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On Summer’s Beauty and Bounty

Written by Kay

What an incredible Summer we’re having, long may it last!

It’s been very hot, far out mid thirties most days, but also we’ve had a lot of rain so things are very green, and growing!  As a result of all the rain, the heat and the work I’ve put into my garden soil, I’m now seeing corn over four metres high, most of the plants have three cobs and looks as though some are going to have four cobs on them.  Previously I was getting 50kgs of dry corn from 50sqm of garden bed, this year it will be more for sure, maybe far more…

In  the seven years we have been here (Eight Summers now) we have seen that the Mangapoike River is constantly changing; she goes up, and down of course and the temperature varies a lot and the clarity varies a lot according to how much rain we’ve had.  Each Summer we can see the results of how much rain we have had over the previous few years and the past two summers her level has been quite low, meaning the water gets hotter, more algae grows and it’s not so good for swimming. Right now, the water is high, clear and the rapids fantastic for kids and adults to navigate on inner tubes.  There is also loads of mullet in there right now…  Yesterday our extended family went down for a swim at 5pm when it was too hot to do anything else and it was such fun, great swimming.  Oliver, Elanor and Taiamai used the inner tubes to ride the rapids below the bridge, and we did a lot of enjoying the environment and soaking up the coolness of the water, actually quite warm, and introducing the babies, Frankie and Bobby to our River.  Afterwards we all came home and had a BBQ, with Taiamai’s homemade Bratwurst sausages cooked on our own home made charcoal, salad and potatoes from the garden, topped off by sharing the first Nuhaka nectarine to be ripe (between nine of us!)…  All this under the shade of a mulberry planted by us three years ago!!!

On Saturday Bob and Oliver, spent two hours travelling down the river in the inner tubes, from the Low Kotare bridge at one end of our land, all the way past the swimming hole below the housing clusters; yet another way of enjoying the day in the heat, being in the environment and getting a different view of this place. We feel very blessed to have such a beautiful river on our boundary…

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