I live in a truly beautiful place. As the last of the leaves fall it is time to admire the colour in the trees themselves. There is a tree in my street that is the purest white. There are quite a number of yellow trees too with some sort of fungi growing everywhere on their trunks and branches at this time of year. They glow in the late afternoon sun.
This photo shows the view from across the road. My house looks across cow paddocks towards the ocean, not that I can actually see water. But to the west there are row upon row of mountain ridges. It is so quiet and peaceful.
Yesterday was freezing cold but I took my camera along when I went for a walk with my dog Harry. It is an interesting experience taking photos with gloves on. Removing the gloves would have done no better however as I couldn't feel with bare fingertips. We were watched by Alpacas further down the road, unusually curious about us. Perhaps the lack of babies as usually they quickly move away when we walk past. I found some rather intriguing, read suspicious, looking mushrooms despite how late it is in the season and a bird's nest high in an apple tree that would have previously been hidden by leaves now fallen.
Today we went to the Farmers Market in Bowral, the main town in the Southern Highlands. Markets are really taking off in this area. It is a long weekend so tourists abound. I have never found Bowral to be so busy. We stocked up on sourdough bread, olive oil, cheese, cheese and more cheese. Returning home from the shopping we have just had a late lunch of, well rather predictably, cheese, olive oil and sourdough.
I met a man at the markets who teaches preserving with Mason jars. He gave me his number so I could enquire about the next class. This is very exciting. I requested a Fowler Vacola preserving kit a couple of Christmases ago so I could preserve the glut of seasonal vegies from the garden not understanding that it is not a suitable system for vegetables. I have instead preserved fruit bought in season as well as wild blackberries picked before the Council poisoned the vines. Never fear they will grow back, but it will take a few years. So I am excited about the possibility of this course. Homemade preserves are wonderful. Truly homespun. My husband wants to attend also as he has memories of preserved new potatoes and we certainly end up with plenty of those in the garden.
Howard has just announced that is 5 degrees outside and it is only 4.30pm. The fire is blazing as protection against a very cold night ahead. I am going to make lime cordial tonight. And in the morning a lemon cheesecake. I bought fromage blanc from Megan of Highlands Organics at the markets today who gave me a recipe to turn it into cheesecake. I have never, ever made cheesecake before. Cheesecake with cherries was my Nana's speciality, well apart from Parfaits that were good enough to fight over. My sister and I were absolutely devastated when we finally learnt that Nana used a packet mix for her cheesecakes (and dyed her hair). But still, they were her special dessert so I have never ventured into trying to make them. The time has come so tomorrow I will see if I can come close to hers (well the factory mix anyway) with my fromage blanc and home grown lemons.