Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Crimson Queen and The Summer Solstice

This burnt reddy-orange radius of JOY sums up the season here and we have them bursting open and lording it over the perimeter of our Permaculture Mandala Gardens, attracting beneficial insects all the while... The variety is "CRIMSON QUEEN" - from Kings Seeds and has multiple flowers blooming over weeks - love it!
Everytime I look at one I'm reminded of the simple complexity and utter beauty of nature. From the speed at which they grow up their extremely tough stalk to a height of 2ms+ to the amazing double-helix pattern revealed when finally the seeds emerge at the flower's centre after the pollen has gone and petals have all fallen.

Beyond the Giant Picket Fence...

...here I'm sharing with you something special for me about our vegetable gardens and indeed the view from the kitchen sink, even... often I just stop and look across at the surrounding hills and my eye ALWAYS rests on the little dips that create the gentle focal point in the centre of this skyline. Yes - there are layers of hills creating this scene and I never tire of it's softness and all the different colours, tones, shadows, seasonal effects and moods...another aaaah!

Summer Growth Spurt

Maybe what I really need is a fish-eye lens and some photography knowledge to really show you what's happened over the past couple of months in the Permaculture Mandala Garden. These first two pics are from September this year...Spring...What I see now is an abundance of lush, green growth sprouting from every conceivable nook in our gardens, where once, one was able to navigate paths without even a thought as to finding them! the pic above and just below are from the same spot in the garden, although the Chook Dome is in a different position...Now there has been such vigour some plants are even lying down on the job - I imagine from their sheer effort!
We are so grateful for this bounty of life, food and wonderment!

Butterfly Creek

We puzzled to ourselves as we perused the menu of admission entry options about the combination of butterflies, crocodiles and farm animals as we arrived at...Butterfly Creek. Well, I'd have to say that in some weird kind of way - it works...Both Phoebe and her best friend Lulu had a lovely time delighting in butterflies that arrived silently...and rested unobserved mostly... in a special humidity and temperature-controlled 'Butterfly House' where special plants are grown for all aspects of the butterfly life cycle - it was so warm!...cuddling the very relaxed and fluffy bunnies and not so fluffy guinea pigs (make that wirey!)....... spying the prehistoric-looking crocs lurking in their pools, their only perceptible movements, nostrils flaring (this pic is for YOU, Jesh!)...but I'd have to say that the event that got their attention the most was... ...the beautiful white Saanen goat clattering up onto a bench to be milked in front of us all, then nuzzling into 'Michael', her "milkman" to say thank you afterwards...aaaah!

Festive Faces

AS well as meeting up with family, we like to make a little celebration ourselves at home...and this is what it looked like...

Christmas Baking

As perhaps 'incongruent' as it may be seem, one thing that I really enjoy about the 'festive' season is the excuse to make mini Christmas Mince Pies (given that we are in this balmy, sunshiney time of the year, here in New Zealand!). And, I'm doing my best to infuse this into Miss Phoebe...who as you can see doesn't really need too much encouragement! Our particular recipe includes plenty of crystallised ginger and PRUNES added into the usual dried fruit 'mince'. YUM!