Tony Chapelle is a friend I never met. In person, that is.
Six years ago he offered to be a reviewer for FlaxFlower book reviews and since then, through email discussions about a variety of books, I’ve come to know him as knowledgeable and enthusiastic about New Zealand literature, and generous in appreciation and support of other writers.
In that time he contributed 27 reviews – all of them informed, thoughtful, and literary. I was also very pleased to arrange for reviews of six of his own fine titles.
Three weeks ago Tony wrote that, despite his failing health he was continuing to work on his latest book and was hoping to complete it. He promised to keep me up to date on its progress. Now he has gone, and if this book does not make it into print, the loss is to the New Zealand literary scene.
FlaxFlower readers will have read many of his reviews. On behalf of all the Kiwi authors whose books he read and reviewed, thank you Tony.
We will miss you.
This rose is always the first in my garden to flower.
Before you ask, I don't know its name.
You can give it one if you like.
I think it looks like a Millicent.
I had to trim the Red Mānuka that was overhanging the path.
Overseas friends - please pronounce the name of our lovely native plant correctly. The stress is on the first syllable, not the second.
At risk of boring you – but everyone likes butterflies don’t they? – my earlier prediction (see the previous post) is proving right. It is indeed proving to be a bumper year for butterflies. Many days I have been releasing 3 or 4, and one day was a record at 12.
I’ve lost count, but it will be well over 100 already for this summer, and there are many more to come. Which is lovely. With all the bad news about the environment and the pandemic it’s a little reassuring to see these frail creatures surviving.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
With so much having been said by so many about 2020, I’ll leave any further comment other than to say that for me, among other things, it was a great year for butterflies.
The season’s total was 130, which was a record for me.
And now it seems in 2021 I can look forward to another year filled with butterflies.
This Monarch butterfly season started early here, in November, with more than 30 released by the end of the year.
The 2021 stock are already fluttering their way around the neighbourhood and, as you can see, there are plenty more to come over the next couple of weeks.
And there are more caterpillars chomping their way through all I can provide.
Clearly the Monarch population is set to fare well in the summer weeks to come.
So that’s all I’m predicting for 2021 –
a year full of butterflies.
I hope it’s the same for you!
The roses in my garden are at their late spring best. I just picked this vaseful from one bush - there are so many left I can hardly notice the difference.
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