Central Plateau, North Island

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

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Nature in Pink and Grey

Photos today are from my Canon 40D, apart from  Fantail photos courtesy of the Internet. I am still using Hugh’s laptop, but have loaded some recent photos taken at our place. Nature provides  so much, and this week I have had a whisper that maybe we will have a day out for  some of New Zealand scenery shots. Keep watching!!

This little nest, maybe for baby Fantail birds, was on the ground. It had been used, and was no longer needed this season. So much care,thought and work had gone into the making.Dry grass, twigs, more little pieces of twigs and stalks to reinforce the outer structure, then the lining began. The softest little feathers, in grey,fawn, light tan and cream, lovingly placed so her little birds would be safe and warm until their own feathers grew.
Fantail's nest
The side view shows how carefully this was woven together, and now there  are mossy pieces and lichen there.
Nest side view
Photos below Courtesy of the Internet. .The New Zealand Fantail
New Zealand Fantail
fantail bathing
Pink with grey
The pink poppies have bloomed so well this year, and there are also shades  of mauve, and  deeper pink, and some yellow /pink parrot  flowers.
waiting to open 2
Quotation of the day from William Wordsworth
“   ‘Tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes!  ”
Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 27 September 2012

North Island Scenery from Hugh's Views

Bridge on the way to Heritage Lodge
 In August 2011, Hugh and I walked  to Heritage Lodge in Ruahine Forest Park. There was ice on the bridge, and a small stream below. The tramp does not take long,   from a car parking area, and the views on the way show Mt Ruapehu,with some snow. If you look closely,there is that fleece hat again!!!
View going to Heritage Lodge
The lodge has bunks, table and seats, a fire, and at the far left hand side, a set of  very steep steps to the outside long drop( a  toilet ,WC, or other terms can be used ,depending if you are a lady, a man, or just plain desperate!!!).
Jean at Heritage Lodge
Nearer the East Coast, inland from Napier,  is the Kaweka Range. Hugh stayed  in the hut there for several days, and assured me that with a fire roaring, it was cosy. This  was in March,2010. I stayed home, with family commitments.
Kaweka Range landscape
Makahu Hut, easily seen
Cosy fire in the Makahu Hut
This was an unusual moss circle on the way to one of the top ridges.
Moss circle on the Makahu Hut tramp
Quotation of the day, author unknown
“ The human spirit needs places where nature
has not been rearranged  by the hand of man”
Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Views from Home and Further Away

Sunrise at our placeHugh has a good eye for photo composition, and seems to find scenery  that is  so right on the day.

Here is one of his photos,taken at our place  on 6th May 2011. He used his Canon Powershot  G9, smaller than the 40D, but it always takes a perfect photo.
On the 21st June last year,  we went  North to the Kaimanawa Ranges, this  is the Waipakihi Stream,  taken with a Canon 40D.
Waipakihi Stream

There are good 4WD and quad  tracks to the top of the Tararua Range, and this day a group of cyclists  were out for some fun, and hard pedalling. A little further along ,the wind turbines dominate the skyline, providing power from nature,  a never ending source, the blades turn almost gracefully, and  in my opinion, make a quiet humming sound, are not an eyesore ,and in NZ we should be thankful the wind can be and is used this way.I think they stand tall, like signalmen, showing the traffic where to go.
Cyclists on the Tararua Range

Wind turbines on Tararua ranges
Quotation of the day, from Bob Dylan
“ The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind,
the answer is blowin’ in the wind”
Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Hugh’s Views

I am still using Hugh's laptop , mine  has gone to Auckland to  be repaired . Meantime here are some views from Hugh’s camera.Earlier this year  Hugh and I went for a very short walk on the Kahikatea Track.  It is about half an hour, and in places overlooks the Pohangina River. It was  crystal clear  this  day and the water almost seemed to be that  luminous turquoise colour,Pohangina River 2012
A few years ago a beautiful dark ginger boy adopted us, he came and went in his own time, stayed for a few nights and days, maybe a week ,and then was AWOL for some days, we always  thought  he had  another home. He was gentle, a big cat, huge feet, and in time  became more contented with our home and would sit with us at night, then in the morning would be gone. Here he is in the late afternoon sun. Tom, you stole my heart.
Tom April 2009
Another day this year Hugh and I went on the Gentle Annie Road which goes from Taihape to Napier. Snow had fallen that week and there was some at the top, and also on the sides of the road. Sheep looked on as we took photos on the way. I was muffled up in a double  layer coat, fleece hat, and needed gloves outside, there was very little wind,  but the air was still  freezing  cold.
Jean taking photos July 2012
Quotation of the day, author unknown,
“ Keep your hat on!!!”
Cheers from Jean.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Laptop Update

Breaking News!! The hard drive has a broken "something" inside. It might be fixable, and Toshiba are not sure if the Norton problem caused it, made it worse or it just happened. I had done a backup 2 days before all this, thankfully.So I am using Hugh's laptop, Thanks Hugh!!! And Norman Ross will look at the offending HDD on  Monday, and just maybe, just maybe, can lend me one for the ONE to TWO weeks if mine can be repaired. So  on this PC, none of my  photos, none of my email addresses, as mine are numerous, Hugh's are a lot less, and I do  not have mine installed here.If I have been sending anyone an email, will they please send me one, usual address is OK,  so I can reinstall their address. Many thanks.
Quotation of the day,from an unknown author
"  You  will miss the water  when the well runs dry!!"
Greetings from Jean

Friday, 21 September 2012

More Norton and More No Photos

Norton, in whatever country they may be, tried again last night to get my laptop to turn on, and RUN. No luck, so I had to do a total clean of the Hard Drive, thankfully I had a backup done earlier, and  then  I  was  assured another man, again in India, would take over from the Case Manager, this is at 11.30 p.m. They all work on  " Maybe I will, maybe I won't", so after waiting longer, I finally went to bed. This morning, when it is 9 a.m. India time, they will get another phone call, probably by this time I will have it all up and running, with thanks to " Norman Ross" whose service for many years has  been superb,  I believe credit should go to those who give good service.
Quotation of the day, from Robert Bloch,
" The man who can smile when things go wrong has thought of someone else he can blame it on"
Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Norton and No Photos

 This past week has seen me having Norton problems.  Phone calls, remote chat on line, the invisible man taking control of MY laptop, uninstall, reinstall, still could not do a scan. Finally yesterday, after my "incident" had been sent to the "escalation department" it seemed to have been solved. then  yesterday, a little later, I could not turn off my laptop, open it, or do anything at all!!! Luckily I had saved the incident report number ( memo, save everything !!), phoned another man in another country, and maybe, just maybe at 11 a.m. my user profile will be where it should be. So no photos,  no news, nothing of great interest, unless you are a Norton user. On Google, this is a common problem,  but they do not want to admit that. Hugh's laptop has a slightly different keyboard to mine, and I will be SOOO HAPPY when mine is restored  again. So I have written this direct on Blogger, not from Live Writer which I find so much easier.
I have pink tulips out in full flower, more Iris in bloom, Hugh's Dad's memorial weeping silver pear has white blossom galore.Spring is here in abundance.
Quotation of the day, authour unknown
" Save it for a rainy day"
Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Two Planes and One Tulip

Today Hugh and I went to the RNZAF Base, Ohakea, as there was a display from  a Spitfire, PV 270, and a Grumman Avenger from WW2. The weather gods smiled sweetly, as if there was heavy rain or wind the display was to be cancelled. I was surprised to  see so few people there, plenty of parking spaces, no  waiting, and no wind or rain, this waited until we were home.While we waited for the gates to open at 10.30 a.m. a couple arrived, each with their own set of wheels, I introduced myself, handed the gentleman  one of my cards with my blog and email  details and asked permission to take and publish a photo. YES, they both agreed. His is the Can-Am, it looked very comfortable, and hers was the GoldWing, with “ Arctic Lady” , what a so suitable and perfect name, on the rear. The engines purred along very softly, and I am sure  the  3 wheelers gave a very comfortable ride.
 Can-am bike at OhakeaHonda Goldwing

The lady's name
The Grumman  Avenger is not a pretty plane, almost like a big insect with the wings folded down, I am told this is for easy storage, they take up a lot less room.Finally the engine was started. a throaty rumble and clouds of blue smoke. Then the wings were opened and shut several times. All good to go, Pilot and Co-Pilot easy to see in the clear canopy above their heads.
Grumman starting 1
Grumman wings down 2

Grumman starting 3

We are both sitting pretty up here
it was difficult to get any photos without the trees in the background, or the buildings.Then they were too far away.
runway 15
The Spitfire did not come out as far onto the runway approach and there were always buildings behind.Not a good place for a photo shoot, but after all that plane was there to show off its ability and that of the pilot when in the air.
Spitfire 12
The Spitfire did some loops, spirals, flying on the side, vertical, and  more. it was fast and even using the fast shutter speed was not easy to spot and get a good photo.They came in together, flying low .I took all these photos with my Canon 550D, 55-250 lens, varying settings as the light changed during the morning.
Spitfire overheadTogether 2
A great display, and as always, I found so many people helpful with camera suggestions, lens, shutter speed, ISO and more. One man had not recharged his batteries, so I have emailed him many photos. After all, that is what a blog, a quilting group or a photography site is about, help if you can,  ask if you need, watch what you say, and listen carefully.Hope you have your photos Sam, I have one more email to send.
The tulips are flowering at last, the second photo was taken with a Macro lens.
tulip 1tulip 3

Quotation of the day, from  Amelia Earhart
“ You haven’t seen a tree
 until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky”
Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

9/11 , We Remember

No photos, not many words.
We in New Zealand remember this day, all who died, those who lived, those who have lost, those who helped and assisted in so many ways.Last week I was sent an email with the story of planes that were diverted to other airports, and how small towns opened up their hearts, and homes  to look after the passengers for a few days until air traffic was allowed to resume.There must have been so many of these examples of the wonderful spirit of people all over. They helped in so many ways.
“ We do not remember days, we remember moments.
The richness of life lies in the memories we have forgotten”
From Cesare Pavese.
Greetings from Jean

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Open Flower and The Written Word

fastest horsefast arrow
Clip Art Courtesy of the Internet.
Books, letters, schoolwork,studies, emails,eulogies , blog posts and  comments,newspapers, published editions,and articles  all involve the written word. They need careful thought, editing,  and spell checks are so easy  with our modern day laptops, iPads and more. Once written, or spoken, they cannot be taken back. There are so many   on line resources available today, options are there to choose words carefully,substitute, erase,look for another that might fit better,save as a draft, or delete.
A Proverb from an unknown author  states this so well
.“ The fastest horse and the swiftest arrow cannot overtake or recapture the  spoken word”
This proverb could so well apply to the written word as well .This week Brian King gave me a lovely comment on a photo in one of my posts.I had downloaded a photo of  “The Evening Star”, which  seemed to be a fitting tribute to my cousin Ann who passed away in Whangarei earlier in the week.BUT, I did not put in those necessary words “ Courtesy of the Internet” and have had to apologise for my lack of thought.I have been able to alter this, with my own comment and explanation.Serious thoughts for today's post.
The Dutch Iris is showing its colours, one petal has a small hole, no doubt wind damage last night or very early this morning. One tulip shows pink, a few more days to open fully.
Dutch Iris in colourTulip bud
Quotation of the day from Kahlil Gibran
“A friend who is far away is sometimes much
nearer than one who is at hand.
Is  not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the  mountain?”
Greetings from Jean

New Friends all Over the World

A few words ( Laugh if you want to, my daughters say “ Mum you could never manage just a few words !!!) .This is to welcome all  members  to my blog, and another day ,or week , or so,  I will mention each of you by name with a proper introduction. I thank you, each one, for making my life so much richer  with  your friendship, comments, emails, and your own blogs which have opened up my life to a wonderful world .A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend and mentioned my proposed world trip, starting with Japan,Osaka then Tokyo,  then Sweden, Finland,  Norway, over to Alaska, down to Yukon, Colorado, Illinois, Florida, New York,Maine,Texas,Nova Scotia,Kentucky, Toronto,Nebraska,Amish County, California, Pennsylvania, in no particular order. My words must have sounded so sincere, he asked me when I was leaving, and was Hugh going with me??? I explained this was a dream, not reality.  We laughed. So how true can the spoken word appear to be?   And as well as  friends on my blog , I have new ones on a photography site, most in USA, some in Europe, a few in NZ,  so my life continues to be made richer,more exciting, more interesting and the horizon has  broadened  in so many ways.This morning I  phoned a friend, who is not well, and she said how much my phone calls  lighten her days .This friend has been here for me, and Hugh ,so much over the last few years,specially last November,  with words, spoken, written, visits and more.So I can thank her publicly,no names but YOU, my dear friend,  will know who I am writing about.
So to each one of my many friends, a huge thank you for coming into my blog, my photos and my life.The photo below is “courtesy of the Internet”  and I will print a copy to hang on the wall, look at it each day, and DREAM.
world map
Quotation of the day from St.Augustine
“The world is a book and those who do not travel
read only one page”
Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Yesterday, Today,Tomorrow

I'll run away over thereI like the blue ones
On Saturday Thelma and Trevor and their families were here to have wedding photos taken. I need to ask Thelma  and Trevor for their permission before I post  photos  of them . Grace, Thelma’s granddaughter,  was a delight,  she  tiptoed over the  damp lawn, very carefully. She stopped every so often to look at the daffodils and forget-me-nots. The weather smiled down all morning, just a gentle breeze, but sheltered spots were easy to find. Later on in the day rain fell, wind blew, and it was a  lot colder.
Bridge view
one paw
Poppy walked with me this afternoon, stepping carefully round the puddles. and accompanied me to the view from the bridge over the pond.Some of the flowers have been bruised with the rain, others survived very well.Reflections of the Chestnut tree in a puddle on our driveway.
Reflections on the driveway 2
The Protea fared well, very little damage, but the Camellia flowers are bruised and discoloured.
Protea flowerheadWhite camellia
The day lilies have many leaves well up, no sign of flowers yet. The pink Camellia has that stunning deep colour, against the dark pittosporum leaves.I picked the flower and stuck it firmly in the bush.Lovely contrast with the  dark almost purple foliage.
Raindrops on daylily leavesPink Camellia
Tomorrow or in a few days time the Dutch Iris will open .
Tomorrow I will show you my true colours
Quotation of the day,  author unknown,
“ Garden fairies come at dawn, Bless the flowers then they’re gone”
Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Two Minutes at Sunset and an Evening Star

Eastern sunset colours
Late this afternoon I looked out to the east, and there was this skein of pink colour.But by the time I had my camera round my neck,  and walked to the back garden, it had started to fade. Two minutes later I looked to the West, and the sky was so red.It was darker than this, but for such a short time.
Sunset in the west
This is taken from our front lawn, the tall trees are in our place, and  give good shelter from the North-west winds.Pine, Macrocarpa, Poplar,  Blue-gum and Tasmanian Blackwood. Two more minutes and all was faded to grey.
The western sky from our place

Quotation of the day, from Lord Alfred Tennyson,
dedicated to my cousin Ann,1938-2012
“ Sunset and evening star, and one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,when I put out to sea”
Greetings from Jean