And so, as to the best (or worst) of my knowledge they have done in Augusts past, the rains came.

This slightly bizarre meteorological era we are going through has already provided us with the strong winds of spring, so it was only a matter of time before it delivered us the spring showers.

The only thing the weather weavers of nature did not provide, however, was a little spring warmth to go with the showers.

But hey, you can't have everything.


Although we pretty nearly did get everything, including the great sweeps of snow which created opposing reactions.

It would have delighted the folk who embrace the idea of wrapping up in colourful thermals and attaching wheel-less skateboards to their feet to slide down frozen hillsides.

However, getting to such places when the highways shut down sort of cancelled that out.

And losing power ain't good, you tend to take such amenities for granted.

On the moisture front, we needed the rain and I hope it has delivered some form of salvation for the horticulture and farming fraternity because it has been getting a tad dry out there.

And for we of the towns and cities, the timing has been very good. After the long and seemingly endless summer, which effectively initially morphed into a spring rather than an autumn as April and May rolled by, the leaves upon the trees did finally throw up their hands and surrender.

Down they came, smothering lawns and paths and roads and footpaths. And gutters and roofs and gardens.

It is, of course, an annual event so we should be used to it, but that doesn't mean we have to be comfortable with it.

And I suspect the weavers of the weather, which is Mother Nature and Father Flora-Fauna, sensed this unease and determined that 2016 was the time to debut a shuffle of the seasons.

Basically, send the high winds of the traditional equinoxial mid-October spring in early.

Send them in halfway through winter when the last of the leaves have fallen free and smothered the landscape so they could all be swept far away.

I wandered down to the shops the other evening during a howling gale and the footpaths, roads and frontal sections along the way were spotless.

Spick and span.

Not a council cleaner had ventured into that landscape but it was clear of all leafy debris.
Which raises one question though ... where did they all end up?

There is probably some poor soul out there in a wedged corner of suburbia with 700 tonnes of leaves smothering their front lawn. And back lawn, for that matter.

So what happened next?

Well, the winds began to fall away and the snow and moisture-bearing fronts from the south (Antarctica's greatest export) began to head north with perfect timing.

They washed away any fine leafy residue and dust which the winds left behind.

So we got a wash and blow-dry, in the reverse order.

This sparkling landscape, despite the lingering cool weather, is now far more in tune to display the emerging trees of blossom. Weather weavers, well done.

Lock it in again for next year, but leave the snow ingredient out. This work of nature spurred me to dig the garden and clear it of the one thing I have become adept at, and that is, growing weeds.

I spent more than two hours out there and dug deep to extract the weedy pods, roots and seed clusters. At the end of it all, like the leafless streets and pathways, it looked just fine and dandy.

For the planting season is imminent. I reckon the second week in September is a goer and that's only a month away now.

Soon I shall visit a garden centre and eye up the broccoli, cabbage and cauli to place in my refreshed garden and these little seedlings will look back and think "Please, not me".

Word will have got around that I do not possess the greenest of fingers. So, yep, I got the garden all ready and even ran the fine leaf rake across it to give it a flawless, well-cared-for look.

I went out there about an hour after arranging the last small clumps of soil and it had already attracted adulation.

The cat came across it and had begun a fertiliser programme in a most unsightly way.

The dopey beast has taken possession of it, for a planting programme of his own.

- Roger Moroney is an award-winning journalist for Hawke's Bay Today and observer of the slightly off-centre.