Written 5:20 PM, Saturday, 16th October 12, 2010
Posted 6:02 PM same day
Life on the homefront has been pretty good these last few days, in spite of me being in bed all day Wednesday with a return bout of the throat infection and crud that I had a few weeks ago in Rotorua. I seem to be back to normal after one day of rest and a day off on Thursday. It was raining like crazy, so work wasn’t feasible, and Matt and I went into Whakatane and Ohope for most of the day. Lyn had offered up her van since ours was in the shop, and Matt braved the left-handed stickshift and we made it into town for some shopping with only a few trials and tribulations (by which I mean swear wordsJ) We got home to the message that Lucy as all fixed up, so we have her back now, working doors and all!
Also, sadly, we have lost one of the wee duckies. One of our two ducklings disappeared overnight a few nights ago, leaving no sign as to what happened to it. Our best guess is that a possum took off with it during the night, or a hawk picked it up when none of us were around. Duckling #2 is healthy and growing quickly though, and there should be some more ducklings and chicks in a couple weeks.
Once again, blogger is not cooperating and I can't input my photos, so I'll post them another time, I guess.
Our gorgeous weather returned yesterday, and we worked a full day, and then all morning today. Since I’ve finished with almost all of the weeding around the landscaped areas of the property, Lyn and I spent most of yesterday hauling in some free mulch that Lyn had sourced from a local biologicals company. The mulch is actually Manuka wood that has been chopped and then steamed and pressed to obtain the essential oils. Manuka is a scrubby sort of tree/shrub that possesses medicinal qualities. The honey from its blossoms is prized for its healing powers and is used on burns and other kinds of open wounds as an antiseptic and to promote regrowth. The mulch is very aromatic, sweet and divine, and I recognized the scent from our hiking at Waiotapu, where we were surrounded by manuka trees baking in the hot sun. So now we’ve hauled two truck-and-trailer loads of it, and I’ve been spreading it out in all of the beds, a satisfying end to a weeks-long effort.
Matt just finished scraping the ENTIRE house, so now it’s on to sanding for him, but I can hardly believe he did the whole thing in just a week and a half of mornings.
With a warm and dry afternoon off, we headed off to the nearby Hukutaia Domain, a small conservation park containing 1,500 species of trees and other plants that are native to New Zealand and the surrounding islands. There has been an ongoing effort since the 1910s to keep the domain protected and to bring in plants to be preserved there. It only takes about 30 minutes to walk the perimeter trail of the domain, which is surrounded by farmland on all sides—but we saw some amazing things. The canopy inside is so dense that it blocks out a lot of daylight, so there is a very ethereal sort of atmosphere inside the park. I have some great photos, and will post them as soon as good old blogger allows me too!
We have a little less than a week left here with Lyn & Kate, but have yet to figure out exactly what we are doing next. I should have an update on that for you next time I post!