Friday, February 19, 2010

Garden & Planet

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For much of the summer a pair of wax-eyes daily visited the abutilon bush seeking nectar and insects. Earlier this week I noticed only one. Tragedy in the bird-world it seemed. Had one of them fallen foul of a cat or some similar fate. But this morning there were two again. Was one merely absent or is it a new partner. Humans record their experiences. We can but conjecture what transpires in the wild animal world.

Kaka from the sanctuary are raising the ire of some local residents by raiding plum trees and stripping the bark off plants as they search for insects. It’s a dilemma with no easy solution. Personally I would be delighted to have kaka on my section but then if I had a plum tree I'd like harvesting my own crop.

Our red rhododendron is flowering. A confusion of seasons. Not so the foxgloves in tree fern corner. The white and pink flowers are bright splashes of colour against the green background. And a late Remember Me rose is out in full glory.

Today's paper has a piece about pukeko being on the menu at the West Coast wild-food festival. I ate pukeko as a boy once. Uncle Charlie shot it during the duck-shooting season. Mum cooked it. my only memory was it tasted gamey like swan.

The critics of global warming are having fun over the very cold snaps over eastern USA and Europe. I suspect ‘warming’ is the wrong word. ‘Change’ would be better. More weather extreme events look in the offing. Australia is in the midst of a terrific drought. There seem to be more hurricanes than in the past.

It’s hard to separate long term trends from day to day occurrences. With nine days to go in the month our February this year has only half the normal amount of sunshine and well under half the rainfall. It’s not the summer idyll that columnists have been warbling about over the last few months.

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