The Changing Seasons: March 2019

Photo 8-03-19, 6 04 49 PM (1)

Storm clouds on the horizon. Symbolism in retrospect — taken exactly one week before the Christchurch terror attack. Big Omaha Wharf, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie 2019

This is the most difficult Changing Seasons post I’ve ever written.

How do I describe the way a month that could easily have passed without comment suddenly became one that no New Zealander will ever forget?

Because at 1.40pm on Friday 15th, a terrorist murdered fifty Muslim men, women and children practicing their religion in two mosques in the city of Christchurch — and changed this country for ever.

A terrorist left 48 more worshipers with serious physical injuries, and hundreds more to deal with the psychological trauma of having witnessed the carnage or dealt with its aftermath.

A terrorist shattered families, brought fear and anger to the Muslim community, defiled a city trying to rebuild itself after deadly earthquakes, and dragged these little islands out of our illusion of peace and safety.

In the two weeks since, we have seen the best and the worst of humanity. Hundreds of thousands of Kiwis have turned up at mosques and vigils and rallies to offer condolences, flowers, cards, food, music, prayer, haka, hugs, tears and above all — aroha, or love.

Our Prime Minister has behaved with sensitivity and compassion that is being admired beyond our shores.

Our government has tried to put aside politics and act decisively to make legislative changes to gun and other laws.

And the racist underbelly of our society is being exposed and scrutinised like never before. On the plus side, when people are coming forward to talk about the abuse they routinely experience in this country, they are being believed at last. On the minus, the xenophobic violence and hatred continues.

It is too early to know if this act of terrorism will (ironically for the terrorist) bring about positive change in New Zealand, or if, when the next big news story comes along, we’ll go back to “business as usual.” I hope for the best, but truthfully am not that optimistic.

So what do I have to show for March? Certainly not photos of candles and placards and grieving. Others have done that (sometimes beautifully) but for me personally, it has felt intrusive.

So here are a few shots that haven’t made it into other posts this month.

Food features heavily as usual. The Big T and I celebrated his birthday a week before the Christchurch attack with lunch at the Sawmill Brewery in Matakana. A beer tasting tray and some shared plates of delicious food — perfect. And I’m still grappling with sourdough pizza; trying to make a base that is light, crispy and easy to work. I’m not there yet, but my boys aren’t complaining.


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.

Please visit these amazing bloggers for their perspective on the month just gone:

Jude at Life at the Edge

Little Pieces of Me

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Suzanne, at Being in Nature joins us for the first time.

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Yvette at Priorhouse Blog

Sarah at Art Expedition

Lindsay at Squeak of a Nuthatch

Deb at The Widow Badass Blog

Joanne at My Life Lived Full


Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Gill at Talking Thailand

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful


78 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons: March 2019

  1. I applaud your government for making legislative changes to gun and other laws. You will never be the same again but you may become better. We are all so vulnerable when it comes to attacks like this.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: Changing Seasons – March 2019 – life at the edge

  3. Thank you for these heartfelt words, Su. It is so hard treading the line between sorrow and fury. Your PM has certainly impressed the world with her dignified and humane response. Would that we had more leaders of her calibre and caring intelligence.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Boy the storm clouds- I am in awe of your country and your prime minister and how they’ve responded swiftly with kindness, logic, and humanity. This should be a model to all -. Hi am ashamed of the powers in my country and their response to similar horrible situations. I’m glad you your shared a bit of life goes on, knowing your all all forever changed.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: The Changing Seasons – March 2019 – Little Pieces Of Me

    • She has been amazing! Someone said to me too that her partner has the most difficult job in the country right now, providing her with the emotional support to go out and face each day. And of course, he’s also looking after their baby.


  6. Pingback: The Changing Seasons – March 2019 – Reflections of An Untidy Mind

  7. I appreciate how difficult it must have been to write this post, Su. Difficult issues are difficult to write about, but it is so very necessary to acknowledge there is a problem if we want to make changes for the better. You’ve done this with eloquence and compassion. I’m still staring at the page, shuffling words around. 🙂

    You have an amazing collection of photos this month, Su. I love them all, but I particularly love your arty set up of the figs. They look good enough to eat. The fig pizza also looks and sounds divine.
    Regards. Tracy.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A thought provoking and well written response Su to what was a shocking and horror filled event. I, along with all Kiwis, watched in disbelief as it all unfolding in the media. But the compassion and love shown by the prime minister and so many others made me proud of this little country. I do hope it triggers a change that will continue. Only time will tell.
    We arrived home 2 days ago to find a garden like a jungle, it has rained almost every day we have been away. Unlike the weather in NZ when we only had 1 day of drizzle in the 4 weeks. Great for us sight seeing, not good for the farmers. Now we have a major pruning job. Took the before photos this morning and will manage to squeeze in a “ changing seasons” post soon.


  9. Pingback: Changing Seasons In March ~ Days Of Light And Shadow – Tish Farrell

  10. Thoughtful post, Su – and beautiful images as always. I admire your country’s leadership in taking positive decisive action in the wake of this despicable act of violence. The world needs more women leaders to cut through the old white male bullshit and address problems head-on.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Deb.
      I think it would be great to have more young women in power — especially those who haven’t become totally entrenched in the system. Jacinda Ardern had been an MP for only nine years when she became leader of the Labour Party just weeks before the last election. And it was touch and go which of the main parties would be able to form a government, so her elevation to PM was pretty unexpected.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. So far New Zealand has responded in ways that should make you proud—with decency, empathy, and respect. And the speed with which your government acted on guns is astonishing. We here in the US have failed miserably over and over and over again.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Each of your images is delightful, Su. I think then tragedy strikes, true colors tend to come to the fore. There are many, many kind and caring people in all situations, but they don’t always get the play in the media that the hateful do. I think because of that, we tend to feel that there is much more hatred than love and love is often shown on a person-to-person basis, the perfect place to show it, even though it’s not showy at the level. I’ve wondered more than once about the media attention to evil and whether or not that encourages some to do heinous things in order to be famous, or infamous.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you Janet. It seems there has been. rise in hate crimes since the Christchurch massacre, not only in NZ, however carefully our leaders and the media have talked about focusing on the victims not the terrorist. But since he managed to livestream his horrible actions, social media has become even more a forum for hate.
      I am proud of the way media have reported the goodness of people too. One story that I’ve seen a lot is of a 95 year old WWII veteran who caught four buses to attend a peace march here in Auckland. Wouldn’t it be lovely if more such stories were told.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I was wonderful how your Changing Seasons post would look like for this month, Su. And you did a wonderful job with it, as hard and difficult it must have been to write this blog post. I share your feelings that it can feel intrusive to make and show pictures sometimes. I once saw a man who’d lost both his legs, sitting in his wheelchair, reading a book, and what came to my mind was that reading can bring you around the world, even if your legs won’t. But I just couldn’t shoot that picture. It would have been amazing – and I don’t mean this regarding my skills (which need much more practice yet) but from the subject.
    That first shot with the stormclouds is amazing, and like I said before – you really need to exhibit your work! I want to see BIG pictures! Hanging on a wall, people standing in awe before them, forgetting about their hors d’oeuvres.
    As to the food – well, you know that I adore everything you bake and cook, even if I’ve never tasted it. 😉 xxxxxxx


    • Thank you so much dear friend.
      I agree how interesting the photo you didn’t take would have been. I couldn’t have taken it either, though I guess if you’d talked to the guy and told him what you were thinking g, he might have been ok. Not sure I have the courage to do that.
      I have actually been thinking about the logistics of printing some of my photos in large format; it’s a whole area I need to work on — and get right because printing is so expensive, as is framing. 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just noticed that stupid autocorrect turned “wondering” into “wonderful”!! Aargh!

        Yeah, printing large formats is horrendously expensive – but I think it would be well worth it!! Just imagine how one could actually stand in front of one of your awesome landscape photos and feel completely immersed… I think the impact would be enormous! As to framing – maybe that sawmill would like to help out making some frames for you in exchange for some adds?? 😉 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Changing seasons – Being in Nature

  15. This is the first time I’ve done your challenge. My photos of the changing seasons are new photos but I did use a photo from my archives when I was talking about religious tolerance. I hope that is ok with you. As an Australian I felt the events in Christchurch very deeply and have the greatest respect for your Prime Minister and the way your country has handled responses to this terrible event.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. enjoyed the pics – wish I could sample the figs and bread – mmmm
    and nice way to transit from that crime against humanity into sharing fresh photos – oh and hope you find that perfect recipe for your bread – my husband has been making his own tortillas (well only 2x) and they are delish

    Liked by 1 person

          • Just went and looked – it is Cassava
            and both times the tortillas were good – but the second time – way better – and I ate them plain the second time – hot off the iron skillet and enough oil from the cooking oil – so good.

            Liked by 1 person

          • He said they were tricky – had to have the recipe exact – we loved eating his mistakes – almost like a pancake (but not a regular pancake – and we noticed that because our eating has changed so much the last couple years – our threshold for sweet has diminished and foods that would not normally taste sweet sometimes have a sweet flavor – if that makes sense)
            he got the recipe on line and I think is going to try it again soon – if he does – I will share the recipe and outcome with ya – and maybe take some pics –

            Liked by 1 person

          • That would be great.
            I know what you mean about changing perceptions of sweet. There are so many packaged foods I can’t eat because they taste unbearably sweet to me. I reduce (or eliminate) the sugar in pretty much every recipe I use. And replace refined sugar with honey or maple syrup.

            Liked by 1 person

          • What a good idea because with the honey there will be nutrients (and I think with most real maple syrups- and a while ago I was in an online health forum and they argued that the grade B maple syrup was the best) but when I was healing my gut and immune system – even honey and real maple syrup were off limits because they could feed pathogens – could stress the pancreas and just challenge the immune system as opposed to freeing the immune system up – depends on what a person has going on and what we need to heal – but most fruits were off limits (many intestinal ailments have a fungus component in our culture – which you might already know a lot about – but it is so prevalent) and berries can be added in but bananas are a huge no-no.
            Thankfully we can have stevia (NOT with the chemical shit maltodextrin) but I found ways to use the pure powder stevia with coconut oil – real butter and well it satisfies the sweet needs (which as we noted gets lessened once we reduce the threshold )
            And body stays strong without feeding what I was trying to rid

            My mom and I were at Trader Joe’s in January – they had samples of tomato soup and I quickly set the carton down after reading ingredients and I said “10 grams of sugar – yuck” and then said “I know they add sugar to balance the tomato acid” (something like that) and the employee snarky-like told me – “the soup has pure cane sugar!”
            I softly said – well I can only have pure stevia or I break out (and it is true)well she said stevia was processed and that pure can sugar was the best!
            But cane sugar is processed and if she knew what it did to the body – and she was not the epitome of health either –
            But I grew quiet cos I have never had anyone slam stevia – the one their store sells is great – just powdered stevia from the sweet leaves of the plant and it does not stop immune system and it does not terrorize pncrease or feed pathogens the way pure can sugar does
            – I get that high fructose corn syrup scars the liver and so tit for Tat- the can sugar is better – but it is refined
            And that encounter reminds me how confused the industry has lefty people –
            Including myself as I learn more and more each day!

            And so while I cannot have honey and pure maple syrup regularly – it is what I would have to splurge or if I want to make something for guests that has “life” in it as opposed to chemicals


  17. We’ve all heard with horror the events that happened in Christchurch. A great deal of that horror came from the fact that it occurred in our peaceful little cousin nation.
    I applaud your government for their response and enacting gun legislation changes so quickly. I hope this is the start of your country’s healing process 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joanne. I hope so too. Confronting everyday racism will help a lot. It is ironic that the same people who have happily taken part in haka, and used Maori phrases like Kia Kaha and aroha (love) these past two weeks also complain that’s its irrelevant in modern NZ and don’t want it taught in schools. 🤨


  18. I did comment earlier Su and meant to have this post up sooner but My desk top computer died and so I had to resort to the iPad to manage to squeeze the “changing seasons” post in by the end of the month. Not used to using the iPad for blogging. So I don’t know how to link. Hope you can find me….

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: Changing Seasons March 2019 (Art, Street Shots, Trees, Pet-Love) – priorhouse blog

  20. Pingback: The Changing Seasons – March 2019 | Art Expedition

  21. I’ve come here by way of Sarah over at Art Expedition – she speaks so often and so highly of you, and I’m glad to make your acquaintance finally.
    Please accept my heartfelt sorrow for the tragedy that befell New Zealand. And my deepest admiration for the way that Kiwis and your prime minister, Jacinda Adern, led your country. She’s reached for the better angels and shown a noble leadership lacking in some of the rest of the world. I wish healing and safety for the entire community.
    I wrote about the incident on my blog: (A Gesture of Butterflies) and only mention it here so you can see that many Americans sobbed with you.
    Wishing you a better April.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad to meet you too. Sarah also talks of you to me.
      Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and words. It has been incredibly comforting to know that people all over the world have thought of us and stood with us.

      Liked by 1 person

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  25. At least your country did something about guns immediately. We’re still in nowhere land, sending “thoughts and prayers” while people are slaughtered.

    It took me days to get this prompt. It’s a WordPress problem and it’s not just me, but EVERYTHING is coming in late. Sometimes days late and sometimes, it never arrives at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As I said to Amy; we don’t really have a gun lobby so this is probably the best chance the country has to make those changes, while so many people ARE onboard with them.


  26. Pingback: THE CHANGING SEASONS – MARCH 2019 – Marilyn Armstrong – Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

  27. Pingback: The Changing Seasons: March 2019 – Ladyleemanila

  28. I too, from my perspective here in Canada, always thought of your islands as peaceful retreats from an angry world.
    I really hope that this horrible act of terror doesn’t brake all the good that still lives there. And that if anything it does push forth a more open, understanding, and caring mindset everywhere.
    The photo of the “let’s dance until we die” statue is the perfect symbolic sentiment.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Pingback: The Changing Seasons: March 2019 – All things bright and beautiful

  30. Pingback: THE CHANGING SEASONS: APRIL 2019 – THE RAINIEST APRIL SINCE 1872 – Marilyn Armstrong – Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

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