Kowhai flowering In May

Kowhai flowering In May

The little kowhai tree that I’ve been nurturing along over the last 17 years, is very happy about all the attention. Here it is, flowering in May! What will happen when the cold nights nip those tender yellow flowers? I’m feeling...

Ants, food and the seasons

Are the food needs seasonal? I asked.  Yes, to a certain extent, said the pest advisor at Kiwicare. In summer the colony needs more carbohydrate so the workers can fuel their busy lives. But Argentine ants (which mine could be) like protein when they first move...

The cravings of queen ants

Why do the ants ignore the baits I so carefully laid for them? Helpful staff at KiwiCare explain that it all depends on what the queen requires. Like a pregnant woman, her cravings change. And so she instructs the workers to bring her protein, fat or...

The determination of ants

I learned something more about ants today. I knew that from late autumn they start their trails inside, bringing eggs and all they need to nest for the winter. At my bach a few weeks ago, I found a million ants in the loft, a carpet of black shiny bodies and...

Attended kumara dig on Auckland’s west coast. Children, parents, grandparents, friends of the grower all listened to instructions then swooped on the sandy patch to unearth the crop with bare hands. Prizes were given for smallest, largest, ugliest, most...

The call of winter

Rain, wind, wintry weather at last. The earth sighs and soaks up the long-awaited moisture. Time to turn within and begin the inner descent, coming home to self, and attending to what has been put aside through the active summer months. I’m finding good books...