Sunday, July 29, 2012

Big day in

This weekend followed a familiar pattern.  Often our weekends consist of one big day out then one big day in.  The big day in is usually spent gardening, catching up on household chores, reading and relaxing.  Big days out, well, more on them later.

This weekend's big day in was an especially satisfying one as it meant that all the books that have languished in our shed for the nine months since we moved in here could finally come into the house.  I have been hunting for some shelves for months and was about to admit defeat, head to Ikea and join the other 60 million Billy bookcase owners.  For various reasons, I find shopping in Mandurah often tricky and usually unsuccessful.

Anyway, what Mandurah lacks in other ways, it makes up for in op shops.  There are loads of them and they aren't the over-curated, over-priced and picked-over disappointments you find in the big cities.  These are your basic hit-and-miss, sometimes crusty, sometimes fabulous old-school op shops.  And the joy of living in a place where few people seem to share my taste is that when something I love turns up in an op shop it just ... sits there.

So it was with the great big mid-century design classic Ladderax shelving system I snapped up from a local op shop this week.  Way back here I wrote about how I dreamt of finding one of those, never really believing that I would.  But as "our Rach" would say, "It didn't happen overnight, but it did happen".

After setting them up and rearranging the library/study/Lego Pit/living room, we now have a different assortment of things in the big shed that we no longer have room for in the house: mid-century vases, Betsy my beloved cowhide orange slice chair, a Fler lounge suite, various small bookcases, quite a few books and perhaps even seven Tretchikoff prints - most of which I originally picked up at op shops. 

Looks like I may need to spend my next big day in having a garage sale.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fungi foray

Eventually the rain did stop and the sun came out.  We escaped from the great indoors and went for a walk in the great outdoors.  Here is what we saw.

Yes, it it fungi-time, or more accurately, fungi-fruiting-bodies-time.  Some were familiar and many were not.

A few showed evidence of having been nibbled on by the creatures we call "fancy rats", that is the weird and wonderful small mammals of Southwestern WA.

Everywhere we looked there were more.  I quite enjoy sorting my stinkhorns from my earthstars, or baskets from boletes, but this day I was well out of my depth so just enjoyed looking. 

My favourite one of the day wasn't on the ground but far above our heads.  That Pored Fungi was the size of a large dinner plate and the loveliest creamy yellow.

The greatest excitement of all though was in our own backyard.  I guess you can't expect to dump three truckloads of wood chips on the lawn without getting some serious fungal activity, but every day there seems to be some new thing erupting from the mulch.  Many of the fruiting bodies in our garden also show signs of being eaten which I hope means that our quenda is still in residence, even though I haven't seen it for a while.  I do see its odd little diggings in the soil often though.

Yesterday morning I went out into the backyard to do a spot of digging myself and spotted something repulsively fascinating.  It looked like someone had spent a tough night on the turps, then indulged in a dodgy curry, then left us a present.

This time I did go rushing for my fungi books and to various websites.  What we have is a slime mould.  They aren't actually fungi anymore; they got kicked out of the fungi kingdom!  My description wasn't too far off the mark as there is even a slime mould called a dog vomit slime mould.  Nice.  The wonders of the natural world never cease to amaze and amuse me.

If you enjoy a spot of fungi spotting then I can highly recommend Mandurah's Marlee Reserve.  Or come for a cup of tea at my house.