June 3, 2011
Amidst the business of bringing in
the winter firewood and clearing my house
for the Earthquake Commission decorators,
I have found time to work around the garden.
It seems to me that as Winter deepens, there are signs of
Life's continuity all around me.
The marsh marigolds have been flowering for over a week now - glossy in leaf and bloom.
And today I noticed, thrusting through a boundary fence, this beautiful early-flowering Kowhai. It is a garden variety probably selected from the wild, and 'Dragons Gold'
springs to mind, but I can't be sure.
Through a self-sown spinney of birch and cotoneaster the swamp cypress spires, still wearing its coat of Venetian red.
The quince tree has borne an abundant crop this year.
Not having time to use much of it I have taken cartons
of the fruit to Jill, who with a team of volunteers,
makes jams and jellies, chutneys and sauces for charity.
Just a few fruit remain on the tree, hard to distinguish from the big yellow leaves.
And as if to remind me of winter's leafless twigs,
a stick insect has appeared in the wood pile at the Skudder House. Although I have released baby stick insects into the garden many years ago, I have never seen an adult one here.
This one is about 4 inches or 10 centimetres long in the body.
I am not going to attempt to identify it as even the specialists aren't certain about species in New Zealand.
Marsh marigold Caltha palustris
Kowhai Sophora microphylla
Birch Betula pendula
Quince Cydonia oblonga