We dived into summer and embraced days filled with sunshine and warmth and family that slipped past like beads on a necklace given a good tug by an enthusiastic baby. And from the start of holidays until the first day back at school this week I hardly picked up my camera or opened my laptop - shiny and new from its wrappings under the Christmas tree as it was. As we settle back into a new rhythm, with all my boys at school now for at least part of the week, I am taking a breath and finding there are now moments in each day when I can pause and look about me, and perhaps even write.
Here are a few moments scavenged from our summer days. The camera never made it as far as the beach, which is where we spent most of our days, including an entire week camped at a favourite spot with old and dear friends.
We have been picking meals from our summer vegetable garden most days - and I am now sending the boys out to gather a handful of cherry tomatoes for their lunchboxes each morning. There have been bowls full of plums and nectarines from our garden and Grandma's - and many a plum cake too.
Two new Pekin ducks - Duckie and Lucy - came to join our flock after Grant finished fox proofing the run. We were kept in a steady supply of eggs (the ducks are not yet laying) as we looked after friends' flocks while they holidayed away from home. But I am hoping to get some new chooks to keep our one surviving hen company this week.
We headed up the river in search of tadpoles, marching to the beat of the cicadas, during the last week of holidays. Not a tadpole was to be seen. Where the frogs in our garden lay their eggs I am not sure, but a new expedition will be setting forth soon to let the smaller members of our family watch the tadpoles magically transform into frogs as our days gradually soften into autumn.