Category Archives: Lake Crackenback

The Snowy Mountains, Pygmy Possums and Bogong moths.

Canberra is not far away from the Snowy Mountains, and autumn is the perfect time to enjoy the mountain air, and do some walking.

Even the kangaroos have a slow start on these crisp mornings, and here are a few enjoying the morning sunshine on the Lake Crackenback golf course.

as we drive away a young kangaroo keeps an eye on us, as her joey is nearby..

In the morning we noticed a deer grazing nearby….this can only mean trouble….

We drove to Thredbo and took the chairlift up to the Kosciuszko walk, on a beautiful clear sunny morning.

Everywhere you look there are scattered rocks and sharp crags shaped by water and ice..

The lichen encrusted boulders give shelter to small mammals like the endangered Pygmy-possum.

This fascinating mouse-sized marsupial is capable of surviving for almost two weeks by  bringing their bodies down to low temperatures during times of extreme cold or heat.

Haley Bates has written an interesting article in The Conversation called:

Australian endangered species: Mountain Pygmy Possum

Conversation: Australian Endangered Species: Mountain Pygmy-possum by Hayley Bates

Bogong moths are also well known in this part of the world. During summer they fly from the heat of NSW and Queensland, to the cool mountain crevices.

photo from buzzle.com

Aboriginal people explored these mountains, and interpreted the landscape, and many of their beliefs and ceremonies were forged in these areas.

Many of the paths forged by Aboriginal people were in turn used by early European explorers such as the Polish explorer Paul Strzelecki who climbed the highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, and named it  after a Polish  patriot.

Over time the mountains and surrounds have become accessible to all, and explorers, graziers, scientists, surveyors, writers, and artists have all been captivated by the ”high country” as it is known.

I must admit, after many years of coming here with our family, the landscape of the high country draws me in too.

…but the path back to hot coffee is always welcome…

…and to think we packed our own lunch!

When we returned to Lake Crackenback we stumbled on a few wombat holes, unfortunately, not a wombat in sight…usually only seen at night…

but I have included a photo of a wombat in the snow….something I look forward to seeing one day…

NSW National Parks

I hope you are enjoying your place in the world, as much as I am enjoying mine!

Copyright: Geraldine Mackey All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn garlic planting at the Almond café…

Autumn has arrived in Australia, and here in Canberra we’ve had some lovely soaking rain and then crisp sunny days…

 

….the perfect combination to bring the cockatoos to our almond tree for the falling almonds, the kernels now soften by the rain.

The cockatoos are early risers, and so it is party time on our carport roof, where many of the almonds fall…

They pace about, checking on almonds, letting the rejects drop to the ground with a soft thud (just in case we are not up yet)

…..while they’re eating the almonds there is a lot of socialising, and sometimes even sharing…

Meanwhile Paul has added compost to one of our vegetable beds, ready to plant our garlic for the year.

We’ve always tried to avoid using garlic with pesticides, much of which is imported. Garlic is quite expensive to buy, and easy to grow, so we plant the garlic in early autumn …..at a time when we can leave it in the ground for 7-8 months.

Garlic likes good drainage, and some water and fertilizer occasionally, and it is the perfect low maintenance crop to have during winter and spring.

…this is our garlic harvested and drying in November last year. It is our best crop yet, and should be enough garlic to last us until the end of this year.

We have been growing garlic for three years, and every year we try out some new, organic garlic from local farmers. Last year we had a some cloves from Windellama Organics which we bought at the Farmer’s Markets in Canberra.

 

This year we are adding some garlic we bought from a farm near Lake Crackenback called Paddock Perfect

…we stopped off to buy some eggs on our way home from a weekend in the Snowy mountains..

This cute little stall was by the side of the highway…..you can pick your own herbs, or buy jam, eggs and garlic….

The sign says ”Please leave your payment in the honesty box provided below”

…and we did.

In a paddock nearby we could see the happy chooks.

They’ve got everything they need; shade, water, food and most importantly, space to move about. Needless to say, the eggs were delicious!

In the background there are some goats, perhaps used for goats milk or cheese.

Here is a flashback to our summer vegetable garden….this  young Crimson Rosella (changing colour from green to crimson) is caught red-handed sampling our tomatoes!

And all this time we thought a passing possum was the culprit!

By late summer…these lovely Crimson Rosellas have grown into their brilliant red and blue feathers….

…and I hope you have noticed that I’m doing my best to give equal opportunity to all local birds on this blog…

Autumn is a lovely season in Canberra, and I hope you are enjoying your season, wherever you may be in the world.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Crackenback, kangaroos, canoes and cool air..

Canberra is just a short drive away from the Snowy Mountains… the highest alpine wilderness in Australia.

The Lake Crackenback Resort, near Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, is the perfect cool summer place for us to celebrate our 39th wedding  anniversary….where did the time go?

On our early morning walk we saw this beguiling little kangaroo….she waited patiently while we took about five photos. Can you believe that pose?

Meanwhile we noticed her mother had taken the younger Joey and was waiting anxiously for the star to finish her photo shoot…parents the world over can recognise that anxious look (and blissfully unaware younger brother/sister)

Our young star seems to be saying…

”well, maybe  I will….. maybe I won’t”   (she must be a teenager!)

Phew, she’s hopped down to join her family.

Off to shoot the breeze on the golf course..

Australia is the driest continent on earth, and since the 19th century with expanding settlement and farming, there has been a critical need for irrigation, and a water supply to combat droughts.

The Snowy Mountains, with melting snow and flowing rivers, was ideal for hydro-electricity. Thus began, in 1949 one of the biggest post WW11 projects, the Snowy Mountains Scheme. This scheme changed the course of Australian history in many ways, and definitely deserves its own post, later this year.

In the meanwhile, I’m passing on the canoeing (easy for some)….. but we are ready to try out the excellent pizzas in the Alpine Larder.

Look at the wonderful soft grasses!

I was brought up in Africa, running through grasses trying not to attract snakes and bugs, so I’m a latecomer to how beautiful they look in a landscape like this.

There are fences and gates between the kangaroos and houses, but ….

I bet it is hard to keep all the animals and insects away from new plants..

I loved the use of stone and timber in the house below, for a split second I think how nice it would be to live here…

But…. we are happy just to be here.

So, a toast to our 39th Wedding anniversary, and to having the good fortune to be able to stay in the lovely Snowy Mountains.

…and looking out over this most precious and elusive resource in Australia…water.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey All Rights Reserved.