One of my children, now grown up, was given this collection of shells and seeds by a friend’s family from Playcentre.
They had contact with various scientists and were happy to gift us this array of treasures. The land snail shells are so colourful and inside each of these three are tiny classification details. Once upon a time they were part of a research study into creatures of my country.
The bright red and black seeds are a mystery to me.
With small children it was a time, back then, to examine and wonder, to observe the diversity of size and shape, to explore with very gentle touch and respect and to learn more about life on earth.
This small collection of treasures is important to me and one day I hope to share my enjoyment of them with my grandchildren.
Do you have such treasures tucked away?
Here is something I photographed in our garden today. This season I have seen lots more of these and curiosity got the better of me.
In the meantime you might also enjoy these pretty seed pods that have appeared on the New Zealand native Fuchsia procumbens which I posted on when it flowered.
There was an interesting piece of information in our newspaper this weekend about the native Kotukutuku (Fuchsia excorticate) which along with the F. procumbens is one of New Zealand’s three native fuchsias. Only one other fuchsia species is native to another part of the world other than South or Central America. Around 100 species originate from those parts of the American continent mass. It feels special that we have three that are unique to our lovely country.
We have a Melia azedarach tree in our front garden and it has grown enormously since we first moved in over 22 years ago. We had it trimmed a few years back and the arborist told me he would refuse to cut it down because it was such a beautiful tree.
In the past year or two I have working hard on being more aware and noticing more and my attention on this tree has increased. Then in the last few months I have been reading Juliet Batten’s blog http://seasonalinspiration.blogspot.com and she too is watching Melia trees and we have shared our observations and findings.
I had, until recently known the tree as the Bead tree and I have just learnt why it is so named, thanks to Juliet. The green seeds that are visible on my tree right now, contain a hard, five sided kernel or bead and these beads are used to make rosary beads.
The word “azedarach” comes from a contraction of the Persian vernacular “azaddhirakt” or noble tree.
I have a new and deeper appreciation for my Melia and the small gifts it gives to spiritual seekers and for its ancient noble status.