We had a lovely surprise on New Year’s Eve, as we sat down by the creek at dusk, a Morepork called from the willows just behind us, we’ve heard it again since then, so hopefully it has come to stay. I love hearing the plaintive cry, it is many years since we’ve heard them here. I don’t feel superstitious about their visits, rather I feel encouraged that perhaps another creature has chosen to come & live here.

Some years ago now, we were camping by a local river, which had groves of willow on one side. I noticed white droppings on the trunks of some of the trees, & when we investigated we found four or five Moreporks roosting. At night we lit a small fire, & the light attracted moths, which in turn attracted the Moreporks. It was magic to watch them swooping in to catch moths, & hear the funny noises they made.

Growing up in England, & particularly living in Devon we saw & heard a lot of owls. Being the curious sort of person I was, I found a barn where a Barn Owl roosted, & collected the fallen pellets. Owl pellets are regurgitated bones & fur that can’t be digested, sounds disgusting I know. These pellets can be soaked in water & teased apart to reveal tiny bones. I had a book of wildlife in the U.K. with illustrations of skeletons, so could sometimes identify whether the owls dinner had been a shrew or a mouse. I know… I’ve always been a little obsessed with nature, harmless if a little weird.

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Close up photos of a Lily that popped up in the garden, it smelt amazing.

Finally we’ve manged to do some weeding & trimming in the garden. Yesterday was perfect, overcast & not too hot, especially for me, I can hardly function outside when the temp. is up in the 30s. We have an old para pool we got, second hand about 15 years ago, & it is the best thing on a hot day to revive the flagging spirits, (& flagging body!)

We can now walk down many of the paths in the herb/vege garden having trimmed & propped various abundant plants into submission. Of course it won’t last for long, & we mostly enjoy the abundance & rampant plant growth that our garden creates. Our large patch of toms, peppers & eggplants is looking good, although a little late getting going this year. It’s going to be some weeks before we get to harvest much. Our strawberries were sadly neglected, as a crop of coriander came up in that bed. A legacy from the compost heap! So we are thinking to put in some brassicas & use the birdnetting to keep out the cabbage white butterflies, it’s also time to think about putting in some leek seedlings.

We wish all the many people who pass through  & browse our website, all the very best for 2013.

Let’s all be gentle with ourselves, each other, & with this beautiful, mysterious & generous planet we live on.