My Favourite Window

May 29, 2014


Every year as Autumn falls, I think that it is my favourite season here in Canterbury, New Zealand: Cold nights, warm days, calm dry weather...  A respite from the heat and winds of summer and a gentle settling into Winter. Not this year!

Wet, bleak, foggy. Light-the-fire-and-stay-inside-weather. The horses never seem bothered and always look good from my kitchen window.

Leaf fall brings the stick insects into view. The one below hitched a ride into the warm kitchen on my head. Bryony and I had a hilarious time photographing it; once I'd moved in close with my macro lens it reached out with those long legs and took over the camera!

Without the cold of frosty mornings, leaves dropped listlessly and without the dazzle of colour associated with deciduous trees at this time of year.

The coniferous swamp cypress still managed to blaze in a rare shaft of evening sunshine.

The lack of frosts have meant some plants continued to flourish. The Mexican bush sage by my front steps normally comes into flower towards the end of March in time for a brief velvet display before it's felled by frost early in April. It has certainly been one of the delights of this otherwise dreary season, flowering profusely until two days ago when our first hard frost withered it up. Other plants that wouldn't usually flower till August or September, like Spirea, have also produced flowers. Even the early flowering jonquils, which everyone always thinks are earlier than usual, for flowering in June, had forced through the ground a whole month ahead of themselves and had begun to flower by the end of April.

It's not quite fair to paint the season so grimly.
Our weather patterns mean that the cold, still, inversion layer days always hold the promise of a change to Nor' West conditions. But the warmer temperatures also bring strong winds, and they have been as relentless this autumn, as the rain and dreariness.  Kitty and I managed a  walk on Ashworths Beach on a fine and windy Mothers' Day.

But to really keep the blues at bay, I have Bryony's role in Chicago to thank. The North Canterbury Musical Society's production for 2014 played for two weeks in May, but the promotional lead-up was pretty exciting too. Here's Bryony - as Velma Kelly - and the very talented dance troupe presenting a special editon of All that Jazz during a Flash Mob at Artisan Bakery in Rangiora.

Swamp cypress, Taxodium distichum
Mexican bush sage, Salvia leucantha


Cro Magnon said...

We used to see Stick Insects here, but I haven't seen any in recent years. They'd arrive at the same time as the Praying Mantis, who we do still see around. All these creatures are so vulnerable to farmers spraying!!!

libby said...

Your girls are beautiful and I would so love to see a flash mob!

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Cro Magnon: We do get praying mantis here too. I watch the neighbour spraying his fence line and feel for all the creatures caught in the blast.

libby: It was fabulous although we were in the know of course. I loved the way Bryony strolled down the stairs with her strong voice surprising the non-groupies. She smooched up to the two lads in the photo who were just lounging around. Then they snapped into action. The taller one picked her up at one point and carried her half way round the cafe! I'll tip you a nod when they are going to do another ;-)

Steve said...

You live in a beautiful country and despite the grimness of this year's Autumn you have a beautiful attitude to it.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Steve: I have to confess that I've been yearning for English hedgerows and bluebell woods quite a bit over the last month.

Gill said...

Well done to the Chicago cast. We thoroughly enjoyed the show. A real credit to all involved.

rusty duck said...

The swamp cypress is a stunner!
Great to see you back blogging.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Gill: Glad you got to see it. The company was lucky to have Ravil Atlas, with his Broadway background, directing.

rusty duck: I can imagine swamp cypresses doing well in your little river gulley. Me back blogging? I can't promise that posts will come thick and fast...