Central Plateau, North Island

Central Plateau, North Island
View from a friend's farm

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Beach house

Today Hugh and  I went to Waitarere Beach, one of many along the western coastline of the North Island , between Wanganui and Otaki.
The day started out a bit dismal, and deteriorated into rain and wind. The  sea and sky blended into tones of grey together, and finally the horizon was blotted out with cloud.
Waitarere Beachripples and froth

I sat on this log, thinking of the little  house someone had built with much thought and effort.
ContemplationA little log house
Did the children play in there, have a picnic, or drape a tarpaulin over it to keep out
the hot sun, drizzling rain, or salty wind?
I walked up the sand dunes and  saw the darkening sky to the East.
Retreat to the wagon seemed to be a good idea, Hugh kept on walking !!!
looking EastwardsHugh kept on walking

Back home we lit the fire, bottled beetroot, and now time for a cup of coffee.
Quotation of the day, abridged,   from Samuel Johnson,
“ The brightest sunshine of success is not without a cloud”
Cheers from Jean

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Snowdrops and chookies

Snowdrops flowering early
Snowdrops are in flower.
The tiny petals have pale green edgings. Nature is so wonderful.
When I was on our farm at Te Hihi, the snowdrops flowered in July,
for my Mum’s and my birthdays.She had so many plants all along the side of a hedge,
I remember it as having small red flowers that had tasty juice in them.
close up
Little chooks over our back fence, they cluck to let me know they will come   closer.
The black one followed, they both hoped for silver beet leaves.
Little chooky henAre you coming too
The leaves were saved for our own dinner tonight.
Red silver beet
Further over the paddock,  Patrick’s trees are shining in the pale afternoon sun.
Patrick's trees
Quotation of the day from unknown author
" Do not cackle if you have not laid an egg"
Cheers from Jean

Friday, 25 May 2012

Rain,wind, and falling leaves

In a  few days, Winter will officially arrive. The leaves are now showing their beautiful shades of autumn, and some have turned, brown, and shrivelled up on the lawn.
I could not tell which bird this was, but the song was so clear, in the late afternoon  daylight.The sky looks blue, in this photo, but it has been really dull all day.

colours changing
The sky is grey, dull, and very overcast, and the bare branches stand out against those clouds.
Autumn branches

The rain began, and I gathered up some Cherry Tree leaves, and a few chestnuts, these were almost hidden in the grass.
This is an Ornamental Chestnut Tree, and in summer provides a shady canopy. Now the branches are almost bare.

Chestnuts on cherry tree leaves
The May FMQ challenge was so interesting, and for once it went a lot easier then the previous months.
I have used silk, from Bangalore in India,  pellon  in-between and a calico backing.
Clear fill in the bobbin, and King Tut  cotton Superior thread on the pink fabric,
and Madeira Polyneon, on the gold silk.
FMQ May block
May FMQ silk block
Quotation of the day from Lord Alfred Tennyson
“ The last red leaf is whirled away,
The rooks are blown about the skies”
Cheers from Jean

Thursday, 24 May 2012

View of the Hills

Today we went to Hastings
There were some lovely views, stock by the fence, snow in the distance, there was no safe place to park on the main highway. These photos have none of the red,bronze and golden tones of autumn, but the muted colours of the Hawkes Bay landscape. The hills, taken with the telephoto lens, had some lovely shadows later on our way home,again no place to park, and not able to  go across the road with  traffic each way, This was taken in the morning.
Gullies on hills near Hastings
The John Deere Tractor was parked there, it looked as though it was used to cut the long grass at the roadside.
John Deere Tractor waiting for work
Near the city centre is a pool, with a fountain in it. One man was taking close up photos of the channel, where the water flows over the edge.I guess he had a Macro lens as well.He was about 3cm above the pool edge, any closer and he would have been in the water!!
The sheep did not graze quietly in the shade, but stood still.
Later in the day when we walked back to the wagon, another avid photographer was taking a photo, but his companion was sitting on one of the white sheep !!!
Sheep at HastingsPool near the City Centre
Now, I have no name for this object, hanging high up, all these photos were taken in the same area.
Hastings City has wide streets, lovely shops, people who smile and say “ Hello, how are you today?” to total strangers. A great place to be.
What do I call this
When I bought my Canon camera, there was, by redemption of the sales docket, a MACRO lens. It arrived while I was in Rotorua, and now I can experiment with it.

Macro lens close up
I propped the bowl on its side, so the sun shone through the holes in it.
Pine cones for display before they go in the fire.
Macro and shadows
Quotation of  the day,  from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“ There is strong shadow where there is much light”
Cheers from  Jean

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Morning Walk

Felicity eyed the door, and hesitated again.  “ Too Cold”
But she had to visit the garden soon, and walked away in disgust, not daring to venture onto the frost.
No I will not smile
“ Look at my ears, I said I didn’t want to go out.”
Did I have to go outside
“ No, I will not look at the camera right now”
She stomped off along the pebble path, to a sheltered place in the garden.
Felicity on a morning walk
The temperature was 0.8 Celsius, but more frost on the lawn.
Yes, mowing circles again, and the first rays on sunlight at the far end.

frosty lawn
The Weeping Silver Pear tree is dropping leaves more each day, and even when bare the branches are delicate and graceful. Across the stream, sun shines through, in the foreground, a  Kowhai tree has that paler colour.
Weeping Silver Pear TreeTrees across the stream
The Front door and inside at SRVS.
SRVSSRVS front door
Lately, we have had many visits  here. Thanks to Dave, Lynn and all the team at SRVS, Poppy is on the mend at last.
Southern Rangitikei Veterinary Services, have 2 clinics, one in Marton and the larger one in Bulls. Here there is a purpose built clinic, a team of 3 dedicated equine vets and a equine vet nurse with many years experience.
Their services cover large to small animals,beef, dairy cattle or sheep, horses and ponies, pigs to alpacas and more, and  the smaller ones, cats,dogs, turtles,guinea pigs, feathered birds and all else. Dave has had a recent trip to Africa and the photos on the wall show his adventurous time, Elephant sedation, surgery in the outdoors, and standing  with a giraffe.Fascinating, it must have been a great trip, many challenges, and  wonderful  photos.
The pink bandage comes in so many shades, today she has navy  paws on the pink, other days it has been fluoro orange .We hope on Thursday the bandage can come off, and I can do dressings at home. The re-attached skin did not adhere,  so her wound was now classed as a “ De-gloving”,  another anaesthetic, stitches taken out, and then healing started to go at a better pace.
A warm fire, lots of TLC, not so bad after all.
Curled upPink bandage
She has adjusted to inside confinement, shut doors, and a litter box very well.
But bring out the cage, and open the door, and SHE KNOWS where she has to go.
Quotation of the day from William Shakespeare
“Nature teaches beasts to know their friends”
Cheers from Jean

Monday, 21 May 2012

Morning Views

Frost on the lawn
This morning there is frost on all the lawn, apart from the sheltered area under the Chestnut Tree. The leaves shone in the early morning sun, maybe their last photo shoot before they all fall and are gathered up for mulch.

Chestnut tree in morning sun
The few poppy plants are still flowering.Deep rich red, closing overnight, and the morning dew lingers on the petals

 Poppy with morning dewAlmost open
Look at my colour, in the sunshine, I glow with rich red.
Red poppy in May
Quotation of the day, a proverb from M A Denham
“ Many hips and haws, many frosts and snaws”
Cheers from Jean

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Leaves in Red and Gold

The chestnut tree shows Autumn in glorious colours, golden leaves  still on the tree, fallen leaves crinkled and brown.

Chestnut tree in Autumn

 The Cherry tree leaves  have deeper gold and red, and soon  the branches will be bare.

Red,orange and gold

Morning sky at our place, 3.3 Celsius this morning, and now much warmer.
the gentle breeze is not enough to move more leaves to the ground.
Morning sky
Time to put my mind to the FMQ May challenge, plant more bulbs, and
pick more feijoas, they have been so prolific this year, the freezer has been packed with cooked fruit for deserts later on.
Quotation of the  day, from  John Keats,  “ To Autumn
“ Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun. ”
Cheers from Jean

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Autumn Snow

Mt Ruapehu
Today I    travelled home, via the Desert Road, across the centre of the North Island. Last night and early this morning   a considerable  amount of snow fell, and there was  still some at the side of the road in the afternoon. We stopped to boil the billy, and have a muffin, and I crossed the road to get some photos.
Another car also stopped, and yes, the  very  friendly  man also had a Canon camera, his a 7D.
He suggested some settings for me, to get the best effects with snow,sky and tussock.
Thank you, to the man from Virginia. I saw you again, by the corrugated iron gumboot in Taihape. Enjoy your  time  in New Zealand, and  safe travels  wherever you are.

Mt Ngauruhoe, with less exposure, not so much colour contrast with this photo.
Mt Ngauruhoe

Snow on the Kaimanawa  Mountains, to the East,
and  cloud  over Mt Ngauruhoe

Snow on the Kaimanawa  RangesCloud over the Mt
The Kaimanawa Mountains taken with the telephoto lens.
Kaimanawa snow with telephoto lens
Back home, the leaves are falling fast, all colours of autumn, with gold,red,
brown,russet and some still slightly green.
I have had a wonderful time with the family in Rotorua, a true holiday, no set time when I had to return home.
This morning  it was 1.5 Celsius when I drove the family to school, and said goodbye till next time. Very quiet at our home tonight,I miss you all.

Quotation of the day from  Harley King
“ May your dreams be larger than mountains,
 and  may you have the courage to scale their summits”
Cheers from Jean

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Stormy hour

Storm comingStorm passing byOn its way
I did the school pick-up for the last time in a while. I no sooner parked the car, the temperature dropped, and the rain pelted  down. The large umbrella was no use, the wind too strong, so it was just held over my head, almost closed.
I couldn’t  manage to find a place without those power lines, and no time to drive up one of the higher streets. Ellie spends some time on the rail, looking and waiting for a bird. She doesn’t do much hunting, and there was great excitement
and praise one night when she brought in a largish mouse. Told us what she had caught, mouse got away, and when it was put outside, George pounced, grabbed and ran. Well done Ellie!!!
Can I smell the flowersEllie thinking
The Cateye spot  prize for the Junior 4th place team was this pair of socks. Team members decided to give them to Josh, as he  had  the fastest  lap time .They have been worn several times, and we all laughed at the words on the soles.
cateye prize
WEATHER WARNING  … Snow on the Desert Road, tonight, tomorrow morning, Friday as well.Hugh will be here ,as I go home tomorrow. Staying with the family has been truly wonderful, and after many  years of having to be at home this has been a real  treat. However my man has missed me , and after 50 years together, I feel so lucky about this.
Here he is on a track in the Ruahines.
Quotation of the day from  Buddha
“ Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth,faithfulness the best relationship”
Cheers from Jean