Tuesday, 24 December 2013

First Tomtit Sighting at Ratty's Landing

At 7:30 this morning Melva spotted a Tomtit in the Kanuka beside our deck. We had a good extended sighting at between 2 ~ 3 metres. It was a juvenile male. Wonderful. This is a first for us at Ratty's Landing.
At the same time we watched a family of fantails being fed by the parents.

Monday, 23 December 2013


Checked our bees today. The little ladies are working hard. Should have honey this season. It already tastes good.

Picking Blackberries

At Last!! We have berries.  Last year we could only pick about a cup full. Our blackberries just did not fruit.
Melva grading berries for muffins, jelly and buckles
Between Sunday and this morning we picked about 12.5 litres of the beautiful dark fruit.
We have two wild varieties here. One with white blossoms fruits over Christmas.  The other (Mauve blossoms) starts fruiting at the end of January. So in a good year we have blackberries from about the 20th December to the end of February.
We fill the freezer. Melva makes jetty, jam, muffins, buckles and deserts. One of the best is blackberry and rhubarb crumble. We get enough to last the year from our patch. If it is a good year that is. It really is a bit warm in the north for blackberries. They grow well but fruit can dry on the canes due to the heat.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Summer - Wonderful Summer

The Pohutukawa is in flower so Summer is here

We have eaten our first stalk of bananas. The whole stalk fell off the tree in a wind while still unripe. We ripened them on the deck in the sun and they were every bit as good as expected. We still have four more at various stages of readiness. The newest is just a shoot at the top of the tree.

We had a lovely Sunday evening. Melva cooked some sausages, we grabbed a bottle of wine, picked up some hot potato chips from the Ngunguru Takeaway, drove down to the Ngunguru School car park where there is a beautiful sand spit / estuary view and had our dinner there. It really is a lovely peaceful spot and easy to do.

We also found a pair of stick insects in the Kanuka by our deck. There used to be a lot but since sparrows arrive we hardly ever see them now.