In a blue sky, there’s a ragged thickness of cloud above the valley, maybe grey, maybe rain-filled, but now, before the sun rises, light from beneath the horizon colours the underbelly of the cloud with pink then gold. The deepness of the colour intensifies by the second, as birds call from each side of the […]
Wind and cold, the yellow leaves flying off the willow trees at the same angle and velocity as the snowflakes. Looking across the paddock its hard to define what the sky or trees release. The Hawkduns and Mt Ida are blanked out, Blackstone Hill hidden, and on Rough Ridge snow cloud is whitening the peaks […]
Witches taper – I liked the sound of that name, and my first attraction to the plant woolly mullein during lockdown was to try lighting a dead seedhead and see if it worked. Outside in the wind, no. Inside, lit by the fire, a quick blaze up and the smoke alarm set off. As a […]
In autumn, there’s a red flush on the hills here – the briar rose and hawthorn offering their bounty of scarlet and orange-red berries. It’s taken seven years for it to sink in that these freely available flowerings can offer us health and the enjoyment that comes from rambling around and picking. And now that […]
In the east, Rough Ridge golden as ever, the tors slanting against a blue sky. On Blackstone Hill, to the west, shreds of cloud murky over the ridges and gullies. Beyond the willows, in their first flush of yellowing, and deep into the southwest, grey clouds mass. The breeze is buffetty from the southwest too. […]
“Look at this world/spinning for us/even in the dark/ look at this world/spinning for us/ giving us hope and sun…” (Sartori and Quarantotto) On the road to Ranfurly, I play Andrea Bocelli singing Canto della Terra – Song about the Earth. The road climbs past the fields of matagouri and hawthorn, swoops over the Ida […]
This morning the mountains are a dusky blue, their curves accentuated by shadows. A low cap of softness, like smoke, hovers over the ridgeline of the Hawkduns, some of it wisps into the gullies. On Mt Ida the cloud hugs tight, hiding the peaks. The cloud grey-blue underneath and on top the newly risen sun […]
It’s still again today, the toi tois upright. That’s saying something in a valley that’s the hottest, coldest, driest and windiest valley in the country. So the legend is. A few winters back it was minus 21 degrees here for three days in a row. And wind enough to send the neighbour’s henhouse with hens […]
Early evening, and the grey cloud has lifted from the flanks of the Hawkduns and the sun lies weakly there, faint shadows and stipples on lightened ridges. On Rough Ridge too, the tors in subdued light. It seems so long since I took it for granted I could climb up there, even in a snow […]
A bright morning yesterday, so bright we had to sit with our backs to the sun to read the paper and drink tea. What did the day hold? Planting cabbages for sure. Also, marigolds from my friend Mary in Nelson. She’d sent a box of comfrey roots, lettuces and marigolds home with me, in a […]
Jillian Sullivan writes fiction and non-fiction for children, teenagers and adults. Her work has been published for over twenty years and includes four novels, three collections of short stories and over sixty short stories for children and adults, published in New Zealand and America.
- Ida Valley Musings – The Coming Day April 27, 2020
- Ida Valley Musings – Dystopian adventures April 20, 2020
- Ida Valley Musings – Witches Taper April 13, 2020
- The art of seeing what’s there – and what to do with it. April 9, 2020
- Ida Valley Musings – Thirty seconds without blinking – 5 April April 7, 2020
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