An easy overnight hike to Spurs hut in Canterbury. This DOC hut is basic and you need to take water and possibly firewood.Read More
Growing figs, feijoas and olives in New ZealandRead More
It is cooling off now in Lyttelton, New Zealand and that means NO MORE CABBAGE WHITE BUTTERFLIES! Hooray!
And a gardening program I watch (Gardening Australia) suggested using vegemite in snail traps. Apparently it is the yeasty smell they are attacted to in beer traps. I hate using good beer in traps, so I’m trying a sugary yeast solution. We’ll see if it works.
Some other interesting ship names seen in the port of Lyttelton
One of my favourite wild places to go near Christchurch is Birdlings Flat. It is very wild beach with a significant undertow and you can't swim there. But it is wonderfully scenic in a bleak way. A bit like Chesil Beach in Dorset.
Te Roto o Wairewa/Lake Forsyth is just beside the beach. It has been dangerous for years, but for a different reason. Nitrate run-off from agricultural land that feeds into the waterways that's ending the lake cause toxic algal blooms. It's too dangerous to even walk your dog your dog there.
The saddest thing is that this isn't the only lake or river that is in this condition. All over New Zealand the pressure of intensive agriculture is ruining the waterways, making rivers that kids played in a generation ago unswimmable now.. Some farmers are doing something to stop it (by fencing stock out of rivers, planting at the edges of waterways to soak up any run-off and reducing stock and chemical levels to prevent excess nitrates reaching the water). Unfortunately a lot of farmers are either ignorant of what they need to do or more concerned about profit.
Update: we walked up the Opuha river in Canterbury. A dry summer has been compounded by intensive agriculture and over-extraction of water. The river is very low and to add insult to injury we saw cows walking in and out of it and every feeder stream we crossed was full of cowshit.
Last Friday Sumner road reopened to traffic, Including cyclists (including me) and walkers (although the road isn't great for walkers as there isn't much room and there are lots of blind corners).
Cars are supposed to be going at 30 km an hour because of the roadworks, but they are going much faster. So are the bicycles going downhill. Except me. I’m a wuss.
The boyfriend and I took our Jack Russell friend in the Land Rover up and over the pass today to go to Sumner . It's great to be able to do that more easily, to go to beach and the bakery and even to pick up some free comfrey plants at the share stand. Score! Hopefully we will be back more often, not just at the beach, but also the Hollywood Cinema and some great local restaurants.
Yesterday was 25 degrees but it plummeted about ten today. And the sun is getting lower and will soon be disappearing behind the crater rim mid-afternoon. Time to get the winter veggies in.
I’m hoping the purple-sprouting broccoli I also planted does as well as it did last year.