the nature strip


Bend and stretch
November 27, 2012, 1:39 pm
Filed under: Health

iyengar yoga

Watching Romper Room as a child, I never understood the importance of the lyrics “bend and stretch, reach for the stars.” However, now when my back is aching and my shoulders are hunched, I get it. I understand that bending and stretching is a must to maintain the workings of the body – both inside and out.

I practice Iyengar yoga. Some classes resemble S & M with participants tying themselves up in straps and hanging upside down in ropes. But each stretch encourages strength, flexibility, and courage.

The class is thriving with women and men – some in their eighties. Mr Iyengar himself is now in his nineties and still practicing.

I know when I finish a class I feel lighter – I have a spring in my step and my moodiness has been replaced with well being.

What yoga do you practice? Do you have a favourite pose?



Charity threads
November 11, 2012, 9:59 am
Filed under: Charity fashion

red charity shoes

A couple of years ago I pledged to buy clothes second hand only. This translates to hours of fun trawling through charity shops and car boot sales.

I recently picked up a pair of red canvas boots from my local charity shop. Damage – $8. They make me feel all Dorothy. And they make me feel extra good as not only am I adding some colour to my wardrobe, I am helping those in need at the same time. What a great balance.

It’s hard to avoid buying something new at some point but when it comes to clothes, it is irksome to think about how much money people waste – let alone the number of sweat shops churning out cheap threads for cheap thrills. I ain’t no saint but I don’t think many of us actually think about the process of how that t-shirt came to sit on that shelf.

Anyway, let’s get back to the red boots. You can see me stomping around in these through the park, at the shops, at the library and in the kitchen.

Do you have a favourite item you purchased second hand?



Native bees
November 5, 2012, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Garden

Native bees

Our garden is buzzing with more than 6,000 stingless native bees of Sydney called Trigona Carbonaria – reminds me of the pasta dish of a similar name but these bees are anything but.

I don’t give these little guys enough credit – they look like flies so they don’t make me want to give them a cuddle but I am in awe of how they keep this earth ticking along through pollination.

When travelling they can fly up to a radius of 500m. When at home, they live in a wooden box within an outer poly-box nestled between our broccoli and basil. I’ve been told that inside the hive sits an egg mass protected by a membrane. The hive is built from resins as well as wax secreted from the bees themselves.

According to Peter Clarke, local bee expert, the Trigona are like “air conditioning engineers”. In cool weather they cluster around the egg mass to keep it warm, and in hot weather they fan the air and open holes within the egg mass. Clever little things.

The temperature range they are working hard for is 26 – 28.5 degrees. Sounds nice and toasty to me.