There are two definitions of spring.
Meteorologists use September 1 as the start of spring in New Zealand. Astronomically, Spring begins at the equinox which is still six weeks away. No surprise, then, that my search for images yesterday was conducted in bleak conditions with occasional hail. At the top of Belmont (the suburb, not the hill), the view back down to the valley was chilling. The Eastern hills on the other side of the valley were drifting in and out of view as rain obscured them.
A little down the road, a nice stand of black tree ferns (Mamaku) stood out from the scruffy pines in the background. Unlike the more common silver fern or Ponga, the Mamaku disposes of its dead fronds tidily, leaving nothing but a geometric scar on the trunk. They are the tallest of our tree ferns.
But wait, that splash of gold by the roadside fence is surely a daffodil. Not yet open, to be sure, but nevertheless a welcome harbinger of better times to come.
Sure enough, down in the valley I found a traffic island with a full complement of daffodils in beautiful bloom. They were bouncing about in the wind and rain, but they danced with the sheer joy of announcing the coming season.
I am uplifted.
- Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare