Thursday, March 29, 2012

Exotic Night Perfume

Queen of the Night Cactus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)

The slightly humid night air was filled with exotic perfume from the amazing Queen of the Night Cactus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) last night.  These spectacular flowers only last one night and are fully opened after 10:00 pm which is the best time for viewing.  On this occasion a dozen blooms were open and waiting to be enjoyed.  I expect to have another eight blooms out tonight. These are some of the photos taken last night as I savoured the perfume.

Queen of the Night Cactus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum)

Queen of the Night Cactus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) 

As dawn breaks next morning, the majestic flowers hang limp and exhausted as they wither away after their night of glory.

Also flowering in my garden last night and adding their own perfume to the night air were the Spathiphyllum Sensation (Giant Peace Lily) and the two Frangipani pictured below.

Tropical Frangipani

Pink Frangipani

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dog Anxiety and Fear

The use of heavy machinery including a roller and compactor during earthworks for the construction of a nearby carpark has brought fear to Dusty's previously peaceful life.  He is just so scared as my house shakes and the windows rattle, while the ground beneath it vibrates.  When he isn't trying to cling to me, he is trying to find somewhere safe to hide, including inside the wardrobe.  If I attempt to leave him home alone, he literally howls! 
Putting him on medication from the Vet was not an option that I wanted to pursue, so I searched the internet for alternatives.  The description of the Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Jacket seemed to tick all the boxes, but I was skeptical as to whether it would really work.  Luckily a friend knows someone who has had success with the Thundershirt, so I ordered that online and waited in anticipation for its arrival.
Also decided to order a soft crate/indoor kennel that he could use for a 'safe house' so he would have somewhere to hide.
By the time the Thundershirt arrived, the use of the heavy machinery had temporarily ceased, but I know there will be a lot more compaction to be done before the bitumen is laid and the job completed in about August.  I introduced Dusty to the new Thundershirt and as instructed, used it as a plate to give him one of the biscuits that came with it. Then I put it on him and it was very noticeable that he soon became much calmer.
Dusty wearing his new Thundershirt

About an hour later, one of my son's arrived and said "The dog is all drowsy", yes, he just wanted to curl up and sleep!  He slept soundly for a couple of hours and was so quiet that I even checked to see if he was still breathing. 
Then I removed his Thundershirt as I thought that was long enough for a first trial.  When another son arrived later, I put it on Dusty again and he quickly went back to sleep again.  It is good to have him calm again and the lull in the use of the heavy machinery has helped too, but the real test of the Thundershirt will come when the vibrations start again.
The soft crate/kennel arrived by parcel post and Dusty was very interested as I unpacked it -- he could barely wait for me to unzip the door so he could get inside.  Blue crates had sold out, so it had to be Red...
Dusty beside his new soft crate/indoor kennel

Dusty inside his 'safe house'

Only time will tell if these two remedies have solved the problem.  I hope so!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Up for an early start to load the big twin pram with catalogues ready for my letter box deliveries, but one tyre was as flat as a pancake!  Removed a spiky Caltrop Burr from the tyre, pumped it up in hope, but it didn't even last 2 minutes.  No choice but to use a smaller single pram, chose the stronger of the two I have and loaded up.  Although it has no brakes, it was OK today, but on a windy day it would be off with Mary Poppins! 
Dusty had to walk which slows me down as he likes to smell the grass and water the trees.... Put him in the pram as soon as there was room behind the load.
Dusty in the Navigator's Seat!

On a brighter note, it was lovely to see two Straw-necked Ibis searching for worms near the roadside. Haven't seen any of these large birds for some time now.
Two Straw-necked Ibis searching for worms.

You are invited to view my photo albums on ImageEvent where I have over 18,000 images that I have taken mainly in Western Australia.  Subjects include landscapes, scenery, wildflowers, nature, bird and animals, gardens and pets. These can be viewed at:-- 

Monday, March 19, 2012

First Attempt!

Today I decided to rise to a new challenge and join the craze by creating my own Blog! First it needed a name -- what shall I call it?  Rather than commit myself to doing daily postings, I settled for "Occasionally" which can be taken to mean "now and then" or "from time to time", etc.. This is the start of a new learning process..