The Changing Seasons, March 2020

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A moment of reflection. Spider monkey, Auckland Zoo. Image: Su Leslie 2020

Welcome to the third fourth attempt I’ve made to write this Changing Seasons post.

It’s not that there is nothing to say about March 2020; just that I’m still trying to process an extraordinary 31 days that began with a visit to Auckland Zoo and ended with me spending an entire day trying to buy groceries (to be fair, I was shopping for two households).

Standing in a queue that snaked around the supermarket car-park, I caught a tiny glimpse of what everyday life must have been like for older friends and family members who lived through World War II rationing, or in the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe. The difference is that when I reached the front of the queue, there was still food to buy — and at a price I could afford.

It’s been just over a month since the first case of Covid 19 was reported in Aotearoa New Zealand. Even though we’d watched and read about what was happening overseas,  life carried on in much the same rhythm for most of us for another couple of weeks.

But March has been a month of two halves; and all of a sudden, the number of new cases each day began to rise alarmingly, our borders were closed to all but returning nationals, and finally on March 26 the nation was placed under a four week rahui (1)

My thoughts about this extraordinary situation are muddled and constantly changing, so instead of inflicting my confusion upon you, I am simply going to share photos from the slightly less weird part of the month — when visits to the zoo and community fun days were still possible and normal.

The Stillwater Raft Race was held on March 17th; a reminder of how small communities are so good at getting together and having fun. T and I stumbled upon this accidentally, thinking we’d just go for a quiet walk along the estuary path.

Both T and I largely grew up in Auckland, so zoo visits have been part of our lives for as long as we can remember. Today’s zoo, with its emphasis on animal welfare and involvement in several conservation projects, is a world away from our horrible memories of bears and big cats endlessly pacing small cages.

The latest project is a South East Asian Jungle Track — a massive new development that is providing a more natural high canopy habitat for orangutan and siamangs, with further developments for tigers, otters, crocodiles and other Asian reptiles. It was due to open about now, but as the zoo is also under rahui, the animals are able to explore their new home without human visitors.

And now, with my horizons narrowed for at least a few weeks, I treasure and enjoy my garden even more.

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Kakabeak (clianthus maximus). Grown from seed and looking stronger every day. Image: Su Leslie 2020

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Kowhai seedlings (Sephora microphylla). Reforesting NZ one roasting dish full of plants at a time. Image: Su Leslie 2020

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And still we have tomatoes. Su Leslie 2020

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.

Update

A Wonderful Sheep

Lady Lee Manila

Lani at Life, the Universe and Lani

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Marilyn at Serendipity Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Little Pieces of Me

Darren at The Arty Plantsman

Sarah at Art Expedition

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

 


  1. Rahui is a Maori word which means to put in place a temporary ban or restriction on an area, resource, stretch of water — or in this case a nation of people. It is a form of protection, and seems like a much kinder and more positive word than “lock-down.”

 

 

 

The Changing Seasons, February 2020

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Detail, ‘Contained and Protected’, sculpture in bronze, Marte Szirmay. Sculpture in the Gardens, 2019-2020; winner McConnell Family Supreme Award. Image: Su Leslie 2020

Humans are incredibly skilled at both making, and understanding symbols. Indeed, our cultures rely on it.

The symbols I respond to most are generally visual; paintings, sculptures, photographs — but especially sculptures.

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‘Contained and Protected’, sculpture in bronze, Marte Szirmay. Sculpture in the Gardens, 2019-2020; winner McConnell Family Supreme Award. Image: Su Leslie 2020

I saw this piece a couple of weeks ago in an exhibition at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. I find its simplicity both beautiful and powerful. The judges who awarded it the exhibition’s supreme prize had this to say:

“This beautiful disk, fastened to its base by a bronze cord, acts as a talisman of guardianship in the garden bed of critically endangered native plants. It is a superb and accomplished linking of form to site, evoking both the preciousness of our botanical heritage and the idea of keeping it safe forever. The work is placed near the entrance to the Threatened Native Plants garden … ” News, Auckland Botanic Gardens.

I won’t pretend my response to the work was analytical or erudite. I just felt — and continue to feel — uplifted by it.

I had a similar experience with a painting I saw on Instagram. So much so, I bought it.

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‘Little Cottage in a Summer Field’, Natalie Towler. Image; Su Leslie 2020

The artist is local (New Zealand) and also makes wonderful small sculptures of houses (you can see them here).

I didn’t fully realise it until I was sorting photos for The Changing Seasons, but the colour palate of the landscape around me right now, is the same as in Natalie’s painting.

I’ve mentioned a few times this month that parts of New Zealand, including Auckland, are in drought at the moment. It’s particularly noticeable where land has been cleared for animal grazing. On a recent trip to Raglan, we drove through mile after mile of fragile, brown grass; broken only by occasional stands of trees and irrigated fields of maize — presumably being grown as animal feed.

At home, I’ve been incredibly grateful for our rainwater tank which has allowed me to keep my plants alive without resorting to “city water.”

I’ve managed to sustain “proactive hopefulness” largely by not engaging with mainstream news media and spending as much time as possible in my little garden.

As always, I end the month with a list of projects that excite me, but in which I’ve barely made a dent. I can partly blame a cold which hit me harder than expected and has clung on far too long. But I suspect that I perhaps need to take stock of my life and prioritize my time better.

And of course, in that spirit (NOT), I bought some lovely writing paper and envelopes so that I can send real, actual letters to people.

I could explain why, but I think it deserves a separate post … to come.

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Got the pen, got the stationery, found my glasses and made a cuppa. Dear …. Image: Su Leslie 2020

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.

Update

Darren at  The Arty Plantsman

Little Pieces of Me

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Lani at Life, the Universe and Lani

Marilyn at Serendipity Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Tracy at Reflections of An Untidy Mind

Sarah at Art Expedition

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc

A Shared Space

Pauline at Living in Paradise

A Wonderful Sheep

Brian at Bushboys World

 

The Changing Seasons, January 2020

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Kowhai seedlings. Image: Su Leslie 2020

The month/year started well enough. Having got through Christmas without the usual stresses, I gave myself time to think about, and write down, some goals and plans. Against the backdrop of a troubled world, they are very modest and focused on how to live simply and gently. My strategy, I decided, would be summed up as proactive hopefulness.

With Auckland emptied out for the holidays, the Big T and I made an effort to enjoy the city’s parks and beaches.

We were doing so well …

Then on January 5th smoke from the Australian bush-fires combined with atmosphere conditions to turn Auckland’s mid-afternoon’s skies orange. By 5pm it was impossible to see without artificial lighting. It seemed the future had arrived and it was apocalyptic.

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Lights on at 5pm. Image: Su Leslie 2020

Since then, the smoke has moved on — across the Pacific to Chile and beyond. Life has continued, and as holiday-makers have returned to fill the city with noise and traffic congestion, I’ve spent more time at home, much of it in my garden.

In the end, January has been a month of small things — both joys and disappointments.

I’ve managed to keep the gifted hydrangeas alive, and indeed they are thriving. Sadly, lack of water has killed some of my kowhai seedlings, and none of the latest batch of seeds has germinated yet. But the fruit trees and herb gardens are abundant, so my challenge is to put the harvest to good use.

An almost total absence of rain means we are being even more careful with water. Interestingly, it doesn’t feel like a hardship and I’m actually rather proud of my conservation efforts.

A chance meeting with an old friend who is developing an off-grid organic farm proved inspiring; giving us a chance to see what can be done — and how much work is involved. Our search for rural land has intensified.

As I write this, The Big T is texting me from Adelaide (South Australia) where the plane he arrived on has been sitting on the tarmac for almost an hour while heavily masked and suited medical personnel attend to several apparently unwell passengers who may be suffering from the coronavirus. He assures me that the authorities are just being “super vigilant” but it is hard not to worry.

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Waikato River at Mercer, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2020

Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away. — Marcus Aurelius

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.

Update

Please visit these bloggers to see what January 2020 was like for them.

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Lani at Life, the Universe and Lani

Marilyn at Serendipity seeking intelligent life on Earth

A Wonderful Sheep

Darren, The Arty Plantsman

Sarah at Art Expedition

Little Pieces of Me

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind, who also posted this which fits well with the Changing Seasons

Brian at Bushboys World

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Joining us for the first time, Wanderlust and Wonderment

 

 

 

The Changing Seasons, December 2019

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Mt Ruapehu from the Desert Road. Image: Su Leslie 2019

I’ve struggled to write this post.

As the year has worn on, I — like so many people — have become increasingly angry, sad, frustrated, disillusioned and, frankly, exhausted by the world around me.

Like many, I fluctuate between bouts of active optimism and periods of despair.

Despair’s had the upper hand this month, with the result that I’ve done very little and taken fewer photos than usual. Fewer still I’m happy with.

A pre-Christmas road-trip to see my dad and stepmother produced the best shots, and confirmed that I really like both Whanganui and the surrounding countryside — even (or especially) in stormy weather.

The approach of Christmas meant my son could be persuaded to pose for a photo — Grandma insisted and that’s pretty much the only reason he’ll agree. He’s successfully completed university for another year and is working long hours over the summer — looking forward to finishing his degree next year.

img_6190 The boy-child. Image: Su Leslie 2019

As always, some of my favourite images are of the small things — generally plants. We harvested the first of the plums just after Christmas; the tinsel bird-deterrent having done its job. The second plum tree is more fruit-laden, but they won’t be ripe for another week or two.

My principal gardening success at the moment seems to be with seedlings. The Kakabeak I’ve been nurturing for a few months is thriving, and it looks like almost all of the Kowhai seeds I harvested from our tree have germinated. Even the loquat seedlings are doing well. Gathered from a tree at my son’s flat, they took about three months to germinate but are now growing fast. The travelling hydrangeas are holding their own — but barely — and I may have to look beyond Google for advice.

I’m glad that 2019 is coming to an end.

I don’t normally buy in to the “New Year resolutions” thing, but this year I will be taking this socially-sanctioned opportunity to re-start and move into 2020 with the energy and enthusiasm I know I’m going to need.

img_6189 Image: Su Leslie 2019

Wishing you all good health, good friends, laughter, love, and the energy you will need in your own lives.

Ngā mihi o te tau hou

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.

Update

Brian at Bushboys World

Sarah at Art Expedition

Marilyn at Serendipity seeking intelligent life on Earth

Little Pieces of Me

Darren at The Arty Plantsman

Jude from Life at the Edge

Lani at Life, the Universe and Lani

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Pauline at Living in Paradise

A wonderful Sheep

Gill at Talking Thailand

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

 

 

 

 

 

The Changing Seasons, September 2019

hokianga heads1001 Hokianga Harbour, above Omapere. The sand dunes on the far side are gradually being covered with forest. Image: Su Leslie 2019

My September began in Omapere, on the Hokianga Harbour — a long weekend for the Big T and I revisiting an area we first explored in our early days together. Without knowing it when we booked, we even stayed in the same place, though it has been transformed from a small motel into a larger hotel complex.

In the thirty years since we lasted visited, the giant sand dune on the western side of the harbour has begun to disappear under vegetation — an environmental success, but making the dune a little less spectacular.

On the other hand, the foreshore at Omapere is disappearing into the sea. Along the beach was clear evidence of massive erosion, including several houses and large areas of reserve that have collapsed into the beach. Enormous concrete barriers have been placed on the lawn of the hotel to “protect” the building, but I suspect that if T and I were to visit in another 30 years, we’d need to find alternative accommodation to stay on dry land.

My gardening efforts this month have been very modest; lots of planning and tidying, some helicopter parenting of a few seeds and seedlings, and trying to enjoy the spring flowers before wind and rain destroy them.

T and I celebrated my birthday with a few days in Wellington — my favourite home away from home. T hardly ever visits our capital city, so it was fun playing tourists together. As always seems to happen when I visit, the weather was good for most of our stay and the clouds were rolling in as we left — perfect.

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.

Update

Because I’ve been a bit slow this month, four of my fellow bloggers have already posted their Changing Seasons;

Ju-Lyn at All things bright and beautiful

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Jude from Life at the Edge

A Wonderful Sheep

Please pop over to see how September played out for them, and also:

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Little Pieces of Me

Lani at Life, the Universe and Lani

Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Sarah at Art Expedition

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc

Brian at Bushboys World

Gill at Talking Thailand

The Changing Seasons, August 2019

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In an extremely dreary month, I resorted to buying cut flowers to inject a little colour. Image: Su Leslie 2019

August is often a month in which I feel like hibernating. This year, with rain every day (yep, actually every single day), cold winds and heavy grey skies, I really haven’t felt  like venturing far from home. I know I’ve been busy at home — I’m just not quite sure what I’ve been busy doing.

My photos offer a few clues.

There has been a lot of baking this month; mostly sourdough-based. I’ve been making a sourdough wholewheat bread for a few years, and was getting quite reliably good results until a few months ago. My most recent loaves aren’t developing the gluten properly, and I’m obsessively testing variations on my recipe to understand what is going wrong.

I’m still not sure, but in the process of experimenting I’ve made a lot of sourdough pancakes/hotcakes (excellent for breakfast with berries), some good banana bread, a tasty wheat/rye loaf — and the best basic San Fransisco-style sourdough of my bread-making “career.”

In other news:

I discovered the multiple-exposure function on my camera and have had fun with that.

A bunch of supermarket tulips brought some much-needed floral inspiration as the weather has hammered my neighbourhood’s gardens.

In Whanganui last month I found three bags of dyed, carded wool for felting at $4 per bag. I couldn’t resist buying them, and have had a couple of attempts at wet-felting. I’m not at all happy with the results so far, but — like sourdough baking — I am determined to learn this skill, even if it’s only to make myself a scarf.

And in a moment of (probable) insanity; I decided to refurbish our dining chairs; bought from IKEA over 20 years ago.

I started out just thinking I’d smarten up an ugly, but comfortable $5 op-shop chair. Then I realised the colours I had in mind would work really well with our dining room furniture.

Somehow, I transitioned from that one little “paint-and-upholstery” job to making new seat frames for six chairs (bonus: I learned how to use a jig-saw); stripping and painting six grubby, waxed, wooden frames (plus one that was varnished); and upholstering seven chairs in turquoise and white striped canvas. Only one is completed so far — and boy have I learned a lot from it!

Not captured in the photographic record; I’ve also read more than usual (fiction and non-fiction); and completed the first assignment in a NZ Certificate in Horticulture course I signed up to. As you do …

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.

Update

Take a look at these lovely bloggers’ August posts:

Sarah at Art Expedition

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc

Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Jude from Life at the Edge

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Little Pieces of Me

Lani at Life, the Universe and Lani

DJ Ranch

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Brian at  Bushboy’s World

Gill at Talking Thailand

A wonderful sheep

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Changing Seasons, July 2019

Photo 30-07-19, 3 53 18 PM Tongiriro River, Turangi, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2019

My July began and ended with travel, leaving the in-between bit less than memorable.

Work took the Big T to Melbourne, and I joined him for a long, sunny weekend. Melbourne is a city I know well, so seldom do touristy things there. Instead I’m happy to walk the different neighbourhoods, visit galleries, drink far too much coffee, and enjoy the vibe.

Last week I drove to Whanganui to see my father, tacking on a side trip to Palmerston North and an overnight stay in Turangi on the way home.

Whanganui’s an attractive city with a thriving arts scene (definitely a bonus), but what makes the trip even better is that it takes me through some of the North Island’s most rugged and beautiful scenery.

Looking at the photos I’ve taken this month, street art and stunning sunsets seem to predominate. I was about to sigh wistfully and say it would be wonderful if every month offered up such treasures — but I suspect I really just need to look harder.

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 check out the Changing Seasons — July 2019 for these awesome bloggers:

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Sarah at Art Expedition

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Little Pieces of Me

Jude at Life at the Edge

Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Brian at Bushboys World

Mick at Mick’s Cogs

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Lani at Life, the Universe and Lani

DJ Ranch

A Wonderful Sheep

Ju Lyn at All things bright and beautiful

Gill at Talking Thailand

The Changing Seasons, June 2019

img_4792 Waikato morning. Image: Su Leslie 2019.

It seems like winter arrived with indecent haste this month. Cold air, lowering clouds, morning mists, not to mention the odd thunderstorm or two. On a scale of one to indoor beanie-wearing, we seem to be hovering on Ugg boots.

The first half of the month disappeared in a haze of flu-recovery, but in the last couple of weeks, the Big T and I managed to get away for a long weekend in Tauranga (with a detour to Field Days), and discover a regional park that could become our new favourite place.

img_4776 Field Days, Mystery Creek, Waikato, NZ. Not really doing justice to a four-day event that attracts over 130,000 visitors. Image: Su Leslie 2019

We’ve been telling ourselves for years that we really should go to Field Days. It’s a huge agricultural trade show, and useful for the Big T to do some business networking. But it  also gives a fascinating snapshot of an industry that has both real and mythical significance to the NZ economy and psyche.

It was bigger, noisier and more confusing than I expected, but I am glad we went.

 

 

 

After exhausting ourselves looking at diggers, chainsaws, water flow indicators (as you do) and the latest from Swanndri (iconic Kiwi clothing — what’s not to love about scratchy woollen bush-shirts?), we headed to Tauranga where the skies were blue, and the weather practically tropical (for a while at least).

 

 

 

While we were there, the Tauranga Art Gallery had an exhibition of work by local artist, Natasha Cousens. Called ‘Let Me Tell You a Story’ it consisted of sculptures created from clay, fibreglass and textiles; all referencing the wildlife imagery common in fairy tales. It’s the artist’s first solo show, and I found the pieces slightly disturbing and sad, but beautiful and exquisitely made.

 

 

 


A rainy-day visit to the Mahurangi Peninsula, just north of Auckland allowed us to discover Scandrett Regional Park. Formerly a farm owned by the Scandrett family, the park still contains the old homestead, with its beautiful cottage garden. Around the coast a little, at Scott’s Landing in Mahurangi Regional Park, the rather grander Scott family homestead still exists too. Both houses have been preserved; the latter by the Auckland Civic Trust which holds occasional open days.

 

 

 

During June I’ve taken part in 30 Days, 30 Songs, hosted by my dear friend Sarah at Art Expedition. It’s been lovely to each day choose a piece of music and reflect on what it means to me. There has also been a certain amount of self-imposed stress, deciding what’s in and what’s not. So you won’t be surprised that I’m going to sneak an extra track into this post.

I love Sentimental Walk, from the 1981 film Diva. It is very like Erik Satie’s Gymnopédie No.1 — another piece I love. Both make me think of Paris, but also of wintertime rain.

You can hear Sarah’s latest musical choice here.

 

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 check out the Changing Seasons — June for these awesome bloggers:

Ladyleemanila

Little Pieces of Me

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc

Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Jude at Life at the Edge

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

A Wonderful Sheep

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Yvette at Priorhouse blog

Gill at Talking Thailand

Mick at Mick’s Cogs

The Changing Seasons, May 2019

This may be a lousy representation of my month as a whole, but I think it’s a fairly good visual metaphor for my flu-addled state right now.

I’m not likely to get a proper Changing Seasons post up for a few more days, but for all the fit folks who have their monthly round-up ready, go ahead and ping-back to this post and when I get a full post up I’ll copy the blog roll to that too.

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 check out the Changing Seasons — May for these awesome bloggers:

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Little Pieces of Me — and here

Marilyn at Serendipity — seeking intelligent life on Earth

Jude at Life at the Edge

A Wonderful Sheep

Sarah at Art Expedition

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Deb at the Widow Badass

Yvette at Priorhouse Blog

Mick at Mick’s Cogs

Ju-Lyn at All things bright and beautiful

Pauline at Living in Paradise

 

 

 

 

The Changing Seasons, April 2019

helix ferns Fern leaves in decay. Image: Su Leslie 2019

I guess is says a lot about my April that I’ve got to the 30th and am casting around for images to post for the Changing Seasons.

It’s not that I haven’t taken lots of photos; more that they don’t seem to speak coherently of a month that has breezed over me, leaving little trace of itself.

As I write this, the sky outside is unbroken blue, and apart from a neighbour’s Japanese Maple, the trees I can see are green and still carrying a full complement of leaves. It’s autumn Jim, but not as we know it. (1)

The shot above was taken on the bush trail on Mt Manaia, on the Whangarei Heads. The Big T and I explored some of the track last weekend — stopping before the steep summit climb in deference to my arthritic knee.

It’s a beautiful place (both Mt Manaia and the Heads generally), and was surprisingly quiet for a glorious day at the end of the school holidays.

fern fronds Fern fronds. Image: Su Leslie 2019

It took me a while to realise that the delicate intertwined spirals are fern fronds. As the leaves on each frond die, they curl in upon themselves. Where several leaves are in close proximity, they become entwined. If I were going to try and wrest Deep Meaning from it, I’d suggest it is a metaphor for how, as we age, we seek out and need the support of others — creating strength and beauty through unity.

Feel free just to enjoy how cool it looks.

In the absence of anything much to say about April; here’s a pot pourri of my month:

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 check out the Changing Seasons — April for these awesome bloggers:

Little Pieces of Me

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Ju Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking intelligent life on Earth

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Yvette at priorhouse blog

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Sarah at Art Expedition

Jude at Life at the Edge

New to the Changing Seasons this month A Wonderful Sheep

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Gill at Talking Thailand

Deb at The Widow Badass


  1. The line of course is “it’s life Jim, but not as we know it” from the 1987 song “Star Trekkin” (The Firm). Those who have closely studied the texts say that such a line was never uttered verbatim in Star Trek.