Tag Archives: drought

My favourite photographs from March

My camera has been quietly resting for the last few weeks but I have been out and about on a few days in March this year.

Here are my favourite photographs from March. I really like the contrasts between the brown bleached hills and the lush greens seen in the trees and leaves of other photos.  Nature showing so much of its best around or near my home.

The big dry on the Belmont Hills

The big dry on the Belmont Hills

Early morning at home

Early morning at home

Silhouette of a Fantail.  A fleeting moment of stillness.

Silhouette of a Fantail. A fleeting moment of stillness.

Keruru feasting on Karamu berries ( I think)

Kereru feasting on Karamu berries ( I think)

The stunning work of a small spider.

The stunning work of a small spider.

This ball of feathers is a fantail preening - so little stillness with these delightful birds

This ball of feathers is a fantail preening – so little stillness with these delightful birds

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When it doesn’t rain

We have had a hot, dry summer which has been great for holiday makers and reassuring that the seasons can be as they should be.
My local weather station reports that there has only been 30.9mm or 1.22 inches of rain this year. We usually get a good regular amount of rainfall but no rain, a lot of drying winds and hot temperatures sees my immediate views looking like this.
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Fellow blogger Juliet Batten, who lives in the more northern part of my island (North Island, New Zealand) has just blogged this about drought and dry seasons.
Her post has resonated with me as I watch the external drought ravage my garden, including some natives and tall trees, but it has also touched my internal drought. The latter due in part to a long –winded tooth saga, resulting in an extraction and a painful dry socket.
I am finding Juliet’s suggestions and links in her blog post to fill the inner well very helpful.
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Lean pickings on the blog

It’s been very quiet here on the blog of late. My “blogging well” has felt dry as other life events have conspired to take my time, energy and attention away.

I spotted this Japanese maple leaf stuck on the arm of a very wet outdoor chair and it spoke to me of seasonal change, of flatness, of the effects of a dry spell. Its colourings are reminders that even in the natural cycles of ebb and flow, growth and decline there is a vibrancy that speaks of potential.

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Water on the brain

The entire North Island of New Zealand has been declared a drought area. It is very, very dry and rain is desperately needed. We have been told that there is only 20 days of water left before emergency supplies will have to be used. We are being told to conserve water in any way we can now.
Any water for the garden must be “grey water” collected in a bucket. No more sprinklers or hose use until we get significant rain.

Here is my bucket with grey water from the kitchen sink.
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I also take my trusty bucket into the shower with me for the brief wash that has become. I am slowly going around the garden tipping the grey water very carefully on to the thirsty plants.

Today’s paper has further hints on water conservation. We are also invoking a ditty that my young niece used to tell us when Auckland was in the grip of a water shortage a number of years ago.
“If it is yellow let it mellow,
If it is brown flush it down”

It takes a good deal of mind shifting to capture “grey water”, to be aware of just how much trickles or runs down the pipes and how easy it is to waste water. Fresh water is such a precious resource that is so easy for us to take for granted here in New Zealand where we usually have plenty.
Amidst all the new water saving routines that are being required came a letter from our City council telling me that for at least four days next week there could be very low water pressure or perhaps no pressure at all in the house.

The good news is that it is all part of upgrades to water reticulation services to help prevent problems in the future. If drought periods are to become more frequent here it is very reassuring to know that planning is underway to cope with that eventuality.
So I need to store some water next week to ensure any needs between 10am and 4pm are covered.

Water is certainly on my brain at the moment.

Otari Open Air Plant Museum

For a Sunday afternoon outing yesterday we headed back to Otari Bush Reserve. This time we chose to visit the area up by the Information Centre and the unique Otari Open Air Plant Museum.

Otari Plant Museum
“An area of approximately 150 acres at Wilton was purchased by the Government in 1907 and proclaimed a scenic reserve, the area in 1918 being vested in the Wellington City Council. In 1927, largely at the instigation of Cockayne and J. G. Mackenzie, then Director of Parks, it was set aside as a reserve for the planting of as complete a collection as possible of the indigenous plants of the New Zealand Botanical Region, and for the protection and improvement of the forest already there. Known today as the Otari Open Air Plant Museum, this area now includes plants brought from all over New Zealand. These are all clearly labelled with reference to a register giving particulars of each plant. The establishment of the fine rock garden at the main entrance to Otari has been the work of W. B. Brockie. Hundreds of species have been collected, or sent in by enthusiasts, from hills and alpine regions. Here are to be found Raoulia (vegetable sheep), the sweet-scented Myosotis traversii, the tiny white Pimelia prostrata, the pygmy pine (Dacrydium laxifolium), and many species of Hebe and other genera.”
Source: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/1966/flora-and-fauna-preservation-of/page-3
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Sadly the extremely dry conditions we have been experiencing this summer meant the gardens were looking rather woe-begone in places but we did spot some interesting plants and views.

Lancewoods with branches like chimney-sweep brooms.
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Plants with spikey, dry flowers or seed pods which rather suited the crispy, crackly, desiccated drought conditions.
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Grasses bleached white by the sun and lack of rain. Wispy but tenacious.
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A view down the hill to another section of this wonderful garden where lines and order contrasted with the more casual area of these other photos.
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And then a surprise as the sound of a trickle of water drew us to a pond with pretty fish and reeds, small and large.
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The finale of this part of our visit came with the discovery of this splendid Marlborough Rock Daisy.
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Its leaves are leathery, green and in this plant very glossy. The underside of the leaf has a soft furry feel in contrast. It is a very hardy plant. Once established it can survive salt and strong winds.

Its flower is another feature that attracts gardeners to include it in rock gardens (as it is here) and on exposed parts of sections.
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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.

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

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And a blackbird was eating these juicy berries.

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