Monthly Archives: March 2012

Enjoy the moment, cease the rush

I am having an “at home” day today with a list of chores to attend to. It is so easy to let my busy “monkey mind” take control and push me along to “get on” with things.

But then a useful check to all this happened as I was having a cup of coffee and answering emails. Jazz, our cat, came inside and promptly claimed my knee. It would have been easy to move him on as my mind was reminding me of the next chore but I chose to sit quietly with him and to enjoy his purring and relaxation on my knee.
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Research shows that patting a cat reduces blood pressure and has other wonderfully calming effects on we “busy” humans. I decided all that was worth capturing and maybe cats get great benefits from human love and attention. Who knows?

In true cat style he suddenly decided to move onto a chair next to me. He groomed a little and then curled up to sleep.

But moments had been enjoyed and the “rush” slowed

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Earthshine, moonlight, stars and planets

We have been enjoying some warm, clear Indian summer days this week and with it has come clear nights. This past summer has been one of cloud, cloud and more cloud so viewing the night sky has not been an option.

The nights are drawing in here and daylight saving finishes this weekend so pulling the curtains is happening earlier. As I have been shutting the curtains I look into the western sky and I have spotted the crescent moon and with it two very bright objects.
I’ve checked and they are the planets Venus and Jupiter. The latter is fading fast and last night was not as shiny as it had been earlier in the week.

Jupiter from Voyager 1

When we came home from singing on Tuesday night I was able to gaze up at the sky at 9pm and see the familiar Southern Cross and all the other stars of our Milky Way. It is a comforting sight.

A fellow blogger Jo posted a very interesting piece earlier this week about Earthshine and that piqued my curiosity. The new moon has had this phenomenon occurring in our sky too this week and I have learnt a new word. Sunshine, moonlight, starlight are all old familiar terms but “Earthshine” has an enchanting ring to it.

Here is what Jo wrote about Earthshine and I would encourage you all to pop on over to her online magazine The Hazel Tree and read the interesting posts she writes as well we viewing the stunning photos she and her family take on their patch of earth.

“Earthshine is the faintly illuminated ‘dark’ part of the Moon, which is not lit directly by sunlight. Instead, it’s lit by reflected sunlight from the Earth.
The best time to observe Earthshine is when the Moon is a thin crescent, either while it’s new in the evening, or an old waning Moon at sunrise. For some reason that isn’t yet properly understood, it is much more noticeable during the months of April and May.
The phenomenon was first explained by Leonardo da Vinci in the first decade of the 16th century. Cloud cover on the Earth reflects more sunlight than land or sea, although snow and ice reflect up to 90% of sunlight back into space.
Earthshine is also known as ‘the Moon’s ashen glow’ or ‘the old Moon in the new Moon’s arms’.”

Frenzied feeding on a foggy day

It is not often that we experience foggy weather here. Mostly this is because I live in a part of New Zealand that is very famous for its windy climate. But today we awoke to a muffled day of thick fog and low cloud.

I wanted to capture a photo of this foggy day down by one of our lakes. The birdlife was hopeful that I might have bread to feed them but I didn’t today.

Fortunately for the birds a grandfather and his wee granddaughter did have a bag of bread to share in that time honoured tradition of “feeding the ducks”.

A feeding frenzy began with the 4 resident geese leading the charge. The sea gulls skirmished with the ducks and the two pukekos sprinted over to join in the melee. It was chaotic with squawks, honks, and quacks.

The wee one sat wide-eyed but quiet as she ate the piece of bread her grandfather had given her to toss to the starving wildlife!

It was fun to watch and enjoy in the misty, foggy rain.

The magic of rain drops

I love going to sleep at night with the sound of rain falling on the roof. It goes back to my childhood when safe and sound in a warm dry house and snuggled up in a warm comfortable bed the beat of drops soothed me off to sleep.

We’ve had really stormy weather these past 4 days and the wind has howled and buffeted at us. There had been some rain but mostly it was skiffy, drizzly stuff which did not penetrate the dry soil and any moisture was quickly sucked out by the gales.

So last night’s steady rain was a welcome sound. It means I don’t have to water my plants today and I know they will have had a good soaking.

But I caught sight of some other magic rain drops as I went out to hang out some washing this morning. The sun was glinting off the big fat round rain drops that had caught on this lacy leaf down amongst the other leaves that had blown into this spot on the path. The intense sparkling was eye catching and reminded me that there are always gems to be found in nature and in life, despite storms and crazy happenings.