Friday, 30 September 2016

September 30,2016

It's been a while since I last posted.  We've had about 5 days of clouds, wind, and rain off and on.  But we did manage to get some work done.

The planting of the 10 Japanese white birches (pictured in previous post) is complete, with posts in the ground and trees attached for support.  They arrived with bare roots and no leaves.  You can hardly see them in this picture.

But, they have already begun to sprout new growth.  Here is just one branch of one tree.

The trees that Mike cut down to make room for the birches are now fire wood, thanks to Mike's hard work!

Spring bulbs are coming up.  Daffodils are already open, 

and tulips are getting ready to bloom.

The fruit trees are in full bloom.

And some of the turkeys and chickens are getting broody.  Here is a turkey nest we found behind the wood shed.

Mike and Heather stumbled onto a fantastic sale at a local nursery and were able to buy (really a steal) 65 toetoe (pronounced toytoy) plants.  We have planted 30 of them so far. The remaining 25 will go along another fence line. 

Here are two of them and they now stand about 10-12 inches high.  The rocks around the base of the plants are to keep the chickens from digging them up!

This is one of my favorite plants in New Zealand.  The picture I found of the full grown plant is copyrighted so I can't post it.

There are also 15-20 flax plants waiting to be planted and that should happen sometime next week.  Colors vary from green to golden to brown.  We'll see what ours turn out to be when they are grown.  The pictures I found of the full grown plants are copyrighted so I can't post them.

The garden project that was going to happen a couple of weeks ago has been changed to this weekend.  I'll take lots of pictures as the work progresses.  I'm anxious to start planting the vegetables!!

And, next time I might have pictures of the raspberry patch!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

September 18, 2016

On Saturday morning, Mike was taking the tractor across the road to Sean's house to help him move some brush.  Heather decided to tag along!

They had only been gone a few minutes when Mike called to tell me there were four baby goats born just the night before.  I walked over and this is what I found!


The other mother goat had a swollen teat and Sean had taken it to a different pen to try to clear the blockage.  So Heather was comforting her "kids".

When I got back home, I found that one cat sleeping on my bed had become two cats sleeping on my bed!

Saturday afternoon, Mike took down three trees at the end of the driveway to clear that area for the white birches we were going to plant on Sunday.

And then he dug the ten holes to plant the trees.  Sunday morning, Heather and Mike planted all ten trees and I took the pictures!

The weather has turned cold again.  But when it warms up, we'll be planting spring flowering bulbs around the base of the trees.

That's it for now.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

September 15, 2016

Heather has just started another blanket for another friend who is expecting a baby.  This is the first 5 inches at the center of the blanket.  She is knitting it "in the round", so it will continue to get bigger and then, I guess, the corners will get squared off.  I'm not sure because I have never knitted this way.

This image has been removed at Heather's request!!

I'm concentrating on knitting booties, and I have completed TWO pair, so far.

Here are some pictures of the animals that keep us entertained!  First is the alpha male turkey showing his blue face, which he does when he is courting a female.  If she responds to him, his whole head and neck, which appear red here, will also turn blue.

Next is Jasmine, the female cat, who has taken over the corner of my bed as her napping and sleeping place.  So far she has not brought me any gifts, that is birds, mice, or baby rabbits.

Living around us in the neighborhood are cows, goats, sheep, alpacas, more chickens, and a pair of hairy pigs but I'm not sure what they are called.  I'll try to get some pictures to post later.

We started working in the garden yesterday.  The artichokes Heather saved, when the old garden was dismantled, have been transplanted from their buckets to their permanent place in the garden.

Mike bought a storage container for the "bits and pieces" he has lying about the place, and it was delivered yesterday.

And here is a picture for Terry.  A good shot of some of the trees we worked so hard on two years ago!!  And the gate leading into the paddock on the southeast corner of the property.

Now that the fencing is done, Heather has purchased some Japanese white birches to line part of the driveway.  Here is the 'before' picture of the driveway.  The trees will go along the fence line on the right hand side.

That's all for now, but we start building the garden beds on Saturday!!

Friday, 9 September 2016

September 10, 2016

Earlier this week, I finished weeding and fertilizing the Himalayan cypress trees that Terry and I planted in 2014 along the northern boundary of the property.  Most are growing well, but many are struggling. They are slow growers and the tallest ones have reached about 24 inches.  They were 8-10 inches when we planted them.  

But the pine trees planted in 2014 along the east and south boundaries are really amazing.  From 8-10 inches when planted, some have grown to 4 or 5 feet.  Here is a picture of Heather standing between two of the taller trees.

And here is Heather with one of the cypresses - still only about 2 feet tall.


Today was a good day to be outside, but the rest of the week was just miserable.  We had a HUGE storm coming up from the south, right off Antarctica.  We had winds 30 to 40 km per hour but the east, west, and south coasts were getting winds in excess of 75 km per hour.  Many areas lost power, but not us, thank goodness.  The storm went on for 48 hours, peppered with hail storms every 30 or 40 minutes.  We can see snow on the mountains and we heard reports that there was quite a bit of snow on the north island.

The poor chickens and turkeys ran for cover every time it hailed.  Fortunately, the hail was small and didn't do any damage.  Heather checked the fruit trees which had begun to blossom and found that most of the blossoms were gone.  Don't know if they will be bearing much fruit this year.

Today was spent fertilizing all the fruit trees in the garden and filling some of the holes the chickens have dug around the base of the trees.  They just love to dig for bugs!

Tomorrow we plan on planting some of the small trees (6-8 inches high) that Mike and Heather brought home in tiny containers from one of their trips two years ago.  The trees have survived in those little pots and are ready to be transplanted. 

The yard is now divided into paddocks, the orchard/chicken yard, the garden area, and the 'yard' which includes the house, the Wee Mansion, the pump shed, the wood shed, and the driveway.  We are going to be "landscaping" the yard with foundation plants and flowers.  But I think we have to set up the garden first.  We are looking at building the raised beds using pallets. This could be very interesting!!  I'll take lots of pictures as the new garden develops.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

September 4, 2016

I arrived safely in New Zealand yesterday, very tired from the long flight.  But I managed to stay awake until about 10:00 PM and had a good night of sleep.
I  got up around 6:30 this morning and caught this beautiful sunrise.

After breakfast, we had a visit from Bebe  She is one of only a few chickens that can get out of the new enclosure around the chicken area.  

And of course, Heather had to give her a treat!

Seven turkeys have joined the chickens in the enclosure.

I spent two hours this afternoon weeding around the little trees that Terry and I planted two years ago.  They are Himalayan cypresses and are very slow growing.  Surprisingly, all have survived despite being mostly overgrown with wild grasses.  We had a brief rain storm so I didn't get a picture, but will get one tomorrow.

Mike made dinner tonight and ended it with two deserts, an apple/peach crumble, and chocolate lava cakes topped with ice cream . . . YUM!!

Off to bed now.  Will post more soon.