Blueberry Picking in Ashurst

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Some of the local activities we got into:

  • Glow worms in the Pohongina Ranges (my first time too – they were really beautiful).
  • Blueberry Picking in Ashurst
  • Mike and Ashley went for a wild boar hunt, and were successful – they also got a deer and were very stoked with the result.  Those animals were brought back to our friends farm for processing.
  • Hanging out at the Esplanade in the city and along the river
  • The Fielding Market and Livestock sales
  • Mount Bruce – to see eels, kiwi, kaka and other beautiful native birds
  • A small cheese farm where we met a lady who won some impressive awards for her rare raw cheese (apparently a cheddar – but not called that because it’s not from the place called Cheddar).  Who knew cheese was so exclusive!

We thoroughly enjoyed spending these past 6 days with our friends and wish them the best time during this next leg of their journey through New Zealand.

We were very sad to see them go this morning, but know soon enough we’ll be in each others company again.

When bees swarm

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The other night Mike rushed out and caught a hive that was swarming.  He had a bee hive box ready and promptly brought the lot to our house.  He found a nice place for them and hoped that the queen was inside.  When we checked in the morning it looked like all was well.

Yesterday afternoon however, as I went out to hang some laundry to dry, there was a mass of bees frantically flying around the house.  They were moving so erratically that I stayed inside until they settled on the trunk of a tree in our driveway.

I’ve not been stung by a bee in a few years now (despite having spent plenty of time around native bees in Western Australia by the thousands) I learned early on – it is true if you stay calm you’ll be of no notice to them.  These images and video were taken only one foot away from the swarm.  Mike and his brother called the “bee doctor” (a relative) after work and got some advice before they collected the bees, conditioned the hive again and transplanted them back

Collecting them is quite simple.  In this case (we had a bee suit) the guys placed the hive back under the low hanging branch and gently pulled the swarm from the very top of it’s perch downward.  This causes the bees to fall en mass.  Which is actually a really cool thing to see happen.

So far this morning… all is well.  Hopefully soon they will start to tend their eggs and begin to gather pollen and nectar.

Spring has…exploded!

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Yesterday, little Mr. and I headed to great grandmas for some gardening.  There was a weedy patch that I cracked into for a while.  At the end we gathered some insanely colourful flowers for a bouquet and I thought they were beautiful enough for a photo…and then it struck me that something else might make them even more beautiful… haha.

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The colours erupting from the trees and earth this spring have been pretty spectacular.

Our little herb patch has nearly tripled in volume in the warmer weather, and I can only guess how many lbs of parsley I’ve had over the past few months.  It’s cranking out produce.  We are so thankful for the bounty this little space has already provided us, and hopefully when the flowers turn to seed shortly, I’ll be able to save a few and plant even more.  Fingers crossed the large garden beds are up and ready soon so we can also enjoy some home grown veggies.

Do you keep a veggie patch/herb garden?  Which types are your favourite to grow?

We’ve had a few spring visitors which include all the local dogs (thank god Tess is fixed!) and some hungry sheep with their wee lamb in tow.  Many of the paddocks around Palmerston are full to the brim of fat little lamb and calves.

The orchard facing our house was a mass of white and pink flowers a few weeks back – and looked absolutely stunning particularly in the later hours of the day when the soft sunlight shone from behind lighting everything in a really nice golden hue.

Anyway that’s me rambling on about how gorgeous it is here in New Zealand right now!

Till next time…

x

Holly