At last I’m heading out west. And on the way I enjoy the many signs of spring: blossoms frothing out of the trees at the organic growers’ place,

 the spray of new foliage in their orchard,

 and coming up the driveway to the bach, these little blue flowers are jauntily dancing.

 Hello bach, I’ve missed you so much! Everything is green and lush here.
This glass decal used to belong to my mother, and I think of her whenever I look at it. The deep blue is the actual colour of the little flowers that line the driveway (the photo has bleached them out). My mother loved blue, and so do I.

 Native trees are flowering everywhere. This ngaio has little oil glands in the leaves, and Maori crushed them to use as an insect repellent.

 The hillsides are covered with kowhai, now finishing their flowering. A shining cuckoo sings from high in the treetops, and on the telephone wire a kingfisher sits, watching the waters of the stream.

Back home, I find this Chinese lantern tree flowering profusely in my friend’s garden. The tree fell over in the recent storm, but she staked it up again and it looks pretty happy.

The weekend was gentle, warm, with little wind. Spring is showing its happy face at last, bringing lightness and wonder. Aah! (big sigh of contentment and relief)