The Photo Gallery | The Longest Day

It’s normally at this time of year, in New Zealand, that I’m rugged up with a Pinot Noir, glaring at a flickering candle and wishing I was somewhere warmer. There’s a certain romanticism of tucking up and hunkering down for winter – but it wears off pretty quickly (unless of course there’s a ton of fresh powder snow on a mountain nearby!).

This year, I am in the northern hemisphere, seeing in the longest day, and feeling very appreciative of the sunshine, warmth and long daylight hours. I looked at my Facebook feed of updates from family and friends in the northern hemisphere with shared appreciation and not a shred of envy. Meanwhile, I looked at my southern hemisphere pals in New Zealand with admiration – as some were running marathons and half-marathons, others throwing themselves in the water at Lyall Bay for a mid-winter swim and some hitting the snowy slopes.

I suppose I could have thrown myself in the Pacific ocean for a swim, but went for a run instead. I finished up with a beautiful walk along the beach, at high-tide, getting splashed by the break waves hitting the rocks as I carefully made my way from Santa Barbara beach to Butterfly Beach.

Santa Barbara beach to Butterfly Beach at high tide

I wasn’t alone on my walk. This beautiful pair of white heron were never more than ten yards from me. They kept a wary eye on me, not entirely pleased to be sharing their spot with a bumbling, bare-footed, human. I did try to channel my inner mountain goat spirit whilst scrambling over the rocks, but really didn’t look very graceful – although I managed to complete my walk without a twisted ankle, so that’s a result.

White Heron

I feel very fortunate to be here at the moment, knowing that when the daylight hours start to decrease toward winter, I shall be back in Wellington, New Zealand, just as summer approaches. I shall take the memories of this year in southern California with me, where the sky has almost always been blue and outdoor celebrations have rarely needed a ‘Plan B’. There were two summer-solstice weddings set up on the beach, with typical Californian confidence of the weather being good.

I love the light. I can cope with cold, wind and rain, but natural light is like water to my body and soul. It’s been great to have such a good dose of it this year! Definitely good for my health. 


Joining in with ‘The Photo Gallery’ at Sticky Fingers, with this week’s theme of ‘The Longest Day‘.


  1. Your photos are absolutely beautiful and it sounds like you appreciate it more now that you know your time there is limited. Good decision with the timing of your move back going from summer here to summer there, clever girl! 😀

    1. Thanks Lou. It’s been easier ever since we stopped trying to ‘settle’, early in the New Year, and treat it as a ‘working holiday’. We’ve had some fun adventures and will miss the weather for sure! However, it will be good for the children to now get back to their friends and routines. Our eldest daughter, in particular, at the age of 10, has very much missed her school and friends. Loved your post and the beautiful camping spot. Enjoy the summer! x

  2. Beautiful photos and so get where you’re coming from about the light. I am so much happier in summer when it’s light from 4am until 10pm. It makes me dread the winter, it’s hard to believe it could even exist when the weather is like that.
    Good planning to be returning to NZ just as summer begins there!
    Thank you for such a lovely comment on my post, I really appreciate it.

    1. I know – I was chuckling to myself too – especially with the seagulls circling around looking for scrapes from the nearby cafe on the beach! It was strange seeing two weddings so close together on the beach too – but they’d timed one to finish before the next started.

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