Monday, July 18, 2016

Wintry goodness

 Phoenix went from sleeping in a patch of sun to tearing out the door in a split second. His enthusiasm was infectious, I found myself running after him.
Both times we've gone for a walk on the beach we got soaked. I just surrendered to it the second time. So much better that way. The dog was not so graceful, he really doesn't like heavy rain. 

Settling in for a night of writing and art in front of the fire. My trusty sidekicks are curled up nearby.                    Wintry goodness.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

tardigrades and moss

It started with an article in a magazine I picked up at the library. It was about tardigrades, micro-critters who live in lichen or moss worldwide. They are cute, at 1 mm fully grown they are visible under a microscope and virtually indestructable. 
Moss was collected from everywhere we went. There are moss gardens, microscopes and various mossy habitats in many corners of the house. We've been investigating moss in different locations and the other life it sustains and have found the coolest microlife wiggling away in water from moss patches. It's like another world. 
There's art inspired by looking at moss under the microscope on the wall and specimens in petrie dishes all over the kitchen bench. I love it. 
Science in action. 
We are yet to find a tardigrade, but we're enjoying the journey.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

the local dump shop

Sadly I don't have much time for fossicking in op shops at the moment. We just moved into our new place and needed a few things. Budget was super low so we checked out the local dump shop after a session at the dump's Education Centre. The dump's official name is the Waitakere refuse and recycling transfer station...but y''s a mouthful, so 'the dump' it is.

Sheesh, it is sobering to see the amount of non recyclable rubbish pile up as you drive past. I recommend a visit. Nothing like it to re-invigorate your pledge to cut down on rubbish. Yikes.

Anyway. Aaron and the rest of the crew from the MPHS Trust took on the dump shop last December and they're doing a fab job. There are some wondrous things to be found, it's all beautifully organised and it's all at a good price.
I found a beautiful Mexican hand woven woollen queen size blanket for $8 on my first visit. Plus a fantastic vintage stool and a full length mirror. Great finds like that bring me much happiness on my teeny budget.
You can check out their facebook page HERE. x

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

RIP Chester - the best bunny

This photo was taken yesterday. Phoenix and Chester hanging out in a patch of winter sun. At my side while I worked. (The rabbit was the boss in this relationship, if anyone's wondering. )And I say 'was', because when we went outside this morning, Chester was dead. His little body was still and just ever so slightly warm but his fiesty loving spirit was gone. 
It's been a sad day. Many tears, a beautiful burial and many shocked statements like 'I can't believe Chester is gone' were scattered throughout the day. He leaves a kind of emptiness behind. The little dude has been a big part of our lives for the past four years. There was no sign of any ill health. Just yesterday afternoon he was hanging out with us. Today he is gone. His sudden passing is made harder as Jed is sick with a nasty stomach bug and besides, Chester was his special animal. He chose him when he was 5. 
It's a hard one to grasp, even for adults, that life can be here and then gone. There's been a theme of it in our lives this year. 
I will miss him. It was always disconcerting to have him lick my toes if I was on a work call but he was a total character and won many people over to the idea that rabbits had feelings and were intelligent creatures. Chester was fond of his vintage woollen blankets and cushions to snuggle into, loved  his fresh wild greens, cuddles, chasing the dog (and no, they were never left alone - just in case) and flopping in patches of sun. Looking back through my photo albums, he was quite possibly the most photographed bunny on the planet too. These are just a few that were on my desktop. He was much loved. RIP bunzer. xx

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Winter garden madness

It was the neverending summer until it wasn't. 
I had bare arms working in the garden ten days ago. It's been sleepless nights with gale force winds, crazy rains, flooding streams and a frost since. I have been stacking wood and splitting kindling.
It is definitely winter.
But there are spring bulbs flowering! 
I know. 
They bring me great joy to see them but they must be a bit befuddled by the weather too. The little fellow has been bringing fresh flowers in for the table alongside the chestnuts, pine sprig and feather he's found. It's strange to have the smells of spring flowers mingle with the woodsmoke from the fire. It reminds me of France.