10 October 2017
At Bush Sand and Sea B&B, because we are so small, we can ‘personalise’ a stay. Although a minority amongst our Guests, we enjoy the wedding Guests. Some come the night before, others on the actual wedding day, and then give themselves a day or two to relax, if they are lucky. Then they leave us to honeymoon in an exotic location, again if they are lucky. Some need to go back to work. They NEED time to recover. It’s a very busy time before the wedding day and they can be exhausted. We like to think that we can provide a place to rest, to contemplate the events. Alan and I have been married for 46 years and so we like to give them a small gift as a token. We give them recycled glasses, believing we are passing on some of our good luck.
Here’s what last weekends Guests said, “Thank you for your hospitality. We are very appreciative of the lovely food you left here for us. The home-made bread was amazing and the breakfast were yummy too. This place was just what we needed after our wedding: quiet, private, peaceful and a really nice house. We have felt so hidden away from the world. Thank you again.” Job done well, we reckon!
12 September 2017
Now I can report sightings of more Kereru and feisty Tui birds around us again. We feel less sad. Spring is the highlight of the year for me! More and more yellow kowhai trees are blooming, and the kitchen window becomes a beautiful frame of the bush on the ridge opposite. You can sit on the outside deck and hear the Tuis as they feast and fatten. You can spot the white native clematis as they reach for the light atop the bush. They are sun seeking, so need to get up high to flourish. The pics of three of my clematis ‘babies’, planted on our driveway about 2-3 years ago, are now all fully in flower. The west end of our Te Aute Ridge are coming alive with both kowhai and clematis, and the song of Tuis birds can be thunderous as they compete, cavort and socialise for the sweetest nectar. At the end of the day, they can be seen flying high and purposefully as they return to their own territory, heading in the same direction.
16 August 2017
It is with a heavy heart that I have to report about a recent loss of a magnificent Kereru (NZ pigeon) due to window strike. I have sat on the blog, too sad to write this, upset at the loss, but also concerned that the two sets of Guests, who took many pictures, and studied this bird, will be saddened too. However, it is life, the natural cycle of life and death, and one that cannot be ignored.
On this occasion, about one month ago, while I was out one grey day, Alan heard a loud bang, investigated and saw that the bird had struck our main dining room window. It was on the ground, moved away as Alan approached, fluttered down our steps and established itself in the bush, on the ground. When I came home, I was tired, after visiting my elderly Mum, who lives right next to Bird Rescue in Godley Rd, Green Bay, Akl. We agreed the bird looked content, recovering quietly. It was a very cold night- that was our big mistake. First thing in the morning, we checked our friend, rang Bird Rescue, and Lynn advised we bring him or her in. One hour later, after being transferred into a new box, on a heat pad at 37 degrees, sadly, it died. Lyn had 3 other kereru lined up in their boxes and they all survived. Upon examination, she found it was not in great health, empty crop, nothing broken, but fairly wasted. This was a surprise, considering we all observed it being ‘king of the lancewood’ and scoffing fruit for hours on end in the sun.
My lesson, and her advise, always try to capture, (maybe throw a cloth over making it a gentler capture and they panic less), keep in a warm dark box. Sometimes they may simply exit the box when recovered. Time may be all they need. Have glass windows, will have bird strikes. Sometimes they survive, sometimes not. We keep our lounge blinds down all day, and recently a Guest left because our home looked like we had gone out. We ask our Guests to keep blinds down, especially if they go out for the day, and we have decals on some of their windows.
Long blog, you can see it still hurts! Donations always gratefully received by Lyn MacDonald at http://birdrescue.org.nz/rescuing-a-bird/
16 August 2017
Our first clematis buds have opened at last. These are the early ‘Heralders’ of spring as the temperatures are more reliably rising and warming the soil. The bright yellow narcissi bulbs were first, and now the daffodils. Many more bulbs are popping their heads up bravely and testing the air. I planted 3 clematis seedlings 2 years ago and they literally took off, climbing up the manukas on the side of our drive, clinging wherever they could, as they reached for the light. All 3 flowered in the first year, and are now all budded and beginning to open. We also have a clematis off the rear deck, (on a five finger tree), and another on the front deck, (growing along the rail), and both are in bud now, waiting their turn to burst open.
Next will be the kowhai, and in the next one to two months, the Te Henga Valley will come alive with the yellow kowhai blooms, and star bursts of clematis from atop the green of the trees. I love spring!
25 May 2017
A thirsty kereru’s (native wood pigeon) thirst is satisfied. Look at these amazing photos taken by last weekend’s Guests. He had spotted our ruru (owl) photo on our website, (thought it must have been a decal stuck to the window. It wasn’t!) Because of this, he came with his camera charged and ready. I mentioned that many birds are now using the birdbath on the front lawn, in full view from the B’&B’s lounge windows and deck: wax eyes, tui, fantail and kereru. He took many photos, but these are his two best and he very kindly gave us the pics, with his best wishes!
At this time of year, the trees around the B&B are supplying birds with a range of seeds from the native trees. These include lancewood, five fingers, nikau and cabbage trees.
25 April 2017
We have just installed a Queen size tilt down wall bed with a super luxurious Sierra 2 mattress, brand “Askobed” . This is a significant ‘upgrade’ for the second couple or third person who will use of the ‘second’ bed in the lounge. The days of Guests using the sofa bed are over, as it’s good bye to the old and in with the new!
The sofa bed had been satisfactory but the improvement has meant our Guests now have the convenience of a real bed, which can be put away into the cabinet without having to re-make it each day. It no longer occupies floorspace during the day, and is easily lowered when they are ready to sleep. Perfect!
We had always felt that the second couple got a second rate deal, and that the couples should ‘choose straws’ to determine who got the bedroom with it’s king size bed. But this is no longer the case and they also have the advantage of a fabulous bush view from their bed. Can’t wait for the Guests to be impressed as much as us!
27 March 2017
Due to 2 cancellations, Bush Sand and Sea B&B has become available again in April 2017. We would welcome new enquiries and will work hard to tailorise your stay.
Due to a late cancellation, we are now available this friday 13 January and Saturday 14 January. Make the most of a summery friday night down at Bethells Beach, enjoy the great food on offer from the Bethells Cafe, plus live music. This Friday its Johnny and the Cashtones. Cancelled if wet.
1 October 2016. SPRING! Best time of the year, in my opinion.
In between the showers of rain, there are great moments to be had out here and in the Bethells Valley. 9 years ago, as the Unit was being built, I planted a clematis seedling off the rear deck, and tied it, as it grew taller and taller, onto the kauri tree. Well i did know that kauri trees don’t like things growing on them (they are epiphyte intolerant), and it kept throwing the clematis off! Luckily the five finer and coprosma next to the kauri didn’t mind…the result, it is now flowering for the first time ever! HOORAY!
Plus all 3 of my clematis babies on the driveway are also in full bloom. I can look our across the valley from my tale and see spots of white clematis and the yellow of the kowhai trees, also madly blooming. The kereru have decimated our 2 young kowhai in our mitigation planting area (never pays to be early flowerers), but luckily all the others are now out too.
The Tui birds are also very feisty as they spar and compete for good partners. Lots of activity out here and only 1 free weekend in the whole of October which is the last month to use out “stay 3 nights for the price of 2” policy for the off peak season.
4 July 2016
We were so excited to receive our Gen2 Leaf in January and I completely forgot to post about it. lol. We love it and getting an electric car is definitely the right thing to do. Everything lined up: great deal from the wonderful Autolinks Cars in Grey Lynn, Auckland (https://www.facebook.com/autolinkcars/timeline); time for Alan to research and match our needs and wants to price and availability. It felt good to select a car, wait a couple of weeks for it to arrive off the boat, and know that Autolinks are so concerned that we still felt the choice was right, that even up to the day of collection, we could still have changed our mind. I have never met a car Dealer Owner like Henry and staff, Sarah. We went through a learning curve, almost like learning to drive a car all over again, because you need to think about our driving range (estimate only of km “in the tank”) and the route. Folk talk about ‘range anxiety’ but we quickly got over that. Long trips definitely need a 100% charge and carefully plotted route. An 80% charge is enough for most of our usage and we reckon it costs us $2.50 for 100km of travel! We can also now advertise that any Guest staying here, with their own electric car, can re-charge for FREE!