red magnolia flower

Michelia and Magnolia in a Vase on Monday

Our neighbour dropped by on the weekend with these beautiful dark red Magnolia flowers. Given that many of the well known dark red magnolias were bred here in New Zealand by the Jury family, I guess this may be Vulcan, or one of the hybrids descended from it. The flowers are enormous, and immediately suggested the addition of close relation, a Michelia, adding both beauty and scent.

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cut flowers spring bulbs in rain

In a Vase on Monday – a Mixed Bag of Weather and Flowers

My first few tulips are up, and I’m cherishing them as many of them have been eaten by the mysterious rodent or muscalid.

It was a mixed bag of a weekend, with a perfect sunny day, a frosty night, and then a rainy day followed by a misty morning. The flowers were picked in the rain, and photographed as picked – a great opportunity for photographing water droplets but a very drooping arrangement. Back at home I found a better vase for them and they are now all dry and standing up nicely.

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Weta Story

As I mentioned in IAVOM I was startled to find a Weta floating spreadeagled on the freezing water in the empty vase I had just filled. I have no idea how he got there. I think I would have seen him if he was there in the vase when I added the water, and they don’t fly, and he wouldn’t have climbed up the vase to fall in, so…he must have fallen from the ceiling, or the beam above the sink. In any case I scooped him out as fast as I could and he seemed unharmed.

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spring bulbs narcissus and verbena

In a Vase on Monday – Spring Bulbs

It was a brilliant sunny morning after a freezing night, and there were still spots of frost in the shadows. I filled a vase with water in the porch and headed out with some scissors to pick flowers. When I came back there was a small weta floating spreadeagled in the vase. I scooped him out and put him down in the sun, worried about his dip in the freezing water, but he quickly started looking for shelter and shade, first trying the vase, and then the scissors as a hiding place.

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narcissus avalanche cut flowers macro with oranges

In a Vase on Monday, Citrus Colours

I have loved ‘citrus colours’ – lime green, orange, and lemon yellow since I was young, and as a student once went a whole year wearing lime green overalls with orange, red and pink underneath. For my vase today the first yellow daffodils contributed the lemon colour to the oranges, mandarins, and limes blown onto the ground after the storm on Friday.

daffodil and narcissus with oranges in trug

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bees at hive mouth

Bee Conversations

I set my camera up in front of Beresford’s hive, and after getting stung and dropping the camera, we all got used to it and took some pictures. It was a sunny late morning so there was a steady stream of bees leaving and returning, although not nearly as many as in Summer.

bee check at hive mouth (3)

The pattern seemed to be that the bees would arrive and clean themselves outside the hive before being checked by the guard and allowed in. You wouldn’t want to be a bee arriving back without the right credentials.

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