The Changing Seasons: June 2018

Low cloud hangs over hills and the Whanganui River at Papaiti Road, Whanganui. Su Leslie 2018

Late afternoon rain clouds, Papaiti Road, Whanganui. Su Leslie, 2018

While some months can certainly be summed up in a single image, June hasn’t been one of them.

The first part of the month was shaped by my father’s admission to hospital. He’s nearly 86 and has a series of medical problems. On the plus side, this means that any change in his condition is taken seriously by his doctors and he receives swift and usually excellent care; on the minus side it’s incredibly worrying for my step-mother and for me.

Visiting my dad entails a six-hour drive through some of the North Island’s most beautiful countryside (well it would be six hours if I didn’t stop to take so many photos). Whanganui itself is a lovely place and turned on one day of glorious sunshine during my visit.

My drive home was also favoured with brilliant — if not particularly warm — sunshine. An early morning stop in the small town of Hunterville revealed these beautiful frosted roses in a series of little gardens lining the main street.

Back home, and relieved that my dad is recovering, I could turn my attention to a project I’m working on with artist Claire Delaney to document the life of her studio over a year; this month hanging out at a couple of weekend workshops as well as a regular weekday class.

June has been particularly special in the studio as it’s where Claire hosted the launch of a book she illustrated. Dining with Vikings, written by local chef Penny Webster, is part cook-book, part family memoir.

The shortest day has now passed, and while the weather will undoubtedly get worse before it gets better, we are now heading back towards a time when the outdoor furniture will be covered in food rather than leaves.

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.

If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

  • Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
  • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to this post, I can update it with links to all of yours.


See how June has played out for other bloggers:

Max at Cardinal Guzman

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Garry & Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Jude at Under a Cornish Sky

Joanne at My Life Lived Full and Following a Bold Plan.

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Klara who’s joined us again from Brussels.

Sarah at Art Expedition

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Deb at The Widow Badass

Mick from Mick’s Cogs


75 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons: June 2018

  1. Sorry to hear about your dad’s health problems, Su! It sounds like he has access to excellent care facilities. I like all your photos, but the frosted roses look the best in my biased opinion. Best wishes! Peter

    Liked by 2 people

  2. First of all, your pictures are stunning. I love the plants rimmed with ice or snowflakes. Sometimes, my mind gets all boggly about the opposite side of the world thing and our opposing seasons. The world seems so small with all our electronic communications, but it’s not really any smaller than it ever was.

    I hope your dad is doing better. It’s always rough when someone close to you is a long way distant and you have to balance time and travel and still manage to keep your life on track. Thank you for this challenge. It really IS my favorite — a summary of “my month in pictures.”

    I also really like the road — the first shot. There’s something achingly nostalgic about that road. I’ve never been on it, yet it feels like I’ve been there. It’s the dream path.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much Marilyn.
      I loved the roses too; so much so that I was crouched in the garden shooting them, for ages (until my hands got too cold to take any more photos).

      My dad is much better, thanks. He is amazingly robust for his age and incredibly positive about life — these two things are almost certainly connected. I knew he was recovering while I was visiting because he was getting grumpy!

      I know what you mean about the road. It had a lovely sense of being a good place. There is a plot of land further along the valley that’s for sale — we’re thinking of going to take a look. πŸ™‚


  3. I’m glad to hear your dad is recovering well Su. It sounds like you had a full month. Loved your images of the NZ countryside. It certainly is a beautiful place. The sculpture was amazing. Wishing you a less worrying time next month though.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Your photos are breathtaking, Su. I can’t pick a favourite. The paints though… Like a painting. My husband took a couple of frost photos for me too. Coincidentally, one was a rose. How lovely to find those still moments in what sounds like a very stressful month for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Pauline. My dad is very fortunate, not only in the great care he gets but in way it seems to be delivered very efficiently. So different to what I’m hearing from my mum in the UK.
      It is great to hang out with talented people; I always feel really inspired to do more myself.
      And I can’t believe Jack is the same age as Dad!!! He looks much younger and healthier (and long may it stay that way) πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. I know that your dad is fine now from our Twitter exchanges;mine is 95 and he’s better than me … lol
    Brilliant your post in every way,lovely blues from the North part of the island.Best to you & your friend for your collaborative work,dear friend πŸ™‚ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. I really enjoy seeing this gallery of landscapes and local doings. Nice to be kept so well in the picture of the land where you live πŸ™‚ Now I need to gather myself for a Wenlock changing seasons. Will be back.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sounds like a jam-packed month, which resulted in some absolutely stunning photos! Loved them all, and my favourites are the close-ups of the paint tubes. And what is up with that cake that looks like it is topped with a couple of boston cream doughnuts???? A study in sugary decadence! πŸ˜‰
    Plus even though it is too chocolately and sugary for my taste, it is reminding me I didn’t eat enough for breakfast…hehehe!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. It was pretty full-on. I’m not sure who brought the cake to the book launch, and yes, it did have a couple of doughnuts on top. It looked fabulous, but everyone who tried it said it was way to rich to be enjoyable, and I noticed the next day there was a very large piece left over.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Your studio photos are excellent, love the play on the hands and the black and white format. Looked at a map to see where your dad lives, that is quite a drive, but oh, how wonderful it must be. I was looking at the options for driving there from Auckland and noticed quite a lot of places with Whanga as a prefix. Does it have a special meaning? Every time I look at NZ I have the urge to go there and travel around, if it wasn’t for that damn long haul flight! I need to have a plan where I can do it in 5 hour chunks!

    Liked by 1 person

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  14. we just had the longest day and it was so fun…
    and to read your shortest day past reminds me as to the blog connection I feel with global friends…

    and Su, I LOVE the artists studio shares and this is such a good idea.

    sending good thoughts up for your dad and that six hours is at least drivable as opposed to being 20 hours away – and love the photos – esp. the ice on red

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Thank you Klara. It is a long drive, but a lovely one. And I could fly if I needed to get there more quickly (though having said, that, I’m not sure how much more quickly :-/ ). Thanks for joining the challenge.


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  17. Wow! You’ve had a very busy month – the pictures speak volumes!
    I’m so glad your dad is on the mend!
    The landscapes are beautiful, I especially like the one where the clouds are creeping in from the left at Lake Taupo. And that book launch party looks like it has been a huge success. πŸ˜„ xxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you πŸ™‚
      The Taupo shot doesn’t really do justice to the scene. If I turned in one direction, the sky was intensely blue and clear; in the other, it was grey. The village is sited on a series of geothermal vents, so there is always steam rising from the ground. Sometimes the buildings almost disappear. The village is privately owned by local Maori, so there is no car access. Apparently, it is possible to visit if you ask permission from a local. I found that out after I got back, but will try to visit next time as the church is, according to everything I’ve heard, absolutely stunning.
      I think Claire was pretty happy with the launch; she sold quite a few of the limited edition prints from the book, and Penny sold some books. Claire’s daughter, who was playing guitar, made $100 from people putting money in a busking bowl.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds like an amazing village and I can’t wait for you to visit it and make more pictures, especially with that steam rising from the ground – that should provide some awesome effects!
        And IΒ΄m so glad Claire and Penny sold quite a few of books! ItΒ΄s wonderful when people recognize your work for what it is. πŸ™‚
        And that was ClaireΒ΄s daughter playing the guitar?! I was thinking she must be a famous singer&songwriter because she looks so beautiful!! But maybe she is that already? πŸ˜‰ And if not, IΒ΄m sure she will be one day, those $100 speak a clear language. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

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  22. Thank you for stopping to take those stunning photos despite worry for your Dad. Sending you all positive energy & hugs!

    You are involved in such wonderfully creative projects – it must be so amazing to collaborate with like-minded yet vastly different folks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your hugs and thoughts. My dad is much better, and I can relax a bit again.
      It is great to do creative things; I can easily lose myself (and whole days) in making things. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Su, it’s been some days since your post – hope your dad is well on the road of recovery.

        I just visited with a friend who has come to visit her elderly mother in S’pore (she lives in Auckland), and we thought of & talked about how challenging it is to have ageing parents who live too far away.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you Ju-Lyn. He is doing really well. He just celebrated his 86th birthday. Distance is challenging!! My mum is in the UK, and that really gives me sleepless nights, although one of my brothers lives close to her.


          • I’ve had many conversations with friends (and my own siblings who live all the way in the US) who are concerned about their ageing loved ones who live too far away. Very challenging!

            Am very glad to hear your Dad is going well, and that you just celebrated his 86th – wonderful!

            Liked by 1 person

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