When I first came to New Zealand I was told nope, no spiders here. Let me tell you there are indeed spiders in NZ, including the Australian redback which has apparently hitched a ride on cars brought over from Oz. I know the redback is in the Otago region, not so sure about the North Island.

Then there is the white-tailed spider and the katipō. This latter spider I hope to never meet up with as its bite is extremely dangerous. I can take comfort in the knowledge that the katipō is endangered and no deaths from its bite have been reported since 1901. However……

what friggin’ huge spider spun this web???

It has appeared in the last week, just outside the door to The Shed and near my lavender bushes. I took the photo above in the early morning and it is not doctored. I shot it in black and white.

I am keeping an eye on this web!!


Just had to post a couple of photos for you. Action is happening on the building site, so the next post will show you the rib raft system in place and I’ll explain more about it.

But around the property, the colours of autumn are appearing. Not as many colours as down south because it is sub-tropical in the Far North of New Zealand. But I have some liquid ambers growing. Eight in total I think. We planted them late last year and they are springing up. Their leaves have just turned the most gorgeous russet shade, so I am busy taking photos.

And then Zeph decided to look super-cute the other day. How can one resist a cute dog photo?

Follow me on Instagram to see even more photos. And Zsa Zsa now has her own Instagram page too.

I must say I am enjoying Instagram far more than Facebook. I’m really over Facebook since the data leak/Cambridge Analytica debacle. With Instagram you post a photo and run. And there are some truly amazing photos on Instagram.

I’m doing my best super-cute pose. What do you think?

Beautiful russet and yellow orange shades.

We’ve been in the Far North now for six months. Can’t believe how fast that time has gone by. Last time I checked in with you, I think it was four months. I will do a post soon on how we are getting by off-the-grid and I’ll take photos of how we’ve landscaped. One very large totora tree has a family of five Tui. I talk to them every day and they look down and chortle and warble at me. They are beautiful birds. I really didn’t experience them in the South Island.

What is amazing here is the lushness of vegetation. You plant something and it grows overnight. We’ve travelled a bit around the area – about an hour’s drive each time – and the scenery is so varied. Not to mention the stunning bays and beaches. What I really love about the Far North are the giant ferns and glorious trees.

In the town near to where we live, there is a stunning pink tree. I have no idea what it might be, so over to any experts out there. I snapped a shot with my iPhone and the woman you see in the photo went back to the tree and took a ton of photos. It’s quite the tourist attraction actually. I recently saw a horde of tourists mingling around the tree, taking selfies and group shots.

Just around the corner from this tree is a working backpacker’s hostel and we recently gave work to two 19 year old German lads. They helped us plant over seventy plants and trees – liquid ambers, flaxes, native grasses and fruit trees. Very hard-working and polite. We intend to provide more work to the backpackers if these two are any indication of quality and work ethic.





We’ve up to the North Island for a few days. I must say that the vegetation there is lush. You get giant ferns, stunning Kauri trees, Totora and beautiful Pohutukawa trees boasting crimson flowers.

We stayed in a lodge and our window looked over a small white church nestled amongst Winter foliage. You can just see the red roof of the church in the photo below.

IMG_8681What really caught my eye though is the tree in the middle of the photo. What a stunner.

Every year, around this time, I start to look for signs of Spring. In the Southern Hemisphere, that important date for us is September 1 – six days from now. We’ve had some warmer days recently and the grass is definitely growing.

Around the property, new buds are appearing. Two cherry blossoms have started to bloom and cheery, yellow daffodils are about to pop up from underneath the elm tree in the front yard. Once the daffodils appear, I feel that Spring has arrived.

The large cherry blossom in the front yard takes its time to wake up and doesn’t usually bloom until around October. The weeping willow is also showing green tips.


The first stirrings of a cherry blossom in the corner of our front yard.


The daffodils are starting to push up from underneath the elm tree.

Oh yeah, so…..late last week, we were hit with a pretty fierce snowstorm. We lost power for over 24 hours and had to sit in a dark living room with candles and, gasp: talk to each other.

It’s been friggin’ cold as New Zealand is in the grip of some Antarctic blast. Parts of NZ have seen temperatures as low as -20C (-4F). We probably had about 10-12cm of snow and, four days later, it still hasn’t melted because the early morning frosts are pretty severe.

The horses are a bit odd. They seem to love the snow and roll in it. Every time I go out, Saffy seems to be rolling in the snow. Karma likes to frolic in the white stuff and Miss Rosie, well she is stoic and watches Karma and Saffy being lunatics. Although, she occasionally rushes around.

Zeph and Zsa Zsa have busted out their fleecy, warm dog coats. They wear these after getting up in the morning, until it warms up. Then Zsa Zsa rushes out into the snow and runs around. She seems to love it, whilst Zeph is less than enthused.

I’m hoping this is the only dump of snow we get this Winter. It’s very pretty to look at but, when it melts, not so great. I’ve been slipping and sliding over parts of the property due to the black ice. Bring on Spring!!!


Zsa Zsa was initially not sure about the snow.


Looks like a Winter wonderland!


Looking at the stream area.


Karma and Miss Rosie frolicking in the snow.


Zsa Zsa frolics!


Zeph declines to get his paws wet hahaha

Around this time of year, we get some amazing morning and night skies. Sometimes the sky is awash with apricot, mauve and orange flushes.

I rushed out to get you a photo of a recent early morning sky. How glorious is this!! This photo is straight out of the camera – I haven’t done a thing to it.


Next Page »