Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Winter flowers . .

poppy buds
Winter here in the Waikato is often wet and dreary, with splashes of sunny blue-sky days after a good frost. Because we live in a huge valley covered in alot of water, ie lakes and rivers, plus peaty swamps ( many have been drained), we do get fog - fog that can last most of the day ! But, there is colour if you look for it. . . Down at the Hamilton Gardens the hellebores are flowering, daphne spreads it`s wonderful scent, Michelia.doltsopas with their beautiful fragrance splashing white throughout the borders, even the daffodils are starting to bloom on the hillside under the old cemetery. The air is crisp, the ground damp underfoot with the first signs of spring starting to show.

winter rose or hellebore - gorgeous woodland plant

Puriri flowers - this native tree flowers nearly all year, attracting tui and other nectar loving birds.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another Frostastic Day in Aotearoa !

Driving down into Hamilton Gardens this morning this is the scene that greeted me, I couldn`t resist stopping and taking photos. It was so beautiful, the rising sun shining across the trees, wispy mist above the river, everything sparkling with frost - ahhhh, winter, my favorite season. .

This little sparrow was waiting for crumbs at the Gardens cafe - note her leg hanging down, poor wee thing - she could still fly ok and wasn`t shy .
Working in an environment like the Gardens, just being able to experience the changing seasons, bird life, watching the gardeners create and sustain wonderful gardens, I couldn`t wish for anything better - I never take it for granted. .

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Frosty Leaves

It has been a glorious winter day here in Aotearoa, I think the whole country is bathed in sunshine. The day did start with a -4C frost here in the Waikato, everything covered with beautiful sparkly frost. The fijoa tree`s leaves were all out-lined, the same with the kowhai tree below. I love the way the frost defines the leaf shape.

The geranium leaves were all touched with frost, the grass crunchy underfoot. There was a pair of tiny Piwakawaka ( fantails) flittering around me as I wandered around in the sunshine and even though I felt sad, it still felt good to be alive .. I put Ellena on the bus back to Uni in Wellington later in the morning, we had a fab week and I`m missing the mess already !

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Beauty Deep . .

I love looking deep into a flower and marveling at the beauty it contains. Thousands of tiny pollen grains just waiting for a bee or butterfly or many other insects, to crawl in, first to sample the sweet treat of nectar, then on the way out, brush against the anthers, collecting so many pollen grains to take into the next flower to help create a seed - natures potent storehouse of new life and energy - awesome . . .

Imagine our world without all this beauty - I cannot begin to think how sad and dreary we would all be - no more colour, not even a lonely little dandylion in the lawn . . .

Come on everyone, plant a garden, leave a patch of ground wild and overgrown so the weeds will go to seed, food for the birds during the cold months and new life in spring. Here in NZ, is is winter, time to reflect and rest, read lots of books - recharge the batteries. If only it was as simple, life now seems so hectic, we have to take the time to look deep into the late flowering rose and remember . . .