Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bees, Birds...and Big Pots

We had to stop potting for the afternoon yesterday when a bee swarm showed up out of nowhere. According to this fascinating article in  Wikipedia, 'the bees are usually not aggressive at this stage of their life cycle' but I wouldn't want to test it - they sound intimidating enough. It's incredible the way such tiny animals can communicate with each other so effectively that they behave like a single organism.

The swarm buzzed around the house for a while looking for a way in (fortunately we remembered to shut ALL the doors and windows) and then settled in a branch of a tree above the woodshed. They stuck around there in a big humming ball until lunchtime today, when they swarmed off again in search of their new home... but where did they go?!?

Katherine also took a photo of a white-faced heron this morning, trying to blend in with the buttercups:

We get a lot of interesting birds out here in Ocean View, from introduced English species like swallows and magpies, to natives like bellbirds, tui, Paradise Ducks and even a couple of  kahu, or harrier hawks, which have been circling each other high in the air lately, doing their courtship dance. An amazing thing to watch.

To get back to the pottery theme - here's a photo of a couple of big planters I've been working on. They are made with local terracotta, in a combination of coiling and throwing techniques:


Peter said...

Those planters look great Danny! Really interesting about the bee swarm. Must be a little alarming to be close to one though... even if they are supposed to be charming, quiet and cuddly at that stage in life! I'm really enjoying your blog. You have done some lovely posts, I've been catching up on them. Best Wishes, P.

Objekte-aus-Ton said...

I would like to visit New Zealand some day ...
Kind regards

Danny Holland said...

Hi Peter,

Really enjoyed your Auckland posts, specially the Portage coverage! Great to see what other potters are up to.


Katherine and Dan