Sunday, January 16, 2011

In the garden this week...

I have been excited about my pumpkin vine this week. I had a patch of 'crazy' space in my front garden where the previous owners had piled lots of rubbish, including newspapers. My kids helped me clear it out and we dumped a big bag of potting mix there. It looked so good, and I had a packet of pumpkin seeds, so I decided to see if they would grow there, not really expecting anything to happen.

Well. The pumpkin vine seems to like the spot, gets enough rain and has somehow managed to attract bees. I was also worried as it was only producing male flowers but after much patience, it produced two female flowers. I self pollinated those just in case the bees missed them, but after I did that, the bees decided to show me who was better!

We had another visitor outside our back door yesterday afternoon. I guess she was trying to tell me that the back of my drinks fridge was a little dirty. This blue tongued lizard usually resides next to my front porch and likes to sun itself on the weeds growing there. I think she wanted to have a bit of a wander around to see if there were any slugs or snail hiding (thank goodness I haven't put any snail bait out for a little while).

She did scare the living daylights out of my daughter who happened to be riding around on her bike. My daughter stopped, the lizard hissed gently at her, and then scurried away behind the fridge. It didn't stay there long though, and I guess she was in a hurry to get back to familiar territory.

How do I know it was a she? Females have slightly wider heads, and tend to stay in the one place (e.g. on one property or has favourite places in one street). Males have pointier heads and like to wander about all over the place.

They're quite clever, and can become friendly quickly when there's food involved. I used to have a resident female sit and wait outside my back door every day for food (it was the middle of the drought - no snails or slugs). One day I wasn't quite fast enough, so she climbed up the screen door to make sure I knew she was there!

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