‘Jacaranda Summer Dream’
vivid red crowns
mark summer’s ascension
to its deep southern throne
‘Here Comes The Summer’
Summer is coming to Aotearoa/New Zealand.
I know this not just because the weather is getting warmer,or that Labour Weekend has just passed.
But because the creamy flower buds are appearing on the pohutukawa trees.
Soon the trees will be awash with crimson bloom.
And summer will be here.
‘Red Hot Poker’
That really is the name of this flowering plant, or one of its names at least.
Very apt, for this harbinger of summer down south.
Parnell Baths, Auckland NZ. (August 2020)
The final post in a series of photographs of Auckland’s iconic outdoor salt water pools.
Opening day for the summer season is a few weeks away but these shots capture the pools whilst closed.
Admittedly, there is something a little sad about the empty pools and surrounds but it’s an opportunity to concentrate on their shape, structure and colour (great shades of blue – my favourite colour!). And of features that are normally submerged by water.
I really enjoyed taking the time to fossick around the pools without the throngs of keen swimmers who will surely arrive when the pools are filled and the weather warms up.
And in that sense, the shots are not so much about the down time but the anticipation of what is to come. Bring on summer!
As always, thanks for dipping in!
‘Come Summer I Will Be Verdant’
‘Red Hibiscus, Summer Fading’
Yeah, I know it rhymes with jingle bells and sounds sorta made up, like something from ‘The Hobbit’, but Dingle Dell is an actual place.
What it is, is a bushland oasis, a sanctuary if you will, right in the midst of suburban Auckland ,and only five minutes from my home.
Decades ago a group of forward minded individuals planted out the difficult terrain in native tree species. Matured now, it is the thriving habitat of numerous endemic species.
I was there yesterday, on the last day of school holidays, with my daughter.
She couldn’t recall the place. Surely I had taken her there…hadn’t I ? Well, not for years , if so. Remiss of me. I mean, I could remember being taken there by my parents but….
Together we stood quietly as tui and fantails fed and preened in the bush canopy. No one else around. Special.
My learnings from the time amongst the trees, navigating the shaded, serpentine tracks were:
That we often take for granted what is very familiar to us; we need to spend a little more time in the quiet wonder of nature – it is humbling actually – and , god, time really does fly – the child becomes the parent and is the guide, not the guided, in a flash.
Oh, and magic is everywhere, not just in fantasy fiction…
The soft, creamy hues of the magnolia flower with its opulent scent – summer signifiers.
So grateful to have a large tree in our backyard, and I took and made this picture last night after some evening rain had fallen.
The distinctive aroma of the flower was magnified by the warm, moist air.
When the tree was planted by us 20 years ago, this image was the dream in my mind…
The cool greenery of native bush is a shady lure as the summer continues to heat up in Aotearoa/ New Zealand.
A refuge from the amped up glare amongst the palms and ferns.
There is just something tranquil about disappearing into a grove of trees and being immersed in green light, the sun battling to break through the leafy canopy.
For however long you are in the bush, it is as if the outside world is irrelevant and time stops ticking.
We all need a place to go like that, I think.
View though flax stalks to a rocky islet at Muriwai, on the west coast out from Auckland.
We were there three days ago to visit friends who live at this beautiful spot.
Before catching up, we took in the spectacular coastal views, on a day which was distinctly un-summery.
The Tasman Sea was at its moody, relentless best, surf pounding the lonely islet; the flax stalks waving and bending in the wind.
It felt like a Christmas cleanser!
A damp scene at the lawn bowls last season.
It’s a summer game really, not that you would know it from this picture.
The rains have come, and the water is pooling on the green.
Play is delayed while we wait for the sun to re-emerge, and the little lakes that have formed, to dissipate.
Nothing to do in the meantime – just wait.
Contemplate your navel, the universe, whatever…
Have a cup of tea.
Chat amongst yourselves, people.
For it is a mere hiatus – play will recommence shortly.
– Remember, this too shall pass –
Here be summer.
Coming on, and growing by the shortening day. We’ve just passed the longest day but the weather will get hotter. That’s odd I think.
But maybe it’s all about intensity.
Quality, not quantity and all that.
The qualities of scorching heat and brilliant UV-blitzed light will inhabit our little part of the planet, and suffuse us with those same elements, as if by osmosis.
Languid days will create relaxed, kinder people.Doing just what they fancy, just because they can. Holidays at this time of year certainly help!
And we will be, temporarily at least, the best versions of ourselves, all flowers and blues skies.
So, the scene is set…let play begin!
Not the bowls you eat out of, but lawn bowls, the sport I play (it’s a British Commonwealth thing and generally a summer pastime).
This was earlier in the month, when my fours team , just coincidentally mind, played with blue bowls(two per player in that format).
So pretty I had to take picture!
That was about as pretty and together as it got – our play that day was distinctly average…
(PS: The pair on the left with the bat motif are mine)
The summer lawn bowls season has just ended in New Zealand, and I thought I should mark the end of the high time in my sport with a shot of my friend Vince in full flight on the grass at the Auckland Men’s Champ Singles last month. Nice style!
Played him that day, got beaten 21-9.He can be pretty bloody good ….
No dice then, but that’s sport – put the poor games behind you, learn and move on. There’ll be other opportunities.
Not that the sport goes completely into hibernation, just less intense competition and a move onto artificial surfaces over the winter.
Butt there is nothing like the feel and subtle variation offered by natural, grass greens and the warmth of the sun on your back as you play.
See the below link on this blog for more:
The previous series of ‘Tree Beards’ photos were shot in cooler weather and reflected that in my post-production of those images.Now, it is the height of a glorious summer in Auckland and I am drawn back to the iconic Pohutukawa tree and the very masculine ‘beards’ (aerial roots)they sport,vivid red in the harsh sunlight.