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.
Today after we had sung in our community choir concert we visited a park that has a stand of large trees. Many of the trees are non-indigenous, deciduous varieties but there are well established natives included too.
When our children were small we would come to this park during autumn and they would run and jump and play in the huge drifts of fallen, dry, crackling leaves. They loved it.
Many of the trees were already bare when we visited today but there were plenty of leaves still and a couple of large drifts that we could have jumped into or hidden someone beneath. We opted instead to take some photos.
I snapped a couple of shots of the largest pile of fallen leaves expecting that the photos would be fairly uninteresting.
It was not until I uploaded the photos and viewed them on my computer screen that I spotted the one green leaf poking out of the huge pile of brown leaves.
It reminded me of our uniqueness as individuals; of how, at times, I feel so very, very different from other people; of how one person can stand out dramatically from the crowd; of how when looking at the big picture we can miss the details; of how we all have something special to offer the world and we need to let this be seen.
Our largest flowering cherry tree is later to blossom and later to shed its leaves compared with the other two in our garden. But the frosty nights and colder days now, plus the decreasing number of daylight hours have meant we are offered this glowing, warming display right now.
I’ve been thinking about a three letter word this week and realise just how much I use it, often at the end of a sentence.
I find it helpful in quieting the negative voice/s in my head.
The little word is “yet”, used as an adverb. “I haven’t written that blog post……..pause and insert “yet.”
Yet can mean “up to the present time, thus far” and I think this offers a great sense of hope, possibility, potential, choice and opportunity. It can relieve pressure, increase a sense of empowerment, capability and capacity, encourage wider thinking or creativity and let our clever brains get to work in a way that supports us instead of beating us down.
A photo of “yet” seemed a little trickier to capture but maybe this pile of wind gathered autumn leaves says “it is autumn here but not yet winter” and thus far the temperature here today bears that out.