Two days of relentless gales had flattened my newly flowering daffodils.
I rescued what I could and bought the flowers inside to enjoy.
I see today that the remaining leaves and damaged flowers have almost returned to their previous height. Winter is very much with us still despite these early spring flowers showing a brave face to remind us of things yet to come.
After relentless gales from the northwest we were blessed today with a cool, gentle southerly wind change. That brought us the astounding sound of silence from the noise of the winds, stillness to be outdoors and enjoy it, and warmth from the sunshine.
Jazz made the best of the conditions as he stretched to soak up the prevailing goodness.
It is official. Even the scientists confirm my suspicions. It has been a very windy spring and while we are used to that here in windy Wellington, many of the gales have been much stronger than the usual blustery conditions we live with.
Almost without fail there have been wind warnings forecasting gusts of up to 140kms per hour. Fortunately my particularly patch on earth has a degree of shelter from these northwesterlies. But we have sustained damage, most recently to an old television aerial.
You can see the trees in the tall tree part of our garden taking a buffeting. The fresh leaves of the birch trees are already looking bedraggled and bent in response to the prevailing bluster.
The Viburnum “pom poms” are burnt and brown.
Those are the ones that have survived on the trees. So many have been stripped. In past springs they looked like this.
The rock roses have proved to be hardy and flourishing bushes but the relentless wind sees the crepey flowers brown and shrivel.
And then there are the birds who must be exhausted battling through the endless gusts and the strength of the wind. Look at these two blackbird fledglings sheltering in a sunny and calm part of the garden this afternoon, resting while the parents are off foraging.
Blackbird fledgling resting to the right of the green tray.
As I went outdoors the parent bird flew near me and waited hopefully in the Magnolia tree.
I had nothing to offer him this time but I have been tossing scraps and crumbs out in greater quantities to help the birds survive.
Other parts of the country have been hard hit again today and we are hoping that the winds will abate tomorrow as predicted.
The remarkable thing about waking up this morning is the sound of silence. Well not total silence because the birds are singing and traffic is passing the house BUT there are no gale force north westerlies buffeting the house and roaring in the trees. The noise of the wind yesterday seemed all encompassing as it gusted and blustered at every door and window.
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.
This week my country has been under the influence of a storm system straight out of the southern ocean. The wind has been fierce in strength and chill factor, here, most of the week.
It has swung from north west and back to south west on occasions and yesterday was a good example of that.
However the black, threatening clouds in the early afternoon moved away and left the air still for a few hours, with warm, milky sunshine bathing the back garden.
There were some photos I wanted and finally I have captured the precise one, after several attempts. However as I turned to come back indoors my eye was caught by the soft creamy sunlight playing on the leaves of the Pandorea. In front of this climber is a brave lavender which still has some flower heads on it.
While the sharpness of the lavender is not as I hoped the lovely colours and the way the light illuminates only part of the leaves is what had appealed to me and stilled me for a time.
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.
I love going to sleep at night with the sound of rain falling on the roof. It goes back to my childhood when safe and sound in a warm dry house and snuggled up in a warm comfortable bed the beat of drops soothed me off to sleep.
We’ve had really stormy weather these past 4 days and the wind has howled and buffeted at us. There had been some rain but mostly it was skiffy, drizzly stuff which did not penetrate the dry soil and any moisture was quickly sucked out by the gales.
So last night’s steady rain was a welcome sound. It means I don’t have to water my plants today and I know they will have had a good soaking.
But I caught sight of some other magic rain drops as I went out to hang out some washing this morning. The sun was glinting off the big fat round rain drops that had caught on this lacy leaf down amongst the other leaves that had blown into this spot on the path. The intense sparkling was eye catching and reminded me that there are always gems to be found in nature and in life, despite storms and crazy happenings.