... in very small quantities. My friend Pete Hawkes who is an Entomologist who works on ants has sent me a bunch of sample bottles with preserving alcohol (do not drink this). Ant size of course. From South Africa. It got opened by Australian customs, before being sent on (there is a sticker on the envelope). So I am now probably listed as highly suspicious and dubious person, if I wasn't before. Pete didn't even put a note in the envelope, to explain why he was sending 10 little jars - like 3 ml in each, and a bunch of sealing plastic envelopes. Must have puzzled the customs officer no end. I think I might try a note in the ant-return (they're for specimens of the various local ants - particularly big (maybe 3/4") solitary seeming things.) Of course it has turned icy - wind off the snow on Tassie I reckon so not an ant to be seen. Or maybe it was me sneezing at them. The snot will not GO AWAY.
On the garden front - I finally gave up and pulled out the cucumber plants - we got 4 cucumbers (accidents) and a couple of jars of gerkins (what I had hoped to get off them). Not bad for planting in mid-January though. Tomatoes should be dead... but I got 3 more little coctail ones which will be welcome. This year tinned tomato is kind of 'allowed' as really we only got here after the season. But we're being sparing on it. Reality allows the Zucchini a few more days tops and they too will go to the compost - one of them just flowered and 3 of 5 have little Zucchini. And hold thumbs - 4 jalapeno chilis FINALLY going red. Veg is slowing down though. I still have sliverbeet (swiss chard), carrots, fennel, beetroot, leeks, spring onions, a little lettuce, very very peppery chinese cabbage, some parsnips, snow peas, feeble spinach (curses) and broccoli. And potatoes and broad beans -- the last two not looking anything like ready yet. I think I'd better harvest some thyme and parsley (the parsley just LOVES this place - thyme - which I use a lot of less so. We will politely avoid mentioning mint as it has all DIED. What kind of gardner can't grow mint? And I have a severe lack of rosemary, a situation only forgivable by the price of lamb here.