We've been computer-less for a few days after a virus alert and trying to install a new printer/fax/copier thingy, which necessitated calling our trusty local computer lady who sorted out the virus, but who established (after talking to the HP help desk in Manila or somewhere far away) that the new printer thingy was faulty, so we will hopefully have the new missing bit next week and all will be back to normal again. You don't realise how much time you spend on the darned thing until you don't have it for a few days! Anyway, I've done some more sewing (!!!) and read a lot, so the time has been well spent.
We have a terrible problem with possums here. They eat our beautiful Puriri trees, fruit and vegetables, and wreck havoc with the wild bird's nests (i.e. eat the babies), so since we bought the property over 4 years ago we've been setting traps and have now made over 500 "deceased", and are not ashamed of bragging about it. Possums, for those who are not New Zealanders, are native to Australia, not NZ, and since being introduced to this beautiful country many years ago by no doubt well-meaning people who planned to 'farm' them for their fur, they have taken over the forests and done a huge amount of damage, and now outnumber even the good old NZ sheep by many millions! They are pests here, unlike in Australia (where they belong!) where they are protected. Anyway, getting back to my story ...
to mark the memorable occassion of our 500th possum biting the dust (and feeling quite happy about it on behalf of the native birds and trees), we decided to buy ourselves a lovely bird sculpture to put on one of the islands in our dam. We love it. It was made by a local Kiwi artist who we found at a market awhile ago. The poles are lightweight and sway in the wind - really beautiful, don't you think?
With Spring have sprung in all it's sun-shiny brightness right on time on 1st Sept. (and since having disappeared again unfortunately), we've been picking loads of daffodils from our forest edge, to where they were transplanted from the house site before we started building. There was an old farmhouse on this site many years ago, with the original owners being Danish (we think), and who imported these daffodil bulbs from their homeland many moons ago. They are not the commercial type of daffs one finds these days, but an old fashioned rare variety, so we are very glad that they kept multiplying every year and we were able to dig them up and keep them to thrive every Spring just a few yards from where their ancestors were first planted. They're very special to us.
On another happy note, our wild Paradise Shellducks have hatched 10 cute little black and white fluffy ducklings, and we waste many happy hours watching them scooting about in the dams and on the lawn and driveway. I'll post a pic of them soon. We hand-reared a bunch of just-hatched abandoned ones a few years ago, which was quite a challenge but a lot of fun (and quite messy!) It was so interesting to see them grow literally right under our noses (they loved to snuggle up under my chins!) We wish we'd been able to band them and somehow keep track of them once they'd learned to fly and were off on their own, but unfortunately that wasn't possible (as well as being illegal). Maybe they came back and are the parents who produced these new babies?