April was always going to be a busy month. Easter happened with family gatherings and then 4 birthday parties were on the schedule. Lots of happy, busy occasions. Life, however, added in some very challenging times with worries, tests, appointments and follow-ups. I am very pleased to report that the future looks very positive and reassuring.
The drought has broken and the weather has been more autumnal at times. On Friday afternoon some time in nature called and I walked with my daughter near the Pauatahanui Inlet.
Two white faced herons were fishing in the shallows near us. Their deliberate and precise movements can be very slow but momentarily swift as they catch tiny sprats. I find them very restful to watch with their grace and elegance and their methodical stepping, attentive way of life. It is very easy to slow to their pace.
Even the normally hyperactive, bossy, noisy seagulls were content to paddle in the shallows.
The contented birdlife and the almost silent lap of the waves provided me with some much needed stillness and peace. “Being still does not mean don’t move. It means move in peace.”
― E’yen A. Gardner
When the sun came out on Friday afternoon last week I stopped the car by the Pauatahanui Inlet with my camera in the hope that I would catch some photos.
Several birds flew away at my approach so I began to trudge back to the car when this partly uprooted tree caught my eye.
It is a Brush Wattle or Stink Bomb tree.
Brush Wattle is not a true wattle and it is considered a pest here in New Zealand. The seeds from the tree when crushed let off a vile and pungent smell that most children know about and enjoy annoying adults with.
The sun was illuminating the trunk of the Stink Bomb tree and dramatically showing the Tapa cloth like patterns on the smooth bark.
I was genuinely surprised at the beauty of this bark.
Our cat Jazz is a little over 14 years old and in the past year or two has developed some arthritis in his lower spine. He is on pain relief and some medication that help eases the discomfort and increases his flexibility.
I have added this Snugglesafe cat “hottie”
to his treatment regime after learning about these on Leanne’s blog:
He was very suspicious of his new hottie at first
he has crept closer to it
and finally after two days he is enjoying the steady, warmth this fleece covered disc offers to him.
His humans have also discovered how useful it is on sore lower backs and strained rib cartilage when Jazz has been outside or when the daytime temperatures have been too warm for him to want to lie on it.
Autumn is evident even though rainfall is still low here and temperatures mild. Many of the deciduous trees in the garden have been dropping their leaves for weeks now due to the drought.
If we get some chilly nights some the trees might colour up more but many have leaves that look crispy dry with only some discolouration. The Smoke Bush (Cotinus Coggygria) is showing its usual beauty, apparently unaffected by the lack of rain.
And the Cotoneaster is covered in rich red berries.
Last week the blackbirds were feasting on these but after some millimetres of rain the birds are back hunting worms instead.