Winter Solstice in NZ

The Winter Solstice is here in the Southern Hemisphere and it is a cold dreary day. The tuis are still filling my garden with their song. I love having this pair residing in my trees.

IMG_0462Someone however, does NOT think it is a good idea to get out of bed…can you guess who ???

IMG_0467Yesterday when we went for a walk it was chilly enough that we decided to both wear our winter woolies. Chevvy loves her new coat. IMG_0375 copySo much that I get THE LOOK when I dare take it off. THE LOOK says quite plainly…and all in capitals…GIVE THAT BACK, IT’S MINE !!!

On our walk we did enjoy seeing some ducks having fun in the stream.IMG_0392The pukekos had raided someone’s vege garden and were enjoying their ill-gotten gains.IMG_0386And though they were far away, the kingfishers were out and a delight to watch zooming over the mudflats looking for dinner.IMG_0368This year I am proud to announce I have planted garlic for the first time. Yippee…now I just have to wait for the Summer Solstice to enjoy my favourite spice in the world. Though technically it is not a spice but a vegetable. As however my favourite vegetable in the winter is the trusty, tasty brussels sprout I am going to call garlic a spice and be done with it.

And to cheer up my dreary day I am going to share this kitty with you. I love the look on its face when it realises it has been caught.




  1. Wow Jo, with the temps here reaching into the low 90s over the past week, it’s hard to believe it’s the start of Winter down under. I tell ya, though I was glad when it started warming up, a (short!) dip back down would be welcome now. Love the pics and video! 🙂


  2. Today, it is Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. Whoo Hoo. The weather co-operated for a change. Shortly, we will complain about the heat even as we have waited for it since last October. Aren’t we fickle?


  3. Oh, that kitty has the sweetest face ever. 🙂 Great pics, Jo, and I’m not surprised that Chevvy wants to keep her smart new coat on her back. I love the fluffy white pom-pom on the Tui’s neck. Keep warm as you enjoy your brussel sprouts. 🙂


    1. The kingfishers are so hard to get close to Gilly. The tuis are like that too. Very quick and elusive. That is why I am so thrilled to have a pair in my garden.


  4. As you enjoy winter, we are ready for warmer, longer days. it has been humid here in Shanghai… so sticky, but at least cooler. Otherwise it is the weather you feel you melt. I enjoyed your photos… and that video of the cat; well priceless!
    How are you doing lately? I was thinking about you today and wanted to stop by and say ‘hi’.


    1. I was wondering…what is Hong Kong like [weather wise] now ? I ask because on Friday I am getting two students for two weeks from there. Wondering how cold they might find it here. I know one of my girls from Thailand said it was so much cooler here [which she really liked actually], but I was curious.

      The cat was so funny.

      Me ? Been a bit up and down. Had a bit of a tumble, which left me in quite a bit of pain. The Daughter calls me accident prone. Since I broke my back, I have lost my sense of balance. You know when stumble, most of the time you can self correct and stop yourself going down, I can no longer do that. The minute I am off balance…over I go. It is a real pain at times.

      Trying to get used to the idea that in August my beautiful daughter is leaving NZ, probably for good. She has a great job in Switzerland working for an aeronautical engineering company. I am thrilled for her. It really is time for her to go and find out where she belongs in this world [I have a suspicion it is not NZ], but we are very close and as the time draws near it becomes more real.

      I am lucky – when I think back to when I headed off – there is Skype, and e-mail, facebook and the like. My father had to wait for letters and the odd [and very expensive] phone call. But the other night, when she told me she had signed the contract, I had a huge emotional meltdown for a couple of hours. Weirdly the thing that set me off was that once she steps on that plane I will no longer be able to hug her. All silly, as she lives in Auckland and only comes home every few months so we don’t hug all that much…but it was like someone dropped a swimming pool full of emotion on me. Luckily I have a lovely friend who I called and melted all over so that when The Daughter rang I was quite chipper again.

      But man…I am going to miss knowing she is within reach. That said…I am ridiculously proud of her. I have also warned The Son that he needs to take up the slack. He sounded a little concerned about that…hehehehehe


      1. Hey Jo. Hong Kong will be hot and humid. Shanghai is sticky and you feel like you are melting. Hong Kong will be worse. They will call that weather in NZ ‘fresh’ because it is cool and dry. (tell them to dress for cold and fresh weather 😉 ) When I head home I will also feel cold and it is mid to low 20’s. I soon adjust and I am sure they will too.
        I do the trip things too. Luckily I haven’t fallen. Almost went into a wall at work last week tripping over a carpet. Poor ayi (cleaner) did the i-o… (oh crap). I slipped getting onto my husband’s scooter in the rain and tore my leg open 6 weeks ago. Only 1 part was deep and luckily no stitches. Looks worse than it was. Nice long scar down my shin though. It will freak my parents out. I too get into crazy incidents.
        Well I am happy and sad for you with your daughter. I know it is hard to be away. As I say this I am half way round the world from everyone. My parents had to do the same thing, but understood since I couldn’t get full time teaching back home. As you say there is skype and the like. Although it isn’t the same, but makes it easier and the waiting less. Just think it is a new place to visit! It will be cheaper now that you have a place to stay. I was the same way with the plane. My brother was quiet and had a hard time to say good-bye. My mom cried as I left, my dad had tears and hated seeing me walk away. I stayed strong… was still excited about the adventure. Then it was time to board the plane and I heard the flight attendant speak in Chinese to the person behind me and then I broke down. It all became real. No matter how we look at it saying good-bye is never easy. Just shows how strong our bonds are. If it was easy then we wouldn’t care so much about the friendship and the love we share. Hubby had to go back to Canada early and I knew it was only 3 weeks, but still didn’t make it any easier. OK I am trying to cheer you up, but I am afraid I am becoming more of a downer! Maybe I should quit while I’m ahead. 😉 Take care


  5. I’m curious…how chilly does it get where you live and how long is your winter.
    You introduced me to yet another native bird! First time seeing a pukeko. 🙂 I’m loving this !


    1. Parts of NZ get REALLY cold, but here in the Bay of Plenty not so much. This year [touch my head] it is quite mild so far. We have had a couple of frosty nights, and a few chilly [put you jacket and gloves on] days, but nothing like normal.

      I have a few friends who have kiwifruit orchards and usually around picking time [May/June] they worry that frosts will damage the fruit before it is picked. Night after night you hear the helicopters out…I think this year I only heard them about 5 times.

      Normally by now the fire is going constantly – but this year during the day I have only really needed it now and then. Though with the fur babies [and since I broke my back I feel the cold a lot more] I tend to have it on [more than most people] though it is on low just to keep the house warm and dry.

      July and August are pretty cold [for us], September can still deliver some frosty, chilly and windy days and nights. In October it can be cold though that is usually more because of the winds. October is often quite windy and they come in from the south which is not pleasant. By November we tend to be pretty warm again. It will be interesting to see if it stays mild as they predict.

      I think I am finding it cold now especially because this year we barely had an autumn. In May there were lots of days I was still in a t-shirt and shorts this year. Can’t remember doing that before. Even in April I had nights where it was too hot to sleep comfortably.

      So glad you enjoyed meeting our pukekos. They are such characters. Lots of Kiwis don’t like them as they raid gardens and orchards and are known for raiding the nests of other birds. But they fascinate me. I love watching them and could sit and do just that for hours.


  6. *a new winter coat* who wouldn’t want to show it off 🙂
    Great pictures Jo … keep snuggly warm .. I’m shedding one or two layers as the sun reaches temps of … ooh atleast 23 degrees high summer Lol
    I did love the tuis and all the other bird songs when we visited far too many years ago now, but can remember them well .


  7. Chevvy is adorable! As is that very naughty kitty 😀 And your duck shot….WOW!!
    Wish I could pass on some of our excessive heat to you and your furry babies Jo. Stay warm 🙂


    1. She will be wearing it for sure if we head out to the beach today…and yes I love the sprouts. Introduced the girls to them this week…they thought they were ‘cute’.


  8. Loved the photo’s Jo and brrrr sounds chilly.. Just as we are enjoying some summer sun.. well we did on the day you posted this.. The 21st was hubbys birthday so Sunday the 22nd we had family around for a BBQ and all went well including the weather..

    Good luck on your garlic crop.. Big smiles as we planted garlic for the first time last year in the autumn and just pulled our crop up,, Great bulbs of garlic… 🙂

    Enjoy your weekend Jo.. xox Hugs Sue xxx


    1. I can’t wait to pull my very own garlic up. So glad the weather held for you with hubby’s birthday…wish him a belated ‘happy’ for me.


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