Being on tank water

Being on tank water

Being on tank water means you don’t mind when the rain sweeps across the country, saturating everything in sight, and even though it’s summer holidays when most people are looking for the sun, you just laugh because you can hear the water gurgling...
The empress comes to visit

The empress comes to visit

 It’s silent here at the bach. No longer is little Mira’s bright voice to be heard, saying ‘I want to look it’, or ‘Why, Granny?’, or ‘I like it.’ But in the silence, the empress—known to Maori as kereru (wood...
The flax Christmas tree

The flax Christmas tree

Here at the bach, life is simple. There are no shops close by, and we use what is close at hand. Mira requested a flax Christmas tree. So, armed with 3 books on flax weaving, I came out the the bach to see what I could create before the family arrived. The black metal...
Solstice Solitude

Solstice Solitude

It’s summer solstice, and I am having my favourite kind of summer solstice day. I have been quietly wandering the stream and beach, picking up fern fronds, pohutukawa blossoms, and dandelions, and finding a place to make an image for the solstice. This is an old...
Te Henga magic

Te Henga magic

I packed, I shopped, I did dozens of tasks, I drove through dense traffic, and finally I arrived at the bach.Once here, I cleaned, unpacked, cooked, and finally came to a standstill – or rather a sitstill – when I looked out the window and caught a quality...
Pohutukawas in the city

Pohutukawas in the city

The city is ablaze with the flowering of our traditional Christmas tree, the pohutukawa. The roadside verges are full of young trees, in the flush of their first flowering. Others have grown tall and skinny, reaching to the sky with their bright offerings, And some...
And sometimes summer looks like summer

And sometimes summer looks like summer

The rain has cleared and the sun is peeping out behind the clouds. From my balcony I look out to the pohutukawa, ablaze with blossom. The flame tree that stands just to the left, is now covered in green leaves. All winter it flared with scarlet flowers, but in summer...
Sometimes summer looks like autumn

Sometimes summer looks like autumn

I picked up red pohutukawa leaves from the beach, sprinkled some jade plant leaves around, and placed a little yellow flower in the centre. Then I realised how autumnal it looked. But the casualness is about summer, and the warmth was certainly there on that day, even...
Peony opening

Peony opening

I can’t resist photographing the peonies as they open. The buds are so fat and mysterious. This is one of the three I was given, that hasn’t yet opened. This is the other one, unfolding her skirts and the next day, puffing them out and here’s that...
Moon, melia and mulberries

Moon, melia and mulberries

Fullness is gathering, as summer solstice approaches. Three signs of abundance presented themselves to me today: the swelling moon, the melia trees which frame it, and are now in full leaf, and mulberries, a gift from my friends’ garden. I’ve sung...
Why does seaweed smell?

Why does seaweed smell?

Can you remember the total absorption of playing at the edge of the sea? Today was our first day at the local beach. I played with leaves, making an image to use on my new solstice card, and the little one discovered a new game: collecting seaweed. There were several...
Gifts came my way

Gifts came my way

It’s been a day of receiving – from appreciative people whom I’ve helped in various ways during the year. Today they brought gifts. This one has never crossed my threshold before, and I wasn’t sure what it was. It’s a peony, just peeping...
Cornucopia of carrots

Cornucopia of carrots

Seduced by abundance at the farmers’ market on Sunday, I bought a big bag of new seasons carrots. Bunches of coriander lay nearby, and I took one, remembering a special recipe: carrot and coriander soup. I haven’t made this special soup for a year or two....
Came a wet Sunday . . .

Came a wet Sunday . . .

What can be done with a wet Sunday? If it falls in the middle of winter, staying in bed with a good book is an appealing option. But when it’s the start of summer, the season beckons. I began with the first option, but then remembered the farmers’ market...
The colour of leaves

The colour of leaves

Yes, I know. this looks like an autumn post. But I assure you, even though spring has now tipped into early summer, this is the season for colourful pohutukawa (and other) leaves. They drop to the ground in many colours. The green one has had its colour bleached out...