Wednesday, January 12, 2011


You may recall from a few weeks ago that we've been trimming back the trees on the property.  The various twigs, branches and leaves were processed with a chipper and the resultant chippings distributed around the garden.

As it happens, we generated rather more "mulch" than we had placed to put it, so some of the chippings remain in a pile for distribution later.  What has happened to this pile intrigues me.

It's been quite dry and the mulch has been sitting on concrete.  we've had the occasional shower, but really not much rain at all.  Nevertheless we now have toadstools appearing in the mulch. Even more surprising is that they have a hint of blue to them too.  I've seen toadstools of a similar shape to these before, but don't think these are quite the same.  I thought the other sort were a type of ink cap, and these new arrivals seem quite different.

I had always thought there was a large underground chunk of mycelium from which the toadstools grew, so to see these plants springing out of the mulch was not expected at all.
Sadly these little toadstools are at their best just as I'm racing off to work and are not looking their best by the time I get home.  Unfortunately, this is when then photos were taken.

Nevertheless, if you're a mycologist, or just someone who knows what these toadstools are called, perhaps leave me a comment?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Off to the beach!

As the weather was so lovely we decided to take a trip out to Bethells Beach today.  Gorgeous blue skies, heaps of sun and not too busy.
The tide was going out, so this gave us a chance to see the crabs and other creatures in the rocks and crevices.

The crabs are a wonderful colour and ever so busy.  We just walked along the rocks close to the receding waves and managed to get a few shots of these wonderfult creatures.  Besides crabs we also saw starfish.  Pretty big and with eleven "fingers".  I always thought they have seven or so, not eleven! Anyway, take a squiz and let me know what you think.  If you know what type of crab or starfish I've photographed perhaps leave me a comment with what they are.

I'll finish the post with a few more shots from Bethells Beach.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mowing the grass ...

I've been out in the garden again today ... we've had a bit of rain and the temperatures are lovely and warm which means the grass and the other green stuff in the lawns are growing with enthusiasm.  Anyway, whilst opening gates and moving around the property I came across this cicada shell.  Amazing don't you think?  It fascinates me that there's so little damage is caused to the shell as the creature extricates itself.  There also seem to be little hairs on the shell too.  Quite amazing.

The second photo is of an avocado   on my avocado tree.  Great for guacamole, but they don't half hurt when they bang you on the head as you trundle around with the mower!  Probably seems a bit odd to the folks in the northern hemisphere to think that whilst they're stuck in the snow we're mowing the grass and picking fruit off the trees.

Happy New Year!!

2011 already!

Happy New Year to you from Auckland New Zealand.

Shots in this post are from last night's wonderful firework display on the Waitamata Harbour.

If you click on an image you'll get an enlarged view :-)