Early last week, it was bloody cold. So cold that Mt Oxford suddenly had more than a light dusting of snow on its top. I can just see it from the bedroom window. And the weeping willow in the front garden is now pretty much a skeleton. Gone are its whispery emerald green fronds. It now will slumber until Spring. The golden elm is a wonderful bright gold but already it is shedding its leaves, leaving a carpet of gold on the lawn.

What I like about New Zealand is the very distinct seasonal change. In Sydney, it was friggin’ hot, less friggin’ hot, mildly cool, occasionally a bit cold. There was Autumn (Fall) and Spring sure – but both seemed to be over quickly and then the heat of Summer smacked you in the face or it was just a bit cooler and therefore Winter. Here there are four distinct seasons and, now that we’ve been here for a year, we have observed the changes in the trees and landscape during each season.

And so for now, the trees and plants in the garden begin their Winter sleep.