These lovely creatures were all very close to the little cottage we stayed in on our trip to Hawkes Bay recently.
The eldest member of the family has a birthday in early August and we made the journey to Hawkes Bay to spend some time visiting and to share a special lunch out with him.
The weather was a total contrast shifting from a very warm day to a very cold, wet day the next. The winter light made photography tricky but delivered some interesting photos despite the glare and the gloom.
This vibrant lily in Keirunga Gardens, Havelock North, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, symbolises summer in that part of my country so accurately. Hot colours for the intense heat (33C) and the dynamic light of summer there.
We stayed with relatives in Hawkes Bay and in a welcome space of time away from the hospital I wandered about their lovely garden with the camera.
The climate in Hawkes Bay is so very different to our one here in Porirua and gardens grow luxuriantly there. Different plants thrive in the dry, scorching heat of summer and the frosty cold winters.
So here are some of the plants I photographed during my time out in nature. The intense heat and light of mid morning was not the best time for photography but I wanted to capture those extremes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We made a visit to Hawkes Bay last weekend to visit my father in law before Xmas. Not only did we enjoy time with him and other family members we also found summer.
Spring here has been long, cloudy, cool, grey and windy. We know that Hawkes Bay experiences vastly different conditions thanks to a large mountain range that shelters it from the prevailing damp, howling winds and rain that come in off the Tasman Sea. It enjoys and thrives in the rain-shadow effect.
We rented a small, self contained cottage just outside the village we were visiting.
It is on a life-style block where the owners are growing and farming organically and also operating this commercial kitchen. Check out a great initiative here.
Look at the bounty of goodness that is so abundant in this part of my homeland.
Bounty awaiting in these Feijoa flowers.
The birds were doing their bit to pollinate these beauties that speak of heat and flavour and the traditional colours of the approaching Christmas day.
Beauty in tall, fragrant rose bushes.
You can see how dry it becomes here. Drought is common.
We had hot weather, intense blue skies which faded out to a hazy, pale blue as we left for home in the glare and brightness of the sunshine. But while there we had sat outdoors in the shade in calm conditions, we had strolled in the evening warmth and soaked up Vitamin D admiring gardens.
The rhythms of the normal routines here have been altered in the past 10 days. We headed to Hawkes Bay to visit the oldest member of the family as he celebrated his 86th birthday earlier in August.
I wrote a list of things to take in the hope that I would not forget to pack vital items. The one thing I did not pack was the camera. I was very disappointed as I wanted to get some photos of the wide, expansive vistas of the Heretaunga Plains. The landscape there is so different to my usual views here at home.
Fortunately one of the family did take a camera and so I have a photo of the emus that lived next door to the lovely, peaceful, comfortable, boutique self-contained accommodation we rented here.
Did you know that Emus can make a deep booming noise? They don’t sleep for long periods of time so that accounts for me hearing them “boom” at 4.15am. Fortunately the booming was short-lived.
The accommodation is part of a small life-style block on the outskirts of Hastings and the owners have a menagerie of different birds and animals. Part of our rent included these fresh free-range bantam eggs.
We always buy honey from Arataki Honey House when we visit Havelock North. Look at this golden goodness. We take a 6kg bucket and get that refilled at the Honey house every 6 months. This small jar was a gift.
While at Arataki I picked up two brochures. One provides ideas for plants to have in the garden to attract honey bees. I intend to plant some marigolds when the rain eventually stops falling here, in the hope that more bees will visit.
The other brochure details all the new cycle tracks in the Hastings/Napier area. Locals are busy exploring and enjoying these tracks and which will appeal greatly to tourists visiting this special and beautiful part of the country.