Welcome to Stewart Island & Sails Ashore +64 3 219 1151 tait@sailsashore.co.nz

Garden Tidy Up, and Season Musing

This is the season when Iris attacks her gardens … she has 4 she looks after. ….. Sails Ashore, Kowhai Lane, My late mothers home and the local Anglican Church. My Mother was a very keen gardener, and I remember her neighbour Denny (Cuthbert) Smith observing somewhat wryly that for a long afterlife, best NOT to come back as a weed in Mavis Tait’s garden. My wife is definitely from the same mold. So far I have taken 10 loads to green waste and at least a couple to go. I said to a friend if our property was a boat she’d have come up at least 6 inches in the water I’ve taken so much greenery away.

Some months ago I bought a cordless sabre saw for her….. well it was nominally her idea, but as always a crafty husband wanting a new toy will manage things so his wife thinks it’s her idea. And very handy it is as well. You can feel our trees and shubs cringing when she picks it up. I’m allowed it occasionally. 

 

A trailer of garden waste, Sails Ashore

Tidying up garden waste means lots of insects

Friendly Fantails

I can’t remember a year with so many fantails around. Both on Ulva, and around the village and our garden. We saw one flock of perhaps 20 birds on the track to Boulder Beach one day and this autumn we’ve not been able to work in the garden but we’ve one hovering around. A common comment from guests is “Aren’t they friendly”. They aren’t of course it’s just that we disturb insects, who then fly and that’s an easy meal for a fantail.  But they are delightful as they flutter about. Iris also has a  thrush following her around. A bit unusual to have a thrush within a metre of you, and I haven’t had it close to me… maybe it just likes women !!  

The Last Summer

Looking back I see how slack I’ve been over posting to our blog. And it wasn’t for lack of subjects as I see from my photo album. So the following is just a small fraction of what was actually a great summer.

Stick Insects

What I know about insects could be written on the back of a very small post card, using a felt nibbed pen. But insects are of course everywhere. And many are visually stunning. This stick insect was noticed on our guest entrance ceiling. They camouflage beautifully normally. But on a white surface … not so well….. I’ve inverted the image of course

Stick Insect, Sails Ashore
Hu Hu Beetle, Sails Ashore, Stewart Island
Hu Hu Beetle, Sails Ashore, Stewart Island

HuHu Beetle

Maori named these large beetles HuHu and the results of the damage their larval stage to is quite obvious in dead trees. We came across this one emerging from a rotted section of a Miro Tree on Ulva.

A Guest drew my attention to this oddity on a dead sapling …. a coprosma I think. I can’t remember ever seeing this particular one. Not very big, maybe 50mm across. My book would indicate it being a “White-butter jelly” or Tremella fuciformis.
Butter Fungi, Sails Ashore
Leatherwood, Sails Ashore, Stewart Island

The Mystery Resolved

Corona Virus (Wu Flu) discovered “In The Wild” . Everything is bigger and better on Stewart Island.

Actually it’s the rather stunning flower of Leatherwood, Olearia colensoi