Saturday, 13 April 2013


Just when I thought summer was all over, I discovered two late strawberries in our garden.

But these autumn leaves declare autumn's advance cannot be halted. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Today is one of those magnificent days you get in autumn. Still, warm, clear and kind.

Holly in April ...

... and mystery purple berries.

They are off the neighbour's tree. It's a tree I complain about as it is tangly and scruffy and drops dead branches & twigs on to our section.

After a little on-line research, I believe the tree is a ngaio (or kaio for those of us in Murihiku - which literally means, 'the tail end of the land'. These days Murihiku is the Maori name for Southland. Traditionally, however, it was the name for anywhere south of the Waitaki. This information - plus heaps more on the medicinal qualities of the kaio - I got from this link for Te Karaka magazine.

Now that I know that part of our garden lies under the benevolent, if a little wonky, shadow of a kaio, I won't be so keen to chop bits of it away. No wonder the birds love it - especially the kereru (wood pigeon) and the riorio (grey warbler).

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