Here we are on the brink of summer, and the little tree climber has come for a sleepover. Pohutukawas are great trees for climbing. They sprawl out over the beach, and their bark has plenty of grip.

 Jumping off on to soft sand isn’t hard.

 And now we’ve collected some offerings from nature, it’s time to make our summer solstice cards. The little one made her first card last year, and today is the promised day for making a new one. We gather shells & stones, together with petals & leaves.

 I still have some of my once vast collection of stones and shells gathered from North Cape to Totaranui at the top of the South Island. In my days as an artist these were my materials for installations and ritual performances.

 I’m glad now that I kept some. The mandala grows slowly.

 It takes patience to balance the tiny shells on the stones, and to protect the petals from the Wind Woman’s frisky fingers.

But finally the circle is complete. Once photographed and printed out, I paste it on to a yellow card for her, ready to be gifted to the family. In the flurry of her being picked up, and our packing up of so many playthings, I forgot to take a photo of the final card.

 Never mind, here is a picture of last year’s card. Now we can welcome in summer.