The Changing Seasons, April 2020


No hamburger for me. I celebrated the end of Level 4 Covid 19 lock-down by getting my feet wet. Image: Su Leslie 2020

The concept of The Changing Seasons should be more appropriate this month than ever before.

Aotearoa New Zealand has, in the last few days, moved from the highest level of Covid 19 lock-down, to one in which a great deal more freedom of movement is possible, and where a large number of businesses have been able to re-open.

In some ways, nothing will ever be the same again. But as I woke to the sound of early morning traffic, to read about ridiculously long queues of cars and people outside fast-food outlets, any hope that 33 days of lock-down would promote reflection about how we might live better lives has been dashed. It seems that we are a nation of impatient, car-addicted, junk-food guzzlers.

Though I may not have joined the 3am queue for a burger or three (who does that?), nor have I learned a language, mastered the guitar or even cleaned my ovens. In fact, I can’t really point to anything in particular and say “I did that as a result of Covid-19.”

Apart from a few days at the beginning when I almost believed that Some-Good-Will-Come-From-This, I’ve really just spent the last month fretting about work, income, my son, real estate prices and how long it would take before we collectively start trashing the planet again.

And I think my gallery of images for the month reflects my mood; a bit of sunshine, a lot of dying leaves — and a trip to the beach this morning.

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 Pauline’s beautiful garden at Living in Paradise. She and Jack have been hard at work and as always it’s a visual delight.

Lani at Life, the Universe and Lani shares some thoughts and interesting images from her month in Rayong, Thailand.

A Wonderful Sheep brings us a lovely hopeful post with beautiful images of her “side of the mountain” in glorious springtime.

Tish at Writer on the Edge has been busy in her garden and allotment. Please pop over and see the fruits of her green fingers.

Sarah at Art Expedition has not only taken some beautiful photos, but also baked the most delicious-looking ….  No. I’m not going to tell you — you have to visit her post to see for yourself.

Come and enjoy a walk with Tracy from Reflections of an Untidy Mind. As always her photos are lovely and her thoughts clear and well worth hearing.

Marilyn at Serendipity Seeking intelligent life on Earth has worked her creative editing magic on some lovely images of the wildlife around her home.

Gill at Talking Thailand shares a walk and some spring-time flowers in the garden.

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc has shared some thoughts and images from lock-down in Tasmania.

Darren at The Arty Plantsman has shared some joyous images from his garden and you must visit to see his beautiful pencil drawing.

Visit Little Pieces of Me  to see some beautiful nature photography, and some thoughts on the times we’re living in.

Ju-Lynn at All Things Bright and Beautiful  will make you so hungry looking at all the delicious food her family has been making in the lock-down.

Yvette at Priorhouse blog shares some recipes, including a chia seed pudding.



97 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons, April 2020

  1. I mightn’t have bothered about junk food, but I might have gone to have a quick flat white! Your words about the nature of humans are very sobering. I too hoped there might be a change…….

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh, Su! I want to dash over there and give you a big hug! Still forbidden, I assume? We move on from next week but as yet are not clear about the new rules for living. My mood goes up and down, depending mostly on when I last talked to the youngster and how happy he was. I’m hopeful we can get together at the end of July, but it’s all uncharted at present. But my beach will still be there. Hopefully soon! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Still forbidden, so I’m going to take the offer as a virtual hug — with gratitude.
      My mood is also very dependent on the boy-child’s. He’s back at work and is also trying to get his head around all the change his university has made to his course. I think he’s finding that the most stressful thing.
      I hope you’ll be able to see your boy again soon.


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  4. Who would have thought queuing up for fast food would have been a priority? I suppose folks were desperate for something different to eat, but it was my understanding that lots of folks were eating takeout anyway.

    Well, sound like good news for you all. We’re still holding our breaths here in Thailand. Our numbers have been low and in many places no new cases in over 14 days, but I suppose the govt wants to ease off the breaks slowly. I have a feeling May is going to be a lot of waiting, starting, stopping, and backtracking.

    Take good care, Su!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I thought I was the only one feeling that way, Su. I crept out to the big box hardware shop to buy grout sealant the other day. The car park was packed. I was studying my options when two guys came and stood right next to me. I was tempted to tell them off, but I just moved. I was so angry. Those who care less are caring even less. I worry for our N. Hemisphere friends if their summer is as hot as ours was.

    I hope you get to see your son soon. Take care. It will be strange at first, I think.
    PS. Well done NZ for such a positive result.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sadly, I think “those who care less are caring even less” pretty much sums it up.
      Complacency and a certain smugness at our low numbers seems to have become the national mood (I’m being unfair — there are so many good people around, but less visible).

      I’m worried too for family and friends in the northern hemisphere — particularly my mother of course. And feeling helpless.

      Take care and stay well.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I saw those photos of the long queues for takeaways on the internet and had to shake my head. I do hope people start to settle down and take things steady. NZ has had such a positive result on numbers I will keep my fingers crossed for you all. Our beach car parks have all been opened up today, and as from Saturday we can sit on beaches and parks to have a picnic or eat our takeaways with our families, and can now travel up to 50km from home so expecting crowds to descend on the beaches for the long weekend. Take care Su, I’m hoping we will be able to visit NZ again soon to see my family. Here’s my month that was…

    Liked by 2 people

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  8. I’m very discouraged by these early reports of life back to ‘normal’. I too had hoped for a kinder, gentler, more thoughtful world post-lockdown. It turns out, however, we are the same self-destruction species we always were.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Also sending good thoughts for your country to remain safe. Over here insanity seems to reign supreme, but with vast numbers quietly staying put and watching warily. I also hope lessons are being learned from the experience. We all can but hope. 😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. So many unknowns ahead, Su. Every nation watching every other nation – for both positive and negative reasons – to see how particular strategies work out. My fear is that politics may get in the way of a fully independent and honest assessment of the virus. I’m not happy with the way social platforms are censoring honest observations from medics, calling it fake news and members of our House of Lords patting themselves on the back for controlling ‘misinformation’. Anyway, good luck, down there in NZ. I think going to the beach for a paddle is absolutely the best strategy.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think you photos are beautiful, Su, and maybe even more so by reflecting your pensive mood. I love the first one with your feet in the water (I think everyone does feet photos and I know I’m no exception but wonder why that is?), and that little teddy bear is so cute. And the last one with algae on the beach is awesome – I love the colors, the texture and composition! I can almost feel the slippery and wet tangles just by looking at them. 😀 It must have been a wonderful feeling to be back at the beach again.
    Shops are in the process to reopen again here too, but I haven’t been doing any shopping except for groceries. I’m not much of a shopper anyway, and these days I even feel less like buying clothes or other things. It’s just not important enough, and people here are so careless, coming way too near for my taste without wearing a mask. (Which is what I had to experience at my workplace today! I was so angry too, because I thought I was “safe” in my atelier, and took the mask off, and then that stupid caretaker came in, standing right in front of me (I told him to please keep his distance but he only took a small step back) and talking about new regulations that forbid to use the oven over the weekend. I’ve been working in this room for ten years now, and before me my mum, and we always let the kiln run over the weekend, that way no one’s get to breath the toxic gases that come of during the firing process. And now this! I really, really wish I didn’t went to school today, especially since I didn’t really had but just wanted to help a colleague with his project.) – Sorry for the rant, I’m still quite upset. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

    • My dear friend, I’m so sorry you’ve had such a horrible day. It sounds like a crazy rule not to run the oven over the weekend — and totally unconnected with the virus.
      It’s scary how many people seem to think that everything is just going to be ok and they don’t have to be careful any more.
      Sending you hugs and much aroha.

      Liked by 1 person

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  16. Nothing has changed, nothing will change. That is the demise of human nature. Once the crisis is over, most slide back into their old routines. Business as usual. But some find it refreshingly different to put their feet into the water as a symbolic gesture to return to one’s eternal sources. Thank you for your thought-provoking post this morning, Su!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Loved your thoughts on the pandemic. I think there is way too much pressure on people to go out on a limb and “do something” during a pandemic when they’re stressed and anxious. Happy for you that restrictions are lifting. Things are pretty tight, lockdown, here in Windsor, Ontario, Canada but you give me hope things will once again return to “semi-normal.” Big virtual hug!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. To walk barefoot on the beach is a still a dream for us. I do think we can make a lot of changes for the good. More people should be able to work from home. The traffic must never be allowed to return to what it was. I think most of us will be more careful about giving people more space. I’m horrified about what happened in the nursing homes. You can’t warehouse the elderly.
    Leslie xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Seriously…..after all of this they are lined up for a damn burger?! Ugh. I don’t understand this. Are people all that selfish that this was just another ‘oops’ and we go back to normal? What is normal now? This is aggravating, Su. Our beaches open tomorrow–stay 6′ apart and no more than 10 people in a crowd. And police say of course, they won’t be monitoring. They have better things to do. Restaurants and retail are allowed to open at 25% capacity. Again–how will that be monitored? I will continue to keep my distance. I’ve no time for this ‘me-me-me’ nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. This is rather heart-breaking….. standing in a queue for a take away Hamburg? Really? I read in a Swiss paper that one person slept in a tent to be first in a DIY center here in this country. Gosh, we need plenty of stuff too, having moved from France and right on arrival all hope were closed. But we waited now 7 weeks and surely can wait as noted week or 2….. great collection of photos though.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Apart from that all; I’m SO glad to be not the only lazy one. I won’t have much to tell about the things I did in this time apart from washing my hands non stop, being hours on the phone every day, cooking many more meals than evaaaa ’cause HH is at home 24,/7 and having been with him longer in a few weeks than in the 22 years before 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  22. You’re not alone Su. I haven’t done anything earth shattering either and have even struggled to productively work from home. I seem to have the attention span of a goldfish and anxiety for the family, the future and the nation never goes away. Is this what uncertainty does to a control freak?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I read all the comments and I must say it was rather depressing. Here, too, when restrictions ease, it seems most people go back to pre-C-19 with a vengeance. When beaches open, people are certainly not wearing masks or staying 6′ apart. I went to a large store for plants and pots, etc. recently and hardly anyone else was wearing masks. I read today that Costco is requiring every customer to wear a mask. Many in the grocery stores aren’t wearing them either. I don’t love wearing one, but if that’s the recommendation, I’ll do it.

    How lovely that you got to the beach, Su, but I’m sorry it wasn’t a better experience. I haven’t minded being mostly at home that much, but of course I’ve had all the packed things to unpack, regular household things to do, etc. I can get out and walk and I’ve been seeing my parents at least once a week, as I get groceries for them or help out in other ways. That allows them to stay at home and I’m extra careful for them as well. Thank goodness for virtual library book check-out, although I have rather a lot of books that I moved, even though I got rid of boxes and boxes of them.

    Sending you virtual (and virus-free, in both senses) hugs!


    Liked by 1 person

  24. I have read all the comments too and have nothing much else to add. I was hoping that people would take something positive from this enforced rāhui, which has at least enabled the planet to catch its breath, but judging from what I am reading here, nothing has changed. I am quite shocked at the way people are getting so close to one another and even here it appears that motor transport is on the up, though the only change has been that DIY stores are now open. Everyone must be flocking to them! You’d like to think after such a wake-up call changes would be made to ones lifestyle. I had hoped many would opt for a slower, gentler way of life.

    And you are not the only one who hasn’t cleaned their oven! Though I did clean some windows 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect (ok, hope) that there are lots of people who fell the same way we do (and not just about oven-cleaning). I think the problem is that we’re invisible — staying at home and keeping our social distance. There are definitely more idiots about, but more opportunity too. I’m hoping that the first post-lockdown credit card statements will make people realise that there are benefits to curbing their consumer desires.


  25. This month proves my belief that there is always a picture somewhere. Even when, after six weeks at home, you can still find something to shoot. Your pictures remind me of classic Japanese pottery: perfectly simply and perfectly perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Sending good wishes as you and your country start the next month and new transition. I loved seeing your photos–especially of the beach. Seoul has almost everything, but it’s not near the ocean. And the sea has such a tranquil and calming effect that can’t be reproduced. ♡

    Liked by 2 people

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  28. Sorry to hear of your disappointment Su and sending a big hug!

    We are still locked down but I expect things will be the same here in the UK when we reopen. We’ve mostly been OK with getting food delivered but Susan decided to go to the supermarket on Sunday and got a volley of verbal abuse after politely asking a couple to keep their distance when they crowded her. So if we can’t have it delivered we are now doing without.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have heard some horror stories about people getting abused for trying to do the right thing, and am grateful I’ve neither experienced it, or seen it inflicted on others. When I hear things like this I really do struggle with what little faith I have in humanity (bloggers excepted).

      Hug gratefully received, and reciprocated. I hope you start to see some light at the end of your lock-down tunnel soon.


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  30. wonderful to hear what is going on over there in New Zealand. Wow! The crazy is about to happen here in Georgia, US. The restrictions are slowly being lifted and more and more folks are reclaiming the city that we gave back to nature. I loved waking and walking in a city where birds and animals were more alive and roaming than people! Stay safe and beautiful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I loved hearing little but birdsong in the neighbourhood during our lock-down. There has been so much traffic and so much people-noise last few days, it’s drowning the birds out.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. It will be interesting to see how people react to an ease of restrictions and whether we can make better decisions with regard to environment. I didn’t get many jobs done either but feel as though I have enjoyed the slower pace of my weekends.

    Liked by 1 person

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  33. Well everybody has written what I intended to. But truth be told I cannot help think what will happen when the lock-down is finally lifted in our country. For a country with 1.3 billion people, I can sadly foresee the madness and mayhem soon after, people on the streets without a care as though India has won the world cricket championship. You are right. I keep asking myself this question are we fundamentally trained to seek speed and find happiness in short lived things. I kept hoping that the nesting period will plant some seed of a liking a slow paced life but I have acquaintances who keep saying, ‘Oh I cannot wait to eat Italian.’, ‘Oh I cannot wait to do dancing at a discotheque’. I would be happier if somebody said, ‘I cannot wait to see the world cleaner and skies bluer’. May be a few of us will emerge different, happier with a gentler pace of life. May be.

    Liked by 1 person

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  35. We 4 were chatting over tea yesterday of what life might be like over the next year, as restrictions slowly eased and people started going back to school and work. Not sure if we are just more pessimistic than most, but we decided that “back to normal” wouldn’t happen so quickly; a good thing, perhaps, as you are mulling.

    I am afraid human nature hasn’t always shown its best over this past 6 months. And I am afraid this will persist. Having said this, we have seen many rise to the occasion and show compassion beyond expectation. So, we take the encouraging along with the disheartening. Good days and challenging days.

    Sending you hugs! Keep the faith. Be well.


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