Tag Archives: climate

Sheltering in summer

On a cool and very blustery day I found this cicada sheltering on a rock in the garden.
DSCF6348

It has been a dull season so far for these familiar summer companions here in New Zealand.
As my A.W.B Powell’s “Native Animals of New Zealand” tells me: “On a hot summer’s day the air seems to crackle with the volume of sound produced by hundreds of these insects singing together.”

First edition published in 1947.  This copy published 1961

First edition published in 1947. This copy published 1961


The sound of cicadas has been missing, in the main, this season with so many windy days and cooler temperatures. Perhaps there will be a late run of the cicada chorus.

And for a humorous quote about cicadas please visit my post here.

And for a fascinating piece about the star Sirius and traditional Maori beliefs check out this post and the comments.

The Fallen Ones

In a rather optimistic move this afternoon I put on my jacket and hood and went out to get some photos of the fallen trees near my home. The wind was still blustery and the wind chill factor meant outdoors it was below freezing so my trip outside was very short lived.

This Silver Dollar Gum crashed to the ground across the road from our home around 8pm as the storm really took hold and somehow we heard the sound of chainsaws over the raucous din of the roaring wind. An emergency crew had been called as this large tree had fallen across the road blocking each lane.
DSCF5354
Sometime around 1am when I had finally fallen asleep more chain saw men turned up and cut up more of this tree perhaps after the gale had moved some of the bulk out on to the road again.
DSCF5353

This Taupata was trimmed by the City Council last year because it is on Reserve land. They had left it a rather vulnerable shape and that plus its age and the terrific winds saw it split off at the base. The remaining branch looks potentially rotten so this tree may well disappear completely. The Council might plant another native in its place on the Reserve.

DSCF5350
DSCF5351

This is the really sad victim of the storm. It is the large Protea tree that I posted about here.
DSCF5195

It has been a Tui meal table for months now. I can sit and watch this tree and the activities of the Tuis.

commons.wikimedia.org

commons.wikimedia.org


But the rain that has fallen all week has saturated the ground and that plus the top heavy shape of this tree and the violent wind has caused it to break off at ground level. I doubt that it can be recovered from here.
DSCF5355
I note in this photo that I have captured a Tui in the tree and they are still visiting it to enjoy the nectar but it is a vastly different tree now and so sad to see.
DSCF5356
DSCF5357

The big dry.

The whole country is very, very dry with drought conditions in many places. Rain is desperately needed by people who farm the land and who grow plants. I am watering my vegies and plants on a daily basis and further water restrictions are on the horizon.

It is hot and it is dry.

DSCF4793

Some refreshment would be welcome and would provide balance.

I went in search of some cooler conditions this morning and enjoyed the green of the regenerating bush area nearby.
DSCF4788

Something has been enjoying some refreshment eating this green leaved Kawakawa plant.

DSCF4787

And a blackbird was eating these juicy berries.

DSCF4791

Despite the lack of rain there is still green, juiciness to be found in my backyard thank goodness.

A stroll along Wellington’s waterfront.

Yesterday dawned hot and sunny again! We had a mid afternoon pick up from the airport to do so we packed a picnic lunch and headed to Oriental Bay. As it turned out we joined many thousands of others who were enjoying the weather and the wonderfully accessible waterfront that Wellington Harbour now boasts.

We ate under the benevolent gaze of St Gerard’s Monastery (the lean is mine, not the buildings, although I think there are concerns over its strength in an earthquake now)
2013_0210Image0001

We watched people enjoying this stretch of beach along Oriental Bay.

2013_0210Image0003

This is an area of very desirable real estate and you can see why from views such as this.

2013_0210Image0002

After lunch we joined the throngs and strolled along the waterfront and found these points of interest. A bollard painted pink.
2013_0210Image0005

Others along here were yellow. A poem by Katherine Mansfield about how windy it can really be in Wellington and along the harbour’s edge.

2013_0210Image0004

This wonderful statue illustrating that at times the wind is sooooo strong that one can lean into it without falling forward. I really like this chap and his flexible back.

2013_0210Image0008

And a new feature on the waterfront for people to leap from into deep water below. This chap was very sure of himself and I captured the marvelous splash he made.

2013_0210Image0009

2013_0210Image0010

On the way back to the car we passed these two buskers who had wisely chosen a spot under a Pohutukawa tree and within the shade of a building. It was a very hot afternoon.

2013_0210Image0013

We are very fortunate to have such a pleasant waterfront to enjoy in Wellington.

2013_0210Image0007

In addition it is a very busy working port. It is interesting and vibrant, containing new innovations and older personalities.

2013_0210Image0011

2013_0210Image0012

And we only managed to walk a section of it yesterday. The photo below shows the part we did not get to yesterday.

2013_0210Image0006

I will go back again and take some more photos to share with you.

Trees of my teens

I lived in Hawkes Bay for 5 of my teenage years. Summers there can be relentlessly dry and relentlessly hot. Grass becomes brown and dry very quickly.
2012_1210Image0034

It almost looks dusty it is so dry. You are left wondering how animals can find enough to eat. But they do (often with the help of supplementary feed) and this land provides high quality animals and food.

2012_1210Image0037

Poplar trees stand in straight lines everywhere, planted as shelter belts and shade. They represent Hawkes Bay to me. These two had broken ranks and marched off to stand alone as an icon for me.

2012_1210Image0031

I love the way their leaves shimmer and shake in the breeze that sometimes only seems to reach them and them alone. As the ground bakes you can hear these leaves rustle and shift, showing green and silver as they turn, but there is no air movement down where you are yearning for something cooling to waft along.

2012_1210Image0019

It was warming up to be very hot as we farewelled Hawkes Bay last Monday and watched the number of poplars lessen as we traveled south to home and cooler conditions.

The last leaf on the tree

Our tall, beautiful, self sown flowering cherry tree has just one last leaf on it.

2012_0628Image0032
Despite being battered by many gale force winds this leaf is still on the tree as I type this post.

I’ve been considering possible metaphors around this leaf and a range come to my mind:

 Do we cling on to something long after we should have let it go?
 Do we hold on to beliefs or behaviours that no longer serve us?
 Do we have utter determination in the face of great opposition and stand firm?
 Do we like to have the final say, be the star of the finale?
 Is life just puzzling and full of quirks?
 Do we show great strength and grit in circumstances that are threatening and difficult?
 Are we pioneers, forging new ways that have never been achieved before?
 When conditions around us are inhospitable and life diminishing and we feel frail, drained, worn can we find inner strength, in reserves deep within us?

What does this last leaf offer you as a metaphor?

And another really amazing aspect contained in this photo is the evidence of next spring’s bubs, already formed, as the last leaf hangs, speaking of hope.