Tuesday 22 September 2009

Into Autumn


I thought we'd really turned the corner into autumn a few days ago with misty damp days like an Irish summer but today the afternoon is clear blue skies with really hot sun and as dry as you like.

The cats and I went for a wander to check out the sweet chestnuts, not quite ready yet but at least there are plenty of husks on the trees showing promise, and to have another look for mushrooms. Nothing doing there, just one toadstool of a very nondescript version.

On our way we found this poor thing.


I think it's a young heron**, it has the stabbing beak and the webbed feet but the plumage isn't that of the adult bird. I couldn't see any shot marks although the hunting season has just about started now and think it must have been mobbed by crows as it left the nest. It can only just have happened, the flies were hardly started on it.


I've had a couple of inquiries about seed swaps already. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to have to swap this year yet. Some of the esoteric items I received in last year's exchanges aren't sufficiently bulked up yet to have spares for sharing and most of the other items I'm growing are either available commercially or will not be harvested/adequately dried for a couple of months yet.

Definitely for swap will be French climbing bean Purple Giant, some Yin Yang bush French beans and some Jersey beans. There should be a few packets of Tomato Salt Spring Sunrise and the Whangaparaoa Crown have plenty of seed but as part of the selection process I want to collect seed from the fruit that last longest in storage which means a wait until next April before the best seeds will be available.

Oca and Ulluco - these are always in demand but my plants have been quite stressed with the heat this year. I strongly recommend anyone who wants these tubers to place an order with Realseeds, although at the time of writing they haven't updated their site since last harvest. If I do have any to share they won't be available until February next year. I may have Good King Henry plants, Babington leek topsets and Horseradish thongs.

This isn't the definitive list, I expect to make a page for Swaps 2009 in the next month or so when everything should become clear, so check back later.

** thanks to Dave Appleton at flickr who identified this as a young Gannet, very unusually far from the coast.

1 comment:

ICQB said...

Wow, sorry about the Gannet, but wonderful thing to stumble over and take a picture of.