Tag Archives: dandelion

The Night is Black

At this time of the year millions around the world are preparing for the triduum of  Allhallowtide, which encompasses All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween), All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. For many the preparations will include stocking up on candles for the rituals and  traditions that involve candlelight.

Millions more have begun another celebration, today, which also requires light; light to vanquish darkness and evil and despair. This celebration is the annual, five-day  festival of  lights, namely,  Diwali.

Having grown up in Fiji, where Diwali has long been an honoured occasion (and now a public holiday), I have a love for Diwali which outstrips any affection I have for Allhallowtide.   Seeing the houses decorated with beautiful Diwali lights was a yearly highlight of my childhood.

So, this week, in accordance with  my family’s customs,  I will light a Diwali candle (candles if I can find more than one).

Light a candle

Light a candle

I will listen again to the gentle singing words of Rabindranath Tagore’s Invocation to Diwali 

and consider the significance of Diwali, so eloquently expressed here:  “The night is black. Kindle the lamp of love with thy life and devotion.” (Rabindranath  Tagore)

Until night falls, however, I will keep watch with the dear, little lights that are ever present , and need no darkness to make them shine.

Little Charlie, a  new  (de) light  to brighten our lives

Little Charlie, a new (de) light to brighten our lives



Candelabra; shining light on the shadows

And, if I can organize myself sufficiently well, I may even make a special sweet treat for Diwali;  a rhubarb and apple crumble with freshly picked rhubarb from my garden.

Join me, if you will, in lighting a candle, for the night is black, and we need all the light we can get. Happy Diwali and may the light of the lamp burn brightly in all our hearts.

© silkannthreades


Wildlife and Waterford Reserve

Today is Show Day. We decided that the A&P Show would be too exciting for us, what with Prince Charles and Camilla being there, and all, so we went to another show  –  a wildlife one at Waterford Reserve. It was very tranquil, except for being dive bombed by two nesting swallows and being told off very vigorously by a pukeko.

Here is a tranquil view of Waterford Reserve.

And here is one of the wildlife, plus wild weeds

More wildlife; ducks, that is!

This pair turned their backs on me. At first, I thought they were resting with their young but, on closer inspection, the strange shapes near them appeared to be dry flax flowers. Were they substitutes for lost babies? They were being protective of them.It’s nice to see all the daisies and dandelions and general weedage. It means that no one has been reckless with weed killer.  Here is a pretty orange flowered weed

Then it was home in the little “motoka kiwikiwi” where we found, awaiting us, the wildest wildlife of all, aka Jack :D.

A little more about Riccarton Bush

Here is a small sample of what we saw this afternoon at Riccarton Bush. What I can’t show you is the lovely bird songs or  bird conversations that we heard….sigh!

You can see in the photo that the earthquake damaged chimney has been fenced off. Growing inside the fenced area were two perfect miniature roses.

This is the view from the cafe garden looking towards the Cottage and the Bush area. There is a raised garden bed full of beautiful vegetables. The planting and care of the vegetables are done by children.

The rhodendrons against the Cottage wall and elsewhere were in full bloom.

And not far from the beautiful flowers, there is always the humble “everyman” flower; the dandelion.

If you want to read more about Riccarton Bush, go to