Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

I’ve shown Ti Kouka or cabbage trees before. Quite recently in fact. But I find in my “Trees” photo file there are a lot of cabbage trees, especially ones snapped recently. I could, of course, eke these out, providing material for four different Thursday Tree posts, rather than one. But today I’m combining them all. There are always more cabbage trees in different lights for future posts. I love their sculptural, spiky, shapes. I love them crystal clear against bright blue winter skies. I love their glow with the low winter light coming through their leaves. And I love the shadows they create. I hope you do too.

Another in the Thursday Tree Love series – find all the other bloggers doing it here.

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The light is waking me earlier. It stays later. It’s still only August, which in the south is often the coldest time of the year – or at least, it was in the 1970s and 80s – but is not here. Here, in the south of the north, we don’t have lambs reminding us that winter will end and summer is coming, as I had every year as I was a child. But we do have the trees. I’ve only seen one kowhai in flower so far. They will come.

But the magnolias? They’re out in force, in my neighbourhood, in my father-in-law’s old neighbourhood and on the way to his new retirement home only five minutes from us, and next to the place where we park our car when we were visiting him in hospital (see below). Their colours make me smile after months of unrelenting green. Most are pink, some are white, one – which I might photograph for another tree week – is a gorgeous deep plum colour.

Other trees, such as this one, is still firmly in winter mode. I actually think I like it better in winter – its nicely pruned shape, and its stark white branches. I’ve often meant to use it for a regular tree post, so I’m sneaking it in here. (Besides, I haven’t done a tree post since June, so the least I can do now is include two!)

Our oak tree is starting to form buds, so it might soon be time to change my blog header (which shows its last leaf). But it would be easy to miss these signs in Wellington, a city that is firmly enveloped in evergreen trees and ferns, and where we have to make an effort to notice the changing of the seasons. In some ways, that makes me appreciate them even more.

Another in the Thursday Tree Love series – find all the other bloggers doing it here.

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Summer hasn’t shown up this season. Yet, I add hopefully. Here in Wellington, it’s been totally AWOL. After the steamy heat of Japan and Korea, and then even worse in Vietnam in June, I said – foolishly, it seems – that I didn’t want summer to arrive too soon, or to be too hot. But this is just getting ridiculous. We’ve had non-stop wind since October. Usually the spring winds last a few weeks, or maybe a month, around October or November. But December was crazy, and although we get the occasional calm day, the wind has otherwise been the most consistent part of this “summer.”

I’ve worn sandals once. I haven’t even had to paint my toenails, or shave my legs (though don’t worry, I have), because I’m generally in shoes or sneakers and jeans. We’ve even had the heating on, including today, and I’ve managed to sit outside on the deck with a drink for – count it – ONE measly day! So it’s been wine and cocktails inside, in a desperate attempt to pretend that it is, in fact, summer. Sure, we’ve been able to get lovely summer produce from the supermarket and even the garden, so that’s kept me busy at least.


Tomato and zucchini relish jars

Yet from almost every window in my house, I look outside and across the valley, and see dozens of bright red pohutukawa trees. As much as I love them, it’s as if they are mocking me!

Still, I can’t resist photographing them. Here are a few from my walk down my street the other day, on a rare calm and sunny (though not very warm) day.


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