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.
Our Japanese maple tree is no longer “in- waiting” for the autumn switch. The clear, crisp nights around and since the Super moon this week have seen a dramatic colour change on most of the tree and today the leaves are dropping in large numbers
At a glance, in the gloomy conditions today, the courtyard looks as if stars have fallen to earth.
It is as if the maple tree was like its owners, determined to hold on to any last vestiges of the Indian summer, but nature always wins and the seasonal shift is well underway now.
Some years ago now a wonderful decision was made by our local city council. In recognition of Porirua’s Sister City relationship with Nishio City in Japan, a grove of flowering cherry trees was planted on grassy reserve land near our local school and kindergarten.
This grove of trees brings such simple but profound pleasure to so many residents and visitors as the trees cycle through the seasons. Last spring the flowering was prolific and the lack of wind meant the blossoms were not ruined. In summer it is a shady, leafy spot for children to play or picnic under and for dogs to enjoy sniffing about on their daily walk.
Autumn brings a dramatic colour show with the trees now large and spreading. We have been enjoying, actually reveling in an Indian summer since Easter and the nights have not been crisp and cold in the main. This has meant the leaves on these trees have not had the stimulation that causes strong colour changes. However nature is at work right now despite our “false” summer and the trees are well worth visiting to enjoy their autumn splendour.
With storm force winds predicted for yesterday and through the night we decided to head down to the grove to capture some photos before the leaves were stripped off by the gales.
The wind proved to be very “Wellington”. So strong I had trouble opening my car door against it and to walk into the wind required a certain lean that all Wellingtonians get teased about. It was nevertheless invigorating as swirls of fallen leaves from the many deciduous trees in that spot flew up and around us.
Such a large expanse of varied colour was a challenge to capture on humble digital cameras from ground level but we did our best.
After being buffeted and blown about we returned home feeling utterly refreshed and “our cobwebs” blown away.