Our chickens don’t seem too bothered that July is the middle of our winter.  In the far north of New Zealand where we live winter here simply isn’t that harsh and doesn’t last that long.  Last night temperatures dropped to 4C/39F and we were glad to have the fire keeping the house warm. Our house is sizeable, made up of sectioned areas and has a lot of large windows and French doors, none of which are double glazed. The warmth from the sun during the day and a fire at night keep the place comfortable.  The only other nod to the season is that the kids and I use electric blankets to warm up our beds and my husband’s feet somehow find their way to my side even though he scoffs turning on his half of the blanket.

When we lived in Alaska it was the duration of the winters that was challenging more than the severity.  Late October through April and even May meant you had to have a high tolerance of cold/snow/ice/slush and short daylight hours. Summers take place over the same time frame, from October through April. Our winters are so mild that vegie gardens still thrive and mandarins and other citrus ripen to provide timely vitamin C doses.

But like Alaska, winters here are a chance to hunker down, read more books, pull out board games and watch movies or t.v.  We’ve also been planting native trees along a seasonal stream at the bottom of our property.  An hour or two of clearing, digging, planting and mulching is just about the right amount of physical work.  I’m sure it has nothing to do with our age!



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