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Archive for the ‘Spring’ Category

It seems a while ago now, but back in November, when we were on the homeward leg of our road trip, we stopped for petrol. Next to the station was a small roadside green area, with a freshly cut lawn, picnic table, and shelter. This one was spectacular. By November, most of the spring blooms had faded – it was neither spring nor summer. But this one decided to thrill me with its all over colour. I don’t know what it is. But it made a petrol stop on a long drive that much lovelier.

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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There are some days when the colours seem brighter, the air fresher, and the earth and sea and sky seem more alive. Today is one of those days. Yesterday we had mild temperatures, but the day was quiet, with mist hanging around at the top of the valley, dampening noise, spirits, and – in my case at least – activity.

But this morning, Monday greeted us with the brightest of greens, and the bluest of blue sky. Temperatures are warmer too, edging into almost-summer temperatures (high teens/low 20s C) here in Wellington, though elsewhere in the country they are getting full-fledged mid-summer temperatures this week. We drove out to visit my father-in-law on the road that edges the shore (tracking the fault-line), and the harbour looked glorious.

As often happens at this time of year, Wellingtonians desperate for summer to arrive over-estimated the temperature. The Husband was happy in shorts and a T-shirt, but I saw many women in summery, sleeveless tops, and one even in a boob-tube (tube top). I had to smile at this optimism, this wholehearted embracing of temperatures that tell us to get out of our winter coats and woollen tops!

We stopped for lunch at a cafe on the way home, where people were enjoying their lunch outside in the sun, though forever cautious about UV rays and the damage they can do, we sat inside.

And on the drive home, even a pohutukawa tree was caught up in the exuberance of the season, beginning to flower several weeks earlier than usual. It reminded me that it will soon be time to change my blog header, to the vibrant red pohutukawa flowers of the season.

That said, the early flowering of the pohutukawa tree made me sad too. Climate change is urging it to bloom early. The warm temperatures we are experiencing have come from across the Tasman Sea from Australia, where they are suffering major, early bushfires that are destroying lives and livelihoods. The colourful sunsets that have resulted here are a sombre reminder that the beauty we see is a tragedy for others.

 

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