"If I sit very still you will think I am a piece of bark".
This handsome lizard is sitting on the tension pole of our home fence line. I first noticed him/her while I was making a few mounds for my pumpkins and melons - but more of that later.
I started taking photos of this lizard from quite a distance, but s/he let me get very close. It obviously thought I thought I would think it a piece of wood. It's about 18 inches long. It's still sitting on the fence as I type.
Yesterday I also spotted a big goanna in the front yard. I have pasted a photo here from wikipedia - I didn't have time to take a photo of my visitor. They can get to 2 meters in length, but yesterday's lizard was probaby 1.5 mts.
The goanna was very interested in the nesting dirrijirris (willie wagtails). Thankfully for the dirrijirris, I startled the goanna and it headed off into the long grass while being swooped by a magpie, then headed up a tree. Note to self - goannas and chickens.... hmmm a problem on the horizon.
There is another lizard I have noticed around the house. One has take up sunbathing on the front steps. It is quite a robust spotted skink . Again I have no photo.
And now to pumpkin beds. I am rather hastily trying to get some vegetable beds made and veggies started. I am probably taking too many short cuts but I am desperate to get started. I hope there is some sensible method in my madness, although there may not be. I have never grown pumpkins before but I am guessing that they need a rich mix and need room to sprawl? And a bit of drainage to avoid that mildewy-ness that other cucurbits get?
Today I decided to convert a large 'waste' pile of prunnings, dried grass, lawn mover clippings and ash from the wood fire into pumpkin and melon beds.
I raked the dry material into three separate piles and topped the piles of dried matter with soil from the pile and lots of sheep poo. This is available in abundance in a deep layer under the shearing shed. I suspect I will never exhaust the supply - it's enough to make a gardeners heart sing.
I am hoping that with some time, these piles will make a nice home for pumpkins and melons - the pile and the poo making a good rich soil. The mound looks like a mini mallee fowl mounds so I am hoping that their method of incubating eggs will also result in great pumpkins.
I planted seeds that came to me from Bek - two different pumpkins - Buttercup and Australian Butter and a melon - Tigger. Thanks Bek! Let's see how they go. As pumpkins need a long season to mature and as Highfield is quite frosty, I will push these pumpkins as fast as I can once they are up, with liquid manure and nettle tea - plenty of nettle weeding to do.
Anyone got any pumpkin growing advice? And melons? And does anyone have any tips in keeping the chickens safe from goannas - they are so strong.