The hues and moods of autumn

Four-year-old Elodie Clifford is consumed by Memorial Park’s autumn leaf falls. Photo: John Borren

“How beautifully leaves grow old!” wrote John Burroughs, the American naturalist and essayist. “How full of light and colour are their last days.”

Burrough’s himself could have been shuffling through the leafy carpet at Tauranga’s Memorial Park when he made his equally colourful autumnal observations more than a 100 years ago.

But it was a little local girl called ‘Elodie’ who became a willing face for seasonal change when The Weekend Sun photographer John Borren was shooting autumn pictures in Memorial park this week.

Four-year-old Elodie from Otumoetai is a natural performer according to Dad, Mark Clifford. Her thing is dancing – both ballet and jazz. But it seems she is also happy to perform for the camera.

Officially autumn starts in March in New Zealand and runs through to the end of this month before winter kicks in. So far it’s been a particularly warm autumn in the Bay of Plenty with rainfall totals normal.

And that came on the back of New Zealand’s third warmest summer in history according to NIWA climate figures. Above average sea temperatures were the main driver of the heat. It meant that warm air wasn’t cooled by sea breezes.

Tauranga, and Hamilton, both went for 36 straight days without rain, both experiencing their third longest dry spell on record. 

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