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

Wordless Wednesday

 

 

The Changing Seasons: June 2018

Low cloud hangs over hills and the Whanganui River at Papaiti Road, Whanganui. Su Leslie 2018

Late afternoon rain clouds, Papaiti Road, Whanganui. Su Leslie, 2018

While some months can certainly be summed up in a single image, June hasn’t been one of them.

The first part of the month was shaped by my father’s admission to hospital. He’s nearly 86 and has a series of medical problems. On the plus side, this means that any change in his condition is taken seriously by his doctors and he receives swift and usually excellent care; on the minus side it’s incredibly worrying for my step-mother and for me.

Visiting my dad entails a six-hour drive through some of the North Island’s most beautiful countryside (well it would be six hours if I didn’t stop to take so many photos). Whanganui itself is a lovely place and turned on one day of glorious sunshine during my visit.

My drive home was also favoured with brilliant — if not particularly warm — sunshine. An early morning stop in the small town of Hunterville revealed these beautiful frosted roses in a series of little gardens lining the main street.

Back home, and relieved that my dad is recovering, I could turn my attention to a project I’m working on with artist Claire Delaney to document the life of her studio over a year; this month hanging out at a couple of weekend workshops as well as a regular weekday class.

June has been particularly special in the studio as it’s where Claire hosted the launch of a book she illustrated. Dining with Vikings, written by local chef Penny Webster, is part cook-book, part family memoir.

The shortest day has now passed, and while the weather will undoubtedly get worse before it gets better, we are now heading back towards a time when the outdoor furniture will be covered in food rather than leaves.

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

See how June has played out for other bloggers:

Max at Cardinal Guzman

Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind

Pauline at Living in Paradise

Garry & Marilyn at Serendipity — Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Jude at Under a Cornish Sky

Joanne at My Life Lived Full and Following a Bold Plan.

Tish at Writer on the Edge

Klara who’s joined us again from Brussels.

Sarah at Art Expedition

Ju-Lyn at All Things Bright and Beautiful

Deb at The Widow Badass

Mick from Mick’s Cogs

Ladyleemanila

Regular random: five minutes with winter

img_8465

Trying to capture winter; tamarillo, persimmon, some fallen leaves and a deconstructed obi. Su Leslie 2018

It rained all through the holiday weekend, and I really didn’t feel like leaving the warmth of home. It meant that meals were a bit “creative” and the fruit bowl is now empty.

Regular Random is a photo challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist. If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to not interfere with the subject, instead see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • have fun!
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post

Regular Random: five minutes with pumpkin soup and cheesy cornbread

Bowl of homemade pumpkin soup and plate with two pieces of cheese and herb cornbread. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Homemade pumpkin soup and cornbread with cheese and thyme. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

It has definitely begun to feel like winter here, so when Tracy at Reflections of an Untidy Mind mentioned making pumpkin soup in her Changing Seasons post, I experienced one of those really powerful taste memories.

Perhaps inevitably, pumpkin soup was on our dinner menu last night, along with some cheese and herb cornbread.

Both easy to make and, as it turned out, quite yummy.

These shots are of today’s lunch (of course there were leftovers).

Regular Random is a photo challenge hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist. If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to not interfere with the subject, instead see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • have fun!
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post

The Changing Seasons: June 2017

Close up shot of fallen Liquidamber (?) leaf against black background. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The last leaf. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

It’s mid-winter here; although some days you would be totally forgiven for believing it’s still summer.

Days that began in heavy mist have ended with us barefoot and t-shirt clad on a beach.

If there is a theme (or perhaps an obsession) in this month’s photos, it is light. Harsh light, filtered light, reflected light — or just the focus on a single object in the dark.

Close-up shot of arum lily, against black background. Image; Su Leslie, 2017

Arum lily. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The Changing Seasons  is a blogging challenge hosted by Cardinal Guzman with two versions: the original (V1) which is purely photographic and the new version (V2) where you can allow yourself to be more artistic and post a painting, a recipe, a digital manipulation, or simply just one photo that you think represents the month.

These are the rules, but they’re not written in stone – you can always improvise, mix & match to suit your own liking:

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.

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!