Central Plateau, North Island

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

Friday, 31 January 2014

Breakfast on the Patio


This morning, the sun shone, the wind was a gentle breeze, coffee on the outdoor steps the perfect spot to start the day.

We had company, the sparrows, thrush and blackbirds swooped down to enjoy their meal too. One male blackbird became a little braver, and made his way out of the shadows onto the open lawn.Found his meal, and flew off. We will no doubt see him again tomorrow.

Father Blackbird #1

Father Blackbird #3

Father Blackbird #4

Father Blackbird #5, all done, I'm on my way

Quotation of the day, from Robert Lynd

There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before.

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Rough Metal Road


Ally was the one bright spot in  MY   .. ( our)   day out.We left the tar sealed road  and travelled onto a narrower sealed road, that disintegrated to a rough, very narrow, metal, then dirt track. At one stage, I got out and walked, and waited for Hugh to return.  It was a bit like this, photo courtesy of the internet.

Do you think I have no sense of adventure, or   should I sit tight, hang on, and say nothing!!!

off road vehicle on rough track,courtesy of internet

We drove down another track, found Ally, did a photo shoot, the best part of the day!!! ( in my opinion) Then off to find the river, have some lunch, and make our way home.

Waipakahi  River

The road to the river

The narrow winding road


I walked!!!

This is where I walked!!!

The bush took over the track, no room  to turn, and Hugh had to reverse a long way.

4wd   wagon deep in the bush

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ As  you  travel through life , do not avoid the rough roads,

careful driving will get you past the  difficult patches

to green pastures ahead”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 26 January 2014

A Girl’s Big Day Out

The morning started something like this. Hugh asked me if I would like to go out for the day, “ Yes, OK”, thinking some shopping, a cafe for lunch, a gentle drive on a sealed road!!! I should know better. We drove North, up past Waiouru, onto the Desert Road, and turned off to go down a metal road that disintegrated into a dirt track.

Hugh wanted to find the camping spot for our summer holiday ( We need to hurry up then, as summer is passing fast).Down one little side road, a family from nearer Taupo were camping  in a lovely sheltered spot for a few days. And there was my photo shoot, the perfect model. She is  pure black, the sunshine gave her that pale sheen on one ear at times.

Ally, a 3 month old Black Lab puppy. Exuberant, friendly, shining coat, a wonderful family member. And she posed so well. Thanks, family, for sharing this with me.If you read this and want any photos,please email me, the  address is on “ my profile”.

Waipakahi Road , Ally in profile

Ally, face on #2



Ally, goofing around with a bone


Ally with a leg bone

Quotation of the day, a Chinese Proverb

“ To know the road ahead, ask those coming back”

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Ground Shook

  • Map showing earthquake location.
  • Public Id: 2014p051675
  • NZDT: Monday, January 20 2014 at 3:52:45 pm
  • Wellington and Marlborough region intensity ?: severe
  • Maximum intensity ?: severe
  • Depth: 33 km
  • Magnitude: 6.2
  • Location: 15 km east of Eketahuna
  • Felt it?

Thank you all so much for asking, and seeing if we are safe, is our home still OK.   Yes,   we felt the quake on Monday, but are all  safe and sound  here, no damage, just a heart that  raced so fast, trees swayed, the house and all inside shook and rattled.

Can I still run??     YES,     I was standing under some of our tall firewood trees, heard this almighty rattle, like all the  garage roller doors were   moving, then the ground shook, and tall trees swayed right above me.Yes, I ran to the open lawn, Hugh ran outside to find me, our cat ran outside, and my friends also ran. It seems AGE is no barrier to running when  you have to.

Closer to the epicentre, which is some 100 km or 62 miles away, there was damage to buildings, supermarkets, roads and chimneys. Here, some brick chimneys were damaged. There may be more damage, with reports still to come in.

I filled in the “ Felt Report” and when I last looked  there had been 9151 reports.

The quote, I am thinking of those in the Northern US, with another snow storm on its way or maybe already there. Our  TVNZ reporter in New York, Jack Tame, told us this  morning how very cold it was, and where the snow was heading. Take care,  stay safe, wrap up extra warmly for the next week.

Quotation of the day,  from A.A. Milne

  “It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily.

"So it is." "And freezing." "Is it?" "Yes," said Eeyore. "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately.

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Sunday Sunshine


This morning our ginger boy came in at 6.30 a.m., headed straight to our bedroom, had a snack of biscuits, then walked out slowly. Later on I looked out the front windows, and there he was, sunning himself in a sheltered spot. He is getting a little tamer, and I am hoping to find out very soon if he does belong to a lady some  many , many , almost 200 kilometres away!!! Happiness would be with us all if this was so.

max in the sunshine


max by the dandelion flowers

Quotation of the day from Thomas Jefferson,

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.

Greetings from Jean


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Shepherd’s Delight, Red Sky at Night


Tonight the sky was pure magic, my camera cannot do full justice to nature’s magnificence. To the west and south, these colours shone.

Magical colours

Western sky from our front lawn

Further beyond the trees, the gold started to show. All four lads tucked up, sheltering from the wind that has blown all day.

One of the boys ready for nightime

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ May there be just enough clouds in your life

to create a glorious sunset”

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 11 January 2014

I’m trying to swim, but my wings are too tiny


Yesterday I was on the phone, and looked out to see a tiny head, bobbing up, then down, and more under the water than above. I went out, and was stunned, this tiny wee   Wax- eye  was flapping his wings, the little feet were paddling, but he couldn’t keep his head up very well. One photo, then RESCUE time, wrapped in a warm towel, sat in the sun for several minutes, till he stopped shivering, then in a very sunny sheltered spot, below  where I though the nest was. I think he was blown by the wind, and so tiny, landed here. Later on, I looked, and his Mum had come down and they hopped off together. I love a story with a happy ending.

Baby Waxeye

On the other side of our garden the four boys have had a trip away, and came back very naked. Tonight they were standing tall , still as curious as ever.

I am shorn now

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ You must have faith, like the baby bird,

who would not learn to fly

unless he jumped out of the nest first”

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 10 January 2014

Happy Birthday Hugh



Wonky Wagon #1


Mt Ruapehu in January

Hugh on the road to the A-Frame, Ruahine Range

Hugh in  Ruahine Range  April 2011 #2

Hugh at Wellington airport Aug 15 2011

Jean and Hugh, April 2009


10th January, a special day, birthday wishes coming your way

For happiness, good health, and wishes come true

These and so much more to you

I look back over the years before,

and see the photos of you, and more,

The places you love, the fields to roam,

at the end of the day you then come home

With stories to tell of deer, pigs or goats,

maybe the tracks up very steep slopes

Excitement found, on the scariest roads, the trailer with a heavy load,

Remote places you so enjoy, ever since a younger boy.

I wish you these and many more, at home and in the great outdoors

Happy Birthday Hugh, 10th January 2014


Quotation of the day from George Harrison

All the world is birthday cake,

so take a piece, but not too much.


Greetings from Jean

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Don’t Step on my Purple Snow Shoes


Purple snow boots for Sophie

For Sophie,  Ron and Jim

The winter weather arrived with a blast

“Polar Vortex”, it’s colder than anything past.

For Ron and for Jim, in their cold weather gear

From their hats to their boots, almost all they could wear,

But for Sophie, the answer was never so easy,

Her feet suffered so much, those icicles nasty.

So the Dads decided, with shouts and a holler

“We’re going shopping, to spend many  a dollar”

Wee Sophie Doodle, has very sore feet,

She runs in the sand and the snow and the sleet.

Those little toes are bright pink from the cold

And if frostbite sets in, will do damage untold.

The shoe shop was open and they looked at all styles

Some too big, or too small, some funny, they smiled.

Finally the salesman opened up one last drawer

Look here, it’s the answer, will it fit over her paw?

“Come on Sophie, please try these ones on”

She did, and they fitted, and “Look, Jim and Ron,

I like them so much, I might wear them now

Then I looked at the colour” “Oh My!!,Holy Cow!!

They’re PURPLE, my goodness, what will my friends say?

When they see me coming, they’ll run the other way”

But Sophie was brave, and she walked out with pride

Now she runs in that snow, not staying inside

So the moral of this, when you go for a walk

Wear PURPLE, and give all your friends a reason to talk!!!


Quotation of the day, from Regina Brett

Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 3 January 2014

New Year, New Arrival at Our Place


For some weeks now, a cat has been coming in, eating Felicity’s food, running out again, usually about 10.30 p.m.

The food bowl has been moved to our bedroom, and he wakes us up with the crunch and munch of the biscuits. Broken sleep!!!

Lately he has ventured out in the daytime. No-one owns him,all enquiries get no answers, is he going to be the new member of our family?

Hugh has named him “ Max”, he is ginger and white and has the bushiest tail ever.

Max #1

Max #2

He is still very timid, but he and Felicity  have had a tête-à-tête,   no growls, no  hissing , not even a paw lifted to challenge. This is the first time I have seen him in the daylight and managed to get close enough for a photo.

Quotation of the day  from Odin Wilde

“ Keep your chin up, but not so high

that you  can’t see what’s ahead of you”

Greetings from Jean