The Changing Seasons, October 2020

Work in progress; a metaphor for life. Image: Su Leslie 2020


If October could be summed up in one word, that word would be mulch.

It’s been a good month for gardening with lots of warm, still days, so the Big T and I have been super-busy making new borders and raised beds, sewing seeds, weeding, planting and transplanting — you know the drill.

Early on we took possession of a mulch mountain and have gradually eroded it to barely a hillock. 

And while the garden now looks significantly different, it’s really not photogenic. But with luck (and a bit of rain), by November’s Changing Seasons, I’ll have something to show you that looks more interesting than relocated piles of mulch.

In the meantime …

Garden success #1: transplanted lemon verbena thriving. Image: Su Leslie 2020
Garden success #2; kaka beak (Clianthus maximus) grown from seed. Image: Su Leslie 2020
Garden success #3; experimental wicking garden. Beetroot almost ready to harvest. Image; Su Leslie 2020

Apart from gardening, I don’t feel as though I’ve done mulch at all in October (see what I did there).

NZ’s general election seemed to split the month in two, and it’s only with hindsight I realise how anxious I was about the outcome. In the end, the Labour Party made history by being the first under our proportional representation system able to govern outright. While this does mean the government can’t blame inaction on conservative coalition partners, it also means that the Green Party, despite an increased number of MPs, won’t necessarily have a place in government. And NZ’s woeful record on addressing climate change and basic issues of social justice will probably remain woeful.

But in the spirit of accepting personal responsibility for our part in the climate disaster, T and I abandoned the car and took a ferry into central Auckland on a recent visit to the art gallery.

I continue to play with art materials; more for the joy of experimenting than with any particular result in mind. Alcohol inks and air-dry clay are my current favourites.

About the Changing Seasons

In last month’s Changing Seasons post I asked for feedback about the guidelines for posting, which have been unchanged since this challenge was established by Cardinal Guzman in 2015.

Thanks for all your comments.

The general feeling seems to be that we’re mostly happy that the structure allows us to share our reflections on the month in whatever way suits us, and the guidelines are mainly for anyone new to The Changing Seasons.

The things that were mentioned were the limit on photo numbers and the requirement to only use new images. Most people who mentioned the shot limit agreed it was a good idea (though we all admitted to exceeding it).

I am aware that most of us follow a very large number of blogs and do so actively — engaging with the content beyond simply hitting the “like” button. My own view is that having people read my blog is a privilege I must continue to earn by doing my best to be interesting, and respecting the value of your time and engagement. For me that means editing the text (and then editing it again) and trying to only use images that help tell the story.

As for the requirement to use new images; I’ve always seen that as a request not to bore readers by recycling shots they have already seen.

I had planned to include draft text of some updated guidelines here, but as I’ve already written more than usual, I’ll do that in a separate post.

Until then, feel free to add comments to my musings, and of course link to this post in your own so that I can update accordingly.


Tracy from Reflections of An Untidy Mind

Marilyn at Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Little Pieces of Me


Tish at Writer on the Edge

Sarah at Art Expedition

Suzanne from Life at No. 22

Pauline from Living in Paradise

Natalie from Natalie the Explorer

Lani from Life, the Universe and Lani

Ju-Lyn from All Things Bright and Beautiful

Brian at Bushboy’s World

Gil at Talking Thailand

80 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons, October 2020

  1. Oh, Su–that awful pun. How I loved it! 😀 The first photo is beautiful–so powerful with the water and clouds driving right down the middle. Wow! What is the wavy white roof in the skyline photo? That fascinates me. Here in Florida, we are tucking our gardens in for the cooler weather–if it ever gets here. I have high hopes for the spring so am enjoying the clean-up, so to speak. Your artistry, as always, amazes me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Lois. The white structure is called The Cloud. It was built for the Rugby World Cup back in 2011(?) as a sort of fan party place. Aucklanders have got quite attached to it, though it’s a temporary structure with a limited lifespan. It does look really good as it’s right on the waterfront

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Amazing work, Su. Thanks for telling us what the leaves were. I will be trying out some of that air dry clay. So far, I’ve only used flexible moulding polymers on canvas and creative paper clay for small sculptures. It seems I will be doing a lot of fun projects while using my favourite paints and inks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The Changing Seasons – October 2020 – Reflections of An Untidy Mind

  4. Doesn’t the time go fast when you are having fun in the garden. Have you planted out your kaka beak? It looks ready to go in the ground. Now for some sun and rain and it will be a new garden. 🙂
    Auckland looks busy as a bee in the city. It must have been nice to take time out. Lovely photos of your day trip, Su.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You seem to have had a purposeful, creative and in many ways joyful month (with renewed health?). Despite your worries, life in NZ looks much more positive than in the UK and Europe generally. We’ll all be moving over at this rate!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bravo to taking the ferry…. That’s ONE of the many benefits of living in Switzerland. At a push you can live w/o a car as our commuter net is very good and very active. We have trains, buses, trams, whatever to go nearly everywhere. My ‘burden’ is just that I have to do a lot more and regular shopping, as I try not to use the car. I can only carry what has its place in my rucksack and/or a shopping trolley – but I look at it as my only daily (or every second day) excercise.
    I think I’m gonna miss puttingall my tulip etc bulbs in the earth – the weather is ghastly and I don’t like to work in the rain, and dirt. We’ll see.
    As for rules for posting: I only follow as many blogs as they allow me to comment. And for YOU I always find time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much 🙂
      Using public transport isn’t all that easy where I live. The bus service is infrequent and we discovered that the last ferry home was before 8pm!!!! So much for our wild night on the town. But on the plus side, we got to enjoy a wonderful sunset on the water.


  7. I continue to enjoy your alcohol inks! So vibrant and I’m happy to hear that the garden is doing well, it’s nice to get our hands dirty and enjoy nature. My favorite photo is the one with the light shining between the buildings – love it!

    And thanks for continuing to host this great blogging/photo challenge. Cheers, xo

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Mulch is as good a word of the month as any, and it made me smile, Su. As for your sumptuous feast of images, it’s always a treat to come here, whether to ride the ferry with you or admire your lovely leaves. Here’s to November! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I am in awe of your artwork and skills. Love your end of month wrap-up. Seeing the crowds in Auckland made me feel nervous, if only our govt had acted as quickly as yours over this virus. Wish I was there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jude; art and gardening are my new happy places. I am grateful that we’re (currently) doing well managing Covid, and feeling quite worried about things in the UK. That’s probably because I’m talking to my elderly mother who seems to have suddenly developed health problems 😦


  10. I’m glad the gardening season is over on my end of the world. My poor aching body will need the winter to recover. I can’t believe I actually managed to injure my shoulder while digging back in August to relocate some plants. I still have quite a bit of cleanup work outside to finish … and no motivation to do it 😏

    As usual, your photos are beautiful – especially the first one with the boat wake and that stunning cloud bank. However, the photos of the crowds draw my eye in the most. With our covid woes, scenes like this remain firmly planted in the past. Makes me wonder if we’ll ever get there again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry to hear about your shoulder. I hope it heals well and soon!

      It’s strange reading comments about the crowd photos. We seem to have slipped back into jostling “normality” frighteningly fast (written as I watch huge posses of kids roaming the street trick-or-treating).


      • I don’t know if we’re going to see much – or any – activity for Hallowe’en this evening. Our neighbourhood is usually very quiet at the best of times. At any rate, we will be hunkering down in front of the fireplace and watching a movie … like any normal evening 😏

        Liked by 1 person

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  13. Your art gallery pics are OUTSTANDING. Our election is less than a week away and I am feeling a good bit of angst over the outcome. I’ve cast my vote early and I’m heading off grid into the woods until they get the mess sorted out and hopefully will not be faced with four more years upon my return.

    I look forward to seeing the fruits of your labors in future garden pics.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: THE CHANGING SEASONS, OCTOBER 2020 – Serendipity Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

  15. Good morning from sunny Vancouver! I enjoyed reading your thoughts over morning coffee and share your gratitude for people joining the conversation. Your photography is spectacular. October is my favourite month for it is a time of planning and renewal as I wait for the long winter months to come. I think this goes back to my time living in Northern Manitoba when sunrise was 10:30am and sunset was 2:30p.m. The darkness allowed the light of home to shine ever more brightly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rebecca. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I’ve never lived anywhere with such extreme seasons, but can see how knowing that there will be an enforced slowing down would be beneficial to reflecting and planning.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I used to walk to school in – 40 degrees Celsius – snow in September and even in June. There is a strong sense of independence when you live in the north. I wouldn’t change anything and am grateful for the time. But you will notice I know live in Vancouver. Lots of rain but very little snow. Enjoy following your posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Good point about trying to use new images and as Anabel mentioned you are far from not being interesting. As far as the Green Party goes, thank goodness they aren’t in the Government. Not a particular fan of their leader. The birds will love you for having all that mulch and early spring is all about feeding the soil and conserving the soil moisture. A good break going to the Art Gallery. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

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  19. Love your art experiments so mulch!!! 😍😉 The alcohol inks are just so spectacular and you’ve chosen perfect colour combinations. And who can resist the magic of gold? 😉
    Glad you had a lovely day and visited an art gallery – I haven’t done that in ages! And now with another lockdown in place I don’t know when there will be an opportunity to do so.
    Love all those plant shots – miss the green already, as most trees have already shed their yellow leaves. Wishing you a wonderful and creative November! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the hugs, they’re always much appreciated but especially now. It’s really getting scary here, there are quite horrible news from our neighbors in Belgium where hospital staff has to work even when they are sick themselves! And the numbers we’re facing here were expected for the end of December, not now. Lockdown starts tomorrow but only in part, and I’m afraid it might have been set in place too late. xxx

        Liked by 1 person

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