A Touch of Frost

The mornings have been a mite colder of late.

Early Morning

I keep trying to get up and take a picture of the frost but haven’t succeeded as, to be honest, I would rather stay in my warm bed. Although I haven’t actually seen the frost on the ground, the few mornings that we have had one I have walk outside once the sun has hit the roof and heard the water dripping into the gutters as the frost melts, a welcome sound when it hasn’t rained for awhile.

Its interesting how the change in season/weather has changed our daily routine and our outlook on things. I have become rather obsessed with warmth and wood. Luckily we have a good wood supply from the neighbours across the way whom we periodically help out. Every couple of days I can be found behind the shed, chopping wood for an hour or so with my trusty helper picking up the split logs or playing in the dirt (whichever takes precedence, or his fancy, at the time).

The house is what people would describe as a cold house. By about 4pm I close the newly erected curtain to the sunroom, cover all the windows and shut up the house in the hope of preserving any of the suns heat that has built up through the day. Then the fire is lit for both heat and to cook on. On really cold nights when the temperature drops below about 2 degrees I get up through out the night to feed it, not unlike having a newborn (except that I fed my babies in bed whenever possible ;)). On cold mornings I work on getting the fire roaring as soon as we wake and we all wait until the light finally reaches over the mountain

The sun finally making it over the mountain

and spills into the sunroom, which heats up so quickly, thankfully!

We also made the decision to put extra insulation in the roof in an effort to increase the warmth in the house. The batts went in on Sunday. As usual our methods were slightly unconventional….

Without a ladder....

Thanks to my hard working partner we are already, with only part of the house done, noticing a temperature difference, particularly in the early morning hours.

The hard worker - tired, dusty and ready for a shower

My obsession with warmth hasn’t stopped with the house either. My tomatoes are now routinely wrapped up for bed each night

Tomatoes wrapped and ready for bed

and unwrapped in the morning in the hope of ripening in the warm sun. Although I must admit I am beginning to doubt I’ll get to taste many, if any, as the birds are regularly into them.

I have also started stacking bales of mulch hay in the chicken house in the hope of insulating it a little and keeping them laying through the colder months.

Mulch bales along with deep litter for insulation

I decided to try this after reading about Milkwood Permaculture’s Rawbale Chicken House. Of course I’m starting with an existing structure, but I am thinking about how I can improve upon that design. It seems to have worked too, as we had our first egg in months this morning 🙂

The cooler weather has also bought the wildlife closer to the house. The kangaroos,

Kangaroo and her joey

wallabies and potoroos now come within the house yard regularly during the daylight hourse searching out fresh grass shoots after we have mowed. The birdlife also seems a lot more prolific of late.

Crimson Rosellas in the early morning

I have noticed quite a few new species but am yet to sit and identify them. We have a large wildlife tree that sits outside the bathroom window.

Our 'wildlife' tree

It has a large termite nest in it and many of the birds perch on this magnificent tree throughout the day.

Kookaburras at first light

The kookaburras can be found there early in the morning waiting to welcome the sun with a rousing chorus. Throughout the day there are currawongs and cockatoos, various wrens and other yet to be identified birds as well as the ever present magpies and butcherbirds.

The colder weather and change of season has also made the place feel a little bit more like ours, because we are now experiencing another season in our new home and learning so much more about our new environment. It has also pushed us to try some new comfort foods that we had never tried before. This week we harvested rhubarb planted by the previous owners.

Freshly picked rhubarb!

I made an apple and rhubarb crumble.

Apple and Rhubarb Crumble

A first taste for all of us! Sim and I liked it but the kids, well, I think you can guess…..


3 thoughts on “A Touch of Frost

  1. My Mum used to make Apple and Rhubarb crumble too with the rhubarb from our garden….and (no joke….) she did it in her crown corning bakeware too!! Love reading your blog, we dream of doing it one day too xo

    • Lovely to hear from you Olivia.
      It’s funny you should mention the crown corning bakeware. I dropped a neighbour some food the other day and she said that it was terribly nostalgic eating a home cooked meal from the corning bakeware as it reminded her of her grandmother.

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