Saturday, November 7, 2009


Kia ora tātou – Hello EveryoneOpens a new window on Kowhai Blossom - photo ken allan
It’s New Zealand’s last month of spring for 2009.

When I started blogging, one of the things I became attuned to was the sheer upside-downness of the rest of the world – compared to where I live, that is.

In the first few months, it was customary for me to wait overnight for the wave of blog comments to wash across a new post from countries other than those in the South Pacific, if it happened at all.

Most activity I observe on my blog takes place after daylight. Of course, there are always exceptions. There are nocturnal bloggers throughout the world and some who seem to be active 24/7!

Unsurprisingly, most people do not consider the time zones across the world when it comes to blogging. Last year I posted a Middle-earth time widget in my side-bar to help with this.

The academic year

There is as much disparity of alignment across the world when considering the education cycle. How many countries can enjoy an academic year that begins in January or early February and finishes in December? How many countries can claim that the (actual) year starts and finishes in summer?

The upside-downness prevails when reflecting on the seasons. While Canada was in summer New Zealand was steeped in mid-winter. Now, as Kiwiland warms towards summer, starting officially on 1 December, Britain chills into winter.

I receive regular communication from people overseas who are amused and surprised at the seasonal differences – till they think about the global cycles. It’s not something that can be easily summarised in a chart, for the seasons in each country progress and change.

video of northern hemisphere seasons (check out amazing videos)

November in New Zealand starts me dreaming of summer.

The hazy balmy days have come in fast,
A garden-loose late-blooming tulip yawns,
Limp petals soft from drooping roses cast,
And daisies flourish on the feathered lawns;
A cicada wakes from the nymphal sleep
Then sheds the fragile nut-brown pupal shell,
And so begins its steady skyward creep
To chant the long percussive choric spell;
The karo's darkened pods crack and expose
The cloying seed in clusters set to fall,
A blackbird swoops down keen to interpose
And sing his warbling chronicle to all;
With these the days I long for have begun,
The warm and lazy summer days of sun.

related post - > ( 1 )

Ngā mihi nui – Best wishes


V Yonkers said...

Surprisingly, November in the US also gets me thinking of summer, but for a different reason. There is nothing like thinking of the warm summer in the middle of the first snow (which is a prelude to a long winter!).

You would be surprised at how many countries, though are on a January or February to November calender. Most of Latin America, including Central America which is in the Northern Hemisphere, are on that schedule. It was difficult for me to adjust at first when I taught in Costa Rica. However, there is very little time change from summer to winter.

When I worked on a project in Paraguay and did a joint project with Brazil, we used to have problems with the overlap in day light savings (as we say in the US) and winter or summer time. The switch over for the time change was the opposite for the US. Sometimes there was a 2 hour difference in time and other times of the year it was exactly the same time. In addition, there would be one or two weeks where there might only be a one hour difference! I didn't notice it until tonight, but now I will use your clock as I always was wondering what time it was in NZ.

Britt Watwood said...

Wonderful post, my friend! It brings to mind that in this global world, everything is relative...and ultimately, local!

We enjoyed a rare warm November day today...some New Zealand effects in Richmond VA!

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Virginia!

Interesting that some countries throughout the world have chosen to start their academic calendars at the beginning of the year. It makes me wonder why others don't simply follow suit. In Britain, for instance, is would not be a big shift, but I guess that such a juggernaut would be difficult to shift.

Problems with 'daylight saving are not unknown in New Zealand too. I recall when it first came in, people complained that the extra hour of sunshine was blistering their paintwork. :)

Tēna koe Britt!

Ah! A breath of warm summer:

Not so much life as on a summer's day robs not one light seed from the feathered grass - John Keats

Can't wait till summer!


V Yonkers said...

LOL. My son asked if they thought that there was 25 hours in the day during day light savings.

Paul C said...

Thanks to Web 2.0 blogging has made me ever more mindful of the southern hemisphere. I may write passionately about my feelings of fall but realize that some of my readers are experiencing spring. Is there a political correctness now to being aware of the seasonal differences?

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora e Paul!

I don't know so much about there being a political correctness for seasonal differences, but there are certainly some guidelines we should follow for season's greetings! This is something I have been aware of for some time. Of course, it involves due consideration of religious denominations throughout the world.

But with regard to posts on the season, I have found it easy to simply state WHERE the season is being experienced (see Winter Solstice). This provides both the appropriateness of the post as well as, perhaps, some educational value, as you correctly pointed out.

Catchya later