The Long, Hot Summer

Today is the last day of February and a leap year so the 29th or, as we call it in the US, Sadie Hawkins Day.

It has been a phenomenal summer.  There were initial concerns about an El Nino drought but instead we’ve had gorgeous stretches of hot sunshine interspersed with heavy rains to revive plants (and people).  I can’t remember our garden and yard ever being so lush.  We mow the lawns twice a week and still fill six catcher loads of clippings just within the pool fence.  However, this year we’ve had a series of low pressure systems constantly drawing moist air from the tropics that have kept the humidity levels at 60%+.  The other day our concrete floor was damp.  I was not impressed.

Over the summer my friends and I leave the footpaths in town and take to walking a local track that follows a river to the Rainbow Falls.  The combination of the flowing water and bush cover make walking bearable in the heat and humidity.  After one day of particularly heavy rainfall we went for a walk and found a few treasures.  There was a new waterfall peeking out half-way down the track and a large group of mushrooms in an array of colours at the base of a kauri tree.  The main falls were flowing so much we were able to stand in the mist at the beginning and end of the track to cool off.  Bliss.

As well, our garden and fruit trees are overflowing with bounty.  While it’s tempting to play the domestic goddess and bottle everything, I am going to be disciplined and only make hot chili and sweet chili sauces, pesto, and jam since we definitely eat those. It’s more fun to share the fresh excess with family and friends.

It is also a time of year when I fully appreciate having a swimming pool.  It is an automatic attitude adjuster any time of day.  We often have friends over on a Friday night for homemade pizzas and the hours spent in the pool to the sounds of laughter and splashing are a real joy.

After twenty years in New Zealand I find that some of my family and friends in the US still can’t get their heads around our opposite seasons.  Skype calls can be very entertaining when I’m sitting in shorts and cotton tops while they’re bundled up from the cold and snow.

But spring is arriving for them in the form of crocuses, iris and daffodils while we await feijoa and passionfruit season.  It is indeed an amazing world we live in!



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