The Changing Seasons: October 2018

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I really should stop organising to travel at the end of a month; it plays havoc with The Changing Seasons scheduling.

I’m off to Sydney on Sunday to visit Sculpture by the Sea, a fantastic exhibition that is installed annually along the coastal path from Bondi to Tamarama Beach. With luck I’ll have lots of photos to share — but not until November.

Which leaves me wondering what I’ve done with this month.

Part of it certainly has been spent woolly-headed and lethargic from the absolute worst cold I can ever remember having. But that only accounts for about 10 days, and my photo folder for October is the smallest it’s been in ages. So however I have occupied my time, much of it obviously hasn’t seemed worth recording.

I’ve done a lot of sewing — mainly cushion covers to freshen up our living room.

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I’ve baked bread, including a couple of variations on sourdough.

First came some impromptu flatbreads from dough that was intended for crackers …

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… then Rewena Paraoa, or Maori bread.

Maori bread is something I have been aware of for a long time, but knew nothing about. I found an old recipe, and was surprised to find it’s basically a sourdough, using boiled mashed potato mixed with flour and water to create the starter.

Neither wheat nor potatoes are native to New Zealand, and arrived with European settlers. Prior to that, kumara (sweet potato), yams, taro and ti pore (Pacific Cabbage Tree) were probably the principal sources of carbohydrates. Both were brought from East Polynesia by the country’s original migrants, probably around in the 13th century. As far as I know, pre-European Maori did not make bread.

Potatoes are easier to grow than kumara, and were widely adopted into the Maori diet. The use of potatoes in sourdough cultures is not unique to Maori, and was once widespread, but interestingly I had found no reference to it prior to finding this recipe. It certainly produced a starter culture much more quickly than the flour and water version that the Big T and I made a couple of years ago. My potato starter (which I actually made with kumara out of curiosity), was ready to use after two days, while our original starter took around two weeks.

The finished loaf was ok; a bit dense, and I forgot to salt the dough properly, but it was edible, and I’d certainly attempt it again.

Eroded sea-shell. Image: Su Leslie 2018 Exposing the inner workings. Eroded sea-shell. Image: Su Leslie 2018

One of those little philosophical moments …

I found this tiny, eroded shell in a little bag of rocks and other stuff tucked inside one of my son’s shoes. He had obviously planned to take the bag (and the shoes) home after a visit to us, but somehow they got left behind.

It reminded me of a time –long past — when we went to the beach together, bringing home assorted treasures destined to be forgotten.

From the outside, the shell is relatively smooth and uniform. It is only when the interior is exposed that we can see the complexity of growth and change. The passage of time does that.

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

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Joanne at My Life Lived Full

Deb at The Widow Badass

Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Babsje at Great Blue Herons, who joins us for the first time. Please take a look at this great blog, including a second Changing Seasons post.

Lee at Ladyleemanila

Little pieces of me

Jude at Under a Cornish Sky

Ruth at Ruth’s Arc

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Sarah at Art Expedition

Ju Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

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The Changing Seasons, May 2018

My month began in Dunedin on the tail end of a South Island trip to connect with the Big T’s Canterbury roots and to explore the possibility of becoming Mainlanders (1) in the future. It was especially poignant for us to spend some of ANZAC Day in the churchyard of St John’s Hororata, where an extraordinary number of T’s forbears are buried or commemorated.

Back in Auckland, we’re both missing the South Island’s big skies, mountain views, gorgeous autumn colours, relaxed people, and the relative ease of driving on roads that aren’t permanently congested.

And although it rained pretty much all the time we were in Dunedin, it still remains top of my list of Southern “happily relocate to” places. The main drawback is distance from the boy-child.

One of the things I love most about this time of year is the spectacular sunsets, with Oamaru and Wellington, where I’ve just spent a long weekend, turning on the coolest shows.

As I write this, the wind is howling and tormenting the trees outside my window. It definitely feels like winter has arrived.

About The Changing Seasons

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge, originally hosted by Max at Cardinal Guzman. I’ve taken over hosting duties this year, and 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

If you haven’t already, please visit check out these posts from some very cool bloggers around the world:

Magnificent May, from Joanne at My Life Lived Full

The Changing Seasons, May 2018 from Lee at Ladyleemanila

Change of Seasons from Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

May in Brussels from Klara. This is Klara’s first Changing Seasons post, so please visit and welcome her.

May: Summer Weather is Here from Deb at The Widow Badass Blog

The Changing Seasons May 2018 from Ju-Lyn at Sunrise, Sunset

The Changing Seasons, May has been very yellow from Tish at Tish Farrell Writer on the Edge

Changing Seasons: May 2018 from Pauline at Living in Paradise

The Changing Seasons: Flowers are Blooming from Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

The Changing Seasons — May 2018 from Sarah at Art Expedition

Back to School from Ruth at RuthsArc

Changing Seasons May 2018 from Jude at Under a Cornish Sky

Changing Seasons Challenge May 2018 — At the Museum from Yvette at Priorhouse Blog

The Changing Seasons May 2018 from Mick at Mick’s Cogs

 

 

 

 

 


  1. Colloquial term for those living in the South Island of New Zealand.

The Changing Seasons, October 2016

Perched on a rock above the Tasman Sea, one of the colony of gannets currently nesting at Muriwai, New Zealand. Close up shot of single gannet grooming itself.Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Perched on a rock above the Tasman Sea, one of the colony of gannets currently nesting at Muriwai, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Perhaps it’s the improving weather, but October has definitely been a more active month than I’ve had recently — dodgy knee notwithstanding.

A still morning at Greenhithe Wharf. Looking up Lucas Creek towards Albany.Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Early morning, Greenhithe Wharf. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Although there has been plenty of rain, it has seemed less relentless and the lowering cloud formations have often been photo-worthy.

Still water and lowering clouds at Otarawao Bay (Sullivans Bay), Mahurangi Regional Park, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

A quiet afternoon at Otarawao Bay, Mahurangi Regional Park, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Under the gathering clouds. Mt Ruapehu from the Desert Road, Central North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Under the gathering clouds. Mt Ruapehu from the Desert Road, Central North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

I’ve managed to escape the city a few times this month; for a couple of afternoons exploring local(ish) beaches, and a road-trip to Whanganui to visit my dad and do a glass-art workshop.

Mahuia Rapids, with Mt Ruapehu in the background. Tongariro National Park, North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Mahuia Rapids, with Mt Ruapehu in the background. Tongariro National Park, North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

There are plenty of signs that spring is truly here; baby ducklings seen at Otarawao Bay, and nesting gannets at the Muriwai gannet colony.

Ducklings and adult duck. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Family outing, Otarawao Bay, Mahurangi Regional Park, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Close-up shot of nesting gannets, Muriwai gannet colony, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Nesting gannets, Muriwai gannet colony, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

I love glass as an art-form and have long wanted to try my hand at some sort of creative glass-based activity.

Whanganui-based artist David Traub runs one day workshops in glass slumping and fusing — both techniques within the capabilities of beginners.

Over the course of the day, we made two brooches/pendants, two slumped bowls and a glass tile.

Coloured glass pieces laid into a mould lined with kiln paper. This is the first stage in making a fused glass tile. There is no real way of knowing how it will look when the glass rods and shards melt in the kiln. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Before. Making a fused glass tile was a total pitch in the dark. We laid coloured glass pieces into a mould lined with kiln paper, having no real idea how it would look when the glass rods and shards melted in the kiln. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Fused glass tile. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

After. Quietly pleased with the result. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Decorated glass disk ready for the kiln. This will slump over the mould and become a very handy little bowl. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Decorated glass disk ready for the kiln. This will slump over the mould and become a very handy little bowl. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

The pendants aren’t quite finished — I have to glue on the bails, but the bowls have already been put to use. One of the advantages of the improving weather being that the Big T and I can enjoy a beer outdoors while bemoaning the size of the lawn we have to mow (ok, he generally does it), and planning our escape from wrong-sized living.

Slumped glass bowls holding nuts and olives. Perfect for pre-dinner snacks. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Perfect for holding pre-dinner snacks. Slumped glass bowls, decorated with glass powders. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

This post is my contribution to The Changing Seasons, a monthly challenge hosted by Cardinal Guzman. Please visit to see the Cardinal’s month, and find links to other participants.

There are two versions of the challenge:

Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!