Archive for the ‘Seasons & Cycles’ Category

Floral Friday

The first narcissus has flowered, very early.  Usually the snowdrops come first, but not this year.  The seasons are all mixed up these days.

“They miscontrue the time of year
it’s early for these to appear.”


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At this time of year a regular chore is sweeping up fallen leaves, especially those from the walnut tree.

While I’m sweeping I collect fallen walnuts and feijoas, which gives me a feeling of harvest satisfaction.  I’ve been making feijoa and ginger loaves, and giving away the remains of last year’s walnut harvest.

What harvest is your garden producing just now?

“I pick up feijoa and nut
you’d almost say we have a glut.”

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Floral Friday

The first cyclamen flower has emerged.  I love the way its petals unfurl.  This sign of spring is especially welcome as temperatures have been low this week.

In times past the cyclamen signified maternal love.  Perhaps that’s why potted versions are often on sale just before Mother’s Day.  I’ve read that the cyclamen, together with the columbine, was one of the flowers of choice for Leonardo Da Vinci at the beginning of the 16th century, and he covered the margins of his manuscripts with it.

In antiquity the cyclamen was recognised for its therapeutic virtues, due to the presence of cyclamine, a bitter substance with purgative powers.  Its root provides a basic remedy in homoeopathy for depression and feelings of guilt.  The roots which are enjoyed by pigs once earned the European cyclamen the nickname of ‘pig bread’ or ‘sow bread’.

The name cyclamen, which is identical in Latin and English, is transcribed from the Greek word kuklaminos, derived from kuklos, meaning “circle”.  It refers to the round and flattened shape of its tuber.  There may also be an allusion to the nicely curved shape that the flowers take.

“This flower unfolds all in a round
as it emerges from the ground.”

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Home Harvest

Today I picked the apples from our Blush Babe tree.

Blush Babes

Half a dozen had already fallen, and there were nine left.

Apple harvest

The tree was planted five years ago and I’d hoped we might have had a bigger harvest by now, but the fruit are superb, crisp and juicy.  When we first moved here there was an old apple tree which fruited abundantly.  In April 2007 we picked 26 kilos in one day and they lasted us all winter.  I don’t think today’s harvest will last very long, but we will enjoy them.

“The flavour of them is just beaut
and we will relish all these fruit.”

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Look what we saw in Briscoes car park!

Red nose and antlers, it just had to be the new Rudolph.  Maybe Santa’s sleigh this year is being pulled by a posse of Morris Minors?

“When dashing through a Christchurch street
you never know what you may meet.”


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This beautifully crafted story is poignant, and at times so personal that reading it feels like an intrusion.  I was particularly interested because I spent a night in Juliet’s bach some thirty years ago, and I was part of her One Hundred Women Project at Te Henga in 1986.  In this book the changing seasons of nature and of Juliet’s life are skilfully woven together.  No reader could fail to be moved by the way Juliet has overcome challenges and developed new ways of being.  This book is a blessing.

“Her life and bach are both transformed
and by this book our hearts are warmed.”

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We were surprised to find Santa Claus at the beach this morning.  He must have been hot as the temperature was 30 degrees.   The children were pleased to see him.  Apparently these are photo opportunities organised by Kiwisanta.photo.  They would certainly make a lovely family Christmas card.

“With Santa Claus down by the sea
your photo helps save memory.”


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