Here in the southern hemisphere the weather is becoming summery so things are flourishing in the garden. There are more insects including butterflies like the one on this pincushion flower(scabiosa atropurpurea).

The insects have brought the return of our old friend the echidna who we haven't seen for a while. Our neighbour took this photo while the echidna was eating ants by the side of the garden path.

I was surprised yesterday to notice this straw-necked ibis scratching for insects among the leaf litter. It is only the second time I have seen one in the garden. In this photo you can make out the iridescence in the dark feathers of its wings.

Summer is further evident in these photos of a New Zealand Christmas Bush on the foreshore at Torquay. The flowers looked like they were glowing in the afternoon sun.

I decided they were just what I needed for my small Christmas arrangement, so I picked some from a neighbours garden to add to the fragrant white lilies I had bought from the florist. Some golden mizuhiki provided the Christmas sparkle. The crescent-shaped ceramic vase is from Japan.

Belated Christmas Greetings from Christopher
28th December 2013

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