Life slowed to a crawl here as the mothership finally succumbed to the storms of sickness swirling around. And yet, there is still plenty to talk about. Before I ran aground and started getting cracks in the hull, I planted the nectarine tree. It is our first nectarine tree and is a variety called Theo Ching. I had various, changing ideas about where to plant it, and in the end swiftly chose to bung it beside the wall of the potting shed in the old compost area, aka The Jungle, former home of giant pumpkins and the tomato forest. It is fairly close to the wall so I will be pruning it rather specifically. It’s lucky it’s still alive, as The Little Fulla was very enthusiastic about both digging and charging his dump truck around. That is all the main fruit trees I have to plant for now, but I still have to plant three olive trees to border the end of the Vege Garden, the grape vine along the fence by the washing line and one young blueberry bush plus the old one in the garden that needs to be moved. All of these are awaiting structures to be built.

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The new Theo Ching nectarine tree. It still needs to be pruned but that’s a nice easy job. The feijoa tree on the other hand…
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I’m disappointed at how low the tree was planted in its planter bag. It won’t grow very well planted so far above the flare, where the biggest roots come out. It could have had heaps more roots by now. But I can see why it was planted so low: to hide the bend in the rootstock.

The Husband got out the chainsaw and took off the last large part of the apple tree to complete it’s major prune. I tried not to watch as heavy pieces came off one by one. All was going well until the last piece, which fell with a decidedly loud thud. The thud was the piece of tree landing on the chicks food box, which  will require a little fixing. The wire netting fence between The Corner and the Feijoa Pen will also need fixing. Don’t worry, the chicks and mumma Frodo were shut out of the way. I am pleased to have this big mission ticked off the list.

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The apple tree’s major structural pruning is complete. For this year anyway.

I have cut up all of the demolition wood sitting in the back carport for either disposal or firewood. Things that remain to be dealt with in the carport are big sections of plywood, corrugated iron, the rounds that were the garden edging in the Cedar Pen and bits of concrete and other randomness. Other than that, I have been making food for guests and soup for myself and not much else! However, enforced sitting down and ‘resting’ time means more knitting. Yes, I have actually still been knitting, just slowly.

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Slowly dealing with the carport mess. I can’t wait until all the fruit trees on the left leaf out in spring.

I have finished my Christmas stocking, so now our three knitted Christmas stockings can play happy families at Christmas. And I have photographic evidence to prove that I have actually produced three stockings this time. And we will pretend that I didn’t make a mistake in the ribbing that I couldn’t be bothered to go back and fix.

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My Christmas stocking.
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The Little Fulla’s and The Husband’s Christmas stockings.

I have also almost finished some wrist warmers for myself. I just need to sew two decorative buttons onto each one, which is a decision I am currently facing. I decided I needed brass coloured buttons, not because I’ve been reading a small child’s book about Peter Rabbit who had brass buttons on his coat, but because when I went through all the colour possibilities in my head, the thought of brass buttons with burgundy wrist warmers went “YES”. I actually found some buttons I really liked the look of in my small collection. But there were only two of them. No amount of wishful thinking made them multiply, so I had to look for an alternative. It turns out I quite like choosing buttons. And there are a lot of fascinating buttons out there. It also turns out there aren’t that many brass buttons that tickle my fancy. And thus, buttons were bought online from Etsy. And thus, I needed three different kinds of buttons to choose from in case the others didn’t look right. I think I know which ones I want to use now. I have begun my next knitting project, which is a hat for someone.

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Well, these can keep my hands warm for some of the winter…
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I like these buttons. Now I’m deciding which way to sew them on. The colours are rather off in the photos, the wrist warmers are a darker burgundy colour and the buttons are darker too.

After my last post, in which I stated that I was pretty sure that all the chicks were girls, I wondered why on earth I had said that. Let’s blame it on the sickness. I have had a niggling feeling that the black one could be a boy, as he has been slightly slower to feather up all along, but I think I kept suppressing it because I didn’t think I would be so fortunate, after losing his lovely father and so many of the chicks early on. I need a rooster! Anyway, now it is clear that there is definitely a boy in there. I have heard a little wee crow gurgle on more than one morning. Of course, I haven’t been able to see who was doing it and he only does it once each time. But I’m pretty sure it’s the black one. Or I should say very sure. He looks the most different and boy-like. Whatever they are, I’m stoked to have them. And I’m trying not to jump ahead and count how many weeks it could be until I could get fertilised eggs out of a young cockerel and beautiful, unrelated Annie… *cough* There is still the peak Mareks disease period to get through and making sure chickens I breed from are healthy and of good breed standards.

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Let’s work in percentages instead of words. I’m 95% sure that the blue chick on the left is a girl, 70% sure that the blue chick in the middle is a girl and 99% sure that the black chick is a boy.

Something I am far too excited about for my own good is the birthday present that I got for myself ‘from’ The Husband. I now have in my possession an egg incubator. Yes! It holds up to 49 chicken eggs. I’m not ready to try it out yet though, as I still need to acquire items to set up a brooder. I have just bought an independent hygrometer online to measure humidity in the incubator. After all that is sorted I can think about acquiring some fertile eggs for my first test run. ‘After’ being the key word.

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Hello, incubator!
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4 thoughts on “In Which Twiglet Actually Does Some Knitting

  1. Oh my! That poor apple tree! I have pruned apple and other fruit trees as long as I can remember, and no matter what, apple trees always look somewhat sad after pruning. (They are also the most resilient of the fruit trees to abuse and improper pruning.) Yours looks rather stout and vigorous. (The bark is relatively smooth.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, I feel kind of mean chopping so much off it. I had taken a few smaller branches off at earlier times, but ideally I should have taken more off sooner and spread out the drastic haircut. But there were structures in the way and other things to do. I am counting on some vigorous growth so I can choose a better shape for it. I sure hope it’s stout! The plum tree came back really strongly after its big haircut last year, but this apple tree isn’t in as good condition. The woolly apple aphids have been busy on it and the amount of shading it used to have didn’t do it any good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now that you are pruning it in winter, you really can cut off big pieces. This is the best time to do it, rather than cutting off big pieces while it is actively growing, or while the weather is warm. Apple trees are remarkably resilient.

        Liked by 1 person

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