Wednesday, March 07, 2012

How to remove a tick

Sometimes even with frontline a tick will attach himself to my little dog... his nose is always sniffing in the long grass.

Today I discovered a simple technique to remove a tick from your dog without pulling it out. The tick will crawl out on it's own and you won't have to deal with 'did I get it all out?'. This sounds like a magic trick and you might even think it is, I did.

When you remove ticks using tweezers you get as close to the head of the tick as you can and pull straight out, it often leaves parts of the tick behind and that can be really bad and cause infections and other problems for your dog. Ticks seem to like areas near the eyes and ears, which could also leave marks and scars that wouldn't ever go away.

So how do you do it?
Rub the tick in a circular motion and pretend you're trying to make the tick dizzy. I generally stick with one direction, clockwise. It usually takes less than a minute, so if it's not working, make sure the body of the tick is moving around. Remember you can't get dizzy unless you're actually moving in a circle, quickly. I doubt the tick actually gets dizzy, but they sure don't like something about the movement and they crawl out on their own.

I used this technique only today and it worked a charm!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wonderful Lady beetles

Lady beetles are invaluable in your garden, especially if your are an organic gardener. And on that note if you don't use chemicals and insecticides in your garden you won't kill the Lady Beetles and the Spiders and you'll have less pests naturally.

Lady beetles as well as being beautiful little creatures are natural enemies of many insect pests, a single lady beetle may consume as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.

Lady beetle's have a hemispherical to oval body shape. The head is covered by a hood called the pronotum. They may be white, yellow, pink, orange, red or black, and usually have spots. These spots are a warning to other animals. like many of other brightly-colored insects, ladybugs are distasteful to predators. When disturbed, they may secrete an odorous, distasteful fluid out of their joints to discourage enemies.

Adult females usually lay their clusters of eggs in the vicinity of aphid, scale, or mealybug colonies. The alligator-like larvae are also predators. They are spiny and black with bright spots. Although they look dangerous, lady beetle larvae are quite harmless to humans. After feeding on insect prey for several weeks, the larva pupates on leaves. Adults tend to move on once pests get scarce, while the larvae remain and search for more prey.

Bad Lady beetles... these are the yellow ones with black spots. Often called Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle, you'll find them on your beans, peas and squash. They eat plants and not insects... but hey, don't kill them, I just pick them off and take them off to the bush (forest) or park, after all they have a right to exist like all life.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Plant a tree!

Trees are bloody marvelous things and without them our survival would not be possible.

They breath Carbon Dioxide, which we have way to much of and pump out Oxygen - which we need to live! But did you know we are losing over 2000 trees a minute in rain forests around the world - the worlds lungs are shriveling up at a alarming rate.

You can help! And you've heard it before... Planting a tree or a native bush can will go farther than you think. A single tree can provide enough oxygen for two people for the rest of their lives.

If you don't have a yard, you can always use a pot on deck or balcony... go ahead do it today and then encourage a friend to do the same... make a difference by doing a small thing.

Friday, October 14, 2011

We ARE truly blessed.

Photo of Christopher and myself. If you can hold someone's hand, hug them, make love, or even just touch them on the shoulder... You and I are truly blessed. Sometimes we forget how lucky we actually are... well I do anyway. These are just a few little facts that help me remember.
  1. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness... You are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
  2. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation..... You are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
  3. If you can attend a church or political meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death.... You are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
  4. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep.... You are richer than 75% of the world.
  5. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet and spare change in a dish someplace.... You are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy.
  6. If your parents are still alive and still married.... You are very rare.
  7. If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful.... You are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
  8. If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yule and Pagan Christmas

Oh what to do... Christmas is so commercialised and as for the religious bits, that just to involved to go into today. We have not really celebrated Christmas for a few years, it seemed hypocritical, considering my spiritual beliefs.

But I do feel passionate about universe and honoring nature for it's gifts, especially since as a human race we treat the planet like crap. So I've been looking into a Yule and a Pagan Celebration, that's an eye opener on how the church once again manipulated things for their own need to control people.... oh I'm getting on my soap box again... down boy.

So now I'm wondering how I celebrate a winter festival in the middle of summer - we tried doing it in the middle of the year, but it just doesn't feel right - I feel festive now, there are decorations going up, christmas parties to go to - oh what to do. May be I should look into the Summer Solstice and see what happens there, do some mix up thingie. Any suggestions are welcome.

Anyway the difficult thing is Yule is celebrated in Europe as the Winter Solstice. Here is some background from Tiffany a Blog that I'm reading at the moment, she seems pretty cool.

So Tiffany says Yule is the birthday of the new Sun King, the Son of God - by whatever name you choose to call him. On this darkest of nights, the Goddess becomes the Great Mother and once again gives birth. And it makes perfect poetic sense that on the longest night of the winter, 'the dark night of our souls', there springs the new spark of hope, the Sacred Fire, the Light of the World, the Coel Coeth.

Long before the world had heard of Jesus, Pagans had been observing the season by bringing in the Yule log, wishing on it, and lighting it from the remains of last year's log. Riddles were posed and answered, magic and rituals were practiced, wild boars were sacrificed and consumed along with large quantities of liquor, corn dollies were carried from house to house while carolling, and divinations were cast for the coming Spring.

Yule (from the Anglo-Saxon 'Yula', meaning 'wheel' of the year) is usually celebrated on the actual Winter Solstice, which may vary by a few days, though it usually occurs on or around December 21st. It is a Lesser Sabbat or Lower Holiday in the modern Pagan calendar, one of the four quarter-days of the year, but a very important one. Pagan customs are still enthusiastically followed. Once, the Yule log had been the center of the celebration. It was lighted on the eve of the solstice (it should light on the first try) and must be kept burning for twelve hours, for good luck. It should be made of ash. Later, the Yule log was replaced by the Yule tree but, instead of burning it, burning candles were placed on it.

Along with the evergreen, the holly and the ivy and the mistletoe were important plants of the season, all symbolizing fertility and everlasting life. Mistletoe was especially venerated by the Celtic Druids, who cut it with a golden sickle on the sixth night of the moon, and believed it to be an aphrodisiac. (Magically -- not medicinally! It's highly toxic!) But aphrodisiacs must have been the smallest part of the Yuletide menu in ancient times, as contemporary reports indicate that the tables fairly creaked under the strain of every type of good food. And drink! The most popular of which was the 'wassail cup' deriving its name from the Anglo-Saxon term 'waes hael' (be whole or hale).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Our Vegetable Garden

A tour of our Vegetable Garden in Blackheath Australia. We chat about everything Garden related. Check out our Organic Tomatoes Corn Potatoes Carrots. Oh and by the way it's only the still that's all crappy and low resolution... the video is fine.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The sadness of Sow Stalls

It's a very sad image... I know. Imagine what it's like for the poor pig at this Australian factory pig farm.

People often ask me why I don't eat meat. Well it's not because I don't like the taste, I do. But the fact is so much of the meat we eat comes for animals that have been raised and treated with cruelty and lack of any respect. These animals give up their lives for people, the least we can do is treat them with some dignity and kindness. Unfortunately with the introduction of large scale factory farming, companies don't think it's cost effective to do so.

Pigs are only one example. Sow stalls have already been outlawed in the United Kingdom and Sweden and they are being phased out in the European Union, Florida (USA) and New Zealand. I wonder why is Australia still allowing it? Do you want to eat pork or bacon that is produced is this way?

Here are some facts about Sow Stalls and the pigs that are kept in them.
  • Sow stalls are so small that pregnant pigs are not able to turn around or take more than one step forward or back
  • Stalls cause stereotypies,repetitive purposeless behaviour and a sign of suffering
  • Some studies have shown that over 90% of stall-housed sows exhibit stereotypic behaviour.
  • Pigs can spend up to half their time in stereotypic behaviour.
  • Stereotypies can result in physical damage or illness.
  • Sows in stalls may well be ‘clinically depressed’.
  • Stalls rate the lowest of all sow housing systems in terms of welfare.
  • It is widely accepted that sow welfare is better in alternative systems.
Find out more visit:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fit for fairies

So here are some photos of how the front garden is coming along. It used to be a dust bowl.... now it's fit for fairies.

Monday, November 19, 2007


ar•bor - a shady garden alcove with sides and a roof formed by trees or climbing plant trained over a wooden structure.

Christopher and I have been turning our front yard into a little forest and it's all coming along very nicely. Over the weekend we decided we needed a Arbor (Pergola) over the driveway... so off we went to see our mates at the hardware store and 6 hours later voila! I love building stuff... pretty good for X city boys.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Spring Garden

Well I've been a bit of a slacker, when it comes to blogging of late! I have a good reason though - I've been in our organic veggie garden, planting, digging and building. As a reward it's growing like a crazy thing, no, like two crazy things... here are a few pictures, garden video blog to come next week.

Main Picture: broccoli, kale, garlic, lettuce, endive, tomatoes, sweet peas, beetroot and chicory.
Bottom left: green house with potatoes in pots and new seedlings.
Bottom Middle: path leading to sheep and chicken paddock.
Bottom Right; More veggies.

Snow peas on the left, lettuce, lemon balm on bottom right, rocket in flower - middle, asparagus and parsley in the back ground next to pine.

Top left: raspberries
Top right: rabbit hutch, where Christopher keeps is little friends safe.
Bottom: looking down the yard.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The fastest tongs in the west

A short movie we made on a sunday afternoon with the family. Our first, so we still have much to learn. An old style western movie about two brothers in love with the same girl. Had heaps of fun. Includes some fun special effects done in final cut express - shot in the backyard.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Finally the Sun!

I know we need rain... but damn I'm happy to see the sunshine once again. This is my Friend Rosie and me at the local lookout!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Charlet the chicken

I took this photo of Charlet, one of our chickens... I'm very proud of it and her of course - she's a very good layer and quite beautiful I think. So I thought I'd share it with the planet... how cool is that... sharing with the planet in like 3 minutes.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Art School Comic

I was going through my book shelves and I came across an old assignment I did for art school... so I put it into comic form. It was supposed to be a kids story. Probably a bit on the edgy side for the little ones though... or not.

Click on the image for a larger version.