Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hot 'n' cold

Well, having moaned about the heat it is now raining and cold. Marty and I have been inside having a lazy Sunday. Playstation and poker have been the main events.

A few days ago I changed the bedding in the chickens' nesting boxes. They were highly unimpressed by the cleanliness and have boycotted the nests. Even Blanche, who was broody, has up and left (at least now we know how to stop them brooding!). So because of their dismay they have stopped laying in them altogether. Instead, everytime we go to let them out, they crowd around the door and then make a dash for freedom and instantly disappear into various parts of the undergrowth. They have obviously made much better, dirtier nests somewhere else.
So this morning we decided to stalk them to find these new hidey holes. We followed the black hen to a patch of long grass behind the greenhouse (we left her there to lay) and then I stalked the brown hen to a little nook by the swimming pool. I obviously disturbed her because she came straight back out wandered around. I found 4 eggs in her nest though and went back to get the black hen's goodies. 4 more eggs there. Blanche, we think, has a possie in amongst the jerusalem artichokes (which are now about 7 feet high!) and I'm sure the others are laying but they are just not as desperate as the others to get to their nests. The brown hen, since I disturbed her, must have made yet another nest somewhere so we'll have to find that tomorrow. But we now have 3 dozen eggs so we're going to have to make some icecream to use them up. Most of our girls are still laying the most ludicrously small eggs. Marble size almost. Here are 2 of ours next to a normal sized egg...

And there is one that is even smaller still.

There is a rose at the front of the house which has grown over a foot since Dec 30! I am amazed at the speed. You can almost see it growing! And the stem is flat and covered in rubbery thorns. Spectacular!

The veges have gone mental. We have so many zucchini now. And there are more coming through every day. The tomatoes... oh god. So many plants all crowded together. What are we going to do!? There are little canellino beans, borlotto fire tongue beans and butterbeans appearing all over the place, 2 ears of corn are forming, tons of little gherkins and cucumbers and we just made 2.5 jars of raspberry jam from the bushes in the aviary. The so-called 'cherry tomatoes', Tiny Tim, are actually forming full sized tomatoes in the aviary and the new vege garden. Maybe I read the label wrong?? Surprisingly the Ace tomatoes are the slowest to develop. Even the Great Whites are ahead of them. I will have to find an earlier red tomato for next year. And the green tomatoes still haven't been planted out. Oh dear.

Rosie and John bought us tickets to the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra on Friday to say thanks to Marty for all the work he's put in this year. It was so cool. It was in an old woolshed, built in 1900, out at Aramoana. Amazing woolshed. Huge! And the orchestra was amazing. I think I saw some of one of their gigs at the Soundshell in Welly a while back but we were sitting right at the back and I don't think we were there for very long so this was fantastic to see a full show in such a beautiful, rustic venue. Here are a few photos...

And just one more of Dog gazing lovingly out at a game of rather vicious croquet...


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