Dry Spring on Stewart Island

Dry Spring Since we put the new water tank in place….. and pumped it full from our existing storage we’ve had very little rain. So much so that Iris has been watering her new vegetable plantings for several days after sowing. Most unusual, especially this time of year. A wry comment on our normal rain fall…

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Dunedin Spring

Great Winter…. Better Spring After a fantastic winter, we are now experiencing a glorious Dunedin Spring. The Azaleas look particularly beautiful this year, the Daffodils have come out and the Tulips are also now emerging. There is so much work to do in the house and garden at this time of year and I have been spending…

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Greetings from Glorious Franz Josef Glacier.

Spring WELCOME to Spring in New Zealand. The changeable landscape is changing again and we are inspired by this Haiku composed by Lynne Hopkinson, Mount Hope, Ontario (Canada). Lynne explored NZ in springtime 2012 and has graciously shared her Haiku with her hosts and now with all of you. winter slowly passed  the land of…

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Spring Has Sprung at the top of the South Island

Enjoying our Town Jeanne and I are just back from a leisurely walk down to the waterfront for a coffee, then along the Queen Charlotte Sound foreshore. Picton Winter weather has been very kind to us, with the firewood shed still over half full. The first few days of the Spring season have given us…

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Last Day of Winter

Spring Tomorrow The weather recently has been stunning, more like summer than winter. Our ground temperature is currently 12.1 deg C, over 2 deg higher than this time last year. So Iris planted 3 rows of potatoes over a week ago, and today planted carrots, parsnips and radishes.  Iris’s diar tells us she is about…

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Sails Ashore Winter Garden & Birds

Grey Warblers Grey Warblers are quite common around the village and on Ulva, but for me at least very hard to find. They are enthusiastic songsters, but visually drab secretive little birds who never seem to sit still and also prefer the higher canopy. So enormously difficult to photograph. Around the village where we don’t…

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Winter Sunrises, What’s in a Name, Venison Recipe

Just Winter Things Winter can be a depressing time of year, short days, colder, and often extended grey bleak periods. But we do also get those wonderful clear calm sunny days that make such a difference. And one of the really neat things winter gives us is marvellous sunrises. Well we get great sunrises throughout…

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Clearview Lodge, Harvest Season

 Clearview Lodge Autumn Harvest The Grapes Autumn has been a busy time at Clearview Lodge this season. In April, after a marvellous sunny warm summer, we harvested our Pinot Noir. We are currently drinking our 2011 and 2012 Pinot Noirs and for something a little special, our  2010 Pinot Noir Port which has proven very…

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Winter Bird Counts at Sails Ashore, Stewart Island

Annual Winter Garden Bird Counts Each year Iris does a count of the birds in our garden over a 1 hour period. This “snapshot” is part of a national survey by Landcare Research, Forest & Bird Society, The Ornithological Society & Fairfax Media. Birds Recorded from Sails Ashore:- Bellbird                …

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Visiting New Zealand

Away from the Island In late April our daughter Anne went overseas to attend two conferences, with a trip to Spain in between. Rather than put Eddie …. her Border Terrier ….. into kennels she sent him down to us. Eddie is a well travelled little dog, having visited us with Anne several times before,…

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