Today has been hot. By world standards maybe not so hot but by Wanganui standards, very hot, especially when the humidity must have been in the 90%s range. For one of the most temperate climates in the world, 30DegC is out of the ordinary. It is bloody hot!
But now it is evening. The 5:30am start, to get work done before we wilted, has paid off. We did of course continue working all day and achieved a lot. They thermometer is falling, not because it was knocked off the wall by the near gale blowing through the open windows, but because the temperature is actually dropping. Life is good again.
At times like this it is difficult to keep plants watered well enough. Something has to go and that something is usually the garden, and it is this time too. I’ve kept the vege garden wet and even watered the horizontal elm, which has suffered from attacks by leaf minor in the past and needs mollycoddling ,but the flower gardens are looking a little dehydrated. The hot, windy weather is the result of a tropical cyclone heading south from Fiji. It was expected to bring much needed rain but instead just gave a little drizzle and dried the landscape further. With no, or little rain in sight for at least a week and strong, warm winds forecast it looks like we’ll be watering like crazy to keep the delph alive. Farmers will start to feel the pinch soon too.
You may recall that we’re in the throes of having a new plastic growing house constructed. One of the lesser endearing quirks of the New Zealand way of life is that just about the whole country closes down over the Christmas/New year period. For some it extends to an enormously long holiday – and bugger the client. I am of course referring to the builders who left on Dec 18th and are still yet to return. This is truly 3rd world status mentality and possibly one of the reasons why we have extremely unaffordable housing too. With delphiniums waiting to occupy the plastic house and contribute to the seed harvest I’m a tad frustrated...make that two tads...ok THREE!
On a more positive note things generally are growing well, Janice and I are extremely happy and although we work fairly hard we also have lots of time off, when we want it – mostly – like last weekend. Every year a group of nutcases go canoeing down the Whanganui River. This is a river of the movies, featured in “The River Queen” and “Lord of the Rings” (not that you’d recognise it). The Whanganui River is quite narrow but has good fall and much water – so there are plenty of rapids and gorges.
The canoe trip is from Taumaranui to Pipiriki, (look it up on a map, or, even better, Google Earth) encompasses the very best of the river and takes a week. I’ve only done this once but last weekend assisted with the transport of canoes, the pre trip conviviality, and the “sending off”. There are a few images of this annual pilgrimage (some have logged up over 30 annual trips – yeah, they truly are nutters!) scattered throughout this blog.
Next week I hope to report on progress on the growing house, the installation of a new irrigation system – and the return of the Whanganui River Rats.