'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Life Styles

Today I was flicking through one of the kids' books at lunchtime (I am still progressing on my big clean out, but I won't throw this one away) and reading the page on animal lifestyles.
After careful consideration, I have decided that my lifestyle has a definite cycle. Winter is a time of hibernation. I emerge periodically, blinking in the cold wind, at least down to 12 or even 10 degrees centigrade at times, chop another wheelbarrowload of firewood, make a quick sortie to the supermarket for supplies of chocolate from Belgium, snowpeas from Africa, and bananas from Tonga, and disappear inside again. Summer is hot and dry, and I stay inside much of the time then too. (No air conditioner but the house is very well designed and sited to be delightfully cool in the back rooms). This is apparently called 'aestivation'. Between the two, in spring, and, as now in autumn, I am active, cleaning out my burrow, scratching around and marking the corners of my surrounding territory, and preparing for the next season. It's all here. Quite simple, really.



Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Window Seats Rule!





Above, coming into Melbourne last Friday.


This morning: Waiting for takeoff back over the ditch to Auckland.




Sunday, 22 March 2015

A B Day.

Today I had a lovely day in Melbourne city. 
I went back to the National Gallery of Victoria, where I have visited before. The rest could pretty much be a Sesame Street clip about the letter B.
I discovered the work of Joseph Brown, Ralph Balson and John Brack. I bought a Book entitled 'Bestiary', and had my hair cut like a Boy. 

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Melbourne,
 looking towards Flinders Railway Station


The Cave. Joseph Brown.

Painting. Ralph Balson.


Two Typists. John Brack.

Bestiary, from the Bodleian Library Oxford.




Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Total for 24 Hours - the Katikati Bioblitz outcome.




2311- the total number of species. There were also more than 150 more species sent by email that weren't picked up until after the 24 hours were past.
This is for a catchment of one smallish river.  However there were low numbers of some species, and some species expected were not found. The data collected is valuable. 

Monday, 16 March 2015

Making Grape Juice

I hope I'm doing it right. Washing (lots of little spiders of the same variety - dear little things with a wee round body shaped like a tiny unripe grape), plucking off the grapes, mash 'em, cook 'em up, strain through a cloth, and bottling with honey to sweeten. Last year the resultant thick cordial was elixir from heaven when added to carbonated water. 



Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Swing of Change

I love this.  Lots in it.
I wonder how many people have accepted something or someone new because of the power of art…  A force for good in the world.