Winter light

Whilst many of you may be sweltering in a northern hemisphere summer, it’s mid winter in NZ, which means I’m out and about in boots, scarves, warm jackets and yes leg warmers!

Winter is also an excuse to make some hearty soups which taste even better with crusty bread dipped in our very own olive oil, open jars of homemade pickles & chutneys and slather on cheese, and savour hubby’s roast chook (no not one of ours either) with my preserved lemon.

Winter sunset – Muriwai iPhone

Beach walks

As you can imagine given the generous supply of fruit from our orchard over the summer months, there is an array of frozen fruits stacked in our freezer. Plums, peaches, lemons, feijoas, figs and there are bags and bags of them. Oh and we can’t forget the divine bottled stewed peaches, plums and cider pears.

Frankly any excuse to make a fruit dessert with a macadamia and white chocolate crumble sounds good to me!

So while winter may bring on the blues, nothing to do with the rain of course … all is trucking along nicely at Frog Pond Farm. The gravel still gets washed down the drive when we have serious rain, the odd chook still gets out and sneaks into the veg garden.

There are the usual holes in my brassicas, shame on those damn slugs and snails. This means night time trips to the garden with my torch and a bucket of warm soapy water …  and it’s not to give those slimeys a wash either by the way.

Needless to say, the 4 legged vermin are also digging up the pickled bokasi food scraps which I religiously bury in my garden, knowing full well it is just a matter of time before they are dug up, tossed around the garden and savoured.

We are munching on the usual herbs, spring onions, juicing beetroot and admiring the array of lettuce we have growing which strangely enough are devoid of holes! The broad beans are looking good, slightly nibbled but nothing will stop their vigour when they finally hit their straps.

Egg production is up – which is by no means surprising given all the good tucker those girls get fed. The sheep should be on diets but aren’t so nothing much has changed there.

Oh it is nice to be posting again. I hope you enjoy the jumble of pics

bokeh and texture

I’m a texture fan 

Sunday outing – iPhone

Happy gardening

107 thoughts

  1. All fantastic photos, especially the sunset, cliffs, and wind blown blue beach. Vermin digging up compost seems to be a problem no matter which hemisphere you live in. That is definitely a well fed sheep. I miss seeing the black kitty.

    • Hi Tim, thank you! Ah so vermin like digging at your place too 🙂 Mookie is rather round but very woolly too. 🙂 Shots of Eric to come. Always great to see you at Frog Pond Farm

  2. Delightful as usual. Makes my day when i read your blog and see the beautiful photos. Jyst gorgeous! Love to you two. Jenny

    • Hi Jenny lovely to hear from you. Glad the post made your day. Thank you! Lots of love right back at you 😀

  3. So happy to see your new post show up in my reader, Julie. I miss seeing your beautiful photos; I miss reading your farm stories! And you know what? I miss hearing all those home made food even though hearing about them makes me very hungry. 😉
    It sure doesn’t look like winter though…Ha.
    Have a wonderful day.

    • Hi Helen .. such a lovely comment. Thank you so much. Loved your visit to our place. 😀 And a wonderful day to you too

  4. I love this entire post-the words in the photos. When I read your posts, it makes me want to get busy :-). I envy the rhythm of your days even though I know they can sometimes be long. And the way living the way you do brings you into sync with the rhythm of the seasons.

    • Oh I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post .. thank you! Always lovely seeing you at our place 😀

    • Glad you enjoyed the jumble of pics! Ah the beach scene .. I wasn’t sure whether to include it as it was such a bleak day. Thanks for stopping by

  5. Beautiful photos as usual, Julie. I’ve seen so many photos of your farm, it all looks so familiar to me. Roast chook and preserved lemon sounds delicious too. Crusty bread dipped in your own olive oil, open jars of homemade pickles & chutneys and slathered on cheese is putting thoughts of New Zealand into my head. Hmmm.

    Good to hear you’ve been keeping busy, with a bountiful harvest from your farm. You should be due for a holiday soon. It’s freezing in Sydney.

    • Thank you so much Mr Draco! I always enjoy your visits! And as it happens we do have a holiday on the horizon. 🙂 Not Europe mind you .. It’s not freezing here, but oh boy is it raining …

  6. Well Julie once again your photos are just stunning. I think you really should be the tourist ambassador for Next Zealand! Seeing your blogs and photos who could resist visiting! I know I certainly have this year. But who knows sometime soon. My not coming did one thing though it spurred you both on with preserving the Frogpond produce. And by the sound of it you’ve done a good job. Yes we are in the middle of a heatwave. But being by the sea it’s just a little cooler. Dan is looking well. Was that a photo of the creek ? It’s never in full flow when I’m there. Well don’t get too wet. And remember it’s getting lighter with you. And the reverse with us.
    Lots of love and best wishes to you both. Bill.xxxx

    • Dear Julie I forgot to say happy birthday on Sunday. Cards on there way. Love from all in Broadstairs! Xxxxx

    • Hello Mr Bonner! Oh thank you so much. You are so right, your absence certainly had us in that kitchen! I hear you are having a beautiful summer .. fabulous. Today it is absolutely pouring .. I hate to think what is happening to the garden and that gravel 😉 No that is a pic of the creek near the beach. Such a lovely spot. Trust me our creek will be flowing today! Big hugs xx

  7. WOW! These are gorgeous, Julie! I always find there is something very special about winter light. The harsness has gone with the heat, and it lights up the land so magically and beautifully.

    • Oh thank you so much! The light in winter is special .. Although today it is absolutely pouring. So nice to see you here ..

  8. As always I love your posts Julie!! Thank you for labelling the ones taken with your I phone as well as it gives me a little more confidence with using mine to get nice pictures. Xx

    • Hi Cathy .. thank you! It never ceases to amaze me the shots the phone can take .. Looking forward to seeing yours 😀 Super seeing you here. Hugs x

  9. Amazing cliffs!

    As for the bokashi scraps, your rats must have some nose. Because our ground is so hard at the moment, I decided to put most of my last bokashi bin in the compost. So far, so good – I did it with some trepidation but it looks like the rats are elsewhere, maybe where the water is 😊.

    • It’s amazing, in all the years we have lived here I seldom venture to that spot where the cliffs are. They sure are amazing! Yep those four legged critters sure do have a particularly good nose … Fascinates me what they will eat! Thanks so much for stopping by

    • Hello dear Iris .. thank you so much for your lovely comment. Big smiles your way, have a super weekend 😀

  10. Wonderful photos and an envy-inspiring description of self-sufficiency. We swelter in hot humid downpours and think fondly of the cooler days of Winter.

    • Thank you .. I’m thinking with envy about your humid days. Mind you, it is absolutely pouring here today.

  11. So beautiful, dear Julie. When I see you with a new post, believe me it makes me so happy. Photographs are amazing, all fascinated me. We are in hot summer days now and you can’t imagine how made me feel good to watch your mid winter…. Thank you, have a nice day and weekend, Love, much love, nia

    • Hello Nia! I’m so pleased that you enjoy my posts. It is always so lovely hearing from you 😀 Ah hot summer days, how nice! Today it is pouring. Much love to you and enjoy your weekend

    • Hey Anne, so nice to hear from you. Hmm Mookie is rather round, although she is very very woolly 😀 Those cliffs are amazing, although it’s rather slippery getting to them. I’m always worried about taking a tumble and dropping the camera. Imagine!

  12. Gorgeous shots, Julie! 🙂 I only made it halfway through your post before I had to stop and get some breakfast.
    It doesn’t look like winter there, but I surely believe you. I would sooo love to visit your amazing country.
    Talk about landscaping. My, oh my! Looks scrumptious and mightily delicious! Cheerio! UT

    • Thank you so much! Oh it is winter today .. absolutely bucketing down. You would love NZ though, it is so picturesque 🙂 Super to see you at Frog Pond Farm ..

  13. wonderful winter oh I think your winter looks so beautiful and fresh…I love the sheep…and your dog…so nice to see your collection…and read your narrative…sending you joy and creative vibes 💫 happy gardening ☺️❤️

    • Hello Miss .. it is beautiful and fresh and damp .. lol. I’m so pleased you enjoyed your visit Hedy, its great to know that you stopped by 😀

  14. Fabulous to see Frog Pond Farn in winter! Two photos are absolutely outstanding, the bokeh’d tree trunk and the sea cliff. Your description of the fruit is making me drool, and the sheep does look rather plump and legless, is it actually overweight or is it the breed and winter coat?

    • Hi Gilly … I really like the pic with the bokeh too! Yes Mookie (sheep) is rather plump, but she has a super thick fleece, incredibly woolly! Great to see you here 😀

  15. Hi Julie, lovely to hear from you. You’ve got some fab pics of moody skies. I agree with Lucid about the outstanding pics, the tree trunk is bokehlicious indeed. What’s the thing on the cliff wall? Can’t make it out. Glad you’re well and busy as always. We think of you a lot. A year since you were here, isn’t it crazy how time flies?! Very happy to see your dog in good form too. Keep enjoying your garden, harvest, fine food, stunning scenery and each other. Big hug, Annette

    • Hello Miss … I really like the bokeh too, always makes me think of diamonds! LOL Ah, that thing on the cliff is a lifesaving buoy. I should have focussed more on it, but I just loved the shape of the cliff and the blue sky. I think of you too, especially now given it was a year ago that we were over. How time flies! Take care my friend .. Julie

  16. Lovely to have such a beautiful update of life on and near Frog Pond Farm. I particularly like the photo of the cliff face at Muriwai. But I am trying to decide if there is someone lower down trying to scale the cliff. Do people rock climb there?

    • Oh I’m so pleased you enjoyed the update … seems to have taken me ages to get this post together 🙂 I too like the cliff shot but I seldom get over that way to shoot, as it is super slippery and I’m always a tad nervous about my camera. No that is a lifebuoy that you can see .. To the best of my knowledge people don’t climb the face. Lovely to see you at Frog Pond

    • Thanks Nexi … I’ve heard you are having an amazing summer! Rather damp down our way … 🙂

  17. Indeed, a lovely collection of pics to help us see the beauty that surrounds you and to hear about the slugs and other pesky pests too! Those cliffs are amazing and seem so shiny. However, love that dog and the tales you tell. And it helps us feel a bit cooler here as Summer gathers its heat!

    • Thank you! Always nice to see you here …. I think it’s beautiful too 🙂 Those cliffs sure are amazing – it’s just a bit treacherous getting to them. So pleased you enjoy my rantings …

  18. Hi Julie, it is great to read about Frog Pond and see the lovely photos. I was worried the correspondent there had gone missing. 🙂 I love the light in winter. From your photos it looks like New Zealand has very special light during the winter months. Dan looks good – I bet he welcomes the cooler weather. Isn’t it nice to enjoy some of the summer harvest that was put away for these days. Bill taught you well. I could go on and on, but will not hog anymore space. Keep up the battle with those slugs. All the best to you and Andrew. Take care. Bob

    • Ah Bob … you can hog as much a space as you like! I always enjoy hearing from you. And yes the correspondent has been particularly bad at posting this year! The light sure is different (less of it too :D) Dan is looking good although getting on in years now. I need to book him in for a cut. He is seriously starting to look more like one of the sheep! Ah Bill sure did teach as well, no doubt about that! You do realise that I’m not winning with the slugs don’t you? LOL

  19. gorgeous dog and cute sheep. love all the eclectic photos. darn cool here in brisbane too atm. cheers sherry

    • Hey Sherry … thank you! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the pics! Gosh I can’t imagine Brisbane being cool 🙂

  20. Reading about all the fruit you have reminds me that in our local market, we love to buy produce from New Zealand. The fruit that is exported here is incomparably sweet and there is just no comparison from any other country, including the US. Unfortunately it is only available for a few weeks.

  21. bonjour Julie, I got to know about you from Andre Solaner & Otto von Münchow:) Blog Posts (via comments). I had a look at your Superb Blog postings too. Place where you live sounds really Magnifique!:) I enjoy looking at photos, Pleased to See how much you “Echo” environmentally sound and in Harmony with Mother Nature. Your Pets are Gorgeous… Enjoy Your Day. Solveig from Brittany in France.

    • Bonjour 🙂 How nice to hear that you read comments left on both Andre’s and Otto’s blogs. Both fabulous photographers. Yes we are very lucky living here .. our slice of heaven. We are organic as I think you may know and most certainly am in harmony with our wonderful Mother Nature. Thank you for stopping by Solveig, lovely to hear from you!

  22. Fruit crumble with macadamia and white chocolate did you say? How decadent. I want some now. That sheep does look rather plump. You make winter sound so gorgeous and from the photos, not too cold either. Lovely beach shots as usual- loved that one of the cliff. x

    • Doesn’t that topping sound decadent! It is so yummy … I’m going to be making a salted caramel chocolate mousse with orange crumble for dessert tonight! 😀 Ah winter, it does have its moments doesn’t it? Today is mild and sunny – hard to believe it is winter. I’d best be quiet though, not uncommon for it to change quickly! Glad you like the beach shots Francesca – nice to be able to share some of the cliff (a tad perilous getting there .. rather slippery)!

  23. I did enjoy your jumble of pics! 🙂

    It’s been a hot summer (spring too – winter just morphed into 90 degree temps and ghastly humidity. Ugh.) and I’m ready for the loveliness of fall. The clothes, the leaves, hot beverages, soups, breads, football, chilly days and chillier nights – all right up my alley.

    Have a great day, my dear. 🙂

    • Hey Julie … always great to hear from you! Glad you enjoyed the pics 😀 Hope you manage to stay cool .. Fall is such a lovely season and by the sounds of it, you are eager for it to arrive! That would mean spring for us. Not a bad swop. Take care and have a lovely day too!

    • Hey Nexi no I haven’t. Just checked it out online .. now that’s a chicken book! Thanks Miss 😃

  24. Julie, I want to do this post justice so I will be back. I’m just closing up for the day and I can barely keep my eyes open. I’ll come back tomorrow. XO

    • Hey Lavinia … always lovely to know that you stopped by. Even though we have had loads of rain … it sure is still beautiful! 😀

  25. your photography and storytelling is getting better and better, Julie. Just arrived at our lake for 2 weeks. sitting outdoors in the sunshine reading your post and enjoying your stunning land- and seascapes. just loaded 7000 images from my backup drive to my workflow system. all nz 2007 / 2012. it’s time for some serious post processing. enjoy your season and happy and sunny days from the north. reinhold

    • Hey Reinhold .. I’m so pleased you think my photography is getting better! I was sure this post was lacking .. 😀 Sitting outside in the sunshine sounds like a great thing to be doing. 7,000 images! That’s going to keep you busy! I bet you have some beauties! Enjoy your summer 😀

  26. Finally I’m here. Life has thrown some emergent situations which I had to address … today thank goodness things are looking up. Anyways …. your pictures are such a delight, Julie! The beach scenes and the landscape scenes had me ogling. The one with the huge cliffs I stared at for a long time because it looks like there is an orange life boat hanging on the side of the sheer rock, which I know in my mind cannot be so. In describing the foods you have, my mouth watered, LOL. You have got your busy season just opening up before you while I on the other hand, have the closing down season ahead of me. SO enjoyed this post and it is good to see you posting again. I’ve missed your pictures. Happy Gardening, dear friend. I personally know the satisfaction of having one’s hands in the dirt AND all the hard work gardening comprises of. Thank you for taking the time for putting together this post. Oh! One other thing. I like texture in my photographs too. My “eye” deliberately seeks that when I compose a picture. Speaking of …. don’t miss my post that is coming today …. I captured a Great Blue Heron taking a bath, a very unusual event that he allowed me to witness. May you have a great day today!! 😘

    • Hey Amy .. oh what a lovely long message … So good to hear from you! It’s an orange life buoy on that cliff .. I seldom venture to the cliffs as the rocks are super slippery, but the shots are always so interesting. You are so right .. spring is on the way .. well sort of 😉 About time I got posting again .. it’s so nice to be missed! Great seeing you at Frog Pond Farm dear Amy .. looking forward to seeing that heron .. just loved your hummingbird ❤️

      • You will be amazed when you see the heron and what he allowed me to see. As for the orange buoy …. it just looks so odd hanging there. Yes I KNOW how slippery rocks can be. Yet what you captured was stunning! 💝

  27. Oh, there’s so much charm in your jumble! It makes me long to see New Zealand….and I have a question – that beach is really spectacular! It looks like something is on the cliff? I can’t make it out. I love the seascape directly above the beach cliff photo, too, because it looks so wild. And the sheep – well, not so wild! Isn’t she a sweetie, all rotund and woolie! But your canine pal looks like the best companion of all for a winter cuddle, or a beach walk. This has been a delight. 🙂

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the jumble 😀 That’s a life buoy that someone has attached to the cliff, which given how slippery the rocks are is apt. It can be really wild … Our sheep as it happens sure are rotund but Mookie the one starring in the pic, is particularly woolie! Always so nice to see you here 😀

    • So nice to hear from you! Glad you enjoyed the photos and views. I think it is a beautiful country too 😀 Yes that is a rather rotund sheep! Thanks for stopping by …

  28. Our winters are similar in those diamond blue skies, I like how the wind sculpt the cliff in the beach and how comb the landscape with those two trees, and the branches as a mysterious skull in the creek. Take care so much, Julie ^_^

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