My brother's 70th birthday gave us the impetus to organise a long overdue visit to the farm. As always, the drive down was a rural delight. Sadly, on this occasion, the lush green of this 'northern rivers' area of New South Wales is suffering from lack of rainfall just like so many other areas. The nearer we got to the farm, it was abundantly clear that the pre-Christmas thunderstorms had avoided them. Fingers crossed.
We broke the journey at Murwullimbah for a coffee break in their lovely Knox Park and its sculpture to the pioneer woodcutters.
The ibis kept us amused with their tooing and throwing as we sat.
On the R is what I believe to be the spoonbill mother. The whiter bird was either a chick, constantly annoying her for food or a male suitor. She took absolutely no notice.
Mt Warning, the peak the Gaitor Girls have summited and the peak the Hungry Hikers love to hate. It is quite a joke in the group. Four of us have climbed it on seperate occasions. I'm the only one who enjoyed it. Admittedly, Laurel did it to catch the sunrise and suffered from the speed of the ascent. She would like to do it again.
I have a wonderful view to look out on from the back of our home, but I am still a tad envious when I visit my brother, of his verandah views.
As we drove up to their driveway I noted that sunflowers were in bloom in their vegetable garden. Once all our greetings were made, my brother was prompted by me, to give a guided tour of all he had done since our last visit.
Walking out the side door - view up the hill and the forest of trees he planted 5 years ago.
Nearby, a quiet nook for the birds and somewhere to relax.
Paths through his rainforest, created over the past 20 years, led to the vegetable patch.
Spot the tables for our luncheon picnic.
Views from the veggie patch.
Note the milo and maize growing.
View back to rainforest and house - bananas and passionfruit growing.
And of course there were many snaps taken of the sunflowers.
This is a ripe head. Ian has begun to brush the flowerettes to reveal the seed.
Another head had been completely enjoyed by the birds.
A hybrid variety.
Their patterning is amazing.
Close up of the milo / sorghum.
Pineapples about to be harvested.
Also the grapes - delcious.
Their bushhouse is full of orchids.
Our lovely al fresco lunch.
We definitely need to find time to visit more often.
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