Friday, 17 November 2006

An orchard in the making

This is apparently the time of the year to plant trees, flowers, shrubs, grass... anything that grows actually. So last weekend off we went to a local nursery in search of fruit trees to line our back yard.

We were quite surprised at the variety of fruits out there. We were thrown at growing fruit trees we never would have imagined every growing in the tropics! All we wanted was an apple tree and an orange tree. When we went looking, we found at least a dozen varieties of each. Then there were apple trees that had two varieties in one! That made process of deciding all the more difficult.

With so much choice, we decided to ask someone there for help as it how they taste as they are going to end up in our stomach sooner or later. After all those facts thrown at us, we decided on an apple tree with two variety "braeburn" and "royal gala", and an orange tree that is supposedly sweet called "blood orange". Together with that we bought a lemon tree and just couldn't resist a kaffir lime tree or in Malay we call it "limau purut". More Tom Yams on the way I was assured.

When we got home and planted them, I did a search on the trusted web to find out what the varieties were like. I discovered that there were at least a thousand varieties of apples. There is even a website that is dedicated solely to apple growing and tracing each varieties' anchestry. And to my horror, the bllod orange actually looks like blood! The tree has yet to fruit but I can't wait to see the fruit and even more, taste it! I took this off the web, take a look at this picture of a blood orange!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sunday, 5 November 2006

A sure sign of spring

I wish I had a shot gun this morning although I am usually against guns and violence.

Spring has arrived but with a vengeance. There are lots of flowers around and the grass is rapidly growing. Together with this, weeds have also decided to take over our lawn. Where there are no bald patches on the lawn there are weeds. Weeds of all shapes and sizes.

Now where did the guns come into the picture? Well, you see… with spring comes flowers and with flowers come birds. With spring, the sun rises earlier each morning and the birds start their day early as well. Behind our home, there is a rather huge lifestyle block. Life style blocks are a little like living in the country. This particular one has lots of trees, a lake and animals. While it is a lovely landscape from our bedroom window, it is also where birds congregate each morning, rain or shine.

By 5.30 in the morning, the sun takes a crack and this is when Birds Anonymous chooses to have their morning meeting, sort of like a pre flight briefing. I am sure it is accompanied by free flow of bird booze and beak food, as it surely sounds like they were high on something. Trying to stay in bed on a weekend is really quite a challenge when you hear these pesky birds all talking at the same time.

I woke up and went to the window and I could literally see them staring at me, eyes dazed from all that drinking, I'm sure. Seeing that they outnumber me and that I am in no position to climb over the fence and knowing all too well that a base ball bat is harmless when it comes to creatures with wings, they continued even louder. If I could understand beak language, I am sure they were all laughing at me!

That is when I wished I had a shot gun!

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for nature and animals but just like we respect their space, they should respect ours.

Over the coming months, as the sun rises even earlier each morning and the more I get used to all that bird talk, I will probably be able to sleep through all that noise. And eventually the noise will turn into melody and then all too soon, I will be missing the chirping in the morning. I might even throw some fresh grubs on the lawn in the morning just to wake them up, entice them, to listen to them. That is when I guess they’ll wish they had a shot gun!

And then when I have gotten used to the sound of silence over autumn and winter, it will start all over again!

Guess that is one way of looking at the circle of life! How exciting!

Saturday, 4 November 2006

That familiar buzz

I am awake at half past five this morning for several reasons. One being it is about the time I wake every weekday to get to work. Now, even without the alarm blaring, I am still up at that time. Two, it is approaching summer and it gets bright by then. The sun is up and the mercury is slowly rising above the 10 degree. And lastly, I am awake because of a strange but familiar buzz.

When I heard this buzz in my ear, I almost thought I was back home. Wait a minute, that isn't quite right! Then I realised what that buzz was all about. Mosquitoes!

I have not heard that for almost 2 years! All the time we lived in Tawa, we had no trouble with mosquitoes. We encountered the odd ones when we were in Auckland last summer.

Our place in Tawa was 260 meters above sea level (at least that is what my watch says) and our present place in Paraparaumu is 1 meter above sea level. Is that reason why we have mosquitoes? The temperature here is often 1 or 2 degrees warmer than Tawa. Could that be the reason why we have these ancient creatures lurking around? Tawa is in the mountains while Kapiti is by the sea! Maybe that's it!

Gosh I wish I knew why, so I will know how to get rid of them. I will even if they were endangered! As I hate mosquitoes! I am not going to start my collection of mosquito cocktails, Mortein, Ridsect, Shelltox, Vapemat.....