Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Talking about the Weather!

Here we are towards the end of August, and I am finding it hard to decide if I should talk about my pottery, or the weather! The inclination to talk about the weather is probably hard wired into me, I am by birth an Englishman! In my head are little quaint snatches of conversation that have sat there since childhood, such as, "Eeeh Lad, it's nice weather for the dooks!" ("dooks", ducks... get it!), and "It's nice weather for this time of the year!" (usually said after a week of bitter cold wind blowing rain horizontally!)

The thing is that we have had it all in August, real winter with snow followed by delightful spring days that would cause even the most dour temperament to contemplate a shy little dance of appreciation, a furtive skip, and a happy sigh! And there have been dramatic skies full of towering grey clouds with just the odd patch of blue peeping out near the horizon, or through a fleece-lined gap. Blue of the most tender and exquisite hue.

I have found myself out and about with the camera on several occasions, and have even dusted down my sketch book and have done a few pen and ink drawings out on location. 

I'll put 3 or 4 photos here to show what I mean... then I will get to the subject of potting, the noble art of making pots!

We had snow on 4 August, and on the morning of the 5th there was a little snow on the hills across the road from us.

I walked a short distance to the nearby railway crossing and took this photo looking South.

I took many photos of clouds. I was reminded of the great Dutch landscape painters, and of John Constable.

This photo, and the next, were taken on 4 December, as the snow started to come in.

Again, those clouds! I would much rather have a cloudy sky than one that is all blue!

One morning we went for a walk to the lagoon and saw a lovely puddle of ice that was in a hollow. There were cartoon cloud patterns even in this!

Laura planted snowdrops some years ago, and we enjoy seeing them emerge from their sleep and put on a show under the trees.

In August the moon was big, fat, and yellow. Definitely made of cheese!

Hawksbury Lagoon. A rapid change from winter to spring. The dramatic dark crimson bush is an akeake, Dodonaea viscosa, probably the Purpurea variety (often referred to as Purple Ake Ake).

Last of the light of the day over the lagoon.

I took a long sequence of photos of the sun going down. The impressive, rather pudding shaped, hill at the back on the right is Hikaroroa, this is also known as Mt Watkin. (There is an interesting newspaper article regarding the renaming of Hikaroroa to Mt Watkin that appears in the 13 October 1920 edition of the Otago Daily Times, you can read it here in papers past.)

Still with pea shaped seed pods, the old flower stems of harakeke, NZ flax (Phormium tenax).

A chill breeze came up after the sun set, and made "sand patterns" on the water!

Hum... "3 or 4 photos" grew in number! Potting next post!


Anna said...

Beautiful but looks so cold... hope you turn on some good weather in November - good as in warm please :)

Peter said...

Hi Anna,
It is beautiful! I confess that the maximum temperature that we "enjoyed" today was around 7 degrees... and it took all day to get there. It was refreshing! Things will improve though by November, it may even be feeling like summer by then! Winters here have not been as severe over recent years as they were in the 1980s. I remember throwing my first snowball of the year in Easter of 1984 when I was a student at art school in Dunedin, and having to resort to tobogganing down the hill where our flat was on my oil painting palette when winter came, it was much safer than standing up on the snow and ice some mornings!

Michèle Hastings said...

Snow on the mountains is beautiful. While you are enduring the cold weather we are suffering through a very hot summer. I am really looking forward to fall this year.

Arkansas Patti said...

I keep forgetting we are in different weather zones. Wonderful pictures Peter that helped to make me momentarily forget it is 96 degrees F and climbing here today.
All the shots were wonderful but I really liked the one with the seed pods in the foreground. Just lovely.
Best to you, Laura and Stop It.

Peter said...

Hi Michèle,
You have my sympathy, I would much rather wear several layers of clothing against the cold than try to cool down when it is too hot! Mind you, I do like summer's longer days and being able to get washing dry!

Hi Patti,
Glad that I was able to bring you something cool, if only for a few moments! 96 degrees F sounds almost enough to make the blood boil (and it really would if it were in Centigrade!). Glad you liked the photo with the seed pods, they are strange and beautiful things, their tough, dark skin reminds me a bit of wrought iron. I can imagine flax flower stems and seed pods being hammered out of metal by a skilled blacksmith!

Anonymous said...

Your photos make even bad weather look good! Nice mental image of you dancing in the rain like Gene Kelly and sketching like Picasso...what will you do in Spring?! Hope to see those sketches soon(ish). Love to you both - Graham & Amanda

Peter said...

Gene Kelly... well, there's a thought.. I suspect that some would consider me to be a little too large of foot and wide of girth, however... there is no telling what Spring might bring! A Picasso version of the Lagoon and environs has me thinking... and it could be rather fun! Good to hear from you both :-) P & L & NS meeow!

PotterMiller said...

So beautiful in your part of the big blue marble we live on! Your pictures give hope that cooler weather is coming, thank you❣ Much needed today 👍🏻😎

Peter said...

Nice to hear from you Sandy,
I think we are really lucky to have chilly winters, and "crisp" starts to the day with Jack Frost making ice and pretty patterns on the windows. The heat and humidity in your part of the world sound really hard to bear! You should fly south and chill out in NZ!

Armelle Léon said...

How beautiful !!! You are living in such a magnificent place, seems very cold though...

Peter said...

Hello Armelle,
Yes, it certainly can be cold at this time of the year. I am often reminded that we have only sea between us and Antarctica!