My delightful nascent colony. Opens in the later afternoon for nocturnal moth pollination. Looks like a maternal bohemian darlek. Smells like boiled-down jungle honey, gingery vodka and alien varnish.
A pleasant MMXIX to you all. Yes I had to google the numerals. I am wasted. what do you want from me
Fir is a crazy little unit with rolling sanpaku eyes and a joyous love of virtually everything. He's a year old now, which we cannot believe. Like Felix, he's topped out his miniature designation and gone over 35cm at the shoulder but is still small enough to sit comfortably in your lap. He throws up on long car rides. He treasures little pieces of fabric for hours, flipping them around and carrying them in his mouth like the little pica freak he is. Neutering didn't take the edge off his inexhaustible mania so I think we're stuck with all that dragon energy.
In what seems to something of an emerging pattern, late winter was warm and clement, easing into a nice early spring that then shit itself badly, turning into a month and a half of clammy sunless rain late in the season as Antartica started its seasonal thaw and threw front after front at us. Not fun. But the roses are gigantic. I'll post some pics soon.
The first real bunch of the season. The smell. I almost forget why I am such a slave to a good rose and flowers in general, then I go out into the garden after late spring rain and find them all smiling at me. I am hard-pressed to think of anything more gratifying.
In the pagan canon, the Garden returns to us everything we've lost along the way-
love, virtue, honour, pleasure, even those who have departed and descended- restoring everything we require to endure. I think that is almost true, and if not literally so, at least its gentle substitutions are resplendent and perfumed.
I know it's not a technically spectacular shot. But this tiny, tiny camellia approx 15cm high produced this perfect china-red bloom amid this carpet of lacy cranesbill and I thought you should know about it.
If the camellia can make an effort to do something beautiful, so should we. This sentiment is pretty fucking rich coming from someone who has been putting off posting in favour of general spring cleaning drudge bullshit, I know. Imma put some new stuff up this week, pinky promise.
Thanks for reading and looking.
In virtually every culture that has encountered them you will hear stories about how herons were historically duped out of their previously mellifluous voices.
Fledglings are easy to identify: generally, their proportions are a wee bit stumpy, their feathers retain that vaguely downy look, their beaks are shorter and their behaviour is distinctly teenage. Though they're fairly common, this is the first pair of chicks we've noticed in our time here so it's nice to know they're breeding successfully in this urban-ish area.
It's officially Spring down here from Sept. 1, but really we've been in the latter season for at least a month now after a fucking balmy, frost-less winter that seems like several worlds away from the brutal ones we experienced upon arrival in Dunedin 20 years ago. The climates, they are a changing. Thanks Shell, BP et al.
I'm going to post a few things about the building process because I feel there's stuff I wish we had known before we began; it's like having kids- no one tells you about the bad shit until you're stuck in the middle of it. We've learned a lot and really sort of know what the hell we're doing now that the process is almost over. Just like life. You finally get a few things sorted and then poof, you're back to level one: microbial sludge.
On that note I will leave you and go the fuck to bed before the paint fumes induce me to produce lewd couplets. There'll be another lipstick review this week because I have a backlog to document before offloading some. Reasons- I have them. Shut up.
This prolonged exposure captures the essence of the teen poodle's infernal spirit: play play play yap play play steal play rubbish rummage play play drag person 5 K play play sleep play. At eight months his testosterone is off the charts and it's fair to say that Fir is a fiend for action.
A wee trip to the vet is due: don't tell him that.
Fir will find your bladder and stand on it at 5.30 every morning with unfailing accuracy. His opposition-pull reflex is off the fucking charts. He gets up on the sofa behind you while you're lighting the fire, positions two paws on your shoulders and presses a sloppy toy to the back of your head. His recall might be getting (slightly) better but he'll still fly across the yard and disappear into the unfenced bushes or frolic on the road if he gets the chance to bust out of the side door. He pulls everything onto the floor and jumps up and down on his back legs screaming like furious toddler in a supermarket if I dare leave the room without him. Doorways are for pissing in when it's cold and windy. The rubbish bin = lunchbox and don't ask what he does with high-quality poos if given a chance. Just... don't.
Fir loves citrus, persimmons and almonds, which is weird and annoying because you have to give him yours, goddammit. He bounces on the spot barking hysterically at the prospect of R's fried egg sandwiches. I've realised I don't really know how to raise a normal dog. They always end up like this.
Also- highly recommended for extreme-chew dogs with squeak fetishes; the Kong rubbery squeaky bones. The noise isn't too maddening, ours has lasted over a week now and doesn't show signs of disintegrating into atoms, unlike almost every other toy we've tried.
Fir growls at rearranged furnishings. He is cute, though.
It was a bad summer in that Felix's illness and the building project coincided, so we had no time for the poor old plants. The garden has gone to shit in autumn and now lies, unsightly and betrayed, awaiting a pretty nuclear winter cleanup that I am not looking forward to. Armfuls of mouldy and worm-squirming mush dripping into your shoes as you dump them on the compost heap, etc. etc; fuuuuuuck.
R managed to get a few nice shots regardless, so I thought I'd share as part of warming up to regular posting in the near future. Jesus christ I am a lazy bitch these days. Well, lazy and depressive; I might as well use the old mental illness shit as a crutch and get some fucking value out of it.
R made this nice little triptych after catching the bird feeding on this, one of my favourite plants. Bellbirds and Tuis also visit the blooms. Waxeyes are not my favourite birds because the little fuckers tend to ruin a lot of fruit with their incessant pecking, but they do make pretty cool pets when hand raised.
If you dont get too much frost, I highly recommend the Canary Foxglove; it flowers almost year-round here in NZ and is fairly unfussy as to soil as long as the drainage is good. I have three or four plants now and would happily install 20 if I had the room.
Just in case some of you constant readers are skeptical as to the actual existence of any project that might be dragging me away from this blog rather than just, oh I don't know, massive fucking laziness or inappropriate drug use, behold- the Idlehouse is nearly a thing. It's not quite this whack-looking shade of blue; extreme afternoon sunlight is not letting my superior paint selection be great and I couldn't be bothered colour-correcting the pic. Note random piece of trellis waiting to be painted black just like 4635542894 other of the motherfucking things.
No steps or roof gutter as yet, which is trying my patience. We're currently whitewashing the ply walls in the bathroom with a product that behaves like Satan's jizz (streaky, fume-y, splatters unpredictably and sticks to your eyeballs, will not come off your fucking hands) so, not in the best of moods but as you can now see, we are getting there.
Still very fucking busy. I thought getting to the finishing stage with the new place might mean less work. Wrong.
Here's a few pics of Fir who is still firmly in the juggalo phase of his personal development and is just lucky he is a cute little arsehat otherwise he might not have made it this far. Also: bonus pic of monarch on dahlia from our new lower garden.
I'll post some pics of the new place over the weekend if I get a chance.