awe and ow

K10‘s big toe just got bigger.


metamorphosis miracle

This morning I saw that overnight one of the chrysalises that we had hopefully saved had hatched open. T3 was not as keen to have the butterfly on her hand as M5 was.

famine on the way

On our seven swan plants I counted at least 70 caterpillars, one of which is making his chrysalis. In his book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, Eric Carl suggests caterpillars stay inside their cocoon (as he calls it) for “more than two weeks”, but we have noticed our monarchs stay in for only four to eight days. I’m not sure how many are going to survive, because there may not be enough food for the huge number of crawlies.   

When we weeded the garden we found two chrysalises lying on the path, so we tied them to some string hoping that they will survive (and that we will see them hatch open). K9 found the middle already staring to make its chrysalis one on a leaf which was on the ground. The chrysalis has finished  

potato patch

This morning we weeded the garden and pulled up the potatoes all 12 kilos of them. That is a LOT of potatoes.

Caterpiller Chyisalis

By J11

This morning I saw a caterpillar on our swan plant starting to make his chrysalis. I thought that he would finish it in the night. But I just thought about it a few moments ago and went to see how much he had done and to my surprise he had finished it. The chrysalis is a lot more light and green than the other one that was done this morning.

We found a moth on the curtain in the dining room and we wondered what it was. So we checked in Andrew Crowe’s “Which New Zealand Insect?” book. This is what he said:

 Northern Wattle Moth

From Australia. Common as far south as Nelson, February to April. Attracted to lights. The caterpillars eat the leaves of wattle trees. Known to early Maori who found the odd moth blown in from Australia beforethe first wattle trees were planted here, hence the Maori names: pepe kehue, pepe atua, para kori taua, all of which refer to the belief  that these mysterious moths were the returning spirits of ancestors. (A similar belief about noctuid moths is found in Madagascar.) Also known as owl, moon or peacoock moth from the ‘eye’ pattern on the wings, shining like a new moon or like the tail feathers of a peacoock.

Dasypodia species

I tried taking a photo, but they all turned out blurry. Better luck next time!

the wind

grass waves

in the breeze.



moves the trees.


frantic flapping

backwards flying.


across the ground

shadows moving.


shiver shiver

makes you cold


strong strong

blows leaves along


trees bend

water ripples


pushes pushes

whistles whistles