Monday, 12 September 2011

Blown away

What was left of summer now seems to be a receding memory: the recent wind and rain have heralded the rapid onset of autumn, and the prospect of an 'Indian' summer now seems unlikely, to say the least.  I shall probably have one last tidy-round in the garden to get rid of some of the decaying foliage, probably including the tomatoes which didn't grow fast enough this year to form much in the way of fruit, let alone ripe ones.  Perhaps I need to sow the seeds earlier next year, as this is the second year in a row that the "crop" hasn't amounted to much.

The raspberries on the other hand have produced a second burst of fruit which is still going strong - apparently on the new canes which I'm sure have only grown this year: I'd always thought young canes weren't supposed to bear fruit until the following year?  Not only that, some of the canes are enormous, being over eight feet tall. I don't think I'd realized what a relatively easy crop they are to grow and harvest although admittedly it's taken a few years for them to multiply from the half-dozen or so that I started out with.

The strawberries are putting out runners and little plantlets furiously, too.  Their fruiting season was earlier and shorter, but the signs are promising for another good crop next year.  The signs are not so promising for another hard winter, though - but I guess we shall just have to wait and see.....   

Monday, 5 September 2011

Happy landings!

Although I'd seen the initial account a couple of months back of the emperor penguin  who came ashore on a beach near Wellington, New Zealand, I hadn't been following the story all that closely.  Nevertheless "Happy Feet", as he's been nicknamed, does seem to have captured something of a worldwide following: penguins are undeniably kinda cute in most people's estimation and I must admit that I can see why he's become something of an international celebrity.  The 'feelgood factor' rules, definitely!  

My knowledge of the subject was hitherto limited to a rather sterotypical image of rows of birds waddling across the Antarctic ice sheet, and I found the blog account of his background rather fascinating.  It's still something of a mystery how he made his way so far from his natural habitat, but then Nature is full of surprising and remarkable achievements (surprising to us humans, at any rate).

As befits Happy Feet's superstar status, he's now got his own website complete with a tracking map to show where he swims to and how far he's got on his journey home - assuming, that is, that he's going "home".  Maybe he's not finished exploring just yet!  He's got his legion of Twitter fans rooting for him and wishing him well on his travels, at any rate.

Bon voyage, Happy Feet!