Saturday, 21 March 2009

Warbler Be Gone

Just as our friends in the north are rejoicing in the return of spring, so we in the antipodes rejoice in the emergence of autumn. It begins with a smell in the air when you are hanging out the washing - a scent of moss and leaf mould. And a mellow timbre that isn't present in the more brittle, strident air of summer. A late grasshopper, the rusty-hinge squeak of fantails ... The appearance of the silent, slightly sinister gaudiness of fungii.

The turn of the seasons is something I never tire of. I am particularly grateful to have been born and raised, and to have lived the majority of my life, in a part of the country where the weather tends to coolness and intemperate, wild moods. I revel in living where gloves, woollen hats, scarves and winter coats are utilised. Even in summer! It makes me laugh. And it is not uncommon here for an unwelcome, wintry blast to arrive in the middle of summer. Bad, bad weather! There's something creative about it.

It's farewell to the grey warbler - our summer visitor - and welcome back to the birds who like our trees for their winter feeding. I was pleased yesterday to hear the return of the bellbirds and tuis around here, and to spot tiny waxeyes feeding on berries.

And fantails under the eaves. (Here I am going to use one of my photographer-sister's photos, as she is far cleverer than I am at capturing quick-moving birds.)

Fantail in New Zealand Bush
Originally uploaded by mcdinzie

The other day I received another lovely surprise in the mail. A strawberry-patterned, hand-made notebook. (Along with some other little trinkets.) It was my prize from Meliors for naming on her blog, three songs that never fail to make me feel happy, and why. Among other things (she is a writer) she makes these beautiful, handmade books.

I will not hesitate to fill the one she sent me with writing. If it wasn't for the notebooks in my life, many ideas, quick impressions and light-bulb moments would lose their grip and slip off the steep edge of my memory.
Check out Melior's blog (link above). The randomness of how I discovered her blog amuses me - it was through a link on our son's wedding celebrant's website. (The degrees of seperation are often far less than six.)

Another site to check out is the New Zealand writer Penelope Todd's - she writes exquisite impressions of life, with photos to match. Something special. DO check it out.

Listening to: The Cat's Empire. (I supplied a cd of their's for work too; which whenever we play it, inspires nine month olds to belly dance! How cool is that?)
Reading; Anne Hepple - delicious 1930s romance writer!
Anticipating: R's spag bol for tea. (With red wine, 'course.)
Writing: A long poem ...
Learning: Basic Japanese. Hai!



Anonymous said...

Kay, the colour of those fungi are rich rather than gaudy. I love Spring, Summer and Autumn, but I don't really enjoy winter cold, wind or rain. i wonder if being born in June has anything to do with it. I'm glad, however, that I live in a part of the world where we have seasons and dusk doesn't fall at the same time throughout the year.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love the changing seasons too, your weather soulds very much like ours, throwing in the unexpected when you least expect it, yes creative is the word...

rel said...

Without nature and her garments: weather, we'd have so little to talk and write about.
Enjoy the autumn season.

Becky Willis Motew said...

I love fall very much, especially crisp apples. Each turn of the earth on its axis is good for its own sake. You make me realize that, Kay, and thank you.


January said...

It's hard to rejoice when it's still cold in the Northeast, but we're one step closer to warm weather, which makes me happy.

Great photos, and what a lovely journal.

herhimnbryn said...

Oh those fungi! Now I think I have some inspiration for a mosaic coming on!

kj said...

what a walk i've just taken with you, chief! those mushrooms confirm there is a divine spirit somewhere. but please, no more wintry winds for me--at least let me enjoy spring and summer, which i might add, is nowhere near arriving. yet.

have fun!

Anonymous said...

How long is this long poem you are writing?

Anonymous said...

Learning: Basic Japanese. がんばってください!!

"a scent of moss and leaf mould": なつかしい!!

McDinzie said...

Well there's always the one saying you need to learn when you go to a country where english is not the spoken tounge...and that is "Where is the toilet/bahroom"

Kay Cooke said...

Carole - I was born in June too - but in a winter-June! I don't mind winter ... so maybe that does prove your point.

CGP - Four seasons in one day is a kiwi saying ...

Rem- Thanks, I will.

Becky - Thanks - I do enjoy the turning axis!

January - Thank you. Enjoy the last of winter if you can - makes summer that much more welcome.

herhimnbryn - Love to see them!

kj - So you are well and truly ready for summer? :)

dana - A long, long one - it may take me a year to write. I will post snippets sometimes. :)

Anon - Thanks - we are learning the words, not the characters unfortuantely - but love what you have posted here!

McD - Yep we're doing that!

Penelope said...

Mmmm, I inhaled this blog, and thanks to your prompt, freshly appreciate the nearly-frost, sun, fog and sun-again all before 9 a.m. Ah Dunedin.

Unknown said...

Wow, those colours are amazing in the mushrooms and the birds too seem to have a very vibrant plumage.

It's a great time of year to have a notebook handy and now you've got just the one!

apprentice said...

What beautiful birds. And the notebooks are lovely. I got given a nice one too, and I pasted in typed poems for a reading, just with Pritt so they can easily come out for a different set.

by kd said...

"It begins with a smell in the air when you are hanging out the washing"


I was a grey warbler in Brownies so approve of this post.

Ngaio said...

Autumn is my favourite season, the mellow light,cool temperatures - everything just seems to slow down. I love the smell of woodfire smoke, picking the last of the apples and best of all . . harvesting the honey from my hives and closing the entrance up a little so the bees can relax and huddle up for the winter ..

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Konnichiwa, Kay! Ohayo gozaimasu. O genki desu kas? (That's about the extent of my Japanese).

Your phungi photos are phantastic! We here in the Great American West are getting snow, snow, and more snow upon the tulips.... Your comments, as always, are wonderful.

Your friend Aya, from Salt Lake

Tammy Brierly said...

WOW Those mushrooms are so cool Kay. XXOO

Kay Cooke said...

pen - Ah Dunedin indeed!

Barbara - Yep, have to have a notebook with me at all times.

Anna - Haven't ever heard of Pritt ?? Sounds handy tho'.

kd - Ha! I was a Kelpie!

Ngaio - Sounds idyllic! Love your site!

Joyce - Hi! I was delighted to be an Aya - and that you were too!
Your Japanese is very good - I understood every word! ;)

Tammy - I wouldn't eat them tho! ;)

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Happy fall to you, my friend.

It is spring here, and there are blossoms on the trees and 16 inches of snow that fell yesterday, that is melting away rather quickly.

I love the photos, but I always love the photos here.

The notebook is wonderful!
Please share a bit of what you write in it, when you have the time.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

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