Central Plateau, North Island

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

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Frozen Showers

Afternoon hail

Today we went for a drive to Mt Curl Road, the highest part is  over 400 metres above sea level. The Metservice said there might be snow about the 400m level this afternoon. We drove, I froze, and no snow!! We did have some hail this afternoon. Then tonight heavy hail rattled on the roof, and coated the table. it piled up on the tarp on an outside table, this is on the West side of our home.
Bark Garden
Hail  on the tarp.
This pile of wood is great winter comfort on a night like this.
Winter warmth
Quotation of the day, from the Webster Dictionary
Hailstone, (noun) a single particle of ice falling from a cloud”
Cheers from Jean

Monday, 25 June 2012

Quiet Day

Today we have had strong winds, squalls, and the stream is running fast and brown. There was no good reason to brave the weather and work outside. Hugh edited some of his GoPro video camera footage, then we tried to view it on the TV. No luck, so looked at it on my laptop. I then Googled some quilt patterns, and found all kinds of  wonderful  designs. I like this woven design. Then there were the New York Beauty ones, which one do I like the best?? So easy to see my favourite colours. All these are courtesy of the Internet.

woven ribbons quilt designNY Beauty

Spiked-with-Color-QuiltNY Beauty different layout
Favourite colours
look at this, a flower garden made with New York Beauty blocks, Beautiful.The Internet is the source of inspiration, talent, colours,designs and all else.
NY beauty flower garden
Flowers over the years. Birthday Flowers December 2004, the arrangements for the table outdoors.
Birthday flowers 2004
Day Lilies in our garden.
day lily (1)day lily (2)day lily (3)
These were  given to our very dear friend Elaine , in Auckland.
Flowers from a friend
Quotation of the day, author unknown
“ Friends are flowers in the garden of life”
Cheers from Jean

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Tall Trees

The New Zealand Kahikatea, or White  Pine , is one of the tallest of our forest trees, growing to a height of  150 feet. Years ago the wood was in much demand for butter boxes, tallow casks and cheese crates. This was before the fibre-board containers were made  It grows straight, with a long slender trunk.Today Hugh and I went on a short walk, in the Pohangina Valley area, where there are many of these trees.The track was slippery, with many leaves plastered to the dirt, and knotty tree roots that needed  careful steps, to avoid falling over.
Kahikatea Trees
These trees will not have been  pruned or limbed, and grow to the sun.
Standing Tall together
Sky behind the greenery
Further along, there was another tree that had been felled to make  it easier to walk along the track.This had been a huge  tree, and the slab left with the smooth face after the chainsaw had cut through showed some fascinating lines.
Felled tree with moss
Signs left behind
Most  of the walk was in deep shadow, and the stream below well hidden by so many trees and branches.The sun shone through so very briefly, then rain set in. We brought our picnic home .Pumpkin soup made by Hugh yesterday. Delicious.We did not hear one bird until we left that area. So  W.S. Gilbert must have been in another place when he wrote this.
Walkway in shadow

Quotation  of the day from W.S. Gilbert
“ On a tree by a river a little tom-tit
Sang “ Willow, titwillow, titwillow”
Cheers from Jean

Monday, 18 June 2012

Sky colours

Morning sky 1Morning sky 2
This morning there was no frost, instead we had 3 Celsius, and these glorious colours, that proved so elusive. A minute, and they were gone. Looking South, right where the  power lines are, snow is on the tops of the  Tararua Ranges, which stretch from Palmerston North, southwards  to  North of Wellington.This is our view  from the steps outside the dining room.A few birds flew overhead, as the sky slowly changed colour.
Snow on the tops

Birds on the wing

Last night there was a spectacular display of the Southern Lights, Aurora Australis , which was seen at its best in the far south of the South Island.  Here is one photo, courtesy of Stephen Voss.This was taken from Sandy Point near Invercargill, between 11 p.m. and 12.30 a.m. The conditions were perfect for him to capture this stunning photograph.
Aurora Australis Courtesy Stephen Voss 
Quotation of the day  from Edward Caswall
“ When morning gilds the skies”
Cheers from Jean

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Breakfast for the Blackbirds

Frosty lawn
This morning the day started out at –3 Celsius.  There was frost hanging off the trees, and the birds were so happy to gather round the bread I threw out. Some  stay on the grass  or frost, and eat, others grab and fly away fast. This one sat for a while, and was joined by about 6 others.
One Blackbird
This garden is planted with tulips, daffodils, earlicheer, freesias, and more.Another bird, this one has a patch of white feathers on his neck.
sitting on the bulb garden
Tomorrow will be a white lawn again, we have ZERO Celsius at 8 p.m.
Quotation of the day, from Samuel Taylor Coleridge“
The frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind”
Cheers from Jean

Friday, 15 June 2012

Spectacular Footage of a snow plough Train

Geoff Mackley has a website that will show you some videos literally out of this world. You can see them at www.geoffmackley.com
Thank you Geoff for permission to load this onto my blog,
The following video, shot by him, was taken  when the snow plough train was clearing the railway lines from Christchurch to  Arthur’s Pass.  I wondered, how did the train stay  on the rails? When the plume of snow was so high how did the driver see ahead, and does this have to be done most winter seasons ? I have found I need to double click to open,and please ignore the ad at the bottom. Do other countries have these snow plough trains? I had no idea they were in NZ.
Snow Plough working near Arthur’s Pass in the South Island, New Zealand. Courtesy of Geoff Mackley

Photo courtesy of the internet.
snow  plough  This snowfall was quite heavy, and is at the start of our winter season. Happy days for the ski fields, which will be opening earlier than previous years.
Quotation of the day,  author unknown
“ The snow fell silently all night,and covered everything in glorious white”’
Cheers from Jean


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Sunset Colours

Tonight the sunset showed through the trees, with stunning colours.This lasted for a very short time, beauty was there for all to see.

sunset colourslooking west
Toetoe, New Zealand’s largest native grass, photo courtesy of the Internet.
Yesterday the digger arrived at 8 a.m. and the  Toetoe  plants were dug out, the ground levelled, and the fronds, leaves  and stumps taken away. Along the fence line,  there are daffodil bulbs showing through, in a few places. These were planted by Hugh’s Dad in 2003. The next job on the list was to dig out some huge stumps, left over when  trees were felled, or ones that were blown down in a gale.Then  some trees were felled, and by the end of next week should be sawed up, split, and thrown in a huge heap, ready for next year’s fires.
some stumpsready to fall
The fast frame mode made  taking this series of photos so much easier. Hugh cut the trunk with his chainsaw, stood back, and slowly the tree fell.So many years to grow, a minute to cut, and seconds to fall to the ground.
Hugh called “Timber”Almost down
One final photo taken one minute  after the two at the top of the post , and  those colours had already started to fade, and by the time I walked inside,  the sky was grey, and slowly turned to darkness.
fenceline view
Quotation of the day, from Minnie Aumonier
“ There is always music amongst the trees in the Garden,
but our hearts must be  very quiet to hear it”
Cheers from Jean

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Clouds cover our Sky

The Transit of Venus occurred on 6th June 2012. This is a once in a lifetime event, occurring  in pairs every 125 years. The last transit was in 2004, but not visible in New Zealand.Photographers waited patiently, lenses covered with protective glass, viewers,with eyes also protected,gathered in groups. I waited, welder’s #11 glass ready to cover the camera lens. The cloud arrived, and stayed. This photo is courtesy of the Internet, taken  by NASA’s  Solar Dynamics Observatory, there is  also a video which is public domain and can be downloaded.
 Venus Transit by NASA's SDO
Late in the afternoon, the birds were flitting around this tree,this one perched for a very short time.
bird posing

While we were at Piropiro Flats, we met John, from Taupo Bay.He emailed me his own photo, taken at another hunting area, complete with a deer hanging over his shoulder. His other photos show Rita waiting by John’s pack, her bright orange collar is so she will be seen in the bush.His email read” I must say you look  a real  lady on your blog,not like the bush bunny I met down there. LOL “ So there is a photo of “ A Bush Bunny” the small rabbit came out of the bush  each afternoon, and was not in a hurry to run away. Considering the cold mornings, chilly nights, at least 3 layers , with  Merino, warm fleece, a Gore-Tex coat over all this, fleece hat and gloves, how did  John recognise me in the other photo??? Thanks John for your photos.
Rita waitingRita with bright collar
John with SikaRita, with John from Taupo Bay
Bunny at Piropiro Flats

Quotation of the day, from Samuel Johnson
“ He that will enjoy the brightness of sunshine, must quit the coolness of the shade”
Cheers from Jean

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Clouds cover the moon

The partial eclipse of the moon was not given much publicity. Leanne,  thanks so much for putting this on your blog, otherwise I would not have known to look out last night.
I waited patiently, camera set up for night photos, Hugh’s tripod in use, but there was so much cloud. Before the eclipse there were some clear patches, but gradually more cloud covered this event.I began taking photos about 7.30 p.m. and the last one here was taken at 10.26 p.m. After that more cloud obscured most of the moon.
lunar eclipse
Before the eclipse

10.26 p.m.This was a partial eclipse, and was seen very clearly in the Northern Hemisphere. Some stunning photos on the internet, no doubt those photos taken with super telephoto lenses, and by professional photographers. I hope on Wednesday, with Hugh’s welding helmet in place, to get photos of the Transit of Venus.
The best of the sale buys were these bulbs. I love Dutch Iris flowers, and hope I can find some more of the same stunning colour.
Bulb packets
Quotation of the day, from Walter de la Mare
“Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon”
Cheers from Jean