Winter Solstice, 2011

Each year, we invite a few friends up to the farm at Gingin to celebrate the winter solstice. After spending the day pruning the fruit trees and tending to the orchard, we fire up the pizza oven and serve a nearly endless stream of delicious homemade pizzas. We follow up by lighting a huge bonfire to brighten things up through the long night. It’s heaps of fun (despite things often going awry because of rainy weather).

Citrus is in season at the moment, and the trees are totally loaded with fruit. LR gets to work picking some mandarins. Delicious!

Citrus is in season at the moment, and the trees are totally loaded with fruit. LR gets to work picking some mandarins. Delicious!

Some were too high to reach -- good thing Kerry was around to help out!

Some were too high to reach -- good thing Kerry was around to help out!

RJ gets involved in a game of giant pinball.

RJ gets involved in a game of giant pinball.

LR and B. played a few holes of golf. We're pretty sure B. has played before -- he was scarily good.

LR and B. played a few holes of golf. We're pretty sure B. has played before -- he was scarily good.

M. and RJ watch on as B. fixes something for them.

M. and RJ watch on as B. fixes something for them.

Mom had everyone working hard in the orchard. The fruit trees have been pruned and there's a whole new garden bed planted now.

Mom had everyone working hard in the orchard. The fruit trees have been pruned and there's a whole new garden bed planted now.

Whoa, that’s so intense! Whoa! Man! Wow! It's full on. What does this mean?

Whoa, that’s so intense! Whoa! Man! Wow! It's full on. What does this mean?

LR's friend L. from school came up to join in the fun. LR was thrilled to have her around, we were happy to have someone else help with the trees.

LR's friend L. from school came up to join in the fun. LR was thrilled to have her around, we were happy to have someone else help with the trees.

B., L., and LR try on the wreaths made for the evening's festivities.

B., L., and LR try on the wreaths made for the evening's festivities.

LR balances on the wet cable, wearing wet, sandy shoes. What can we say? The kids really wanted a challenge.

LR balances on the wet cable, wearing wet, sandy shoes. What can we say? The kids really wanted a challenge.

RJ leaps off the cable, just in time!

RJ leaps off the cable, just in time!

Mom and Molly went for a spin around the fields in the buggy. She must be responsible for the torn-up tracks all through the front paddock.

Mom and Molly went for a spin around the fields in the buggy. She must be responsible for the torn-up tracks all through the front paddock.

RJ... Wearing a hat... No surprises here.

RJ... Wearing a hat... No surprises here.

Pizza making time! Kerry helps M. find the best tool for the job.

Pizza making time! Kerry helps M. find the best tool for the job.

Mom tries to take all the credit for the fresh pizza dough, but we know that she had everyone helping.

Mom tries to take all the credit for the fresh pizza dough, but we know that she had everyone helping.

G. and B. compare their circuit designs and try to get their glowies working reliably. Glowies are little flashing lights that you launch through the air from rubber bands. We discovered them in Bali and Dad helped everyone build them.

G. and B. compare their circuit designs and try to get their glowies working reliably. Glowies are little flashing lights that you launch through the air from rubber bands. We discovered them in Bali and Dad helped everyone build them.

Despite the intermittent rain, the bonfire burned all through the night.

Despite the intermittent rain, the bonfire burned all through the night.

Mom holds the torch for LR so she can read to the group. Each year at the solstice we pause and think about things to be thankful for and things we'd like to go better in the coming year.

Mom holds the torch for LR so she can read to the group. Each year at the solstice we pause and think about things to be thankful for and things we'd like to go better in the coming year.

G. brought along his didgeridoo and played for us in front of the fire.

G. brought along his didgeridoo and played for us in front of the fire.

The kids decided roasting marshmallows would be more enjoyable inside, out of the rain.

The kids decided roasting marshmallows would be more enjoyable inside, out of the rain.

With all the inside spots taken, RJ found his own uncrowded location at the pizza oven.

With all the inside spots taken, RJ found his own uncrowded location at the pizza oven.

The following morning, despite the night of drenching rain, the kids managed to get the ashes lit and a fire burning again. Note to self, purchase additional fire extinguishers for the house.

The following morning, despite the night of drenching rain, the kids managed to get the ashes lit and a fire burning again. Note to self, purchase additional fire extinguishers for the house.

Dad wearing a hat... Somehow, RJ just manages to pull it off better.

Dad wearing a hat... Somehow, RJ just manages to pull it off better.


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