Monday, November 26, 2012

Dunedin butterfly house

We had another visit to Dunedin last week.  I had to have another scan with dye to see if the chemo is working...and it that was a huge relief!

as Lewis Carrol wrote in Alice in Wonderland...."Once you get over the fear, then it's a cinch" - she said-
And then she leapt into a mountainous and unexplored region of her heart.

(not quite a cinch...but getting there!)

To fill in time waiting on results we thought we would go to the Butterfly House at the Dunedin Museum, something to distract the mind and lighten the heart and it did....

 they have created a little tropical eco climate, there are aerial walkways with 3 levels so you get to walk amongst the butterflies.  It was very hot and humid.

butterfly feeding station.

This photo is a little blurry but I love the markings on the underside of the wings, I think it is an Owl butterfly from Central South America.

Asian Swallow tails


iridescent turquoise...beautiful!

There was a carved rock..another blurry photo!

Exotic plants

Fish in the pool at the foot of the waterfall


At ground level there was a glass fronted hatchery full of chrysalises, some of them very intricately decorated, however couldn't take a photo because of the reflection from the glass.
Here are some pics from the brochure...

There were quite a few of these beauties fluttering by but proved very elusive and camera shy, they were gorgeous and knowing my penchant for blue they were my favourites!.

"In every walk with nature,
one receives far more than he seeks!"

John Muir(1838-1914)

Have a good week hope it flutters by full of happy days.....x


Hidden Treasure

A couple of weeks ago while having a walk round the garden I spotted this lovely nest!  It's quite low down in a rose bush....

It belongs to Mrs Blackbird.....

"Here in the fork the brown nest is seated,
four little blue eggs the Mother keeps heated!'
(Robert Louis Stevenson)

Can you see her?    she's a hidden treasure....

I love the birds that live in our garden, we have lots of resident Thrushes, Blackbirds, Red Polls, Greenlinnets, Goldfinches, Sparrrows, Hedgesparrows, Yellowhammers, sometimes Skylarks out in the paddock, the little owls in the big Macrocarpas, the Blue Herons which also reside in the Macrocarpas, Starlings (not a fav with me, although they do eat grass grubs ..which is good) but they are so messy and always trying to build nests in sheds etc, Swallows that flit about catching the summer we have Fantails, and Bellbirds. In the winter the little Waxeyes live here but they disappear in the spring..maybe they build their nests in native bush?  At the moment there are a lot of Chaffinches very busy popping about carefully choosing nesting materials, they seem to nest a little later than a lot of the other birds.  The husband brought this little nest he found blown out of a tree inside for me....

 I looked in a  book to try and identify the architect of this amazing wee eco structure and I think it belonged to a little chaffinch..they use moss, wool, hair (I see some donkey hair included), they bind it together with cobwebs (isn't that just magical!), this one is lined with thistledown all soft and clever doing all this with beaks and little feet!

 This little Mr Chaffinch was having a break away from building and maybe the wife and kids! 
He's so handsome!

I was reading the other day that a lot of these birds were introduced to NZ in Dunedin by a Mr Richard Bills in 1871, he made a living importing birds for acclimatisation societies, he arrived in Dunedin with a 1000 birds!

I sighed aloud when I read that he had brought over some Robins, but only brought males as he thought the females would be too drab and people wouldn't want to buy wonderful would it have been to have had Robins!!...very Secret Garden!

In the same book was part of a poem by John Clare, 

Five eggs, pen scribbled o'er with ink their shells,
Resembling writing scrolls, which Fancy reads
As Nature's poesy and pastoral spells-
They are the yellowhammer's and she dwells
Most poet like, 'mid brooks and flowery weeds.

Last week planted some Nasturtium seeds, A bit like Calendulas's most people get them to grow like weeds and I struggle to get them to grow at all...
anyway they were buried treasure and didn't take long to pop up,

they are doing well so far...

Old saying...If I keep a green bough in my heart,
the singing bird will come.....

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Yes !!! Elvis and I got together this week!!!

I needed to paint my verandah furniture and the Resene paint colour I chose was "Elvis" !!!! French blue would sound more cottagey but Elvis it is !'s a vibrant blue!

 I had such a great day water blasting and painting  that after tea I decided some new cushions were needed so whipped some up from a thrifted table cloth that has the same blue hue!

I have just looked out the window and sitting on the back of one of  the chairs under the trees a little thrush is singing very loudly....I suspect her song is  Blue Suede Shoes!!!
...  and my blue suede boots took me for a walk along one of our favourite paths beside the sea at Bluff on Friday...

Even the sign at Bluff has Elvis blue as a background.....


looking from Bluff towards Stewart Island.

...the view from Stirling Point at Bluff looking towards the Dog Island lighthouse.

Blue-the colour of sunny skies
And of a new-born baby's eyes;
Of magic distances and space,
Of placid seas and dress of lace;
Of Kingfisher, and bluetit, too,
Who proudly flaunt their heavenly blue;
Of smiling blue bells in a wood
On summer eve when life is good.
No other colour is so kind
As blue for bringing peace of mind.

(author unknown)

............Elvis is in the house!!!! 
  just noticed the glass in the door into the kitchen is 'Elvis blue'!!!!

I have had a fantastic week, full of energy and feeling great, my lovely oncologist 'tweaked' my chemo drugs and I feel so well. A darling friend close to my heart came and stayed for a couple of days,  there was non stop chatter and laughter, lots of catching up....

Have a happy week

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Touches of white...

We had a frost last week...enough to have little slivers of ice on the fountain!!!

It turned out nice and sunny afterwards with blue sky and sunshine...

(clever husband made the stained glass windows)

white clematis at the front door.

A tiny clump of white beautifully perfumed Lily of the Valley.

.....the other vintage chocolate box my daughter gave me, and outside a white bush... I'm sure they are white daisies!!!!

Some more garden scenes this week,




"........Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.  There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring.  
There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter."
(Rachel Carson)

On the crafting scene this week, I mended a cherished 'blanky', that I made 25 years ago for our youngest daughter, I had put in a few rows of Angora wool that didn't stand the test of time, being more delicate than some of the other yarn. I couldn't bear to throw it out so did a "make do and mend' and have popped it away so that one day she may use it for a little person of her own.

A while ago I stitched up a very enjoyable needle roll each for the girls and am now working on one for me, backed them with some William Morris fabric. 

Looking forward to finishing mine. 


 Chemo treatment number 4 is behind me and I have been thoroughly spoilt again this week,  so many lovely cards and parcels and this beautiful bunch of flowers from a friend.  

Have a happy week and do some things you love.......


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lilac time

I was up early this morning and doing a few rounds of crochet while breakfasting!
Little Thrifty Fox had given me some beautiful thrifted Mohair yarn a while ago and I thought it was time it was turned into something, it's a big granny square knee rug in the making.
While drinking my tea I had to smile..on the coffee table I had laid my crochet, the novel I am reading at the moment ......and beside it a jug of Lilac from the garden.....

...bit of a colour theme happening here!!!

I thought I would look up Lilac in my "The Secret Language of Flowers" book by Samantha Gray that I love and this is what the beautiful pages say.....

..............and these words at the bottom of the page are so lovely aren't they!  

white lilac in the garden .

my favourite Lilac in the garden, it is really perfumed and such a deep colour.

A lilac coloured candelabra primula at the pond.


My daughter gave me this gorgeous old chocolate box and although I can't see a Lilac bush in the garden....I am certain there would have been one!

A kitchen corner.

" The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly place carrying gifts, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them silently away."

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Have a happy week and enjoy the gifts your days bring.