Central Plateau, North Island

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

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A few words and the Longer Story


 Mount Tongarir0  is a compound volcano

Mount Ruapehu, or just Ruapehu, is an active stratovolcano

Mount Taranaki,  (  2518-metre  height)    or Mount Egmont, is an active but quiescent stratovolcano in the Taranaki region

Because of its resemblance to Mount Fuji, Taranaki provided the backdrop for the movie The Last Samurai.

Mount Egmont, photo courtesy of the Internet

Mount Egmont courtesy of Internet #1


That is the end of my Short Story.  Below  are details, courtesy of the Internet, with more information. While researching this, I did have a Geography and History lesson!!!

The  Longer Story

Mount Ngauruhoe is an active stratovolcano or composite cone in New Zealand, made from layers of lava and tephra. It is the youngest vent in the Tongariro volcanic complex on the Central Plateau of the North Island, and first erupted about 2,500 years ago. Although seen by most as a volcano in its own right, it is technically a secondary cone of Mount Tongariro.

The volcano lies between the active volcanoes of Mount Tongariro to the north and Mount Ruapehu to the south, to the west of the Rangipo Desert and 25 kilometres to the south of the southern shore of Lake Taupo.

The last major eruption was in 1975

Mount Tongariro is a compound volcano, consisting of 12 cones. The last eruptions were in 2012, the 6th August one after a month of increased activity. was large, with cloud, ash and rocks thrown out. Flight paths were altered, airspace within a 12 kilometre radius was closed, later open to visual flights only. Large rock particles up to a metre in size landed about 2 km from the vent. State highways were closed due to ash and poor visibility. On 21st November there was another eruption, with no warning.

Mount Ruapehu, or just Ruapehu, is an active stratovolcano and includes three major peaks: Tahurangi (2,797 m), Te Heuheu (2,755 m) and Paretetaitonga (2,751 m). The deep active crater fills with warm acidic water, and when the level rises above the normal outlet, an eruption occurs with a lahar. ( A lahar is a type of mudflow or debris flow composed of a slurry of pyroclastic material, rocky debris, and water. The material flows down from a volcano, typically along a river valley)

The 1945 eruption emptied the crater lake and dammed the outlet with tephra.

The crater slowly refilled with water, until on 24 December 1953 the tephra dam collapsed causing a lahar in the Whangaehu River. The lahar caused the Tangiwai disaster, with the loss of 151 lives, when the Tangiwai railway bridge across the Whangaehu River collapsed while the lahar was in full flood, just before an express train crossed it. It was already known that the river had partially undermined one of the bridge piers and the lahar finished the job, causing the bridge to collapse. Although warned of the collapsed bridge, the train driver was unable to stop the train in time and six of the carriages fell into the river.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were visiting New Zealand when the disaster at Tangiwai happened. Queen Elizabeth made her Christmas broadcast from Auckland, finishing with a message of sympathy to the people of New Zealand. Prince Philip attended a state funeral for many of the victims.

In 1995, 1996, 2006, 2007 there have been eruptions, in 2008, 2011 and 2012 warnings were issued.

ERLAWS, the Eastern Ruapehu Lahar Alarm and Warning System, is a lahar warning system installed on Mount Ruapehu, This was put in place after the 1995 eruption. On the Desert Road there are warning signals, flashing lights, and road closures if flash flooding occurs.


Quotation of the day from Albert Einstein,

“Learn from yesterday, 

live for today, hope for tomorrow”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Snow on the Tops

Sunday, we had a day out, taking Wonky Wagon, driving up the Desert Road, crossing over to National Park, and visiting Chateau Tongariro. Freezing wind from the south, morning tea was in the wagon, out of that wind. On the northern side, much calmer, and the morning cloud had all gone.

Tripod  was so handy to do a panorama shot, 8 photos, stitched with Serif. Next time I will take the photos in Portrait mode.

The arrows showing the snowmobile or tractor was  edited with Picasa, and I used Windings.

A long day, and a very dear friend called in not long after we were home with the most yummy “ Lemon Birthday Cake” Margaret, you are a gem in my life, thanks so much.

Mouse over or click on  any photo for a title or reference.

Mt Ngauruhoe, from the Desert Road


Morning Tea in the Wonky Wagon

Mt Tongariro was throwing out some smoke, cloud or ash, the sulphur smell was strong.


Ash  Plume from Mt Tongariro


Mt Ngauruhoe in wide view, taken from below the Chateau, standing on the golf course. This can be totally covered with snow after a heavy fall at lower levels.

Mt Ngauruhoe in wide view


Chateau Tongariro

Chateau Tongariro, in Tongariro National Park, a building of timeless elegance. The foundation stone was laid on 10 January 1929. Fletchers used a workforce of over 80, offering an incentive of free accommodation and a free suit to workers who stayed until the completion of the project. Most of the labourers were recruited from the Waikune Prison, which was the closest neighbour to the construction site.

The Chateau was designed by Timaru based architect Herbert Hall (1880-1939), who modelled his design on the Canadian Resort of Lake Louise designed a neo-Georgian structure of four stories and basement. There are 115 rooms,  divided into two main wings, the original Ruapehu Wing and the newer Tongariro Wing.

In   June 1964, Hugh, and I, with my Mum and Dad, and  our  first daughter Annette visited there, and had a meal at the Bistro.If I remember rightly, my Dad waited at the counter to pay, and after about 20 minutes, he had not been attended to, so we walked away!!! Maybe his words were like this “ Well, if they don’t think my money is good enough, never mind”!! I still smile at that today, as my Dad was the most honest and truthful man ever.

My favourite photo of the day, a panorama, using Serif, showing from left to right, Mt Tongariro ( elevation  1978 m, 6490 ft. ),   Mt Ngauruhoe,  ( Elevation 2,291 m (7,516 ft.), and Mt Ruapehu ( Elevation  2797 m, 9177 ft. .)

Mt Tongariro,Mt Ngauruhoe, Mt Tongariro Panorama

As I zoomed into the chair lifts on the upper slopes, I could see what might be a Snowmobile or tractor slowly moving up, maybe checking under each huge support. The arrow shows where it is, I couldn’t see any of this without the  telephoto lens.


Chair lifts #1 Arrow


Chair lifts  #2  arrow


Chair lifts #3 arrow

Quotation of the day, from Harley King

“May your dreams be larger than mountains and may you have the courage to scale their summits.

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 24 July 2014

I’m a lonely little Camellia flower


This week NZ has had snow, hail, sleet, rain, wind, and some sunshine. We had a frost here, then a little hail.

The other day, I left the Camellia flower on the bird bath, placed on top of the ice.

Camellia flower on frozen bird bath


Tuesday, it was frozen, leaves under the ice, then hail splattered on top. A bit of fun with some PP, and here it is in glorious “ Colour”. Click on the photo to see it in real life!!!

Hail on ice

Life continues as always, busy with firewood, pain medication, another hospital visit,  for a different problem, all was well this time, a small shopping spree for a birthday present, ( Roll on Friday, but not the years!!), … the Orthopod is still waiting to see  Hugh, or better wording, Hugh is still waiting to see him,   my guess is I need to phone more often till they realise I will keep on calling till we get an appointment.

Quotation of the day, from Jean

When Mayumi lived with us, we had hail one day. I laughed as she translated the words, “ Hugh, we have hail”, a fond memory from 2002.

Hyū wa, hyō o motte iru

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Frosty Fotos


This morning we had a light frost, it settled on the lawn and grasses, and the  ice  that was thawing dripped into the pond,  from the tree above.frosted  front lawn this morning

Carex Frosted Grasses

The bird bath water was solid ice, and the Camellia flower sat on top, guess it too would have frozen if out in the open all night.

Camellia flower on frozen bird bath


In  the last week,  Hugh has again had days with pain, using crutches, and all side effects from various pain medications too hard to cope with. I long for things to be as they were 2 years ago, but know we both have to deal with this in the best way we can. Another visit to the orthopod is scheduled, and hopes for  a better outcome this time. Every day I try to look for the sunshine, however small, and always it is there, in the sky, a bird on the lawn, clouds in glorious colour, frosty grasses, and Felicity there for comfort. Here she is with the blanket Hugh’s Mum knitted, and Muriel’s 2 bears for company, photo taken late 2011.


Felicity with one eye open

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ You have to walk through the bad days

to reach the best days of your life”

Greetings from Jean

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

From Glam to Lamb to Wam™ July, 2014



Trademark,” Wearing All Merino”  local use only.

Lately the temperature has dropped to  below zero Celsius in the mornings, and although the noon-day heat is warm, merino clothing is a necessity. Fabric by the metres, lots and lots, Bernina sewing another few thousand stitches, and all  the family are covered!!! ( Some of the goodies are sewn in fleece, with merino lining )

July lamb at Patrick's place

Merino collage

After some of the morning frosts, we have had glorious sunshine, and little wind.

Sunshine and the Walnut Tree branches

The  New Zealand pigeon, or  Keruru, sat with his back to the sunshine, high in another tree.

Pigeon  in the sunshine

Quotation of the day, by Ernest Lehman

 After all, the wool of a black sheep is just as warm.

Greetings from Jean