Friday, July 23, 2010

Wonderful Winter Wonderland

We are constantly amazed by the beauty of the winter we are experiencing. The cows are able to eat green grass all through the winter. At least where we are. The last 2 days this week Westport has had the high temperature for all of New Zealand. On this "post" I am going to share some of the beauty that we are experiencing. As is usually the case it is even more beautiful in person. Many people think of New Zealand as one of the south sea islands. It is in the south seas but is not as tropical as many people think it is. Today we were 17+ Celcius. We have had a few frosts but the only snow we have seen is in the mountaintops. Further south there has been heaps of snow. We feel very blessed to be able to serve our mission here in this "Garden of Eden".

This picture was taken a few weeks ago. The pine trees at the bottom of the picture had turned yellow and the last time we were by the needles had fallen off. We'll see if the needles reappear in the spring.
This pretty little bush is almost in full bloom. It is in the bed by our chapel. I have been watching as each week more and more blooms have appeared. The pink blossoms are so delicate. Can you believe this is winter time. Where we live in Westport is as far south from the equator as Glenwood is north of the equator. Wouldn't I love to be able to grow this beautiful bush at home.

They tell me this is a Camilla Tree. They are just starting to bloom here. It is just amazing!
This stand of bamboo is being cut down so that Jim can see his back yard. We were just amazed at how thick the stand grows. We commented to others about this and apparently this is how it grows. They say it is easy to grow--just take a stem and plant it in damp soil. You have to burn the roots out or it will come back even thicker than before.

The picture above is Sue's taro. She lives in Granity and can grow anything that she grew in Samoa. She likes the climate in Granity as she can grow her plants but does not have to put up with the intense heat. Sue has amazing plants in her yard.
There are not a lot of wild, four-legged creatures here. But there are heaps of birds. As many of you know I am not a great fan of birds but there are many beautiful ones here in New Zealand. Above you can see a rare wood pigeon. It is huge and so pretty.
We have seen many beautiful sunsets and here is one we saw this past week. In the distance you can see the Tasman Sea--the shiny bit between the trees. It is so beautiful here as you can see.

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