Seasonal diaries

New Zealand week 13-14

We continue our seasonal diaries in the times of lockdown. This time, an update from New Zealand

girl and dog in autumn leaves
Staying home from school, the children get a lot of time to help out on seasonal work at the farm. Here together with the dog who is also happy to have humans around to play with all day
Kerstie van Zandvoort
Tree i nautumn
A beautiful day of autumn at the farm
Kerstie van Zandvoort
Pigdeon in tree
Kereru, a native wood pigeon sitting in the Kowhai Tree. It’s the largest pigeon in the world and it feeds on the seeds of the Kowhai. Eating the seeds it helps the spread of the Kowhai
Paul Schneider
Harvest of fruit
The harvest of fruit is a regular sign of seasonal change even in these irregular times
Paul Schneider

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Week 13-14, Coromandel, New Zealand:

April 8, 2020
The first autumn winds have arrived. After weeks of warm and beautiful weather (albeit very dry) with calm conditions it has become windy and much cooler. Small branches and many leaves have been blown off, the wind is whistling through the gaps in the house. Old houses in New Zealand are a bit like living in a tent. One tends to be quite in tune with what is happening outside.  


The New Normal: A Lockdown Lifestyle 
With an expansive outdoor space in which to work, play and wander, it would be unreasonable to construe ourselves as being locked-down, locked-in or locked-out.  But at the same time, there is a surrealness to our daily existence, where tuning in for the latest casualities from covid-19 has become as routine as the daily weather check.   


April 10, 2020
Just when I thought that fine weather has been fare welled we’ve been blessed with a stunning Good Friday. Cool in the shade yet perfect in the sun. The sun now feels balmy on the skin. Not like in summer when it feels too intense and it is unpleasant on both skin and for the eyes. The nights have cooled off considerably. We watched a family movie last night and I lit the fire for the first time in six months. It felt good. There is a chill in the air and using a second duvet at night is pleasant, not too hot. I even took a hot water bottle to bed with me because my feet were cold from not wearing socks. Where did I put my warm slippers? I must find them. The floor boards are unpleasantly cold in the morning.  


We have been harvesting apples and figs, along with the last of the hazelnuts and a fresh crop of walnuts.  The walnut harvest, derived from a single old tree, has lasted us the whole year, even after donating a portion to friends. Colleting the whole walnuts from the ground is consequently a labour intensive endeavor that we tackled in shifts with the kids over the course of a month last year.  With the girls now permanently at home, this has been achieved in a fraction of the time


April 11, 2020
Another stunning day but already quite cool in the shade. Noticed forest funghi came up since the drizzle two days ago. Especially the fly agarics are noticeable but also some brown ones which I do not know. Also heard and saw Kaka (type of parrot) flying over this part of the peninsula. They make the most unusual croaking sound. Unsure where they are heading but they do this every year at this time. The seem to be going in a north-easterly direction. The pines here where we live must be some kind of resting way marker. It is unbelievably quiet due to the lock-down/COVID 19 situation. Rode my bike into town together with my daughter. Noticed quite a few young dead trees along the road. It hasn’t rained in a long time and everything is desperately dry. All streams we came across were lower than I’d ever seen them.