Central Plateau, North Island

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

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Shadows and Leaky Gumboots

Morning shadow from the English Elm Tree.
Morning shadows
Afternoon shadows, as I left all the outside work until tomorrow. Gumboots started to leak, a very small amount of perishing on each outside ankle area. No wonder my feet were so cold, as I stood in the pond and placed stones at strategic places, on the liner.Progress is going well, far better than the spring cleaning.Photos to come when finished.
Afternoon shadows
Hoop petticoat daffodils, these flower more each year, a gift  from a friend when we both lived near Katikati. The leaf is an  Alchemilla Mollis, (also a gift from a friend who now lives in Palmerston North,)  or Lady’s Mantle. We had a brief shower, in the very early morning, and the raindrops lingered.
Hoop Petticoat DaffodilsOvernight rain

Quotation of the day from  Thomas A Edison
“Opportunity is missed by most people
because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”
Cheers from Jean

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A Learning Curve

Night sky at 1005 metres asl
Night Sky, taken high in the hills above the Central Plateau in the North Island,New Zealand.
Here it is, my name on my photo, thanks to Jim at Ocean Breezes. in Nova Scotia. Picasa made it so easy, after many hours of trying with PSE7, GIMP ( I gave up on this one) and others. Last year I detailed the quilters’ guide to spring cleaning.This year it will be “ Goldfish pond repairs and maintenance” and photos will follow when the week is over. Many hours with bucket, waterproof pants, emptying out the last water, and then the ‘SMELLY SLUDGE”. Needless to say, the working clothes get hosed off, rinsed again, then into the washing machine each night. Did our pioneer ladies do this all by hand,  chop the wood, light the copper, use a hand wringer??? I remember a copper, concrete twin  tubs and a hand wringer similar to  these  when I was  a child, at TeHihi, South Auckland. Light the copper, bucket the water to a concrete tub, the whites had a second rinse in cold water,that had a “ Blue Bag” dipped into the water to make sure the “ whites were white”. Dad cut the bigger wood, my Mum had a wonderful little hatchet, perfect for cutting the kindling.Today I can rinse them off, put them in the machine, hot water on tap,  and walk away.Have all these wonderful appliances made us soft, or do we really need them as we cope with modern day life and all its business???
copper in 1900's
Quotation of the day, a Chinese Proverb
“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere”
Cheers from Jean

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Camera Fun

I have joined a Photography site called “ The Ugly Hedgehog” and along with forums, buy and sell, chit chat, and all else, there are so many who offer suggestions to us who ask. One person wanted to know how to make a photo into a sphere, and here is my Tibouchina flower. The original photo is edited, with Photoshop Elements, or another photo processing program, distorted, polarised etc. and bingo!!! there is the new image.
tibouchina May 2011Tibouchina distorted
Here is Josh, I was on the bank above and he was in the Tutaenui Stream.  I like the “mother-of-pearl” effect.
Josh at the stream, distorted
My next challenge is to finish a wall hanging, 2 bags, one quilt, several other things that need sewing up, mending or finishing. The garden needs planting, weeding,, not in that order!!! and the pond will undergo “repairs and maintenance’”this week .After that, if I have any energy left, I want to learn how to make a watermark and insert it on my photos. I do not for a minute think they would be worth anyone copying and using as their own,  but I  know so many of us do have our name, logo or other words on the photos, so I might as well try to do it .More grey hairs and worry lines by the sound of it.
Quotation of the day,  from Karl Heiner
“Life is like a good black and white photograph,
there’s black, there’s white, and  lots of shades in between”
Cheers from Jean

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

A Few of My Favourite Vases

During World War 2, vases were not allowed to be imported , ( or was it exported ) to New Zealand,  so I was told many years ago.  The importers managed to find a new way, and jugs that had handles,but were in fact more like a vase, came safely into our country.I have the vases that were my Mum’s and I can remember them filled with snowdrops in the winter, and Chinese Lantern flowers ( Abuliton) in the summer. Today I have filled these vases with the daffodils that have drooped in the rain and wind.
Favourite vases
I have tried to capture a single bloom,and in the second photo did some Photoshop alterations.
One by itself

King Alfred bloom
In 2002, Mayumi lived with us for the whole year, and I tried to explain to her the poem “ I wandered lonely as a cloud” when our garden was full of these daffodil blooms.Mayumi always marvelled at the stars, they seemed to her  to be so much brighter than when seen from her home in Japan. This time last year we welcomed her back for a short stay, and it snowed.This was taken at Wellington Airport, after we had wiped away the tears of happiness. August 2011.
Mayumi at Wellington airport Aug 15 2011
Quotation of the day, from  William Wordsworth,
“ And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils”
Cheers from Jean

Sunday, 19 August 2012

My Blog Was Disabled

Yesterday I went to log in, and got the dreaded message “ Your account has been disabled”, and after some searching, discovered this could be for any number of reasons, the most likely was extra activity on my site. So after more looking, found out I had to send my phone number to Google, they emailed me a code, enter this and BINGO, back in action. But now I see I am a member of my own blog!!! When all runs smoothly, the Internet is a dream, but when it goes wrong, a nightmare come true.All clip art courtesy of the Internet.
computer problems
The Tararua Forest Park, where we were yesterday, is 116,535 hectares in size, the largest conservation park in the  North Island that is managed by the Department of Conservation. There are many huts, tramping tracks, camping areas, and dense  bush, tall trees and wildlife for all to enjoy. Field Hut, 2.5 hours from where we were, was built in 1924, the first photo was taken in 1930, the other more recently.
FieldHut in 1930Field Hut now
Mt Holdsworth, 1475metres high,  is one one of the tramping tracks,, but in winter conditions can be dangerous, Freezing temperatures, blizzard winds, and fog.The trig stands out, with some snow  still hanging onto the wood.All  these Tararua Forest Park photos courtesy of the Internet.
Mt Holdsworth Tararua Forest ParkTararua Forest ParkMt Holdsworth trig after snow
Quotation of the day,  author unknown
“ The human spirit needs  places where nature
 has not been rearranged by the hand of man”
Cheers from Jean

Saturday, 18 August 2012

A River running to the Sea

Today Hugh took me to Otaki,where there are so many Outlet Shops with great BARGAIN prices for all sorts of goodies. Some shopping, then further south we turned in to the left, about 16 km, to a place called Otaki Forks. This is where you can start a tramp to Field Hut, about 2.5 hours in good weather, it is 900m altitude. For a few weeks, well, several weeks, I have been wanting to try out the shutter release cable, a birthday present. But I wanted a stream/river, creek, with clear running  water. Here it is, in all its pristine clarity. The Otaki River.I still have many miles to travel before the running water is captured to its best, but for a beginner, I am happy.
Otaki River #2

Otaki River #6

Otaki River #5

This is Hugh on  the Waiotauru footbridge at the start of the track.I happily stayed on the stones and watched. A perfect day out.
Hugh on thge swing bridge at Otaki Forks

Quotation of the day, author unknown
“Running water is missed only when it runs dry”
Cheers from Jean

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Smell the Roses ,not the Sulphur

bad smell
S , the symbol for Sulphur, the periodic table gives details of… atomic number 16, atomic weight 32.064, and the smell  at our place was just that.  After 7 p.m. last night, I looked outside, nothing to see,  but  the smell was there , invisible, but overwhelmingly putrid,  and strong .  I rang a neighbour and her words were “ it STINKS”, so I knew it was not my imagination. A quick check on Geonet, no further activity, and a phone call to the GNS department at Taupo. The man there was going to pass on my message to one of the technicians, and it would be added to their collected data,  and today I read it was also smelt in Wellington. The wind change has blown it south to us, and there was a little more ash , a very fine layer  on the outside table that has a glass top, not covering it but I could leave a line in it with my finger.I hope the residents in the Tongariro,Lake Rotoaira area and other areas nearby can cope with the clean-up, the uncertainty of wondering if another explosion will occur, if, when, or maybe. We can all be very thankful no-one was in a hut overnight, specially the one that was damaged. Both photos, courtesy of the Internet.
Quotation of the day, Author unknown,
“ Celebrate your success and stand strong when adversity hits, for when the storm clouds come in,
the eagles soar while the small birds take cover”
Cheers from Jean

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


King Alfred Daffodils
The King Alfred daffodils have flowered true to their glorious golden colour this year,and these are some from the many bulbs my dear father-in-law planted along the fence line. He was not well, and struggled for many days digging the holes in the stony dirt, determined to plant the  hundreds of bulbs. Then he said “ It really needs another row behind this one”, Hugh said “ I’ll dig it up with the rotary hoe” F-in-L replied. “ Why didn’t you do that in the first place!!!”So when they bloom each spring I think of his gentle,generous,uncomplaining nature, honest and loving , and so much more . and while the vegetable garden was his first  choice of gardening , these are a lasting testimony.Rest gently ,I will always treasure your last year here with us.
For those of you who enjoy history, here is a rhyme that will entertain.I first heard it on the “ Millionaire” show, a young man had learnt it when in primary school .
English Kings and Queens
Harry,Dick,John,Harry three;
One,two,three Neds,Richard two,
Harrys four,five,six,… then who?
Edwards four,five, Dick the bad,
Harrys (twain), Ned (the lad);
Mary,Bessie,James the vain,
Charlie,Charlie,James again
Will and Mary, Anna Gloria,
Georges four, then Will,Victoria;
Edward seven,  George and Ted,
George the sixth,now Liz instead.

If you   go out to pick flowers, do not expect to find this when you come back inside.
bullfinch birdRed,yellow,black fawn and white
The bullfinch was lucky, not damaged beyond recovery, and is back outside, we have so many lately,they enjoy the newly weeded dirt to find their breakfast,or lunch.
Mt Tongariro ash cloud 7th Aug 2012
Courtesy of the Internet, a photo of the ash cloud near Mt  Tongariro this morning after an overnight eruption.Ash cloud disrupted plane flights, some roads were closed for a while, and the ash spread over a wide area. we had just a few tiny specks on an outside glass top table. Mt Tongariro  last erupted in 1897, and is one of three major volcanoes, with Ruapehu  and Ngauruhoe  close by in the central North Island. The next photo shows one of the lakes on Tongariro, with Ngauruhoe in the centre, and  Ruapehu snow tipped at the southern end. This area is very popular in the winter for skiing, and in summer for cross country tramps, with many huts in the area for overnight stops, or a day trip visit. The next photo is Mt Ngauruhoe, taken in January this year, when  Hugh and I did a day tramp to the Waihohonu Lodge. ( third photo)
Central Plateau MountainsMt NgauruhoeWaihohonu  hut
Quotation of the day, from Sir Martin Conway,
“ A man does not climb a mountain without  bringing some of it away with him, and leaving something of himself upon it”
Cheers from Jean