Saturday, June 30, 2012

Two faces of winter

 As I do my Tai Chi by the sea, I look back and see the bare-limbed face of winter. It's the flame tree, whose branches from this angle seem to be scratching the sky. All the leaves are gone now, and the shape of the tree is revealed.
 When I look back to the west, I see the leafy face of winter, in the pohutukawa tree. It rises up against the sky and seems to be softly brushing the blue. Like nearly all of our native trees, the pohutukawa keeps its leaves throughout the winter.

Once this land was clothed in thick, lush evergreen vegetation. I've grown up valuing our native trees,  learning their names, and planting them wherever I can. Despite this favouritism however, I must say that a little splash of exotic colour brings me great delight as I shiver my way back home.
Here we have it: one of the bromeliads that have been planted down our driveway. This one is so fresh and perky, I could almost be deceived into thinking that spring has leapt in early.
In the bleak days of mid-winter, I need surprises such as this.

10 comments:

Max said...

Trees, bare or clothed, silhouetted against a sky, grey or blue, are one of my most favourite things to look at; how lucky you are to have a pohutakawa nearby i only ever see them on holiday x

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet .. love the two views - trees are very evocative .. I don't like bare - but only because it's cold too .. they certainly look as though they are brushing the sky.

The bromeliad is just beautiful isn't it - amazing pink colour ..

Cheers Hilary

juliet said...

Hi Max, yes trees against the sky are a good look! I can see a whole row of pohutukawas against the sea from where I live, and I am indeed lucky.

Hilary, its much good fortune to live surrounded in trees. That bromeliad just blew me away with its pure pinkness.

Thanks, both of you, for visiting.

Lynley said...

I have both bare trees and Pohutakawas to look at here Juliet. Both have undergone a rigorous work out this past week in the gales and some trimming of old wood has happened.

I love the vibrant pink of the bromeliad reminding me that winter is not all dullness. I have some brave little pansy faces reminding me of the same.

juliet said...

Lynley, we seem to have many trees in common, near to where we live. That bromeliad pink is such a joy, and pansies are great cheer-up flowers too.

Hotly Spiced said...

I remember the pohutukawa trees well. Are the the ones you often see the beautiful Tui birds in? I'm sure we used to have one of these trees in my backyard when I was growing up. It was definitely native and an evergreen. That's good of you to do your Tai Chi by the sea every morning. It must be freezing! xx

Hotly Spiced said...

I remember the pohutukawa trees well. Are the the ones you often see the beautiful Tui birds in? I'm sure we used to have one of these trees in my backyard when I was growing up. It was definitely native and an evergreen. That's good of you to do your Tai Chi by the sea every morning. It must be freezing! xx

juliet said...

Hi Charlie, yes the tuis will come to the pohutukawas when they are in flower over summer. Their flowers are a beautiful crimson colour. Luckily I have a sunny, sheltered spot to do my Tai Chi in, otherwise it would be too cold.

Amanda Trought said...

The flower is gorgeous, such a welcomed sight!

juliet said...

So glad you like it Amanda. It gave me a pleasant surprise with its fresh energy, here in the middle of winter.