Our lacklustre summer has turned to autumn as the month of March began. In fact, this week, it has been more like winter.
Winter officially began yesterday.
The winter garden holds different views as some autumnal aspects hold on while other aspects are in winter mode.
The Golden Elm shedding its leaves slowly, slowly.
The perky face of a self -sown pansy.
The blood-red branchlets of the near bare Japanese Maple tree. Doesn’t this colour speak of things to come in spring?
A small toadstool that survived for a day.
Both light and shadow are the
dance of love.
I have been playing with light more as I go about with my camera and realising that a slightly different angle on an adjacent object can offer up very different results.
Wherever there is light there is also shadow and in these two photos taken last week in warmer autumn sunshine I was surprised to see that a subtle shift of the camera gave me a very different picture with the shadows defined as strongly as the light.
Part of the successful resurgence in the Tui population can be attributed to their preparedness to eat food that is not part of the native smorgasbord on offer.
At the moment a neighbour’s spreading Protea tree (Proteas are South African natives but which can grow very well in New Zealand) is a fine dining table for the Tuis.
The flowers begin as cones.
Once open they are very fluffy looking inside
And each part of the flower has a slightly fluffy quality to it.
I have been watching the Tuis feed in this tree and it appears that they pop their curved beak in between the sides of these flowers rather than supping from the open top.
Somewhere beneath the fluffy interior must be sweet nectar. The pickings must be very good as they dine there everyday, visiting many times in the day and they sing and whistle endlessly giving thanks for their splendid meals.
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.
As dusk began to come down and the predicted clouds began to roll in the sun and sky responded in some unusual displays.
The last of sun was disappearing behind a hill as I went out into the gloomy garden.
I wandered about the garden on Sunday afternoon in temperatures reaching up to 20 C. It was hot and sunny with that lovely mellow light of autumn. I wanted to take photos of the native plants in the garden to share with you here on the blog.
As I was doing that and checking to see if I had missed any down in the tall tree corner, my eye was caught by the glow of the sun through the thick, glossy, tough leaves of the Magnolia.
This is the non-deciduous Magnolia which produces huge creamy coloured “tulip” flowers. (Note: while it does not shed its leaves in a seasonal burst like my other Magnolia does, it certainly drops lots and lots of leathery leaves all year round but mostly during summer.)
I was surprised that the sun could penetrate such leathery leaves that, en masse, form great light blocking density.
It was an extra and unexpected pleasure on my garden stroll.
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.
Last week the blackbirds were feasting on these but after some millimetres of rain the birds are back hunting worms instead.