My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

A Balmy Summer Evening

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Tonight is as good as it gets on a New Zealand summer evening. Balmy, little cloud cover and the new quarter moon has appeared in the indigo sky. Windless, no traffic, no streetlights in our rural neighbourhood, it is ideal for an after-dinner stroll. The ridges of the western hills are silhouetted against the setting sun, casting deep shadows across the paddocks.

Later once darkness has cloaked the land, we will hear a possum grunt, the raucous squawks of the pukeko, Ruru’s moooorpoooork calls from the trees and the faint replies echoing from the hills as the Moreporks, New Zealand’s owl, go about their nightly hunt for food. Once, while strolling along the streambank, I saw a morepork chick perched on a low branch of a Totara tree. Silent and still, its round unblinking eyes solemnly stared. I’m not sure who watched who that evening.

At different times, we have sat with friends and family in the garden, wine and binoculars at hand and contemplated the mystery and the beauty of the universe, admiring the great Milky splash, the Southern Cross stars that are displayed on the NZ flag. Mars is familiar as are the Pot and the Scorpion. We needed to use the NZ astronomy website to identify other stars such as the seven sisters, Pleiades, or Matariki as Maori call this cluster of stars. In June-July, the re-appearance of Matariki in our southern skies is celebrated because it reminds us of beginnings, the promise of the new growing season. Maori have ancient knowledge of stars and they have many stories to tell. “Swimming across the darkness is Te Ikaroa (the Milky Way), the great fish of Rangi, the Sky Father.”   

In January 2007, as we watched McNaughton’s Comet streak across the western night sky, Sis-in-law mused how stargazing natural universal events links us with all skywatchers beyond our time and in far places.

Who will wonder the universal mysteries and admire this comet when it returns in a million years?


Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

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