Thursday, 13 October 2016

October 13, 2016

Two weeks ago, just after my last post, Steve and Michelle came to visit with their new baby boy.

And here is Marcus alone.

Then we had several days of cold and stormy weather, including wind, rain, and hail.  

Heather and I spent indoor time knitting and baking. But finally the weather cleared and we were able to get back outdoors, and the planting began again. 

Most of our flowers and vegetables are started in small planters early in the spring and they usually go into my room to sit in the sun by the sliding glass door and stay warm over the cold nights. 

Then when the danger of frost is past, they will be transplanted to the beds outside.

Sometimes full grown plants are passed along from someone else's garden or yard, and they go directly in the ground.  This happened with a kowhai tree (pronounced ko-f-eye) given to Heather and Mike by Simone and Kylie.  When I arrived, it was already in the ground and they were just hoping that it would survive the transplant.  It did not look great, with most of the leaves brown and falling off. But then one day Heather noticed that one of the flower pods was beginning to open, and in a few days it was covered with yellow blossoms.

The white birch trees, planted along the driveway, are all covered with leaves and seem to be doing well. We did have a small issue with a wild hare clipping some lower branches and chewing on the bark, but Heather mixed up some repellent and painted the trunks of all the new trees.  Since then, no new damage.

A friend of Heather and Mike has parked her van next to the Wee Mansion for safekeeping while she is traveling in Europe.  Mike starts it up every couple of weeks and opens the doors to air it out.  Jasmine takes this opportunity to settle down on a new and different perch!

Mike was preparing a venison roast for the slow cooker and Jimenez was treated to a large bone to chew on.  You would think he was never fed!

Jimenez is currently being treated for a blood parasite that made him quite ill. He is now doing much better, but it will take eight weeks of antibiotics to knock out the parasite.

Unfortunately, we have recently lost a chicken and a turkey.  The Giant Chicken died about two weeks ago, and Honkie, a large white female turkey, went to sleep last night and did not wake up this morning.  She was full grown when she was purchased in 2011, so she was probably around 7 or 8 years old.  When one of their animals dies, Mike and Heather bury it in the yard or garden and plant a tree or large bush over it.  Here are The Giant Chicken's and Honkie's resting places.

The Giant Chicken is buried under a small copper beach tree.

And Honkie is under a magnolia tree. Heather placed one of her tail feathers in the ground next to the tree.  This was a particularly hard loss for Heather.

I love the cloud formations in New Zealand.  They are just so different from what we see in the states.  My favorite is one I saw yesterday.  Heather says it is a lenticularis cloud, but I just call it a space ship cloud!

That's about it for now.  We still have to finish the garden beds and the raspberry patch, so I'll post more pictures when we get those done.

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