Day 11 – 4/04/2020

Rata in flower – (Metrosideros fulgens, scarlet rata vine)

It looked like it was almost a frost when I looked out of the window this morning, however once I was out and moving it was fresh, clean and energizing! Today the dogs and I tried to explore an overgrown track but it had too much blackberry and gorse and I had to turn back. On the way back I saw a small opening that led into a track of sorts and decided to explore it. I hadn’t seen this track before. It is surprising to me that we live on this block of land and there are still new discoveries! The beginning of the track is marked by a fine specimen of rata vine. I like the vine because it flowers at this time of the year. Beautiful red flowers when everything else in the bush has all but finished. It stands out and gives a vibrancy to the greens around it.

I wandered up through dry ponga leaves on the bush floor, weaving through supple jacks and kamahi saplings. I came across an opening which had been created when a large tree had fallen over. The root system was pulled out of the ground leaving a huge hole. The hole was filled with mud-brown water and almost seemed like a scene from a fairy tale (except for the colour of the water!) Petra was especially excited to find water and was keen to explore!

When I got home and had finished looking after the horse, chooks and goats (including milking), it was time for breakfast. I’ve now established a bit of a routine. Laurie is up and has made coffee, so I have a cup and my cereal and read the paper. Our newspaper, The Westport News, is usually delivered each evening Monday – Friday, but while we are living in alert level 4 the paper is on-line. We don’t have TV and only listen to the radio occasionally via the Internet, so the paper is important to us for keeping in touch with local news. I am finding that I have the time to read it properly and am enjoying it a lot more.

The other day Laurie requested that I bake some peanut brownies, his favourite. I said no because we had no peanuts. While looking for something else I found an unopened packet, so said I would today. Kayden helped me make the biscuits and then I made a banana cake with some past-it bananas and some gluten-free biscuits for me! Yummo!

Kayden making peanut brownies
Baking –
Back – peanut brownies
Front – Left – banana cake, Right – Gluten-free chocolate chip and cranberry cookies

This afternoon Laurie asked Kayden and I to give him a hand. As you are no doubt aware by now we live on the top of a hill ( about 120 m above sea level). Our driveway is fairly steep and made of gravel. It’s approximately 1 km long and best driven in 4WD. This isn’t always possible and between visitors and heavy rain the track needs maintenance from time to time. Laurie got gravel with the digger and put it on the trailer and then drove to the needed place where the gravel was then put onto the ruts in the track. Laurie used this time as an opportunity to give Kayden some digger lessons / skills under his supervision. I think Kayden is better than me on the digger!! I drove the ute and Laurie and Kayden spread the gravel. I helped for a couple of hours before it was time for me to come home and light the fire and do my evening tasks.

Tonight was another amazing sunset. We enjoyed watching it as we had our dinner.

Then when I went out this evening to run the dogs and shut the chooks in I was treated to a rare sight from the West and North East! What a special sight. Oooo …and daylight saving tonight!

The sunset – Towards the West
The Moon – Towards the North East

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