The Changing Seasons, November 2019


Fern frond; slowly unfurling to release the seeds of new life. Image: Su Leslie 2019

I think if I had to find one word to describe myself at the moment, it would be introspective. Exhausted worrying about a world I have little power to influence, I’ve withdrawn to the personal, domestic space where my thoughts and actions can make a difference.

I began the month in New Plymouth, visiting the gardens — both beautiful and functional — of the Taranaki Garden Festival and Sustainable Backyards Trail. I met people who grow their own food on tiny suburban plots, others who are creating off-grid lifestyles, and some of the professional gardeners whose job it is to care for the area’s stunning Regional Gardens — at Tupare, Pukeitiand Holland Gardens.

I came home energised, inspired and with my head as full of free-range, sustainably grown, nutrient-dense ideas as I’d hoped. The gardens deserve their own posts (I am working on them, honest), but there was a lot to enjoy just travelling to, and being in, Taranaki.

Back in Auckland I haven’t strayed too far from home; venturing onto the (relatively) new ferry service from Hobsonville Point to the city one afternoon.

And walking amongst the lupin-covered dunes at Muriwai Beach.

Perhaps now that summer has arrived, I will feel more inclined to look outward.

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 bloggers to see how November played out for them.

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Margaret at The Secret Diary of a Garden

Lani at Life, the Universe, and Lani

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc

A Wonderful Sheep

Jude at Life at the Edge

Little Pieces of Me

Marilyn at Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Mick at Mick’s Cogs

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Sarah at Art Expedition

Brian at Bushboys World

Joining us for the first time:

Dawn at A Shared Space

Darren at Arty Plantsman


92 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons, November 2019

  1. Pingback: The Changing Seasons – November 2019 – Reflections of An Untidy Mind

  2. Pingback: The Secret Diary of a Garden – From Pyrenees to Pennines

  3. Learning to let go of things that we cannot control is probably one of the hardest challenges of simply living life. And yet the key to inner peace is doing just that. I wish I had been taught that as a child, not as an adult banging my head against the wall repeatedly. But perhaps like so much advice, I would have ignored it anyway.

    I hope your introspective days bring quietude to your everyday moments. Stunning photos, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: The Changing Seasons – November – Life, the Universe, and Lani

  5. Pingback: Changing Seasons – Sculpture by the Sea | RuthsArc

  6. Pingback: November Doodle Calendar – The Changing Seasons – A wonderful sheep

  7. You do sound a little wistful. I hope the arrival of summer provides more hope. I think I am becoming more angry. And tired of being part of the generation who the youths are blaming for the state of the planet. I rather think that rot started with the industrial revolution, and I wonder how many of them are willing to give up their mobile phones and large screen TVs, or the two SUVs their parents own and the flights abroad each school holiday? Don’t get me wrong, I admire their concern, but when you’re a child with no responsibility then it’s easy to blame others. Rant over. Sorry!

    Your photos are fab as always. I need to get my post done today. I’m looking forward to 22 Dec when the days begin to get longer again 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • Don’t apologise Jude; you’re saying pretty much what I’m thinking.

      I’m becoming a lot less sympathetic towards the complaints of the millenials (my son being the worst offender in my little world). I listened in amazement the other day while he and his girlfriend trotted out all the “evil boomer” rhetoric, followed by some fairly pathetic excuses for their own actions. And of course they fail to see the irony.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Your first sentences describes my situation as well. Some years ago we decided to have no evening paper and not to listen to the news every day. Often too depressing. The little world is what works for me too. Doing the little things right and feeling good about it. Thank you for uplifting images and I hope you will find harmony with yourself again. I try hard myself, but I don’t know about the results. Mostly I feel I am running away from everything. Living a life that is no longer mine.
    I am grateful to have you all and for my visit to NZ some years ago. You are still upright. I admire Jacinda and I admire you all. I hope you are all proud of your people. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your understanding. It seems so many of us feel the same way.
      There is much about my little country that I am proud of, but even here we are seeing a terrible loss of kindness and compassion.


  9. Pingback: Changing Seasons – November 2019 – life at the edge

  10. I think that’s the most beautiful fern frond I’ve ever seen!! 😍 And it’s such a delight to watch all that lovely green growth, especially now that our trees are almost all bare now. I hope your kaka beak will make it through, it’s so lovely! Your introspection resonates deeply within me. I struggle to keep depression at bay at the moment – all those terrible news seem to grate on my nerves and my hope. Better to concentrate on what good I can do in my immediate corner of the world. Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Pingback: The Changing Seasons – November 2019 – Little Pieces Of Me

  12. Pingback: THE CHANGING SEASONS NOVEMBER 2019 – Marilyn Armstrong | Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

    • Did the snow miss you?
      It’s really starting to feel like summer here — with humidity arriving about a month early. The skies are hazy from the Australian bush-fires and we’re hoping for some rain to top the water tank up.


  13. Pingback: Changing Seasons August to November 2019 | Mick's Cogs

  14. Pingback: Changing Seasons : November 2019 – Living in Paradise…

  15. Pingback: The Changing Seasons: November 2019 – All things bright and beautiful

  16. You have had a delightful month Su, I do envy you your trip to Taranaki and the gorgeous gardens in that area and loved the beautiful photos you have shared with us. We lived there for 4 years and I have it on my to do list for our next NZ visit. It is sad to see how the world is shaping as we “elders” watch it all unfolding. But I’ve come to the personal conclusion that fretting about it only makes me unhappy. So I just get on with life as you never know how much longer is left…
    Here is my changing seasons for November

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Taranaki trip was exactly what I needed. It wasn’t just about experiencing all the lovely gardens, but meeting people who are living good, productive lives that honour and nurture the earth. It was really inspiring.
      More and more, I feel the same as you — we have to pick our battles and savour the small victories we achieve. Every time I put my hands in the soil, I feel that.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I agree. We don’t find it hard to do these things,— and I’m sure you don’t — so I cant understand when I look around and see my neighbours with massive houses, multiple gas-guzzling SUVs, overflowing bins and no gardens to speak of. Grrr.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Those massive mansions are a pet hate of mine. I actually saw a SMALL new house being built. I went across and congratulated the builders and they said they couldn’t understand why the people wanted it so small!!! I will watch that space see if a garden goes in….

            Liked by 1 person

          • Good for you. There has been one modest-sized house built in our neighbourhood recently. The thing we’ve noticed — apart from it’s sensible size — is that the whole project was completed in a few months, including removing the derelict cottage that was on the land. The McMansions are taking up to two years to complete!!!


  17. It looks so beautiful there, Su. My next door neighbour here is about to depart for an NZ Christmas with her daughter. She’s never been. 🙂 🙂 Your little patch looks beautiful and having just come here from Pauline’s I’m feeling highly inadequate at not growing my own veg. Locally grown stuff is so cheap and plentiful here and my pathetic efforts to nurture a chilli plant… let’s just say, I don’t have green fingers. 😦 I keep looking anxiously at my lime and fig trees and sometimes mutter encouraging words to them. Do you think that will help? I’m a switch off person when it comes to politics. I know that’s abdicating my responsibility but Mick reads enough for both of us. I don’t know how he stays sane! Happy December, darlin!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nothing wrong with buying fruit and veg that is locally produced — a good choice in fact because it helps local farmers. We used to grow food locally, but so much of our productive land has been bulldozed and built on, we rely on stuff produced elsewhere.
      I hope your neighbour has a wonderful time with her daughter in NZ. It will be a long trip, though.
      I think as I get older, I’m getting better at picking my battles, but right now, there don’t seem to be all that many I feel I can win. I suspect that’s true for many of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Pingback: November On And Over The Edge: The Changing Seasons – Tish Farrell

  19. Pingback: The Changing Seasons – November 2019 | Art Expedition

  20. My son is a millennial and knows everything that needs to be known. A disagreement is often put down to this. It irritates me on two counts. Firstly, he is often wrong but more annoyingly, it is so fashionable. He is giving in to fashion so readily at the age of 27.
    On a brighter note, it is my definite intention to lay eyeballs on Taranaki before I croak it. Visiting your beautiful land is a recurring theme of discussions between us. I have been blog absent lately due to post-retirement madness, but I love the honesty of blogging over other forms of net connection. So let’s hope something does not derail me again. Thanks Su.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your son sounds like mine! I can’t believe the bright boy raised to question everything now parrots the most appalling rubbish which must be true because it’s what all his friends think.

      It is lovely to see you back in the blogosphere Mick, and I totally understand that other parts of life (I’ve stopped calling it real life, because our blogging whanau is very real) need attention too.
      I really hope you do make it to NZ. I can do a Jacinda and offer to pick you up at the airport!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I totally understand how you feel Su, and there have been several times in my life when external things became too unbearable and I had to retreat. I have managed to get through the last 18 years as a scientist without reading ‘Nature’ or ‘New Scientist’ because it is all just so damn depressing. If I need a journal paper thankfully I can google the specific things I need and avoid looking at the bigger picture.

    By the way – I have participated in the challenge this month but difficulties with the ipad wordpress app and having to use an unfamiliar machine meant that I had disabled comments and pingbacks, which I have now rectified! The ipad app has now stopped working entirely by the way, which is really annoying me.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Pingback: This is November 2019 – bushboys world

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  24. Pingback: THE CHANGING SEASONS, JANUARY 2020 – Marilyn Armstrong | Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

  25. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My blog goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!


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