Central Plateau, North Island

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

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Winter Colours

night sky at our place June 2013

Our night skies have some glorious colours. They shine, glow, then fade to inky darkness. The poppy plant has delusions of grandeur, in its  mistaken season, it should be flowering in summer. Bright red petals, I’m not sure if it will grow to show them, before cold weather and more frosts  force it into hibernation.

night sky #1 

The red border would be the petal colour, if it manages to live that long.

poppy plant in  winter

Quotation of the day, from Haruki Murakami,

“ The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue, one stroke at a time,

into deeper and deeper shades of night”

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 27 June 2013

A New Arrival in the Back Paddock

Mother ewe and one lamb

This afternoon I heard one ewe calling, in our neighbour’s paddock.

Look what I found!!  One little lamb and her Mum.

There was a cold southerly wind blowing, , so I’m sure they will find a sheltered warm place tonight. in a dip, or with some hay, cuddled together.

The winter garden does not have many flowers, until the bulbs are in flower.The Protea looks stunning, in bud or full bloom.

Protea buds

Protea nerifolia 

At the front garden, a lime green conifer brightens and lightens , against the darker green, and the bare Silver Birch trees.

Conifer tree

Quotation of the day,  from  Percy Bysshe Shelley,

“ If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Google Reader


I have been confused about the end of “ Google Reader” and how it will affect us here with Blogger. I put a query out in “ Geekzone “ and have posted some of the replies.Opinions vary, and one person  is very sure we will not be affected at all. See #2. Then  see #1, and I have heeded those words, and saved all URLs to a document, in case.     Has anyone changed yet??

Some of the replies I received in “ Geekzone”, this is a public forum that anyone can read, you need to join to log in and ask questions or reply .


I can't be 100% sure, but I am pretty sure that Google Reader shutting down won't affect any of the functions in Blogger. One is that they seem to be using something other than Google Reader there, and the other is that its not mentioned in their blog: http://buzz.blogger.com/
Google Reader is a service that lets you follow a lot of blogs and blogposts. Its in short an RSS reader. Feely, RSSowl etc. are similar services.
One thing I would do if I were you, is to make sure you have all the URLs (links) to the RSS feeds you are showing today, save them somewhere where you can find them and then forget about this until 2nd of july. Then check if everything works as it should. I am pretty sure you won't have to do anything after the 1st of july but it always pays to be a little cautious.


Nancy, Google Reader has nothing to do with that list.
Google Reader is used by consumers to collect a list of blogs and quickly read them. What you use for your blog has no bearing on this at all. That list is not maintained by Google Reader.


am trying http://www.feedly.com/ which is ok, took a bit to configure initially and hopefully they will bring a proper web client out soon :)
as to impact on other services.... wait and see is about all we can do :)


I'm using https://theoldreader.com/ as my rss reader now, you can export your subscription list from Google reader and import into it.
I doubt Google will kill off Blogger, unlike Reader which had a relatively small number of users, Blogger is massive.


I've signed up to Feedbin for a while to see how that performs. Seems to be okay for now!

#6… Local news and a view from our front lawn.

We have had some beautiful morning and evening skies this last week, and this view,  the colours changing every minute,  through the trees, deep red to orange to gold , as the sun went down. Magical!!!

Late afternoon sunshine

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

“ If it is working well, leave it alone”

Greetings from Jean

Moon Views

This week, we had the Winter Solstice,  and also  the Perigee   Moon,shining extra brightly, 30 % brighter and 14% larger . I missed the exact day, but this morning it was still very bright. Here it is in the western sky at 7.30 a.m. The English Elm tree has bare branches, and  the Silver Birch trees stand tall in the centre.Moon in the Morning June 2013 #1

This was the view to the south the other night, under that layer of cloud there is  some  snow,just enough for us to see from the back garden.

Southern view

Quotation of the day, from Rabindranath Tagore,

“ Clouds  come floating into my life,

no longer to carry rain or usher storm,

but to add colour to my sunset sky”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 23 June 2013

We Had Some Sunshine Today


sunshine today 23 June 2013

We had glorious sunshine today, intermittently. For those few minutes, I rushed outside with the camera,  then the sunshine was gone behind the clouds.  Finally, in the late afternoon, I managed to be there at the right time.

Proof that we indeed have sunshine and shadows.

Afternoon  sunshine June 2013

This morning Hugh called me outside,” Quick, or you will miss it”

“ Miss what ?? ”, There was this vertical cloud formation in the southern sky, not a vapour trail. This is how it was.

Morning Clouds #2


With a little processing, the sky came to life with deeper colour.

Morning cloud Formation #1

Quotation of the day, from Emanuel Carnevali,

“ All shadows whisper of the sun”

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 22 June 2013

My Wish List for Cold Weather Goodies


Today more snow fell in the south, and nearer to us on the Central Plateau. My short legs will struggle to get through any snow, far less the 18 inches, to one metre or  more, much more further north near Lake Tekapo. I heard tonight there is so much snow, it will have to be taken away by trucks before it melts, or else there will be huge flooding, but  not  quite as dramatic and dangerous  as I saw  on TV, in Calgary. Rain and snow melt, then there is  way too much water.

A few more photos from Otago, taken today, after another fall of snow made driving just that much more.. Exciting? Dangerous?, would walking in it be any better?? Sledding tomorrow, weather permitting!!!

non ploughed road 22 June

The Road Home 22 June framed

This looks like deep snow, thank goodness for a plough, that makes the driving easier!!!

snow ploughed road 22 June Framed

My wish/need,winter clothing … list has grown to include  necessities such as…

Courtesy of the internet and thanks to Google….

#1, Snow shovel

#2 ,Snow Boots

#3, Taller snow boots

#4, Snow boots with heating!!!

# 5 , down filled winter coat

Snow Shovel

These are for the days when the snow level is low!!!

Sorel  Boots

Now, these are for deep snow treks!!!

Merrell Boot

Now, this is the Ultimate, It has  rechargeable heating inside. Plug the battery into the charger, and bingo!!!

Women's Bugaboot with Electric!!!

We have passed the shortest day, and now daylight hours might slowly start to be longer, Solstice has been,  but temperatures will be colder. They hovered between  0  Celsius, and 1 Celsius,  down south, and  tonight down to –12 Celsius in inland and Central Otago and in Canterbury. Here we are almost tropical with about  6 C out, and a very warm 21 C  inside.

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

“ Put on your thick socks, lace up your  boots,

and you can walk in any direction you choose”

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Snow Fell, and Fell, and Fell !!!


Today  ,  snow has  fallen on much of the South Island, and parts of the Central North Island. In the far south, after torrential rain on Monday, that closed roads and flooded farmland and town areas as well,   from 12 to 40 inches of thick white snow fell, blanketing the country in white. Roads are closed, schools closed, airports closed!!! Stay indoors, do  not travel unless it is totally necessary,  was the message from authorities.

The farm south of Dunedin had a huge amount fall, at times with gale force winds,  bitterly cold, all vehicles staying in the garage.Stock were moved to higher ground,  safely away from the  rising river level.  A few pics from today.

Many thanks to our family for photos, and  to dogs and man for the photo shoot!!!

The front yard of the home just up  the road, no cup of tea out there today.

front yard framed

This truck was not going anywhere .

old yellow Framed 

Ralph was hoping his dog stayed right there, wet weather gear barely managing to  keep the cold at bay. I promised not to do any post-processing  on this photo!!!

Ralph in wet weather gear #1

The sheep were all moved to higher ground on Monday and Tuesday, guess they were hanging out for the hay delivery.

sheep yards #1

The woolshed is empty, no doubt a haven for anyone wanting a roof over their head on a freezing day, top temperature of ZERO Celsius!!! ( According to data from the internet)

woolshed #1

Heading home, the snow blanketed the view with white,  and continued to fall thickly. Tractor and blade made sure the road was levelled safely, as the snow was starting to feel very crunchy underfoot.

heading home #1

A quirky part of the snowy landscape, white top hat, white cycling gloves, pity the seat was so hard to sit on, maybe better to leave it right there for the day.

snow cycle Framed

Quotation of the day,   author unknown

“ One snowflake is fragile, but when many get stuck together,

look what they can do”

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Rain, and More Rain


Yesterday much of New Zealand had heavy rain, farmland is flooded, bridges washed away, roads closed. Today the Antarctic Polar Blast is moving closer  to the South Island. Snow is predicted to fall to sea level along the eastern coastline in Otago .  Our sky this morning showed not one skerrick of this, with  only a few clouds to the south.

Looking to the South, “misty grey’ was the colour there. Beautiful.

morning sky  in June

Looking to the West, a few wisps of paler cream, tinged with almost pink. The English Elm tree has lost nearly all the leaves,  the birds still  find a safe place to rest awhile.

morning sky  #2

In the garden there are many of these smelly/ revoltingly smelly, fungi. They are a variety of “Stinkhorn” fungi, and these seem to grow from a white blob in the ground. Slimy, not toxic or poisonous,  they do add some lightness to the darker places.

Basket Fungus named

Quotation of the day,   from Tite Kubo,

“If I were rain, that joins sky and earth that otherwise never touch,

Can I join two hearts as well ?”

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

North and South, and maybe West as well


Some time ago we went on a day trip to the  area west of National Park. A very remote area, no vehicles, no cell phone coverage, and this fascinating rock formation intrigued me . Taken with  my Canon Ixus.

Rock Formation

A dear friend had some special hens, and their chickens.This one would not turn round.

Baby chick

Little chicks with different coloured feathers, mother hen was very protective, and tried to huddle them under her  wide-spread feathers.

Mother hen

I think the Mum was called “ Mrs  White Hen” and her chicks always thrived.A few golden patches, they were out in the sunshine for a little while, before going back to be snug in the  covered part of the hutch,  on  a warm bed of hay,  for the night.

Three little chicks

Another stunning morning sky down south.Colours that changed every second.

Dawn sky in January #1

The sky was darkening so fast, I took this through the windscreen, as the rain started to fall heavier. This is on the road back to Palmerston North. Not taken in B&W, just the natural colour as the stormy sky obliterated all above.

Windfarm turbines

Quotation of the day, from Lord Byron

“ Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life.  The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray”

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 7 June 2013

A Few More Travel Pics


We visited the South Island a few years ago .   Some pics from down south,  and some from the North Island. These were taken with my Canon Ixus,I hope to visit  these places  again  .

Morning fog on  the farm, Otago,  not far from the snow photos the other day.

morning fog  on the farm

The Purakaunui Falls are a very popular spot for tourists and locals. A cascading multi-tier waterfall, on the Purakaunui River, in the Catlins. An iconic image, much photographed and visited by tourists and locals alike.

Purakaunui Falls,Otago

Nugget Point Lighthouse , built in 1870, and originally fuelled by oil. In 1949 this was replaced with an electric light, powered by a diesel generator, and later the system was replaced by a connection to the main grid, for electricity. In 1901, Walter Champion was the keeper, with his wife Alice. It was fully automated in 1989, and now  is  managed from a control room in Wellington.

Nugget Point Lighthouse

South Otago Coastline, a cloudy hazy day.

South Otago Coastline

Back to the North Island, a tarn on the way to Heritage  Lodge, in the Ruahine Forest Park. The original hut burnt down,  in 2005, and   after  a generous donation from the family of the late Alice Nash, ( who  often visited the ranges in this area with her children ) ,and many hours of work from  NZDA Manawatu branch members, a new hut was built, the “ Alice Nash Memorial Heritage Lodge” .

Tarn on the way to Heritage lodge

Further north, this was taken from the plane’s window, when I flew to Auckland in May, 2009. Mt Ngauruhoe, an active  stratovolcano, in the Central Plateau. The lower mountain on the left is Mt Tongariro.

Mt Ngauruhoe from the window

Closer to home, this dead tree stood tall, I wonder how many storms  blew onto the once green leaves and branches.

Dead Tree 

Quotation of the day, from Albert Einstein.

“ Imagination is  everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions”

Greetings from Jean