'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.

Thursday, 21 February 2013


I sent a text:  We are having scramblers sunday tea 6.30. Want to join us? BYOE.

Eggs are delicious in so many ways.  When I was at school I had two (soft-boiled) eggs every morning with one piece of toast.  On Sunday teas we almost always had scrambled eggs on toast.  The Bird Man's favourite cafe food is Eggs Benedict.
Eggs add exquisite thickness to custard and zabaglione and will homogenise butter when beaten in, trapping air and creating lightness and richness to flour-based breads (ie cakes). Then there's the pavlova and cheese soufflé, nougat and turkish delight... heavenly!

There's something very primal for me about my reaction to an egg.
I can feel the texture with my memory's fingertips right now.  Matt, smooth, slightly oily surface. By just looking at an egg, I can almost feel it in my hand... rounded, cool, heavy, precious... My hand Knows Egg.
It probably goes back to the dawn of primate conciousness.

Eggs are very handy.  A portable, defendable, waterproof parcel of protein and fat.  In spring they are relatively easy to acquire for a climbing, sharp-eyed binocular creature with opposable thumbs, and that's a time when seeds and nuts have yet to be produced, and meat is warily skinny.  The previous long winter has made food especially precious ~ eggs make the difference between life and death.  I think they must be in our genes.

Wonderful eggs...

Traditional designs from Romania.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Live a Life That Matters

Hawkes Bay Farm.
Image from http://www.jblaskyphotography.com/

Live a Life That Matters

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, days.
All the things that you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.

So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won't matter where you came from,
or on what side of the tracks you lived.
At the end, whether you were beautiful or brilliant, male or female,
and your skin colour won't matter.

So what will matter?
How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built;
not what you got but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew,
but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.
What will matter is not your memories,
but the memories that live in those who loved you.
Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.
It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.

~ author unknown

My post today is dedicated to the memory of our dear friend Craig Large 6 July 1989 - 7 February 2013.

Monday, 11 February 2013

BioBlitz at Miranda

Wiki says: BioBlitz or bioblitz  "an intense period of biological surveying in an attempt to record all the living species within a designated area. Groups of scientists, naturalists and volunteers conduct an intensive field study over a short, usually 24 hour, time. There is a public component to many BioBlitzes, with the goal of getting the public interested in biodiversity."

The first BioBlitz was in 1996 ~ only sixteen years ago, at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in the USA and about 1000 different species was found.

One is being held at Miranda! Will as many species be found?  Will more species be found?

This BioBlitz is organised by the Miranda Naturalists' Trust  for 28 February starting at 6 in the morning and finishing at midnight.

People (anyone) are invited to come and participate.

They can come to watch as the number of species identified grows throughout the day, the speci-mometer rises, and the gigantic species location map in the marquee is slowly filled in.  They can look down a microscope, identify teenyweeny things from bacteria to burrowing mud crab eggs, or go out into the area to gather things from saltmarsh vegetation to sandhoppers.

They can see Jody the vet flamboyantly perform fascinating dissections, and throughout the day hear the 'Ted' talks presented by experts that will cover topics like how and why ornithologists mist-net small birds, and the wonders of wader bird migration between New Zealand and Alaska.

There will also be informative guided walks both day and night, and an opportunity to explore the Shorebird Education Centre and learn about the birds, plants and other creatures, and the unique geography of the Miranda Chenier Plain.

There will also be a certain hobbling Artist-in-Residence there, who will be working with specimens that are brought in from the field, painting as fast as her little hands can go, watercolour botanical and zoological artworks, which will be available to purchase.

K M Steeds.   Diary of a Naturalist 2009 (detail)

More information about the BioBlitz

Zic Zazou

I'm still alive!  But it takes a lot out of one sitting around being waiting on hand and foot clumping around on crutches and having to wait for someone else to do things for me getting in and out of the bath.

Until normal service is resumed, here's a little light entertainment.  Carmen from Zic Zazou.