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.
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.
Summer has hit here with a capital “S”! Temperatures have been high and being out in the blazing sun for too long is not advisable. Sun hats, sun block, covering up, seeking shade and plenty of fluid is the order of the day.
The sky has been a deep, clear blue for days on end without a cloud in sight.
Yesterday an errand took me near this vantage point and I thought I would share some photos of the Porirua Harbour and views over Porirua.
Mana marina, Porirua
The entrance to Porirua Harbour and the Pauatahanui Inlet. Mana Marina to the right of the photo.
The flat top of Mana Island on the horizon, beyond Whitireia Park and Onepoto, Porirua
The view across Onepoto to the hills of the South Island looking blue in the heat haze.
Across Porirua Harbour to Elsdon and Takapuwahia, Porirua
A section of Porirua City
The steep, parched hills beyond Porirua city. The highest point is known as Colonial Knob. It is a muscle stretching climb to that point.
A local resident was using his vantage point to fly the Union Jack.
And finally this Black Backed Gull decided to use this vantage point near me!
On a fresh water pond in Pauatahanui Forest and Bird Reserve I found these ducks.
Perhaps Huey, Dewey and Louie?
More likely to be some of this season’s ducklings which have survived, just enjoying the pond.
Disappearing into the reeds.
Heading towards the shore through the pink and green weed that is covering the surface in summer time.
No, I haven’t been away on a holiday trip, although my absence from this blog might indicate that I had. I have been busy decluttering and tidying and cleaning amongst other “around the house” chores.
It is the Tuis who appear to have returned from a holiday trip to who knows where?
This photo taken on 18th December 2014 shows evidence of the last really heavy rainfall we have received and certainly left the birds looking very bedraggled.
The weather was better the next day and the Tuis gone. The heat evaporated any sugar water that was left in the feeder dishes and apart from hearing the calls of the Tui off in the distance at dawn and last light there was no evidence of the crowds that had been visiting the feeders since September.
However a month to the date, almost, the Tuis have returned.
Initially just one or two and they did not herald their arrival, choosing to drink very quietly. But in the past two days numbers have increased and our songsters are back. It had been very quiet and strange without them. Many are nervous visitors so it will take time for them to become accustomed to our presence.
Many of the new year Tuis are juveniles and almost all the birds are looking less glossy and colourful.
The light yesterday was bright and glaring when I had some moments to try out my new Monopod (a welcome Christmas gift which allows more zoom capacity without camera shake). This last photo is of a younger bird I would suspect.
As I type this post two adult Tui have been debating the use of the feeders and singing to, or perhaps, at each other with some wing flapping happening, so normal transmission has resumed.
New Zealand Pohutukawa Tree (Metrosideros Excelsa) bursting into flower. It is a member of the myrtle family and grows very well in our harsh coastal conditions. Tui and other nectar feeding birds enjoy the flowers’ nectar.
When the Pohutukawa flowers it is said to mean that it is summer in New Zealand….mmmm we are waiting for that currently and that it is Christmas time…..well that is very correct.
Earlier in the week, as the last hour of sunshine filled the garden and the incessant wind had dropped, I went into the garden with my camera.
Lovely light on the Kowhai tree leaves.
Even the Tuis were happy to sit still for me on this occasion.
We could hope for more of the same with summer officially beginning this week.