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Saturday, 15 June 2019 Dereel Images for 15 June 2019
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Trumped-up allegations
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

So for the second time in a few weeks, somebody has attacked oil tankers in the area round the Sea of Oman. Who is to blame? Iran, of course. Just ask Donald Trump. They even have videos to prove it. It seems that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard attached a limpet mine and then removed it again when it didn't explode.

Is this plausible? Why should Iran want to antagonize the USA further? If the images really show the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, why didn't they follow them back to where they came from? Why didn't they apprehend them? Why did the owner of the ship say that it was some kind of projectile? Why didn't the US soldiers who rescued some of the crew check for damage before leaving?

I'm involved with Quora, so I asked the question Who benefits from the current attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman, and how?. It didn't get many responses, but this one makes a lot of sense. As I suspected, it boils down to what Jawad Zarif calls “The B team”: Bibi, John “Weapons of Mass Destruction” Bolton and Mohammad bin Salman, none of whom I would trust further than I could throw them.

But no, though it makes no sense, Iran is to blame. I'm reminded of a section in the OED:

5. to trump up (trans.).
c. To get up or devise in an unscrupulous way; to forge, fabricate, invent.
1695 W. W. Novum Lumen Chirurg. Extinctum 64 His Pouder being..disgraced, he was obliged to trump up another Medicine to supply its Defect.
1726 C. D'Anvers Craftsman No. 3 (1727) 22 They..forewarn us to beware of impostures trumpt up in imitation of their approved remedies.
a1774 A. Tucker Light of Nature (1834) II. 328 Their very existence is mere hypothesis, trumped up to serve a turn.
1794 W. Godwin Caleb Williams III. xi. 191 If..those servants could trump up such accusations.
1809 B. H. Malkin tr. A. R. Le Sage Adventures Gil Blas II. iv. vii. 167 You have trumped up a cock and bull story.
1885 W. D. Howells Rise Silas Lapham viii She had not..courage to confess..why she had come, but trumped up an excuse.

Of course, Iran does have some part to play in this matter. It could be more conciliatory. But looking at the B team, it's not clear that that would help. It's time for the world to finally take a more neutral view and address these extremists.


Garden flowers in early winter
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Middle of the month, time for my monthly flower photos.

It's the beginning of winter, but there are some positive surprises, unfortunately also some negative ones. On the positive side, some of the native plants are looking very good. The Alyogyne huegelii that I planted in the spring, and which gradually developed over the summer, is now in full bloom:


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The Banksia integrifolia continues to flower (if that's the word). There must be 50 flowers in various stages of bloom:


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The Grevillea bronwenae that we bought two years ago has survived rather than flourished, but now it has new flowers:


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In that connection, it's worth noting two plants that, as I feared, have clearly died:


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The three plants are in a line, and I've been wondering whether there is something in the soil that caused the last two to die. Could be just be that, despite everything, there was just not enough water?

One discovery that suggests that is in the eastern garden:


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This particular Hebe is in full flower, while others are struggling:


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In addition an existing Leptospermum near the Hebe is also flowering, out of season:


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I think that there was a water leak near the flourishing Hebe, and it also caused the growth in the “lawn”, really the ground-cover like legume with the small yellow flowers that I've been trying to cultivate. They're also taking over the central garden bed; I think that they're the same:


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If I'm right, I'm going to have to apply even more water than I thought, and spend more time ensuring that there are no leaks in the dripper system.

Apart from the Grevillea Bronwenae, the one remaining ground cover Grevillea in the central bed is flowering happily:


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The other Hibiscus variants are doing relatively well. The Hibiscus syriacus near the house still has buds, but I don't think that they will flower:


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On the other hand, the “Uncle Max” Hibiscus rosa-sinensis has a nice bud that might still flower:


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The Paulownia kawakamii certainly did better this year. It still has a leaf, but in particular a number of buds:


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The Buddlejas to the south of the house are not looking good, though they're still (marginally) flowering:


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I think that this time it's a matter of fertilizer: the area is relatively moist.

The Clematis “General Sikorski” that nearly died continues to pick up. Here two months ago, last month and today:


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That doesn't seem to be much difference until you look at the dripper line for a scale. But it's now completely the wrong time of year for it. We'll see what happens in the spring.

One surprise was the Vietnamese mint (Daun laksa). It's flowering!


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I can't recall seeing that before. And more spring flowers are coming out, if somewhat slowly. Here an Iris:


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The roses are still carrying on, though it's clear that I need to pay more attention to pruning this winter:


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Construction in Harrisons Road?
Topic: general Link here

While walking the dogs, saw some excavation work in Harrisons Road:


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Nothing overly interesting, but it's very close to a property that we looked at nearly 6 years ago (the same day we first saw our present property), and which we found uninteresting. I wonder what they're planning to do there.


Sunday, 16 June 2019 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 16 June 2019
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Off to the market
Topic: general, animals, gardening Link here

Yvonne has been wanting to go to the Ballarat Market, which is only open on Sundays, mainly to buy Dutch food. I came along with potential interest in even more bulbs, which seem to be about the only kind of plant that grows reliably in our garden.

The place was almost deserted! In the past, both this hall and the road had stalls on either side:


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Bumped into Julie Donaghy while we were there, and she commented on how much was going on there. It seems that things were even more deserted a couple of weeks ago.

Yvonne found her Dutch food (mainly sweets) and also some dumplings („Knödel halb und halb“), despite my protests that we already had some. At least I got a promise from her that we would soon cook a Sauerbraten to use some of them.

No bulbs at all! But we did find some other plants: a Grevillea robusta, growing up to 30 m high and 20 m wide, an unspecified red-flowering grafted gum, hopefully Corymbia ficifolia, two Grevillea thelemanniana “Covergirl” which claim to be ground cover growing no more than 30 cm high, and two Grevillea olivacea x Grevillea preissii “Sea Spray”. Yvonne wants to plant the last in the spaces left by the dead Hebes, and I want to put the Grevillea thelemannianas in the north garden bed next to the existing Grevillea ground cover. The Grevillea robusta will need careful consideration, probably to the west of the house where we have space. And the Corymbia? It could fit somewhere in the front yard, but we'll have to check.

Also another Salvia microphylla (“Hot lips”), which will probably end up next to the current one, and a Agonis flexuosa “Westland's Burgandii” to satisfy Yvonne's love of interestingly coloured foliage. I have no idea where to put it.

We hadn't brought the dogs with us—Yvonne thought that they might not be allowed in—but that proves not to be the case:


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Diary entry for Sunday, 16 June 2019 Complete exposure details

 

I wonder what the image is intended to mean. “Dogs may urinate here”? “Dogs may not urinate here”?


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