Winter in Christchurch

This weekend marks the winter solstice, shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere.  For some reason, Kiwis think winter starts June first, probably because it feels like winter as we're huddling in the not-so-warm houses, hugging mugs of tea while the condensation drips down the window panes.  But I prefer the solstice date because it seems more elegant and less arbitrary.

This weekend marks the winter solstice, shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere. For some reason, Kiwis think winter starts June first, probably because it feels like winter as we’re huddling in the not-so-warm houses, hugging mugs of tea while the condensation drips down the window panes. But I prefer the solstice date because it seems more elegant and less arbitrary.

In honor of the "dead of winter," I made Naomi a couple new pairs of thick wool tights.  I wore the soles out of my beloved smartwool socks but hadn't had the heart to toss them since the rest of the sock still seemed perfectly serviceable.  Good thing, because now they've got a new life on an 8-month-old's legs.

In honor of the “dead of winter,” I made Naomi a couple new pairs of thick wool tights. I wore the soles out of my beloved Smartwool socks but hadn’t had the heart to toss them since the rest of the sock still seemed perfectly serviceable. Good thing, because now they’ve got a new life on an 8-month-old’s legs.

To be fair, Christchurch winters aren't really dead, and we get some glorious days that are even beach-worthy, especially if your companions are Brits who consider anything better than a downpour to be beach weather.

To be fair, Christchurch winters aren’t really dead, and we get some glorious days that are even beach-worthy, especially if your companions are Brits who consider anything better than a downpour to be beach weather.

To find snow, you have to drive over to the mountains.  Here's the view from Foggy Peak in the foothills of the Southern Alps looking back over the Canterbury plain to the bump of the Banks Penninsula.

To find snow, you have to drive over to the mountains. Here’s the view from Foggy Peak in the foothills of the Southern Alps looking back over the Canterbury plain to the bump of the Banks Penninsula.

Here's what you see if you look the other direction, southwest, towards Arthur's Pass.  What a stunning day.  We could see wind on the lake down below, but hardly a breath stirred on Foggy Peak.

Here’s what you see if you look the other direction, southwest, towards Arthur’s Pass. What a stunning day. We could see wind on the lake down below, but hardly a breath stirred on Foggy Peak.

My hiking companion, a colleague from work, laughed herself silly over my snow shoes.  Look at that shiny hard surface--snow shoes would be the quick ticket down the mountain, and it wouldn't be a comfortable ride.  We wore microspikes.  They worked like a charm, but we still watched our steps carefully as the bits of loosen ice skittered down the hill below us.

My hiking companion, a colleague from work, laughed herself silly over my snow shoes. Look at that shiny hard surface–snow shoes would be the quick ticket down the mountain, and it wouldn’t be a comfortable ride. We wore Microspikes. They worked like a charm, but we still watched our steps carefully as the bits of loosen ice skittered down the hill below us.

There must have been a good dousing with freezing rain at some point during the past week to get this thick buildup on the tussock grass.

There must have been a good dousing with freezing rain at some point during the past week to get this thick buildup on the tussock grass.

Yup, not a kid hike this one.  Thanks for having the kiddos for the day, Jeremiah!

Yup, not a kid hike this one. Thanks for having the kiddos for the day, Jeremiah!

Jeremiah spent the day with the kids.  Milo's request was to ride the bus, so they took a ride into center city to check out the rebuild progress.  Much of the area still looks like a war zone, but I think it's turned a corner.  Buildings are going UP now.

Jeremiah spent the day with the kids. Milo’s request was to ride the bus, so they took a ride into center city to check out the rebuild progress. Much of the area still looks like a war zone, but I think it’s turned a corner. Buildings are starting to go UP now, where before all the work was leveling the munted ones. 

Oh my, is that a tower crane and a boom crane in the same photo?  Not to mention that big hammer thing.  All the heavy machinery a little boy (or grown man) could want.  A new building is going up.

Oh my, is that a tower crane and a boom crane in the same photo? Not to mention that big hammer thing. All the heavy machinery a little boy (or grown man) could want. A new building is going up.

Some of the empty lots have temporary art pieces to improve the space until it's used for something else.  I like these ones, and so did Milo.

Some of the empty lots have temporary art pieces to improve the space until it’s used for something else. I like these ones, and so did Milo.  Those spikes up top look like they’re meant to prevent giant pigeons from perching there. 

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2 thoughts on “Winter in Christchurch

  1. Molly, I love seeing your beautiful pictures especially the little ones. Your daughter looks a lot like Milo did. They are adorable.

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