"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Grey water bed update

Firstly, a very warm welcome to two new followers - well, one is now official and that is Quinn from New England.  Her fascinating blog, Comptonia, often with wonderful photo's, can be found here.
The other new follower is Frans Smith, who doesn't seem to have a blog - please correct me if I'm wrong, Frans.

Welcome to both of you - and thank you for hitting the followers button.  I always reply to comments, but given our solar power limitations, especially when it's overcast, they may be a tad delayed.


RMan is currently watching his rugby, and I have purposely stayed off the laptop, and patiently waited the whole day so that I have the power to post this evening.  Not an easy feat, but I did it :)  (Honestly, I cheated and read a couple of blogs on RMan's iPhone, but it's not the same, and commenting is not the easiest.)

I thought I'd give you an update on our grey water pond.

You recall what it used to look like...
A work in progress...
... I think I took this pic on July / August last year.

Well, this is what it is looking like now...
The plants are thriving, and the birds, after
supping their fill of the sugar water,
retire to the pond plants to forage for
insects.  Can you spot the sunbird on the
I guess the homemade grey water filter that I installed in November is doing it's job, because those plants look very happy to me :)
My grey water filter basics  - if you want info on
how I made this, it is detailed here
But, there is one other benefit to our grey water pond, and that is what else it attracts.
Can you see what else is loving the grey water
We've hung the sugar water bottle in the "temporary" wattle tree next to the pond, and the birds love it.  "Temporary" as we have another tree growing next to the pond, but that will take a while to provide shade, and support for the bottle.  So the wattle stays, and when we remove it we'll chop it up so that it provides wood for our stove :)

It took me 6 months to find the right spot for the sugar water - the spot that the birds liked - but, judging from the numerous species which are drinking from it, it's a hit.  I have even found weavers plugging their thick beaks to the little spout - I have no idea how they manage to suck up the water.
This is a close up - and you can see the
weaver bird swallowing it's mouthful
of sugar water :)

Another one of the birds for whom the sugar water is intended are the brightly coloured sunbirds.
This sunbird was in full chirp as I took the photo
It's too cute to see them have their slurps, and then sit on the little perch and sing like crazy - I reckon they're calling their mates to the "watering hole".
A close up of the sunbird -
nature's combinations of colour
are totally breathtaking!
(Note the fly strips which have
successfully kept the ants away
from the water :)
Unfortunately, my Kodak camera is too basic to get proper close-ups, and thus I haven't any pics of all the other birds which frequent the bottle, but I am amazed at the different number of birds who use it.  Amazed and thrilled to be of assistance to these helpful little creatures :)


  1. A wonderful set up and end results! Love the wildlife enjoying the greenery and the sugar water bottle! Very nice.

    1. Mrs Mac - The birds are an added bonus at the grey water bed - love them :)

  2. What a great set up. You should be proud, it's just lovely! And I love that sugar water bottle!!

    1. 1st Man - Thanks. Actually, the bird bottle would be dead easy to do - all you need is a clean empty wine bottle, a drill press and a slow mo drill :)

  3. Wonderful job ! I was wondering how your set us is working.

  4. Jane - thanks :) Yeah, very happy with it.

  5. It's great to see how it's worked. Well done! We have a similar wattle that we've left for shade. Our main part of the yard needs all the shade it can get so we were very happy to have it pop up by itself!

    1. Linda - LOL yeah , ours are also self seeded. And we, too, need every spot of shade we can grab. Seems like we have very similar climate conditions :)

  6. I really appreciate your greywater update. That's something we're just in the beginning stages of planning. I can so relate about privacy and neighbors too.

    1. Leigh - I'm chuffed that my homemade system works so well - and trust me, if I can get it right, then anyone can LOL


Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day and removes the "loneliness' of sitting at my screen blogging supposedly to myself ;) I try and reply as quickly as possible so please forgive me if sometimes my response is delayed.