The Changing Seasons: July 2020


“By all means use sometimes to be alone. Salute thyself; see what thy soul doth wear.” — George Herbert. Early morning, Waikato River at Mercer, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2020

I consider it a success in life that I can accept (if not entirely understand) the ebb and flow of my emotional state. I’ve learned to recognise when I’m struggling, and not to make the bad times worse by beating myself up about having a bad time.

I’ve also learned that eventually (so far) I will find something — however small — that triggers joy and that a little turn of the screw in the right direction can re-set the machine and get the cogs moving again.

July, it has to be said, has been a month largely lacking in cog action.

A short road-trip (in lieu of visiting my dad) provided an opportunity to read, think and relax away from all the usual chores and responsibilities. I didn’t venture too far from home, and despite the rain and school holidays, enjoyed re-visiting Hamilton and the small towns of the Hauraki Plains. It struck me though, that even as we’re being told the country is open for business, Covid 19 has taken a huge toll on many small communities, especially in the tourist-dependent hospitality sector. Those cafes that were open at all were operating shortened hours — which led to some “interesting” ad hoc meals.

Even the wonderful Hamilton Gardens seemed straggly and bare, with several of the themed gardens closed. I know that is partly a consequence of the time of year, but suspect the vastly reduced number of visitors has provided an opportunity for low-impact maintenance and repair.

Since my return, I’ve pottered about and made a little progress on a few projects, but generally got to the end of each day and wondered where the time had gone.

As the month-end approaches, I’m feeling a sense of being able to draw a line under July and move into August with some enthusiasm. I’ve got two weeks to prepare for the first “posh” dinner I’ve hosted in years, and I suspect I’ll be testing a few practice dishes on The Big T (like he’s going to complain).

I’ve also set myself the challenge of doing one creative, just-for-fun thing every day in August (is Arty August too cheesy a title). I have a few biggish projects that can only be done in stages, but think I need to also set little goals — like a daily doodle or something similar. In announcing my intention, I’ve made myself accountable; if only to my end-of-August Changing Seasons self.


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 find out how July played out for them:

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Little Pieces of Me

Pauline at Living in Paradise


Tish at Writer on the Edge

Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Sarah at Art Expedition

Suzanne from Life at No 22

Darren at The Arty Plantsman

A Wonderful Sheep

Brian at Bushboy’s World

Gill at Talking Thailand

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

80 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons: July 2020

  1. Yes, I think there’s a few of us that have found July a challenge. Must be wintertime!!. It certainly doesn’t help to keep us cheerful. Awful to think that the recession hasn’t really taken hold yet, and the small towns around our country will be hit further with businesses closing. The Pukekos are always a pleasure to come across and I enjoyed seeing the rest of your July photographs. Here’s to a brighter August, Su.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You’ve done – are doing – well. Here in the UK, with daily life still restricted by Covid, no end in sight, and the economic reality for so many beginning to bite, it’s getting hard to stay motivated on a personal level, so I’ll try to take inspiration from you as I’m beginning to drift. I look forward to your August Achievements! Great photos.

    Liked by 3 people

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  4. You’ve given yourself a little leeway and that has to be a good thing, Su. I admire the ability to set challenges and rise to them. I bob up and down through life like a leaf on water. 🙂 🙂 There’s no doubt of the damage to businesses here, but it is feeling busy again and the beaches hum gently. It’s a great place to be, and you know what is making it very special for me.

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  5. Fabulous gallery of photos, Su. Your July has been an enviable creative month by my standards. I’ve given up on the aspiration of being creative. I think I prefer to just sit in the dirt and wait for some small bird or creature to come by. 🙂
    The entrance to the surreal garden nearly did my head in. Love it though. I hope the little communities pick up. It is so disheartening to see people abandon their entrepreneurial dreams.

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    • Thank you Tracy. The surreal garden was fabulous; I need to go back when it’s properly open as there are other features of it I’d love to show.

      We have fan tails flitting about the garden, and I have been tempted to trying just sitting in wait, but so far it’s been too cold and wet.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, it must be chilly. A lot like Melbourne but not as hot in the summer. I’ve been looking at the map of NZ. and the real estate ads. Just dreaming. There are a lot of mountains and where there are no mountains, there are a lot of big rivers and low lying flood plains. I might be able to afford Invercargill, but you would have to hope the sea level doesn’t rise very much. Gulp. Hence, I gave up looking at the ads and went back to looking at the birds. Sitting and waiting is a good idea when your sun eventually comes out.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Quite a lot like Melbourne, but really humid in summer. We get the “four seasons in a day” too, but they’re not quite as extreme. I’ve never been to Invercargill, but Southland floods badly even without sea level rise. Does NZ really seem expensive from outside? We’re finding that the gap between Auckland and “the rest” is closing — which is good in general but bad for us.


  6. Pingback: The Changing Seasons – July 2020 – Reflections of An Untidy Mind

  7. Your photos suggest you had a lovely July in spite of how you might have felt about it.

    The old gold mining ruins remind me of something I would expect to see in an Indiana Jones movie, however my favourite photo is the close-up of your knitted blanket. You have a great eye for a photo. It’s a rather unusual perspective and I love the flecks of teal blue.

    My world has shrunk to the perimeter of our yard. On one hand I fear I might be turning into a hermit, yet on the other hand, I’m starting to make a list again of all the things I would to explore someday … hopefully in the near future.

    Arty August sounds like a great title for a month. I’m looking forward to seeing your creations 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Joanne. I have found joy in things like beach walks and being able to explore the countryside — especially as I am aware of how many people are now living under some form of lockdown.

      I hope your world safely can expand again soon


      • As a city, Toronto is finally doing well with its COVID numbers. We have been consistently tracking under 10 new cases a day for a while. Tomorrow we reopen to stage 3 – not that it makes any difference to me. I stay home.

        I can only hope we can continue to keep new cases under control. Face masks have been mandatory here for a while and thankfully the stupid people are in the minority (… but why are stupid people so vocal?!)

        Let’s hope we all weather this one safely. It’s going to be around for a long while.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Changing Seasons : July 2020 – Living in Paradise…

  9. Loved all your photos Su. A mini road trip to Hamilton is always interesting, sad to hear the smaller centres are still struggling. I look forward to seeing your creative projects you have planned for August. Always a good idea to have things to look forward too. I have not done any blogging for July. But I couldn’t let the month slip by without recording the monthly “changing seasons”. hope August is a happier month for you. Stay safe and healthy.

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  10. Pingback: The Changing Seasons – July 2020 – Little Pieces Of Me

  11. It has been a rainy few weeks, so I have been mostly inside. Not near as creative as you, though. That lap blanket is gorgeous. A ‘posh’ dinner….sounds fun. Hang on for a few more months, Su. I have my fingers crossed 2021 is much, much better.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I think anxiety is understandable. I was very anxious at the beginning when I thought we were all going to catch it, then I accepted that there was nothing I could do about it anyway and felt better. Now that things are opening up again my anxiety is returning because I have choices and decisions to make which I didn’t have to worry about during lockdown. No doubt this will pass too! And I hope you enjoy August more.

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    • Thanks Anabel. New Zealand really does feel like an island at the moment as we watch what’s happening in the rest of the world. I think we all suspect our “normality” may not last, and of course, its the longer-term shape of the world that I’m really struggling with.


        • Pauline’s words struck me too. And I totally agree about the numpty. It does seem that Nicola and her government are doing all they can, but with limited power. My mum was saying that Northampton, where she lives, may have to go into lockdown again. She hurt herself recently and I am so worried — despite her assertions that she’s fine.


  13. Pingback: The Changing Seasons – July 2020 – Life at No. 22

  14. Your opening sentences really resonated with me as I am having one of those “blue” weeks. Too much COVID, 24/7, can’t escape it. No, we’re not sick nor is anyone in our circle, fortunately, but it’s taking a toll on us anyway—the fear, the anger, the isolation.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Pingback: The Changing Seasons ~ July 2020 – Tish Farrell

  16. The tree silhouettes and many shades blue-grey (pale orange flushes) of that first shot are very lovely. It speaks very much to my actual mood too (though I’ve attempted upbeat in my post as I’m curbing the inclination to rant). And there’s not a thing wrong with Arty August. It’s an encouragement to us all to do something creative each day. Loving your today’s (much more than a) doodle.

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  17. That first shot of the reflected tree line is amazing! And we definitely have to put the Hamilton Gardens on the list! Those Alice in wonderland sculptures are fantastic! Love the quotes, especially the one by Picasso. The Magritte entrance is so cool too! So much art – I feel giddy just looking at your pics and will probably faint when seeing it for real! 😂
    And I’m so excited about your Arty August!!(not cheesy at all, alliteration always works 😉) Hope to join you, there’s nothing like cheering each other on to the thriving of creativity! 😀 💕💕

    Liked by 3 people

    • The gardens definitely have to go on our list; just not in winter when everything is so bare. It would be lovely to have you join me: making art is so good for my soul. It’s only the second day of the month, and I feel like just by giving myself permission I have opened a door to someplace good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I’m so happy to hear that making art is doing its magic on your soul, dear friend! I love that picture of an opened door to someplace good – just go through and many wonderful things will await you! Thinking of you! xxx

        Liked by 2 people

  18. Pingback: The Changing Seasons – July 2020 | Art Expedition

  19. Love your photos as always Su. That one at the top with the reflections is amazing especially.
    I am glad that you have found some moments of peace and creativity in July, despite your anxieties, and I look forward to seeing the results of Arty August!

    Liked by 2 people

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  23. The Alice in Wonderland sculptures and space are wonderful – I hope they made up for the absence of ooomph in other respects.

    What I’ve noticed in our neighbouring Singapore Botanic Gardens is the major cull – as soon as our Lockdown started to lift, the drastically trimmed the shrubbery all through the gardens. So much so that we could see right through to the roads and other amenities which were otherwise hidden previously. Also, the sound of traffic at the fringes of the garden is now audible, although not terrible. But I imagine once nature takes its course, all will be hidden again.

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