) gotta go with the flow. My garden is a mess (& probably comes across like that on my blog lol). Those ants look like they'd eat you out of house and home if they could. Keep up the great work Hazel, whats important is what you think.

  14. Good news on the camera, Hazel. You're presumably by now an expert on Consumer Rights...
    The business with the ants reminds me of my childhood in Malaya. We used to keep all groceries, especially sugar and jam, in cupboards with long legs that stood in saucers of water which acted as moats and stopped the ants getting in.

  15. Lots of catnip planted around the garden repels ants.

  16. We arrived to cat vomit and dog poo but left with 2 usually animal-shy children who gained in confidence and felt at ease with the dog,goats and chooks! It was fantastic.

    I enjoy your blog even more now having seen the reality as I can picture you, the cook, the "old chook" and your animal friends.


  17. OK, you chose to post a picture of the one and only thing in life that I fear more then death itself....


    I'm going to have nightmares now. I would of moved out the second I saw that in my house.


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