Earlier in the week with the weather looking more summery I noticed that the Tuis were not visiting the feeders nearly as often. The flaxes are flowering and many other natural food sources are offering them good nourishment.
However the tail end of a tropical storm reached us last evening with humidity and now rain. Quite heavy rain at times and the Tuis are back and in numbers.
Cabin fever was building yesterday so we rugged up and headed out for a brief walk. It was brutally cold in the wind but bracing and refreshing as our faces tingled and our ears chilled.
The winter season can present a range of guises to wonder at and enjoy.
Maori (New Zealand’s indigenous peoples) have a concept Turangawaewae.
Tūrangawaewae is one of the most well-known and powerful Māori concepts. Literally tūranga (standing place), waewae (feet), it is often translated as ‘a place to stand’. Tūrangawaewae are places where we feel especially empowered and connected. They are our foundation, our place in the world, our home.
Since the death of both my parents and now more recently the death of my brother, the place of my first months of life has increasingly become my Turangawaewae.
On a recent visit to Greytown, Wairarapa I went down River Road that leads from the house I lived in to the banks of the Waiohine River.
The river was grey-blue and running reasonably fast due to rain falling in the nearby mountains.
The trees on the banks were in autumn colours but the white light and heavy cloud dimmed those on this visit.
It was not to be.
Although there was this gale bending the Birch tree over very dramatically.
The gale lashed the house relentlessly all night and today has been little better. We were also drenched in rain with roads closed due to flooding.
Today was our belated Christmas Day with one part of the family so we covered presents (which had been waiting some time)
with plastic bags, loaded up food in a plastic clothes basket, donned our coats and off we went for lunch and a fun afternoon. A four year old and his two year old sister kept things lively and fun.
The weather had cleared by late this afternoon although the gales continue. We spotted some Royal Spoonbills in the Pauatahanui Inlet along with a large flock of Black Swans.
The Pohutukawas were still being shaped by the winds
and this gull was snuggled down in the tufty beach grass taking a well-earned rest from the battering forces.
No sunset tonight so little hope of better weather tomorrow it would seem……
A news item I read late this afternoon indicated exceptionally high temperatures in parts of Australia while the east coast of America is experiencing bitterly cold, snowy conditions. We are battened down safe and sound.
Keep safe wherever you are.
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.
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.
The sun has been a rare visitor here for the past two or three weeks. We have also had a lot of rain. Some has fallen in dramatically heavy showers while other rain has sifted down as drizzle. The ground is waterlogged so gardening is not easy to do right now.
So any sun that appears right now is very, very welcome.
Nature has provided me with some different sunshine to bring inside and enjoy.
Sending you sunshine wherever you are.
We have had two and a half days of continual rain. Our local weather website tells me that 51.7mm of rain has fallen in July to date. 20.2 mm fell yesterday.
The rain has been heavy at times but in the main it has been thick, heavy drizzle. The drizzle drops are as fine as pin pricks but soak things thoroughly and quickly. Around here we call it “very wetting rain”. It is impossible to run between the drops…:-))
Everything feels damp and the grass is sodden and best avoided. Paths have little streams draining over them or large puddles sitting on them.
When the rain eased a little this morning I went outdoors for some welcome fresh air and took some photos of drips which glistened everywhere in the calm conditions.
I also rescued the first daffodil from drowning. The daffodils are early this year but very welcome as we hope for some drying conditions very soon.
Last night as the sun was setting the sky and house were filled with golden light which attracted my attention.
It was raining heavily and to the east and south there was an impressive rainbow and in fact, to the south a double rainbow, the second one faint and softly hued.
The sky was a real mix of pink and golden tones…….with a purple toning in the mix too.
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.