‘Is the spring coming?’ he said. ‘What is it like?’
‘It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine’
Frances Hodgson Burnett The Secret Garden
It is now September, and so the official start of spring here in New Zealand. Spring is the season to clear out, to make plans and to think about new projects. It is also the season when the weather fights with itself (hence the expression ‘March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb’, referring to spring weather in the UK).
In Northern Europe, where I have spent most of my life, spring comes as a welcome antidote to winter. Spotting the first snowdrops, the first daffodils and tulips, becomes something of an obsession. Scottish springs always arrive before Danish ones, and I used to long for those first signs while we were still in cold, grey winter, and my friends were posting pictures of daffodils on social media.
Winters in comparison here Wellington are comparatively short, and sort of blend into autumn and spring. This year in particular the winter has been mild in comparison to usual (I think I heard it was one of the warmest winters on record? I could be wrong). In any case, spring is here, bringing sunshine, flowers, strong winds and rain.
Strictly speaking, it wasn’t officially spring when I walked through the Botanic Gardens on Tuesday, but it certainly looked like it.
Trees in bloom
Daffodils – picture taken on the first day of spring
The weather on Wednesday was warm, sunny and the day had that special feel of new possibilities and opportunities. Below are pictures of the waterfront in Wellington, Wednesday lunch time featuring a waka (canoe), a statue and just what every town centre needs, a pop up sauna.
But this is spring, and on Thursday night it grew blustery and windy, with that weather continuing into today, Friday. What with that and a 7.1 earthquake off the north coast of North Island, triggering a tsunami warning for the north and east of the country, spring has got off to a dramatic start.
After the storm