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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After last year’s loss of the queen and decimation of the hive, I was feeling a little nervous when we opened the hives at the start of Winter in late May. There was almost no brood, and less honey than we had expected. So it was a great relief when our bee keeper friend showed up unexpectedly and offered to check out the hives.
Wow, last year at this time I had tulips and hyacinths, no roses in sight. The tulips are still only small, and daily being eaten by a stoat, I think. So there may be none at all at this rate.
While much of the country has had record snow falls last week and some are still without power, we didn’t even have a frost, which was nice for the new twin lambs frisking around the next door paddock. There must have been strong winds though, and the olive branches in my vase are from the olive tree which was on the ground when we arrived.
I’m assuming she is a queen, since only the queens are supposed to last through the Winter. In any case, when I first encountered her on a cold morning she looked still and dead, hanging from the Lavender ‘Sidonie’ flower by her front legs.
The first Dutch Iris bloomed amid alternating rain and sun this weekend. Something is digging up my tulips and eating them one by one, so I’m glad that the irises are so far untouched.