Lilts

Star-God burns afar
sparkles rata into flame
cicadas chatter
calling time on berries ripe
O Te Waru Haere Mai

February 2nd ~ Groundhog Day, Candlemas, Imbolc, First Fruits, Lean Time, Te Waru, Lammas,  Lugnasad ~ by whatever name we know it, the underpinning story is the same. The earth is sifting seasons. Do you hear its trickled lilt?  What does it sing to you?

Chilean Guavas: New Zealand Cranberries

Calling time on berries ripe

This post was inspired by Juliet Batten’s book Celebrating the Southern Seasons ~ Rituals for Aotearoa,  and Earthbornliving’s blog, Nona Hora, the Ninth Hour.

The Star-God is Rehua (Antares). Te Waru is the eighth month of the Maori calendar.  For more information on our southern seasons, read Juliet’s beautiful post on Lugnasad here.

© silkannthreades

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139 thoughts on “Lilts

  1. Boomdeeadda

    Unfortunately spring is a wait for us. A mixture of a few pleasant days and a bunch of very cool days. New snow last night with a low of -16C tonight. I’m happy for my travel plans with dear friends to usher in the change of season as I will get a little head start going south. What kind of berries have you collected there? Will you make jams or perhaps pies?

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, your trip south will make spring seem a little closer. I noticed a few leaves putting on their fall colours today. At the moment my berries and some wild crab apples are being made in to juice. Not sure if I will get round to jam/jelly although the fruit is plentiful enough.

      Reply
  2. Leya

    Many, many words of change and goodness. Painting and photo, music and comments – You are a master of creating a canvas for us to paint our own responding thoughts and pictures on. I’m so glad you are there. Please go on doing what you do so well, dearest friend.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, still here but since I wrote the post, more subtle changes have occurred. The cicadas have been silent for several days, and there is a definite chill in the air. It won’t be long now before I see a few leaves taking on some autumn colour.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh yes, lots more fruit and berries to come. My blueberries are ripening well. And then my kiwifruit and feijoa are fattening nicely. Apples not too far away either.

  3. Sheila

    I love your poem. Yes, the earth is singing a melting song here. Spring is in the air even if we are covered in snow for now. Fall is my favorite though – enjoy the cicada chatter!

    Reply
  4. Robbie

    Your blog is such a good example of what “blogging” is all about. You share the beauty in your life through “words” – ” photos” -” paintings” + have such a kind spirit. It shines through your blog. I started reading some of your comments + I agree so much with all those above-you inspire us all:-) You inspire me:-)
    You treat each person as a special visitor+ I admire your ability to make everyone feel wonderful when they stop by here or you visit their blog-you are a ray of sunshine on my blog when you comment! Always!
    Lovely painting:-)
    Cranberries-the plants I put in last spring survived under the snow + I am putting more in this spring-fingers crossed-so excited! Maybe in a few years, I will have a harvest at Thanksgiving time for our celebration:-)

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Such kind words, Robbie, thank you. I try to welcome people to my blog as if I were welcoming them to my home. It’s always a delight to have visitors and to share whatever hospitality is available. When I come to read your blog I always feel very welcome and at home, and I feel sure that if I turned up on your doorstep we would have the greatest time over chocolate mint tea and a delicious home grown salad. I might not do so well if you tried to take me on one of your bike rides, though!! Just a hint. 😉

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      You have good hearing. 🙂 Everything was swaying wildly in the wind today. But the wind also brought some rain, so that is a great blessing for the garden and the ripening berries.

      Reply
      1. pleisbilongtumi

        Wow, it sound so wonderful over there! . The rain falls every day over here and makes my garden looks so suffering. The water run into the capital flooding a half of the city with 1 meter in height.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh dear, that really is too much rain. I remember last year you had so much rain you couldn’t get your washing dry. You were running out of dry clothes.

  5. The Twisted Yarn

    Gosh, that Margaret Stoddart painting is beautiful. Soft, atmospheric, without being too twee/sentimental. Ahhh, makes me want to dust off my walking boots. Thank you for posting such delightful words and pictures, as always.

    Reply
  6. tableofcolors

    Beautiful…and I must say that I must echo one of the previous commenters and say that I enjoy your thoughtful comment section very much. Always I do not have time to read them all…as there is such an abundance…but I try to read as many as I can!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh, I am pleased to know that you enjoy the comments section, too. They do take extra time which is not always easy to find. Also, I think enjoyment of the comments may depend on what platform one is using to view WordPress. Do you do most of your blog reading on a laptop or iPad? I have no idea what my blog plus comments look like on an iPad or mobile device. They may be difficult to read quickly and easily for all I know.

      Reply
  7. Anonymous

    The godwit are flexing there wings getting ready to return to Alaska, basking in the sun and foraging in the sand. Their alternative home here in New Zealand.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, the departure of the Godwits is a sure sign of seasonal change. They are amazing creatures. Great voyagers, and apparently only talk when absolutely necessary! “Voice: godwits most commonly call in flight, usually a-wik,a-wik,a-wik. For most of their time in New Zealand they are usually silent on the ground, but immediately before migration departures there is a notable increase in both frequency and volume of calls from individuals that are about to leave. ” http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/bar-tailed-godwit

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Juliet and Earthbornliving are very aware of their environments. Both are artists (just one of their many talents!), and I love the way they keep me connected to both the northern and southern seasons.

      Reply
  8. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    I positively love reading your blogs. Not only is each posting a work of art in and of itself but, by reading the comments, you have a gentle way of passing on knowledge I might otherwise miss in my lifetime. It’s rare that I read comments on another blog. Yours are consistently as rewarding as a welcomed conversation and educational at the same time.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Sheri, how kind of you to say so. And thank you for appreciating the comments. I try to keep them as interesting and engaging as I can, but I know that many people simply don’t have time to read the comments in detail. For me they are an integral part of my post, and integral to what WordPress means to me, which is communication/conversation.

      Reply
      1. Gallivanta Post author

        Sheri, I am so pleased these posts are there for you in the quiet of the night. Mr Google is a wonderful resource for supporting my knowledge base, or for helping me out when I can’t quite remember the exact details of some story or other. I would be lost without “him”. For example, today I learned that in 1989 the beautiful NZ pohutukawa of which we are justly proud, had entirely disappeared in many areas. Project Crimson http://www.projectcrimson.org.nz/about-us/page.aspx was initiated and today pohutukawa and northern and southern rata are no longer endangered. Such a good news story. 🙂

        Reply
        1. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

          Don’t you love it when you have a feel good news story instead of all bad information? I love stopping in to read, each visit is a wealth of knowledge. I’m in the process of thinking about my spring and summer gardens and I believe you are preparing for cold months ahead. I’m not ready for spring. I love to garden but at the same time, winter is still my favorite season.

  9. Sheryl

    You’re entering a season where the days are getting shorter–while I’m at a place where we’re entering a season where the days are getting longer. Your posts really make me aware of the ebb and flow or the seasons–and how it differs across hemispheres.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The ebb and flow is fascinating, isn’t it? The other different situation, which I don’t think I like as much, is when the hours of night and day are more or less constant.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh that is an interesting combination. I must remember that. My raspberry cane just up and died last week. No idea why. I have some frozen raspberries though.

      Reply
  10. Clanmother

    Ah, Gallivanta! You know how to make the most out of the moments. And you remind us how beautiful our moments are, especially in the changing of seasons. I’m walking with the geese and learning to speak their language. Hugs.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I hope they whisper stories of their cousins in New Zealand.http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/canada-goose Introduced in 1905. Reside mainly in the South Island. When farmers started to use more irrigation, lush grazing grounds appeared which the clever geese rightfully understood made for delicious meals. The farmers, not being so clever, complained bitterly about the geese and now the geese are no longer protected and can be hunted at will. I am inclined to ask who is the silly goose in this situation. Not the poor bird. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Steve Schwartzman

    Thanks for the introduction to Margaret Stoddart in general and her treatment of the mountain rata in particular. While dodging raindrops this afternoon I saw my first flowers of the rata’s relative, the pohutukawa. Most of those trees have passed their bloom period now, so I felt fortunate to find one that was still flowering.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Rain! Please send us some. Apparently the pohutukawa have bloomed prolifically this year. Good to know that one pohutukawa held its bloom until your arrival.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Our forecast says rain possible tomorrow evening but I do not put much faith in the forecast. Friday looks a little better for you. This is the well-known lilt that goes with every season in NZ.

        2. Steve Schwartzman

          In coming back here now I see that I missed your last reply and the song “Four Season in One Day.” I didn’t get the full four in any one of my days in Aotearoa, but collectively I’d say I experienced two.

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh dear. We didn’t show you a kiwi, we didn’t give you kiwifruit and we failed to give you 4 seasons in one day. What awful hosts we were. 😉

        4. Gallivanta Post author

          I expect it does. Especially if it is measured in feet (‘) and/or inches (“). Or one could say, the snow will accent the mountain tops.

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I do, I do. Tamara, thank you so much. I love botanical illustrations. I should thank you, too, for being one of my followers from my earliest appearance on WordPress. Also your blog was the first one I found on WordPress, and it was through your blog that I came to know other bloggers.

      Reply
  12. earthbornliving

    Thank you for this lovely post and the support of my little blog
    it feels we create a circle all around the globe…and my goodness those berries look especially good right now 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      We do, we do create a lovely circle. The cranberries, as we are encouraged to call them, have the sweetest fragrance as they ripen. I grow far too many for my own consumption, but I grow them as much for their beauty and perfume as anything else. Strangely the birds don’t seem to care for them at all.

      Reply
  13. shoreacres

    Not only the lengthening days, but the sun’s rising in the sky, marks the season’s turn. Yesterday, it was nippy here. in the 40s. Even so, there was some warmth to the sunlight. My Christmas cactus, Schefflera, and Cape honeysuckle have noticed, and are putting on new growth. Our traditional day for pruning is Valentine’s day, so it’s almost time. I wouldn’t mind a little more cold, a little more dismal and gray, but then — I’m not in control!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am noticing a certain nip in the air here, too, both morning and evening. Our traditional pruning is around July/August depending on what is being pruned. However I was very interested to read that I should be pruning my nectarine tree now, and that my apricot should have been pruned about a month ago. Blackcurrants, too. At least that is what some sources say. I am sure there others that disagree.

      Reply
  14. KerryCan

    That pesky rodent says there will be 6 more weeks of winter. Sigh. Couldn’t he, just this once, predict an early spring? But your post helps me remember that change is afoot. I will try to be patient . . .

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I cheated a little bit with those berries. That is a photo from this time last year. The berries this year are not quite ready for picking. It was interesting for me to discover that this time last year I was well into the berry harvest.

      Reply
  15. Juliet

    What a beautiful poem and an inspired post. Thank you for your kind tribute to ‘Celebrating the Southern Seasons’; it’s wonderful to have it appreciated by such an open-hearted reader. I love the Margaret Stoddard painting.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Isn’t Margaret Stoddard a wonderful artist? I love her work. I first tried reading your book all in one go but I decided it made more sense if I read the appropriate section for each season. I am finding this a very satisfactory approach. I love all the little drawings, and the border designs. What an incredible amount of work was involved.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I can imagine. The detail is extraordinary. Have you ever considered publishing (perhaps you already have) shorter chap style books for each season, with larger print and illustrations. Would there be a demand?

  16. April

    Blustery here. We have tall pine trees in our backyard and they are swinging as if they are doing a hula dance. Even though Spring means tornado season, I am really looking forward to its arrival.

    Reply
      1. April

        Thanks for the link, I enjoyed reading it. You know, I never thought about how the sound of wind through the trees makes me feel. I will pay attention next time. All I think about is one falling on our house.

        Yes, we have a place in the basement. Even though it’s a finished area, we call it the dungeon. The hardest part is rounding up all my animals to put the in crates and bring them with us. They are a huge part of our family as well.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          The wind is making far too much sound in the trees today, AGAIN. Like you, I worry about them falling but fortunately we don’t have anything big close to the house. Our neighbours do, however. Dealing with animals during times of emergency is difficult. I remember with our earthquakes, scrambling around in the dark trying to find the dog and his lead, trying to keep him safe as well as the family. All in all, I think he coped better than we did. But, yes, our emergency preparedness must always include caring for our animals.

        2. April

          I have only experienced a couple of small earthquakes. My sister was in San Francisco in 1989 when the 6.9 hit that area. The *baby* one we had in the Seattle area was frightening. Where does one go? There isn’t any warning, they just happen. My cats had a little mad dash through the house right before the earthquake, when the swaying of the house started, I got under the kitchen table. Not sure why except that is what they taught us to do in school during earthquake drills. I had an entire second story that could have landed on me if the quake was large enough. Do you have them quite often? I did look at photos of the devastation of the 2011 quake in Christchurch. It brought tears to my eyes.

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Our series of earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 were out of the blue. A once in 60,000 year event, or something like that. Earthquakes in Christchurch are/were rare, although NZ is known as the Shaky Isles. Things have been quieter for a while now so fingers crossed the earth is settling down. The kitchen table seems like a sensible option to me. But, yes, where to go, is often a difficult decision. For one thing it’s hard to stand up or even move at all when the earth is shaking so violently.

        4. April

          All I could think of was my kids who were at school. The Seattle area is always talking about the Big One which happens every several hundred years, and they are overdue. Nature—it’s very beautiful but can also be very destructive.

        5. Gallivanta Post author

          Our big NZ one, the Alpine Fault, is about due. Horrors. My adult daughter was not at home with us when one of the big earthquakes struck. It was awful not being able to reach her, although we were able to establish by mobile phone that she was okay.

  17. Poetsmith

    A delightful post … 🙂 A beautiful verse complemented by a lovely piece of art. I enjoy the lilt and inspiration of this song by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa:

    The Maori songs are very melodious and the Maoris have beautiful voices like many of the islanders (e.g. Fijians and Tongans). Have a wonderful day, Gallivanta. 🙂 Love, Iris.

    Reply
      1. Poetsmith

        Glad that the video was suitable, Gallivanta. Have been over to your other post above. Lovely songs. They have rich, strong and melodious voices! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

        Reply
      1. Alexander Lautsyus

        Unfortunately, not all companies allow to stay home. I had to drive in that miserable snowstorm to my work. Since then we have snow every single day but it is just flurries. It looks beautiful in the sunlight like sparkles.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I am glad you can still appreciate its beauty even though it made your commute difficult. I suppose if Canadian cities shut down every time it snowed, they would be bankrupt in no time.

        2. Alexander Lautsyus

          You right about bankruptcy.
          Actually, it is not so dramatically looking when you live here. It is big challenge only for immigrants from southern countries who never used to live in such conditions. But even them accept that in time and trying to behave accordingly to weather.
          I’ve visited Sydney (Australia) some time ago by their winter. It was +25C. It is not for myself. I love seasons. After cold and snowy winter spring is more appreciated and enjoyable.

        3. Gallivanta Post author

          Alex, you would smile to see how we in Christchurch behave when we get a couple of inches of snow. Almost everything closes down. We don’t cope well, transport-wise. However, everyone enjoys the excitement of unexpected snowfall.

  18. Tiny

    It is beautiful to follow your seasons, Gallivanta. You are in late summer and berries are ripening. We’re in late winter. February can be the coolest month here in FL. Right now sheets of well needed winter rain are flying sideways behind my office window, spring and little ospreys (hopefully) are around the corner. Thanks also for sharing the link to Juliet’s awesome post!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Bird watching, especially keeping track of ospreys ;), is a wonderful way to attune one’s senses to the seasons. I am eagerly awaiting a birth announcement. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Tiny

        I’m monitoring…can’t confirm any eggs as yet. Mama still flies away from the nest a few times a day. Will keep a watchful eye 🙂

        Reply
  19. Mary

    Lovely photograph Gallivanta – last weekend we were in the 70’s, I woke today to 29 degrees with winter griping our area hard. She is signing cardinal, flycatcher and chickadee love notes! Happy February to you!

    Reply
  20. lensandpensbysally

    I also talked today about the seasonal changes. It’s a time to embrace there offerings. Of course, I cannot wait for Spring to appear and bring her renewal. Thanks for the introductions to others.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I have just been reading your post. Lovely to see your interpretations of the season. That cold layer of snow will be sheltering/preparing ground for spring’s new growth. 🙂

      Reply
  21. Mrs. P

    Well, I’ll have to see what the groundhog has to say…though more weeks of winter don’t affect my area too much. 😉

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Indeed, I suppose not. 😉 But perhaps there are other signs in the neighbourhood that indicate future weather. In my Fiji days we used to say that if the poincianas flowered heavily it would be a bad hurricane season.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Ah, yes, I remember that one, now you mention it. Our moon is playing hide and seek with dark storm clouds tonight. When it appears it is clear and bright. No rings. Bother, we need rain. 😉

      1. shoreacres

        We had one addition to the ring-around-the-moon sign. Count the number of visible stars inside the ring, and you have the number of days until the rain will come.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I wonder if that works for the Southern Hemisphere. I have been checking for rings and stars within rings but have seen none. In the meantime, welcome rain has arrived. 🙂

  22. LaVagabonde

    Today here in Slovakia, the sun is shining on snow. I’d forgotten that it’s Groundhog Day. Six more weeks of winter or not, it’s all good. Is autumn in the air for you?

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I don’t sense it yet but I know something is happening because suddenly on Friday the cicadas began to sing. Next will come a certain chill in the early morning air; perhaps not for a few weeks yet. Yes, snow or not, it’s all good.

      Reply

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