Windy spring and a wedding

Sunday evening I was sitting at the kitchen table, my fingers were flying over the keys which was surprising, as only 10 minutes prior I had been contemplating closing the lid of the laptop in disgust, the words just weren’t coming. Zip! That was before the backyard had suddenly filled with clouds of smoke.

It seemed one of our neighbours had lit a substantial fire trying to eradicate gorse.  Interesting, did I tell you it was very windy? Of course being concerned and a tad nosy,  it wasn’t long before I was clambering over several fences to get to a view point, swaying uncontrollably on some wires and wondering what damages I was going to be heading home with. A face plant at one stage looked imminent.

But no, yours truly was certainly not going to give up, especially when I saw my neighbour Vicki sprinting up the hill, her hair cascading in the wind.

Well the good news is I manoeuvred all the fences, chatted with Vick about the stupidity of some people, all while watching smoke billowing and burnt bits floating skyward. I got home unscathed smelling much like BBQ ribs, but just in time to hear the reassuring sound of fire trucks.

New neighbours, red faces.


Frog Pond reflections

Needless to say it’s spring in NZ and our gardens are growing, trees are showing off their greenery, ducks are waddling about with their ducklings in tow, spring flowers are bursting bright, the loquat tree is smothered in fruit … and at long last, I have replenished a couple of raised beds with homemade compost.


Organic seedlings have been poked into the dirt – think, herbs, salad veg, beetroot, chilli and an array of flowers,  I love my blooms, but then so do the bugs and bees. I have strewn about gypsum to condition the soil, rok solid (fertiliser), coffee grounds and loads of TLC and encouragement.


No help in the garden .. but handsome


Just for Robyn …


Scarlett runner and purple king beans have been shoved into the soil next to the trellis, and heirloom toms are now showing off in a cleared bed happy in their new home which they are sharing with basil, parsley, marigolds and salvia.


We went to Melbourne a few weeks back for the wedding of a very special friend. She tied the knot (where does that expression hail from I wonder) with her beau in the lovely Yarra Valley. A beautiful wedding.






Trust me I don’t feel confident taking pics of people and no surprises when there isn’t one decent pic of the groom! Sorry Euan ..

And to finish … we had a little visitor who loved feeding our friend’s lambs!


Happy gardening


88 thoughts

  1. Goodness, loving the diversity of subject matter here Julie. Cat, Bride, lead-light, feeding lamb 🙂 just great.
    We have a neighbour (new) who took to burning off large mountains of green-waste recently. Talk about choking in smoke. Even inside the house stunk. After a visit from me and another affected neighbour, they now have a windsock by the piles so as to avoid another neighbourly visit from us

    • Hey Rom … oh good for you! Our neighbour is a newbie. I have to wonder though lighting a fire when it was so windy .. and it was a huge fire too! Daft and dangerous. Great to see you at Frog Pond. And very pleased you enjoyed the variety of pics 🙂

  2. Earth, wind and fire! Sounds like new neighbors are a bit clueless. That is a handsome kitty. Nice wedding photos. Years and years ago I photographed weddings for a local studio. Weddings is one of the few jobs I will not take on these days. Weddings are always a challenge. I love the photo of Mary, perhaps, feeding the little lamb.

    • I think you may be right Tim! About the neighbours … we were so surprised. Not the smartest thing to do on a windy day. That is Eric our cat .. he is so beautiful, but such a scared boy. Oh you photographed weddings? I can imagine that they would be hard work. I really don’t feel confident taking pics of people … That is Lyla isn’t she a cutie 🙂

  3. Oh dear…lol…it sounds like you had a grand old time running to the neighbour rescue. Miss BBQ. Oh how I long for spring. I’m just not a winter girl at all. Who is that beautiful black cat fellow in your pic? Much like my Milo. My little I-am-the-night boy. And the wedding! How lovely. Times were that weddings were a common seasonal thing, and then we grew older and children grew up and values/religion/priorities shifted to a more sensible save the money scheme and weddings are no more. At least with my lot. Would you believe that I have 3 wedding dresses here? Yup, editorial photo props so don’t get too excited…lol (although one is a $3K dress)…but I’d love to see one of my children do the whole white dress thing. I have high hopes for Chloe. 😀 Anyway, mind if I hang out in your summer thru my winter? 😀

    • Hey V .. no way, we stood way up on the hill and shock our heads in disbelief. The fire brigade had been rung .. It was so strange as the wind kept changing direction. Ha ha Miss BBQ! LOL .. Isn’t it funny, I am a winter girl, but only because I love wearing layers of clothes. I would love you to hang out at Frog Pond over summer. Three wedding dresses? I nearly fell off my chair. ha ha. I still have mine .. a mini, can you believe it! I’m sure your lovely Chloe will get married and she will make the most beautiful bride. Hugs V

    • Bob! I’m behind in everything .. blogging, reading people’s posts … the list goes on! Yep those neighbours sure will catch on. I imagine that they are feeling a tad silly! So very pleased you enjoyed the people pics and my posts. That means a lot Mr E. 😀

  4. Glad the fire didn’t move in with you, Julie. Years ago we had a neighbour playing with fire below us and this usually during drought, scary. Your pics are just beautiful. The pond, the window, the wedding, everything shows your way of seeing and that is unique and so interesting. Take care xx

  5. I hope the neighbours really did learn a lesson, scary stuff! Do you have a local fore brigade who do training sessions for fire alert? Maybe leave some pamphlets in their letterbox. I love the wedding pics, the best ones are always the ones with little odd bits and pieces rather than the staged ones. Great shoes, do I seek some brightly coloured socks hiding? I love the way that modern day weddings seem to be a real celebration and great fun, great times. 🙂

    • Hi, I’m sure they did. We have a couple of local fire brigades which is brilliant .. and it doesn’t take them long to get on site. I suspect that the neighbours might be a little less eager next time. I’m so pleased you enjoyed the pics … aren’t they the best shoes! I saw them and thought I have to take a photo of those! Didn’t spy any socks though 🙂 This was a wonderful wedding … very very special people

  6. Hi Julie and Andrews,I bet the fire was a great shock. I remember the fire next door in the summer it spreads so quickly. As usual the photos are a credit to you great shots. So looking forward to seeing frog pond again. Well it’s a cold autumn here but the trees are still holding onto there leaves. Good shot of Eric he always comes and sit outside my bedroom in the morning looking for his food. Glad you enjoyed the wedding last time I saw her she was a young teenager, certainly grown into a beautiful young woman. Well all for now counting the days. Lots love to you both Bill.

    • Hey Mr Bonner … the fire was a real surprise! Glad you liked the pics Bill .. Frog Pond Farm is looking particularly green and lovely (something to do with all the rain we have had 🙂 ) Eric is so much friendlier now. I’m ever hopeful that he will venture indoors again. Loved the wedding Bill – Sarah is such a gorgeous girl. What a grand event it was. I loved reading that you remembered her as a young teenager .. Keep counting those days Mr B, won’t be long now xxx

  7. Excellent series of beautiful images. My fav is the tree behind the window. Very cool, Julie. Spring sounds good to me. We slowly move from autumn to winter… we had first snow yesterday. But it was gray… no sunshine. All the best and smiles to the other side of this world. Reinhold

    • Hi Reinhold .. thank you 🙂 I was so surprised with that stained glass image. The tree was amazing .. so dramatic. Spring is great .. just waiting for the weather to settle. Snow already? Need my sunshine. Enjoy ours. Big smiles back at you 😀

  8. Eric is one handsome cat! I always hate the spring fires. They are so dangerous and can be so destructive! Wind and fire never a good mix.

    I love your wedding photos!


  9. What a beautiful bride, any photos of you dressed in your finery? lovely photos, the California poppies evoke summer for me, they’re such cheerful flowers. Hope the neighbours have learnt from their mistake 🙂

  10. Been a very busy time for you! I’m glad you found the time to post these pics, and I hope you have a few of the ducklings coming up! I don’t know why (maybe because I never entered a farm), but ducklings and a duck pond say “farm” to me like few other things. 😀

  11. Spring is lovely there…so many good things growing in your fertile earth. Happy to see in the comments that your area didn’t receive the quakes.

    • Hi Karen … it is lovely indeed, and it sure helps having good fertile soil. No quakes up our way thank goodness – but those further south weren’t so lucky. I feel for them, nature can be so extreme

  12. Hi Julie, Just wondering if the earthquakes have affected your Marlborough vineyards? I am planning to give ToiToi wine gifts this Christmas. Bought a bottle of Pinot Gris today. Not sure what I will choose next. It’s grand to have choice. 😀

  13. Oh my goodness. Variety, Inc. in this post. Anyone with brains in the correct place would know lighting a fire on a windy day is well dangerous. Yep, even I know that. Thank goodness you were able to navigate those wobbly fences without getting hurt. The wedding …. OH, Julie, fantastic images even if you didn’t get the groom. You got his shoes which is a very cool pic with the way the wedding dress was blowing. NICE! The last one of them kissing just about put my heart in my throat … talk about romantic!! The “feeling” portrayed is wonderful! And then the little girl feeding the lamb and your black cat .. adorable! Loved your garden pics as well. Gee, have I forgotten anything? LOL GREAT post, dear friend! <3

  14. Stunning wedding photos! Absolutely stunning. I could feel the warmth of the sun … and the joy of the day. Nicely captured.
    And the garden. Well. Swooning over that as well (as per usual).
    Breaking in new neighbours can be very trying work. Keep yer eyes on them!!😉

  15. Dear Julie, wonderfull photographs. Congratulations to them. When I heard the earthquake I was in Baku and watched the tv news. I thought of you at first, I am glad to hear that you are fine and your farm too. I worried so much. Thank you, Love, nia

  16. WOW! What a wonderful time and moments… Loved so much. But you know which one is my best 🙂 Thank you dear Julie, B lessing and Happiness to you All, Love, nia

  17. Welcome to the neighborhood. I was hoping to see a few shots of the fire, or at least some smoke. “Tie the knot” is an old hangman’s term meaning the last knot on the noose is tied and you are about to lose your life. Of course, the translation is rough at best! 😉

  18. Glad the fire was quickly under control. It’s so nice to see spring arrive for you as we watch the leaves fall from our trees. The kitty is quite handsome–blog candy, I think that’s called. 😀 Who doesn’t love a furry face? Love the little lamb, and the nurturer tending it.

  19. I love everything about this! Your style, the way you tell your story! Thanks for sharing I can’t wait to read more

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