Tui on Tuesday

No snow here but it is brutally cold and a local mountain road is closed at the moment due to snow.

Yesterday I braved the increasingly icy conditions in a patch of welcome, but brief sunshine to check out the Tuis.

This one had enjoyed a vigorous bath in our spouting which was still full of rain from recent showers.

From the bathing site the Tui fly to a nearby tree and shake out their feathers, preen, scratch, shake some more and sing about the joys of a free wash and dry, no matter the weather.
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Snow forecast.

This afternoon the weather people have issued a heavy snow warning for my part of New Zealand. They suggest the snow will fall overnight and tomorrow morning on hills at around 300 metres.
Will it happen? I don’t know. Snow falling here is a rare event but it has happened in the past. It is certainly bitterly cold here as we head into a second week of very low temperatures, biting winds and plenty of rain. Earlier predictions of a warm winter are a distant memory now.
However this magnolia bud about to burst forth is a result of the warmer conditions we enjoyed up until 10 days ago. It is a very early bud.
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This brave daffodil is more “on time” as they do flower earlier here than the date that officially marks spring.
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With snow forecast then this Edelweiss flowering in the garden is not looking so foreign right now.
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Wikipedia offers this: Edelweiss (English pronunciation i/ˈeɪdəlvaɪs/, from German [ˈeːdəlvaɪs]; systematic name Leontopodium alpinum or Leontopodium nivale ssp.), is a well-known mountain flower, belonging to the sunflower family.
The plant is unequally distributed and prefers rocky limestone places at about 1800–3000 m altitude. It is non toxic, and has been used traditionally in folk medicine as a remedy against abdominal and respiratory diseases. The dense hair appears to be an adaptation to high altitudes, protecting the plant from cold, aridity and ultraviolet radiation.[2] As a scarce short-lived flower found in remote mountain areas, the plant has been used as a symbol for alpinism, for rugged beauty and purity associated with the Alps, and as a national symbol especially of Austria and of Switzerland.

William Shakespeare at the beach in honour of the people of Christchurch…..and a plaque that explains more

Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time will remember my posts( here, here, here and here) about the brick-work installations along the sea walls at Plimmerton Beach.

Russell Plume created these quotations from the works of William Shakespeare from pieces of brick that wash up along the beach.
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This quotation was installed on a sea wall earlier this year and alongside it now is a plaque explaining the purpose of this particular installation.
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As beach walkers pass by and read the quote and the explanation I hope their thoughts and good wishes will turn to the people of Christchurch to support and encourage them.

There is a Facebook page here for more photos and information to like and share.

Winter contrasts

Cabin fever was building yesterday so we rugged up and headed out for a brief walk. It was brutally cold in the wind but bracing and refreshing as our faces tingled and our ears chilled.

The stark, coldness of the day was mirrored in the bare branches of this very tall tree in the car parking area.
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But along the roadway and around a corner, in a more sheltered spot here was this tree glowing orange with such warmth.
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Then an early appointment this morning saw me visit Plimmerton where I spotted the sun shining brightly on Mana Island.
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However a slight turn southwards showed the real weather on the mainland.
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The winter season can present a range of guises to wonder at and enjoy.

Winter light

Grey clouds, low light, icy rain and freezing winds this week have seen us indoors so much of the time. It is easy to gaze wistfully out a window hoping for a clearance in such weather. No such clearance has been forth-coming but yesterday the sun did break through at times and just after mid- afternoon offered me this image of winter light, soft greens and a warmth that was definitely lacking in the air. Winter sunlight can surprise us at times as it shines into corners mostly shaded and dark.
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