“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.” Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

End of Summer 09

I don't know what these flowers are called, but they are blooming in our yard. Nice to see on the way out to visit the girls (the chickens).
The chicken on the left is named Elvis. We are hoping Elvis is a hen. She is more white than the other Barred Rocks, and makes adorable bark-like noises. She/he is still immature, so we haven't heard any crowing yet, but she/he is a big bird. If he's a cock, he's going to get the knife and stewed. Notice the large, rounded, full, croups in front of their breasts? The hens were stuffed with food when I took this photo. Soon we'll turn them loose in the garden, which is nearly exhausted. I picked a bunch of the basil, chopped it, and mixed it into softened butter with salt, pepper, crushed fresh garlic, plus a few drops lemon juice and tabasco. I rolled this in wax paper and froze it, to be cut into smaller pieces later, and then applied as required for veggies in winter.
These are the last of the carrots from my garden. I don't intend to grow this yellow variety again, because they weren't as sweet as the orange ones. I used these in the homemade dog food I prepared tonight. The cherry tomatoes did really well, but they have peaked and are starting to die now. I think the damage done to the leaves by bugs was a contributing factor. I could have treated with pesticide, but never made the effort. I guess I am a lazy gardener. I did get 3 nice spaghetti squash from the garden (below). This is great because they are hard to find in the market, and I love them, baked with butter, salt, pepper, and parmasean- YUM. Plus they will keep until the weather cools and I'm ready to run a hot oven.
I absolutely LOVE the tree ferns here in NZ. They are huge and prehistoric. It's good to stop and appreciate the beautiful things. This fern is in our front yard, just inside the gate, and we have to keep breaking branches off because it grows so fast and then blocks the path. Below is a photo of its koru.
A few weeks ago, on a rainy Saturday, Darin and I decided to skip the Northland Field Days (outside) and instead see a couple films at the Int'l Documentary Film Festival. We saw Architect of Dreams, about a visionary NZ architect, Ian Athfield. We went to the Mac's brewbar in Newmarket for lunch, then saw Recipe For Disaster about a family trying to live without, or greatly reducing, petroleum products. This was the husband's idea, and his wife and kids agreed to go along with it. He thinks he's saving the world and shows the math. Definitely enjoyable.
I've finished the book my sisters gave me- each independently gave me a copy of My Stroke of Insight about a neuroscientist writing about her experience of a stroke at age 37, and her recovery, which is really remarkable. I suppose they thought it would be a good read for me because of my neuroscience background. The writing is good and her descriptions are compethent and enthusiastic, but I did get a bit bored with it after awhile and in fact did not finish it. I mean, I know how it ends, she was lucky. I had a new book waiting a the library so I moved on. I'm really enjoying Merle's Door, about a man and his dog. He references his statements, which I appreciate, and he's an excellent outdoor writer. I realised after I started reading it that I'd read one of his other books, Bloodties, which is about hunting and culture.