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Light (1)

Nelson Cathedral, Light festival , TE Ramaroa2021, Sylvie GE
The Light festival, Te Ramaroa, takes in Nelson this year, after being canceled in 2020, due to the pandemic. I didn't find any particular theme in it and, around the Cathedral, cowgirls rub shoulders with jellyfish, illuminated arrows going in all directions, children walking with illuminated fish on their heads. I believe the message was to get anything that could make light out of Nelson's attics. Despite the somewhat chaotic feeling it had on the first night, the occasion seemed to have brought Nelsonians out despite the cold weather. The atmosphere was festive and it gave me the opportunity to take pictures at night (not easy).

Lumiere (1)

Cathedrale de Nelson, festival de la lumiere, TE Ramaroa, juillet 2021

Le festival de la lumière, Te Ramaroa, a lieu cette année à Nelson, après avoir été annulé en 2020, pour cause de pandémie. Je n’y ai trouvé aucun thème particulier, autour de la Cathédrale, les cow-girls côtoient les méduses, les flèches illuminées allant dans toutes les directions, les enfants qui marchent avec des poissons illuminés sur la tête. Je crois que le mot d’ordre était de sortir tout ce qui pouvait faire de la lumière des greniers de Nelson. En dépit de l’impression un peu chaotique qui s’en dégageait le premier soir, l’occasion semble avoir fait sortir la population de Nelson et ce  en dépit du froid. L’atmosphère était à la fête et cela m’a donné l’occasion de faire des photos de nuit (pas facile). 

Urban foraging

feijoa, Nelson, April 2021, Sylvie GE
Since March 2020, it has been almost impossible to get out of New Zealand, so I have spent four seasons in Nelson, which is something that hasn't happened for some time. It has given me the opportunity to go around the neighbourhood in every season and made me realize the extent of nature's bounty (and that of my neighbours) in this part of the world. “Urban foraging” consists quite simply in picking what grows in cities, while respecting the etiquette, of course, that is to say, by not taking what does not belong to you, but picking what grows on public lands and, in Nelson's case, what neighbours have to give you. I started doing it out of curiosity at first. Every day there were feijoas at one of my  neighbours' door and one day just felt like  tasting them and picked a few. I added them to my morning smoothies and quickly got used to it. Later, around June,lemons  started popping up, then granny smith apples, rosemary, plums, grapefruit, pears, and more. So much so that I can sometimes go for weeks without buying a single fruit. Not all neighbours share their harvest. I wish a neighbour with an avocado tree that produced hundreds of fruits had shared his harvest, but he seems to have eaten them all. I saw nectarines and peaches in a few gardens, but these fruits did not end up in my basket, nor the figs, moreover, well protected by nets, officially to prevent birds from eating them, but maybe - also to prevent neighbours from helping themselves in passing. Regardless, this new activity has enriched my morning walks and made me appreciate Nelson's climate.

Urban Foraging

Feijoa, Nelson, avril 2021, Sylvie GE

Depuis mars 2020, il est quasi-impossible de sortir de la Nouvelle-Zélande et j’y ai donc passé une année entière, ce qui n’était pas arrivé depuis quelque temps. Cela m’a donné l’occasion de visiter le voisinage dans toutes les saisons et je me suis rendu compte de l’étendue de la générosité de la nature (et de mes voisins) dans cette partie du monde. L’ « urban foraging » consiste tout simplement à cueillir ce qui pousse dans les villes, en respectant l’étiquette, bien entendu, c’est-à-dire, en ne prenant pas ce qui ne nous appartient pas, mais en cueillant ce qui est offert sur les terrains publics et, dans le cas de Nelson, chez les voisins. J’ai commencé à le faire d’abord par curiosité. Il y avait tous les jours des feijoas chez des voisins et j’ai eu un jour envie d’y goûter. Je les ai ajoutés à mes smoothies du matin et y ai rapidement pris goût. Plus tard, autour du mois de juin, ce sont les citrons qui se sont mis à apparaître, puis les pommes granny smith, le romarin, les prunes, les pamplemousses, les poires et quoi encore. Tellement, que je peux parfois passer des semaines sans acheter un seul fruit. Les voisins ne partagent pas tous leur récolte. J’aurais bien aimé qu’un voisin possédant un avocatier ayant produit des centaines de fruits ait partagé sa récolte, mais il semble les avoir tous mangés. J’ai aperçu des nectarines et des pêches dans quelques jardins, mais ces fruits n’on pas fini dans mon panier, ni les figues, d’ailleurs, bien protégés par des filets, officiellement pour empêcher les oiseaux de les manger, mais peut-être aussi pour empêcher les voisins de se servir en passant. Quoi qu’il en soit, cette nouvelle activité a enrichi mes promenades matinales et me fait apprécier davantage la température de Nelson.

the rooster and me

Upper Moutere seems the perfect place for a rooster, January 2021, Sylvie GE

I live in a small town of around 50,000 inhabitants, it is small but but it is  a town nonetheless! And roosters are forbidden to live here: chickens, yes, but not roosters (I know because I went to check the regulations of the municipality)! However, for a few weeks now a rooster has been visiting the neighborhood. Our relationship didn’t start off on the right foot, when he came under my window. After checking with the municipality, I wondered for a few days what could cross the mind of the person who felt the need to get a rooster. Then it calmed down and I thought maybe the rooster was just visiting and had now returned home to the countryside (like in the photo). Then he came back and I found out it was a stray rooster, roaming around the neighborhood, which is why he doesn’t wake me up every day. I had all sorts of of thoughts that I’m ashamed of now, I started to find compelling the way  he screamed as soon as he catches  sight of the first light of day. I let myself be won over by his enthusiasm which remains intact, day after day, for the new day which begins. I even tried to write a haiku about that rooster (still working on it). Obviously, I will ask the municipality to relocate the intruder, but maybe not today. Maybe tomorrow, or next week.