Monday, August 25, 2008
This is Long Beach a long flat beach near the entrance to Otago Harbour, it's apparently a very safe beach for swimming, it's also a known place for rock climbing. Being winter and a weekday the beach was deserted when we were there this afternoon. There was evidence of the high seas that we have had recently as there was much erosion on the edge of the dunes.
It was on this beach (I think) that a child found a large lump of ambergris washed up a few years back. Ambergris is an excretion of the stomach of sperm whales -it's highly prized and used in perfumery and can be worth big money. Unfortunately we didn't find any.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
There had been a frost that morning and it was still frosty in the shade when I got there, but the sun was shining and the light was wonderful. Apart from a couple of council workers pruning roses I was the only person there and it was very peaceful.
It's a fairly wild and untamed place with many trees and shrubs, it used to be even wilder but in the past twenty or so years much work has been done in tidying it and removing the vegetation which was damaging graves. Unfortunately there has been a lot of damage done by pests of the human variety -I wonder what satisfaction people get out of toppling and smashing headstones.
My favourite time to visit is in early summer when the old roses are in flower. Cemeteries and old roses are a perfect match. Roll on summer :-)
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The recipe for anyone interested
1.5 kg citrus fruit (I used a mixture of grapefruit, oranges and lemons
8 cups water
12 cups sugar
Wash fruit, cut finely or process in food processor, add water and boil until skin is soft.
Add sugar and dissolve, making sure all the sugar is dissolved before the mixture reaches boiling point again.
Boil until setting point is reached.
Bottle. (makes about 12 jars)
The mix of fruit should include either lemons or be cooked with a little citric or tartaric acid.
At this time of the year when citrus fruit is plentiful and cheap I often make a batch and freeze the pulp so in summer when I need to make a few jars all I have to do is add sugar to the melted pulp and cook till set.
Monday, August 11, 2008
One of the highlights of the bee season was the arrival of the new Queens. They would arrive by mail from somewhere up north in a package marked "Live Bees" each in their own little wooden box with sugar or something similar for food. I'm sure the post office handled these packages with great care! These queens, which had been bred for quietness and productivity were added to hives which were ailing or where the queen had died and added new blood to the colony.
Thursday, August 07, 2008
They are actually a variety of echium, I'm not sure of the exact botanical name but they are a fairly common sight in some areas here, growing in thickets and putting up statuesque blue flower stalks and later the seedheads you see in this photo.
It was sunny here today , the first really sunny and mild day for what feels like weeks and what a difference it made!
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
They are a far cry from the kiwifruit which my parents attempted to grow in Central Otago where growing fruit like this was very marginal in the first place due to the harsh winters. The plants grew on the inside north facing wall of an old roofless glasshouse, initially there was one vine which was a female and as you need a pollinator there were no fruit. A male was duly planted and we were finally able to harvest several small, tough, very acidic kiwifruit (which we knew as Chinese Gooseberries back then) depending on how frost free the season was of course.
The family farm has been sold but I am willing to bet that those Kiwi vines are still thriving and putting out a thicket of new growth every year and maybe even producing the occasional fruit.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
The photo started off as a perfectly nice macro of a yellow chrysanthemum but me being me, I can't leave things alone so after much fiddling with colours and curves and things and trying many textures this is what you get, with an added dictionary definition because I haven't done one for weeks.
After yesterdays welcome bit of blue sky and fleeting sunshine it's been grey here again although the rain has stayed away thank-goodness.
Friday, August 01, 2008
This was taken at the mouth of the estuary at Waldronville, a small seaside suburb just south of Dunedin. Waldronville is known for it's quirky street names, they are nearly all named after aircraft so you have a Friendship Drive, Vulcan Road, and a Vampire Road for example.
The beach is a long flat one and we walked north towards the rocky point that's Blackhead accompanied by the noise of gunfire!! The Dunedin pistol and smallbore rifle club is just over the dunes and it sounded like there was a running battle going on. The beach here is not suitable for swimming as there is a wastewater outfall but further north at the Blackhead end of the beach is popular with surfers.