Friday, March 26, 2010

Cats, caterpillars and butterflies

This is the time of year when Monarch butterflies have laid their eggs on our swan plants and the resulting caterpillars will devastate the plants.

Mind you, the plants also have other visitors:

The plants themselves are usually in the same place in the garden, and we mark the spot with a metal piece of garden sculpture.

This year we have added two cat statues to keep an eye on the plants. And the other (real) cats have taken an interest in the activity as well.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

An Evening On The Deck

One of the pleasures of my life is being able to sit outside on our deck of
an evening.

The day's work is done, dinner eaten, the weather is warm and dry, a breeze
gentle. The birds are busy getting ready to roost, colours are subduing. To
sit quietly with a beer or glass of wine and watch the birds, look at the garden
and enjoy the antics of the cats is my idea of a perfect way to finish a day.

Lucien from next door called by to see what was happening

Peaches wasn't too happy about her showing up

and chased her her away, making sure the place was hers again
The flax leaves make interestingly random patterns
Those ants get everywhere, even out on the leaves at the end of branches on the flowering cherry overhanging the deck
The moon was out early, and partially obscured at times by a thin covering of cloud

Friday, March 5, 2010


We recently spent a couple of days in Christchurch. Why? Because we can, and I found cheap airfares!
Anyway, we stayed in the Hotel So, in Cashel Street. It is a new and trendy place, with a dinky little car outside as an advertising gimmick.

The rooms all have 'mood' lighting, and ours was completely interior, with no outside window! It did have a mirror across one wall and behind the door, so the image repeated to infinity was possible.

We didn't have a car, so we walked, and fortunately, we were close to a very nice restaurant zone, the Avon, the Square, and just a few blocks from the Arts Centre, Museum, and Art Gallery - what more could you want?

Roger Duff is a distant relation of Desiree's - related to the Edie clan

The Venetian-style building lit at night

We had forgotten how attractive, and old, some of the buildings are:

Apparently, Venetian in style!

This frontage, while it has been preserved, seems now an oddity

I like the patterns able to be built into tiled roofs - this is the roof of the Catherdral in the Square


Desiree was very taken with these planter boxes

Statues outside the Bangalore Polo Club restaurant

and the motto above the door!

Looking back from the Avon towards the Square

The entrance to the new Council Building, still under construction

A waterwheel beside 'Mill Island' in the Avon

These two were promoting a 'Festival of Flowers'

In this area of the City there are also a number of impressive pieces of sculpture:

This piece was just around the corner from the Hotel, and was lit up at night:

Not all of the sculptures are modern - this statue is of Scott of the Antarctic

and it still attracts floral tributes!

We also stumbled across the Kate Sheppard National Memorial, beside the Avon. It is an impressive bronze array, unfortunately sheltered by trees so it isn't especially well lit.

On the final morning we decided to go punting on the Avon. This is easier than it sounds, after all, we just paid someone else to do the hard work! Turns out the river is a little low at present, and several times we struck the bottom. On the return trip, upstream our young (German) punter struggled with the flow of the current.

I was very taken by how accepting the ducks were - they paid us no real attention at all!

The bridges in this part of town all have wrought iron fretwork sides, and each has a different pattern