Tuesday, June 05, 2007
I've probably said it before, but the sky here is amazing. New Zealand is Aotearoa- land of the long white cloud.
This photo was taken from our back room, overlooking the yard and chicken coop, toward the west. I see more rainbows here than anywhere I've ever lived. This morning, driving to work, I saw a full, 180 degree rainbow, double on the ends. Only lasted a minute, but wow! The rain will fall in isolated areas, and we have a phenomenon I like to call "sunny rain". Rain will fall out of an apparently clear sky.
The air is so clear, the stars have this intensity. Last night I was out in the yard with Fargo, and the moonlight shone on the clouds, racing past the stars with the insistent wind. My eyes may water while sitting in traffic on the motorway, but the air comming from the west/Tasman ocean is as clean as it can be.
When the weather report is given, they say "sow-westerlies" (southwest) "freshening" (huh?). What does that mean? The wind seems to be trying to communicate. It blows strong for a couple minutes, then it stops. There must be a message in its pitch, its frequency, its strenth. I think it is saying, "here comes winter!"
We have been having a fire in the woodburner pretty much every evening and morning for the last week. People are telling me it's not cold yet. We do have an electric blanket on the matress. The $200 price made us shop around a bit to find the best deal, but I considered it necessary. This house has no central heating, and the temperature in our bedroom has been about 60F at night and early morning. I can live with this.
Check out the link here (Metvuw) for loads of great weather photos from around NZ. Also you can look at NZ weather forcast charts- go on, you know you want to!
This next photo is from the Titirangi market, held the last Sunday of each month. Titirangi is a western suburb south of Swanson. It's very hilly and forested and artsy. I had to resist the impulse to buy a handknit shawl, but did buy three gently used books, a jar of spicy plum chutney, and fresh smoked blue cod, which was a hostess gift for my new friend Misato, who lives in Titirangi and had us over for lunch. She is an amazing cook. This past weekend I attended the concert presented by her Japanese choral group, Sakura no Kai. They have amazing range and diversity of songs. Several of them play piano very well, including Misato.
This most recent weekend, we enjoyed the company of our friends Holly and Steve, who just spent a couple weeks in California (they are Americans). They brought me a funny t-shirt and my two requests: Emeril's steak rub and pure vanilla extract. They had a great group of people over to their home, everyone brought something yummy and we spent several hours eating and laughing. I need to host a party sometime soon. I like to entertain, but it means I have to clean the house- not an easy task for me. We just got big wood bookshelves, so we've been busy unpacking boxes of books. Oh, so many distractions!