After a long, gentle, mild autumn, winter finally arrived here a week or so ago bringing with it snow on our nearby hills. This is not a common occurrence.
The next night or two saw frosts coat the rooftops, cars and grass. Another relatively uncommon occurrence given how close we live to the Pauatahanui Inlet and its maritime influence that moves or warms the air.
We have a number of flowering cherry trees in and around our garden and they had been very slow to turn into their autumn colours.
This bitter cold snap has seen a dramatic change and some very striking colours emerge.
The nice aspect after a good frost, as seen here along a fence in the garden
is the stunning sunny, blue sky day that can often provide a clear backdrop to this firey beauty in the cherry tree leaves.
I am playing around with the point and shoot camera a lot at the moment and on this gloomy day earlier in the week I visited the stand of Flowering Cherry Trees which were in various stages of autumn decline.
A few trees were still displaying vibrant and colourful leaves.
The light was rather cold on this day but here is a photo looking into the light.
And this shot, with the light behind me is looking at the other side of the tree.
The differences were surprising and pleasing to me and my growing curiosity with photography.
Our incredible summer has given way to a slow, gentle and warm autumn with the occasional storm and chilly snap.
No matter the calmness and mild temperatures because the light is decreasing noticeably now and the shortest day is only a month or so away.
Lowering light levels and the cold of last weekend has seen leaf colour turn and the leaves beginning to fall in large numbers now.
On a short walk yesterday before the rain set in I captured these photos.
I am persisting in my attempts to achieve a great shot of the fantails (Piwakawaka) who are constantly visiting the garden at the moment. They are playful, cheeky, wee birds who can fly temptingly close to humans at times. They are not still for more than a second or two and all the while they chirrup and tweet in a very happy manner. As insect eaters they dive in and out amongst the leaves on trees to find food which also means a clear view is almost impossible. But I am not deterred and it is a joy to watch them flit about.
Here are some of my recent attempts…..
Found me in the maple tree!
Now I’m on the creeper on the trellis…can you see me?
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.